Directory listings, sidebar tiles, banner ads, email inclusion, group coupon deals, sponsored articles. There will never be any shortage of people that are calling you asking for some of your hard earned cash. Some of them are great, some of them are scams, and some just aren’t very good. This is where you will have to listen to your gut, as well as your network. Look at the leaders in your industry, and take a look at where they market.
As a guy that has worked on the inside of one of the top wedding guides in the US I can tell you that there is no silver bullet. Results will vary by region, by category, and by organization. My method has been to use my ads as powerful backlinks, if I get some additional business from the listing, then that’s just gravy. So when deciding who I will advertise with I search as if I were looking for a photo booth in my area, and start taking note of the sites that are appearing towards the top of the SERPs. From there it’s just a matter of what I’m willing to spend, and what the terms of advertising are.
Don’t get too hung up on all the advertising metrics they will throw at you, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. Maybe they really do have a million couples looking at the photo booth category per second. But maybe they don’t, there’s no way for you to know, and at the end of the day you’ll have to figure out for yourself if your return was worth the investment. Direct bookings, quality traffic, branding, or SEO are all different metrics. While the SEO value might be enough for me, you might need direct bookings for justification. So their metrics don’t matter, yours do.
A press release is a very quick and inexpensive way to get some quick backlinks, and raise some awareness about your business if done correctly. Remember that a press release is a document meant to share news. Resist the urge to release an article that says: “Photo Booths becoming popular at events.” There are one or two of these poorly written articles released every day detailing how the “newfangled digital booths” are so high tech and becoming popular at weddings. This is not news. No one will pick this story up, the backlinks you do get will be of the worthless blog farm category, and if any of your customers actually sees the article your credibility as an intelligent business owner will be demolished.
Instead take the time to think about it, and release something that is actually newsworthy. For example, I recently discovered that 80% of booked wedding photography packages were “digital only.” So out of curiosity I took an informal poll through a popular wedding blog, and discovered that there were many brides that did not see the importance of having pictures printed, including for their photo booth rental. In an industry where 95% of photo booths are printing, this could be newsworthy, and a press release was written. The point is be creative, think about what makes you different, and try to think of what could be newsworthy about it. And if something falls in your lap, like it turns out your photo booth is uniquely capable of capturing Big Foot, Unicorns, or perhaps the Loch Ness in its lens…the first thing that should come to your mind is a press release!
In the next post in this series I will discuss the power of associations, sponsorship and competitive analysis.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Join the conversation and leave a comment below.
This post is the 3rd in a 4 part series. If you haven't read the first two posts I highly recommend that you start from the beginning.
- Marketing Your Photo Booth Business: Part 1, Search Engine Marketing and Optimization
- Marketing Your Photo Booth Business: Part 2, Social Media
- Marketing Your Photo Booth Business: Part 3, Paid Advertisements and Press Releases
- Marketing Your Photo Booth Business: Part 4, Associations and Sponsorships
Damien Hutchins is the owner of Flicker Stage Photo Booths in Dallas TX, a company that has shed the more traditional aspects of the photo booth, leading the movement to redefine the special event guest entertainment space in the Dallas area. Previously Damien served as an early employee of one of the top online wedding marketing platforms in the US. You can follow him online at Facebook and Twitter.