5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your FEC Marketing
Many time-starved location owners don’t have a dedicated marketing team, and spend most of their time focused on operations. There are only so many hours in a day, and unfortunately marketing can tend to get pushed down the priority list. How can you be expected to look after your FEC Marketing needs when you’re so busy?
If this sounds familiar, this article will shed some light on the basic things you can take advantage of to steer your FEC marketing in the right direction. Here are 5 simple questions that you should ask yourself when it comes to marketing your FEC or arcade.
How effective is your website?
Your website is likely to be the #1 place people will end up when trying to find your business online. At least, it is where they should end up if they’re searching for you. Your website should inform people about your business, easily allow them to find your address and contact information, and entice them to come spend their time and hard-earned money there. What does an effective website look like? Here is a quick checklist:
- Make sure your contact information is easily accessible and accurate! Consider putting your phone number at the very top of your website, above the menu.
- Make sure your website is optimized for mobile use. Google recently implemented new guidelines that gives preference to mobile-ready sites. This makes sense, because mobile website browsing keeps increasing year after year, but more importantly, if people are out and about, looking for a good time, they’re using their phone to search.
- Set up a Google Business Listing for your venue so it features more prominently in search results. This will also allow you to be found more easily in local search with the added benefit of appearing on Google generated maps for local business.
- Do some basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to make sure your pages are indexed correctly. There are an endless number of companies out there who specialize in basic and professional SEO, but if you’re not afraid of learning a new skill and have access to your website, SEO is something you really can do by yourself. Just grab a cup (or a pot) of coffee and start learning the basics of SEO.
- Add game descriptions and images of what you have to offer. Excite your site visitors with some images and video. Don’t just say you have a great game room, show them what you have! Reach out to your game manufacturers and ask if they’ll supply marketing assets that will support this online and in-store. For example, LAI Games provides a Digital Media Kit for its new game Virtual Rabbids: The Big Ride, full of graphics and video that helps operators promote the game in store and online. If you own The Big Ride and haven’t accessed the media kit yet, reach out to our marketing department and let us know so we can share it with you!
Are you taking advantage of Social Media?
Social media doesn’t seem to be slowing down, and it’s arguably as important as your website (some businesses even use Facebook as their website). Social media provides a fantastic opportunity to market your venue because it’s free and has a very wide reach.
What sort of stuff should you post to social media? The topics are endless really, and ultimately, it’s up to what works for you and your business. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Post a game of the week and encourage guests to come in and try it. Pictures and videos are great for this, and people love the quirky nature of Boomerangs as well.
- Take pictures or videos of your guests playing games in your venue and ask their permission to post it to your channels. Get in the pictures and videos with them and build some relationships at the same time!
- Post pictures of players who win prizes in crane games or prize vending games
- Encourage guests to take and share videos while in your location.
- If you offer birthday parties in your venue take some promotional shots and remind people that you offer these services.
- Pose open-ended questions to your audience to start conversations. Make it relevant to your location, fun and light-hearted so people naturally want to have a say. “What is the best toy you’ve ever won from a crane game” or “What is the weirdest ingredient you eat on pizza?”
Making Social Media Manageable
The real key to manageable social media is to integrate it into your business lifestyle. Get in the habit of taking a few minutes out during your busy periods and post some photos of guests having fun. It will showcase your venue in the best light, and if you make it a habit, you’ll get efficient at it – not to mention the opportunity to engage directly with your guests! Encourage them to share their experiences and tag your venue in their posts.
Link up your Instagram account to your Facebook page so that whatever you post to one account will automatically post to the other, saving you the legwork of pushing content to multiple channels.
Video is king, so don’t just post photos. Make sure you’re taking videos of your games in action and posting them to your social channels. You can also experiment with live video capture through Facebook and YouTube.
Make sure you’re promoting your social media channels on your website and in-store to steadily grow your number of followers.
There are some great tools to make managing social media easy, as mentioned in another one of our articles Productivity Tools for Time-Starved FEC Operators.
Do you have an online party booking system?
If you aren’t using an online party booking system for FECs for the birthday parties you host, it’s time to look at one. An online party booking system comes with a range of benefits that far outweigh the costs.
- It saves you time. Get that staff member off the phone and back on the floor so they can focus on the guests that are in the store. Let your guests do the work of filling out all their details and party requirements. It’s really not any extra work for them, and you’ll have another opportunity to upsell them during checkout.
- Upsell your customers. A good online party booking system for FECs offers guests add-ons during checkout which offers value to your guest, and more revenue for you.
- Offer exclusive deals. In addition to upselling, you have an opportunity to offer deals that are only available online.
- Build a marketing list. Guests supply their information during checkout, and with their permission you can collect their email addresses for future marketing opportunities.
Are You Sending Out a Newsletter?
For those of us that grew up in a time where ‘mail’ referred to something physical that you went and picked up at the front of your house, you’ll be very familiar with Direct Mail. An eDM (Electronic Direct Mailer) is the modern day digital equivalent, and it’s been proven to be one of the most effective direct marketing channels to date. Why? Because unless you’ve gone and bought a list of names from an illegitimate source, your newsletter subscription list is full of people who have actively said they want to hear from you.
Make sure you’ve got an easy way for people to sign up on your website; promote it on social media as well as in-store. Put an iPad up at your POS counter and have people subscribe during their transactions.
How often should you send a newsletter out? This depends on your venue, service offering and how engaged your audience is, but ideally you want to send a newsletter out at least once a month. If you have a special event or promotion, you can send them as required. Tell your guests about your games, promotions, special offers or any other ideas you have to interest them in coming for a visit.
There are number of free email marketing tools out there. Mailchimp is considered one of the most user friendly and feature-rich ESPs (Email Service Providers) for small businesses with a very large number of subscribers in their free account.
How Many Promotions Have You Run This Year?
You have a great product (you sell fun!) and you don’t need a special reason to run a promotion. Think outside the box and create your own promotion around an event in your city, a special time of the year or any other occasion you can think of.
There are plenty of nationally recognized holidays each year that you can easily tie a promotion to, but the calendar is also full of plenty of unofficial ‘National Days of…’ (something). Take advantage of these wacky holidays and create a promotion around any one of them.
Post these on your website, advertise them on your social media channels and send them out in your newsletter. Keep building your audience and use the tools you already have at your disposal to promote them to keep growing your marketing! Good luck!
Liked these 5 Questions?
Our friends at CenterEdge have 5 Questions to Ask Before You Send Your Next FEC Marketing Email.