Marketing On The Internet
What's the best way to market your laser tag center on the Internet?
by Jason Bock
An entertainment center is not something easily marketed over the Internet. The best products to sell over the Internet are small, highly valuable and don't require you to be at a certain location. You are providing a service where the customer needs to be at your center.
Do not be persuaded to participate in local Internet advertising. Unless you live in a large metropolitan area, it will not pay off for your family entertainment center.
There are very few exceptions to this rule. There might be a magazine or newspaper web site in your community that gets enough traffic to be worth it. If your entertainment center has this opportunity for advertising, play it safe.
Carefully test the results by referring Internet ads to a special coupon page, not your home page. Test for 60 days. If the returns are good, continue this advertising for your location-based entertainment (LBE) or Family Entertainment Center (FEC).
Even though Internet advertising is not effective marketing for your entertainment center, that doesn't mean you can't take advantage of the best tools on the Internet: web sites and email.
Your entertainment center should have a web site on the Internet with the following features:
- All your center's contact information on the home page.
- Quality pictures of your entire facility optimized for the Internet.
- Game packages.
- Directions AND a map.
- Hours of operation.
- Birthday party and group information.
- Answers to common questions. (If someone asks you something more than once a month, the answer ought to be on your web site)
Update your web site regularly. Get it built professionally, too. It should load quickly and be information intensive, not graphic intensive. People will come to your web site to get information, not be impressed by flash graphics and animated gif's.
Promote your web address.
To promote you entertainment center's web site, put the URL (web address) on every marketing piece you have. Consider the Google AdWords program, where you can isolate the keywords that will be effective for your LBE or FEC.
Email is even more important.
To be effective, you should check and reply to email at least 2-3 times daily. Email is informal, quick and effective. It's not so informal you can forget about spelling and grammar. Use a signature file to include contact information in every email.
You can lower your marketing costs if you make a habit of collecting email addresses from your customers. Collect them (with parental permission) from every man, woman and child that walks into your center. Start an emailing program newsletter with special offers.
Marketing your entertainment center to existing customers will always be more effective than trying to find new customers. Too often, entertainment centers don't maximize the customers they have, spending their time and money on new business.
Internet marketing may not be as useful to location based entertainment facilities and family entertainment centers, but that doesn't mean you can't take advantage of the Internet revolution.