Reach Your Photo Booth Target Market
This blog article is based on the main points of discussion during my recent podcast as a guest on the Super Boothers™ podcast and has been written to help photo booth operators get clear on who they are targeting to reaching your target market much easier.
I tried Facebook and sure I got a few likes but not much else.
I paid hundreds/thousands for my wedding/party directory listing but I’m not even sure I got any bookings just some traffic.
I tried a print ad in the best wedding magazine expecting the phones to ring hot but they didn't.
The industry is getting so saturated there just isn't enough business for all of us.
If you can relate to one or more of the aforementioned statements then you are likely one of the many photo booth rental operators around the world struggling to get bookings or who feel your wasting your advertising budget on fruitless endeavors.
What’s the problem?
I’ll tell you what the problem isn’t. The problem isn't that there isn’t enough potential clients out there or that there are too many operators. The problem is incorrect targeting.
What is targeting?
I'm talking about connecting a specific market or sub sector of the market with the right product/service for them.
Defining Your Target
One of the traps many boothers fall into is thinking that everyone who is interested in a photo booth is their target. And conversely to that that all other operators are their direct competitors…. not true. With so many operators and so much interest from the public to rent a photo booth boothers need to be much more specific about their real markets. To do that you need to drill down into that big pie that is the “photo booth’ market. Here is a breakdown of the main markets within the photo booth rental industry as I see it:
- General Events – Parties, Birthday Parties, 21st's, 18ths, Sweet 16ths, Staff Christmas Parties etc
- Weddings – Budget Weddings, Average Weddings, High End Weddings, LGBT Weddings
- Corporate – Trade shows, In store, Experiential, Conferences, Client events etc
- Education Sector – School Balls/Proms/Formals, School Fetes, University Events, Orientation Week etc
- Religious Events – Christenings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs etc
Think about your own photo booth business and which markets you are attracting business from. If you are not sure you go back and review your bookings and make a point of monitoring this often. More than likely you are getting lots of business from more than one of the above markets but what you really need to do is to figure out which of the above are your ideal (aka target) markets and which are not. It's perfectly fine to have a few but its best to narrow your focus and not to have too many. Once you know who you are targeting advertising and reaching them will become a lot clearer but we will get to that...
TIP – You are generally NOT your target market so do not rely on what you think instead you should create Avatars.
TIP – If you are attracting business from a market you no longer want it’s time to change how you “Align” all aspects of your business (see below)
Avatars and How to Create Them
An Avatar is just a made up description/image of what your ideal client for each market you are trying to reach looks like. The beauty of creating Avatars is that they allow you to get think more like your clients and less like yourself. This is particularly important when it comes to advertising but also helps you when creating new products and services.
How to create an Avatar
There are loads of online resources to help you create an Avatar but basically there are 5 main things you need to outline
- PERSONAL INFO – Name (fictitious), Age, Marital Status, Geo Location, Gender, Occupation and Income bracket (you might need to survey your clients for some of this info)
- GOALS AND VALUES – List the things that are important to them eg seeing their guests entertained and enjoying themselves
- CHALLENGES AND PAIN POINTS – List the issues they are facing eg Finding a booth that fits their theme/venue
- SOURCE OF INFO – A list of places or resources they use to find out information eg bridal magazines/wedding expos
- OBJECTIONS / ROLE IN PURCHASE – What are their likely objects and are they the final decision maker. eg budget constraints
If you want to get a free download to help you with creating your Avatars I recommend DigitalMarketer.com they offer free downloadable templates for male and female Avatars.
Niching Is Great For Targeting
Niching sounds fancy but it basically boils down to offering a specific product or service for a clearly defined target market. So many operators have the mentality of wanting to give a photo booth to anyone who wants one for any event. Niching is the opposite. It's deciding clearly who your booths are for, customizing the look and feel accordingly and then advertising only for that or those markets. A great example of this would be a White wedding booth or a Gatsby themed booth set up. These are both very specific in who they are meant for but that in turn makes it easy to have a clear message right from how those booths are branded, priced right through to how they're marketed.
TIP – Niching only works when you have access to a large enough market. For instance in the big cities a Gatsby or LGBT themed booth could work very well but would not as suitable for less populous regions.
Align Your Branding/Website/Services/Pricing
Hopefully by now you are starting to really think seriously about your own business and the markets you are trying to reach or possibly you're even thinking about alternative opportunities within your market. Whatever the case maybe before you start advertising to your newly discovered target market(s) you need to review your branding, website, services and pricing with fresh eyes. Think about whether or not you are really speaking to your markets or whether you need to change some things. It might be the language used for instance if you want to target the LGBT community the imagery and language (and Google friendly keywords) should clearly reflect this. Same with your pricing, if you're going after the high end weddings you need to ooze style and taste across your website and the way your booths looks to justify the top price you will be expected to be charging. Top end brides want to spend top dollar so offer them the best and they will line up to pay!
TIP - Use your Avatars and survey real clients to see if the new things you are thinking of for that market are going to work. Be prepared to pivot (make changes/tweaks) until you get it right.
Target Your Market!
Now that you have all your ducks in a row you can revisit the actual marketing of your business, booths and services via all the usual channels (Facebook, Adwords, directories etc). You are now armed with the right product(s) and the right mindset about your target markets to get out and create awesome ad campaigns. Just remember that you're going to need to target each market individually if you want the best results. It means more work but the rewards are much higher so it’s worth the extra effort!
TIP – Always track your ROI (return on investment) and make tweaks to ads or pull them altogether if they aren't working. Within a short period you will be a master advertiser for your business.
Justin runs The Photobooth Finder which is an affordable and easy way for photo booth operators to connect to their target market. More than a photo booth directory, The Photobooth Finder generates warm leads for its members by allowing the public to use its custom search function to easily find, compare and contact local photo booth operators around the US and Canada based on user defined criteria like type of booth, size and budget.
The Photobooth Finder is free to list on with no yearly fees. Sign up now to also receive free leads until Mar 2018.