I decided to start a new category this weekend while I was down the shore (that's at the Jersey Beaches for you non-Jersey readers). It's called Old School Facelift and what I'll do is point out everyday occurrences that I think could use a new media strategy to boost sales. Basically, offering free advice to any local or national business when the mood strikes me. So, what hit me this weekend? The family and I attended the Cole Brothers Circus.
Yes a circus and the traveling kind when they come to your town and put down a big tent. Not the sad shell of a circus which is now Ringling Brothers which probably makes Barnum and Bailey flip over in their graves. The Cole Brothers Circus was an absolute low tech blast . There were motorcyclists in a giant cage, clowns, a family on the trapeze, horse shows, juggling, elephants (complete with the always popular jumbo excrement), and a woman shot out of a cannon. Seriously, it was a great, great show and I highly recommend it. The only problem with it was that the big tent was about half full.
Yes. Half full, but before you laugh and think I'm crazy, trust me when I tell you that everyone, old and young, left with smiles on their faces. It really was great and when I compared it with the Ringling Brothers show we saw two years back at a giant sports arena, the Cole Brothers Circus had nobody sleeping; unlike the Ringling Brothers show which was a giant snooze festival. So, I got to thinking how can The Cole Brothers Circus increase attendance when they pull into your town?
FIVE GUARANTEED IDEAS TO INCREASE ATTENDANCE AT THE CIRCUS
- Search Ads - Yes that's a no-brainer and they should fund it immediately. There are no real ads around circus, cole brothers, ringling brothers (other than ticket master), plus I'd add in family activity words. In order to save money, they can geo-target and/or zipcode target the words to maximize coverage and finally in order to have end-to-end tracking put coupons on the website for a free soda to measure conversions.
- Circus Blogs - I tried looking through Technorati for circus blogs but didn't really find anything useful. Think about how much mileage they could get out of a blog about life working at a circus, how to be a clown, or life being in the Flying Ponce Family. It would be cool and probably get a ton of traffic.
- RSS Feeds and Email Subscribers - Yes I personally believe email is on its way out, but hey you have to include it right? Every one of those blog posts should have an email and RSS feed pushed out and if they do it right, links to offers and links to find when the circus is in town. Heck, even have a refer a friend offer to sign-up for the feeds.
- Embrace The YouTube World - Yes, stop hogging your videos and realize that people love to post their own videos at YouTube. Make a YouTube channel page, Facebook page and allow people to post their videos there. Nobody really is trying to capture your content, they'd rather see it in person and show it to the world. That will help with brand awareness. Heck, why not stream the shows for free on your website.
- Create a Circus Wiki - There I said it, but there is so much information about the Circus and why should they just rely on Wikipedia? Stock it with information, the history of the circus and wrap it under a giant frame with your branding and circus location information. Turn to those friends you have listed and enlist them to fill information in on your Wiki. Basically, build your content and watch the traffic grow.
That's it for now. I'm sure the top 5 mentioned above will be repeated as I put more posts on the subject. If you get the chance, go to The Cole Brothers Circus; it really is a great, low tech event to be experienced by all.