Implementing a digital marketing strategy for your family entertainment center may seem cumbersome and it can be frustrating when you rather be doing other things.

However, a plan is an investment into your center’s future because a well-orchestrated digital marketing plan will increase both the number of customers and your revenue. 

The first step to implementing a digital marketing strategy is to create one.

The steps to create a plan are simple but involve some focus on what you are trying to accomplish and what you have to offer customers. 

Before we get into digital marketing strategies, we strongly recommend you read about the 6 best family entertainment software of 2023, our guide to web marketing experts, as well as our article on AI tool Craiyon.

Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy

Look at your FEC and write down what makes it different from every other one in your location.

It’s important to build your strategy around your uniqueness.

After that, write down what customers that come to your business want.

Think, why do they come here?

Step 1 – Survey your customers

For that, you may need to talk to some customers rather than guess. It wouldn’t hurt to have them fill out a short questionnaire to get the answers you need. This can be done by handing out paper forms and asking them to do it as they arrive or leave. It can also be done digitally by sending it to the email addresses you have on file. 

It’s important to note their answers and compare them with what you wrote down about your business’s uniqueness. All of that can be used in branding and digital marketing. You may want to lean into their answers and improve what they like even more to create more distinction and branding. 

The questionnaires should also help you identify your customers. Knowing the general demographics of your loyal customers is helpful because you will want more of those. It also helps you see your weaknesses, such as not reaching a family with young children, and that can help you shift some strategies to reach a new group. 

Step 2 – Set goals

Once you identify your customers and understand your business’ weaknesses, you can set goals.

However, it isn’t enough to set goals. You must also set how to measure your success in reaching goals. 

For instance, you should have some numbers to reach for expanding your customer base.

You may want separate goals for numbers for certain demographic groups to show you are making a dent in a new audience. 

You should also have revenue-generating goals and goals showing more money spent per customer, per visit.

Numbers don’t lie and are highly measurable. 

Step 3 – Pick your marketing channels

Multiple channels exist to market family entertainment centers. You have social media, the website, coupon booklets, radio, television, podcasting, billboards, and direct mail just to name a few.

It is a certainty your budget won’t allow for all of that, at least not all at once. That means you will need to pick the best methods for your FEC to make the biggest difference.

Every community is different and every business is distinctive so this is something that will need to be customized for your business. 

Implementing your Digital Marketing Strategy

The methods you choose for your digital marketing strategy pivot around two key items, cost, and customers. You want to implement both low and higher-cost options while staying within budget and also want to use methods that those in your community depend on. 

Online Strategies

Everyone talks about online marketing but it doesn’t work for every business or community.

The good news for FECs is online strategies work well and can become an integral path to getting more activity bookings in your space.

Get a Website

The first thing to do is to launch your FEC website.

This is often the first impression that potential customers have of your venue.

Not only will they use your website to get information on your venue, but it will also be where they perform important actions such as booking tickets and contacting you. Therefore, you need to make sure your website makes these processes as easy and reliable as possible.

So, don’t make the mistake of cheapening out on web design. Make sure you work with an experience website designer to capture the look and feel of your venue to really excite potential customers to book a ticket and visit you!

Your website comes with many benefits including:

  • The ability to automatically accept bookings online;
  • A place to capture email subscribers;
  • Improve awareness of your business via search engines;
  • Launch promotions;
  • Offer discounts;
  • Make announcements; and
  • Answer any questions.

Your FEC website really is the home-base of your online presence and any digital marketing activities.

Start a monthly newsletter

A monthly newsletter will also prove helpful in maintaining customer contact.

Just make sure you do the following to get the most out of your newsletter:

  • Give your subscribers a good reason to open your email with a coupon or special event.
  • Don’t send too many emails. You have to aim for quality over quantity.
  • Ensure your FEC software is connected to your email marketing software, so that all past customers can be automatically added.
  • Personalise your emails. Your FEC software can help with this, and it’s a great way to make your customers feel valued.
  • Give your emails a call to action (CTA). After all, you want your customers to use your website.
  • Optimise your emails for mobile, as a lot of your customers are going to read your emails with their phone.

Make regular social media posts

Social media can be done for free (well except the time creating and posting!), especially if you stick to organic posts.

You need to make a business page on at least two or three social media accounts and pick platforms aimed at where your customer base spends time.

Once you have your business social media pages setup; you need promote it to get fans and post two or three times a day to generate reach and engagement. 

Add your personal page to the platform so you can use it to promote your business page.

Make sure you keep your posts fun and include videos to really highlight was is unique about your FEC.

You will want to add content marketing elements to both your social media and website landing pages.

This can be anything helpful, such as “fun family activities” or “picking out the right skates for your child”. 

Write a weekly social media posting schedule like the example below:

Monday– Share a special offer for families visiting on weekdays.
– Share photos of families having fun at the center.
Tuesday– Share a video tour of the center’s attractions.
– Highlight a particular attraction and share some fun facts about it.
Wednesday– Share a recipe or ‘how we make video’ for a popular snack or treat sold at the center.
– Share a photo or video of a staff member interacting with a family or child.
Thursday– Share a customer review or testimonial.
– Share a fun fact about the history of the center or the building it’s located in.
Friday– Share a post with a positive review from your Google Business Profile or Facebook page.
– Share a photo or video of a family enjoying a birthday party at the center.
Saturday– Share a special offer for weekend visits.
– Share a photo or video of a live performance or event happening at the center.
Sunday– Share a fun game or activity that families can play together at home.
– Share a photo or video of the center’s staff members enjoying a day off together.

Get a Google Business Page & Drive Local SEO

One of the best things you can do is get on Google Business Pages, yet it’s overlooked by so many people.

A Google Business Page identifies your business, the location, and allows for posts on operation hours, changes, and reviews. It will help in your organic search rankings.

Consider paid social media posts

Those who want to give their business page or website a jumpstart on social media can use paid social media or boosting posts. Both are pretty affordable, especially if you narrow your target audience down to your local area.

Having a strong social media presence with engagement and a regularly updated website will help increase visibility in organic Google searches. Yet, it could still take a few months to get anywhere near the top of the ranking. That’s where paid searches come in. 

Paid searches like Google Ads are put as sponsored at the top of the first page and are typically pay-per-click. That means that you pay every time someone clicks on the ad. The advantage of this type of advertising is you can set your daily budget so the ad ends when the daily budget is depleted. 

The downside is that some ads cost more per click than others. It depends on the position and the keywords used.

Getting Into Groups

One way to drum up some branding and attention is to join area groups, both in-person and online. The local chamber of commerce can be enormously helpful in spreading the word about a business that just joined. Some will even have a hosting event at your business to get people to visit. 

Joining the chamber can be pricey but they provide a lot of advertising and may use your business for an upcoming event.

Local business networking groups typically meet once a week. You might try hosting a discounted night for group members and their families. Most of these are low-cost or free.

Online groups are plentiful. Look for local online businesses, family, and community groups to get started. Facebook Groups are usually the best place, but check what is popular in your areas. The best part about online groups is they are typically free to join and participate.

Traditional Marketing

Marketing that goes beyond digital includes radio, television, newspaper ads, coupon book ads, billboards, direct mail, and sponsorship campaigns.

This can be the most expensive part of your marketing budget.

Coordinate by Seasons and Events

You can do most of it if you plan it out throughout the year according to what is going on in your community and coordinate it with your online digital campaigns. 

For instance, high school football is big in many places. Summer is the time to buy sponsorship in the football program or some radio time with the local station covering the game. You could offer a free pass to the first game’s MVP or food to the team. 

Post about all of this on all your online platforms and you have some serious digital marketing happening that will result in revenue. 

The holidays may be a time to advertise in the coupon book or on television family channel streaming services. Newspaper and direct mail could be done in January as they are cheaper. 

Other Community Advertising

Billboards have gone digital, making them cheaper to use. You can coordinate your space and time to congratulate a team, a pageant winner, or a spring or summer sale. Other types of outside marketing may be getting listed on park benches, at bus stops, or on grocery store receipts. 

While all of that is valid, choose carefully because it could also be a waste of money if you aren’t reaching your demographic. They should be last on your list.

The most important part of this type of advertising is to plan it out over the year. You should switch it up about every three months to hit all your demographics and stay within your budget. 

Switching up advertising channels does something else too. It gives the appearance that your business is everywhere both in the community and online. People don’t realize you aren’t advertising on the radio when they see a billboard. They only remember that you’ve done both and that you’re online. That makes you appear successful, growing, and the place to be. 

That, in turn, will drive more customers to you without driving up your costs.