3 Tips to Better Promo Materials

There are many things that go into great promotional materials.  Here are three key things that you should consider when putting together your promo package….

1. Emphasize what the show will do for the customer.  Far more important than your credentials, or how great the show is, is promoting the benefits that come to people who see the show.  Recently we put together a new rack card to promote the Grand Magic Show in Custer, SD.

At the very top of the cards are the words  “Have awesome fun.”  This is a better thing to say than “Internationally Awarded” or “Great magic show.”   People want to know what is in it for me.  They are also looking for reasons that will lead them to choosing your attraction over others.

This does not mean that credits such as “internationally awarded” are not of value.  They do help people in making a decision to see your show.  The point is, such things should not be the first things, or the main things emphasized.  The fact that the customer will have “awesome fun” or “make a magical memory” is the concept that should come to their minds first.  You want them to think, Yes, that is exactly what I am looking for and what I want my children and grandchildren to experience.  I need to read more about this.

2. Keep in mind that our generation has become oriented to pictures over text.  The saying, “A picture speaks louder than a thousand words,” has been around for a long time.  Even so, in our time it is especially true.  We are a society that has been raised in front of the TV screen, and younger people have been raised in front of computer monitors and the screens on their phones as well.

Recently I have heard several marketing experts say that YouTube has become the second most used search tool in the world.  Some claim it is even used more than Google (which is claimed to be the number one tool).  When people want to know something, they try to find video about it.  We live in a world that says, “Show me,” rather than “Tell me”.

This means good marketing materials are eye-catching.  For magicians and creative entertainers, there is a need to find photos that say something.  A posed picture that basically is little more than a portrait of the performer is no longer good enough.  It is ok to use such a picture, but only if you surround it with other things that indicate action and which provide texture to the image conveyed.

The point is:  Getting a decent picture of yourself and putting it on a brochure will not get the job done.  The need is for pictures that somehow have emotional appeal.  It is not good for advertising to be too busy, but there must be character.

3. Put your website, phone number, or both where they can be quickly seen.  The backside of our rack card will show the phone number.  The website is right there on the front.  The reason this is important is many people now use their phones, more than they do computer screens, to do a search.   If they pick up a rack card, or walk by a poster, they are likely to take out their phone immediately to check you out or gain more information.  You want to make it easy for them to do that.

We must pay attention to how calls, texting and WIFI are a part of modern life.  There is a sense in which “almost everyone is always on the phone”.  Of course, that is a generalization, but as a generalization it says something about reality.  People are going to use the phone to learn more about you.

If you have a website, you want it to be phone friendly.  I am still learning about that.  It is important.

My understanding is that the three keys to a good ad are:

  1. There must be emotional appeal.
  2. It must stand out from the crowd.
  3. It must offer insight based on truth.

Emotional appeal is what we have already mentioned.  The ad should appeal to something people will feel and/or experience.  It should suggest how life will be affected by this opportunity.  A poster we put together to promote this season uses the words  “Enjoy a Vegas quality & family friendly”, “Sensational fun”, and “add a magical memory”.  I am not trying to suggest that we are doing everything right.  I am saying that I am paying attention to what I have been taught.  The words on the poster offer benefit to the potential client.  The pictures on the poster give the impression of interesting people, fun times, and amazing happenings.

Standing out from the crowd means thought must be put into what makes you different.  Why would people choose your magic show over the show of another performer (especially if the other performer does not charge as much)?  We use the phrase “internationally awarded” to indicate added value and quality.  We also are fortunate to live in an area where there are no other magic shows to compete with.  Simply because we are Grand Magic, we stand out from the crowd.

For those who do not have a theatrical show, this matter still merits serious consideration.  You do not want your marketing to suggest that you are “just another illusionist” or “you have heard of magicians, I am one too”.  It is better to say, “Producing laughter by magic” (if you are a comedy performer), or “Specializing in the wow-factor”.  Find something to say that makes you seem like the “stand out” choice to make.

Insight based on truth means people need information and the information needs to be true.  The fact that benefits and emotion are important, does not mean specific details do not matter.  Once people decide they are interested in you, they want to know more.

There are some who have under-estimated the importance of truth in advertising.  They call themselves, “Internationally awarded” when they are not.  They speak of “As seen in Las Vegas”, when all they ever did in Las Vegas was show a card trick to a friend.

These people think that all that matters is getting people to come through the door.  Apart from the ethics involved, they do not understand how important repeat business and referrals are to surviving in show business.  If the word gets out that a show does not live up to its own advertising, that gets around quickly and means death for the venture.

Expectations about a show or individual performance must be based on reality.

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