by jkhdsf
31 replies
What happened here?

I was stoked on this project, it combines a lot of my passions: food, fitness & video marketing.

Yet, it flopped.

I used internet marketing methods to promote a local event and somewhere along the line, it didn't work. Check it out and see if you can spot any mistakes, i'm totally up for criticism and learning from the experience.

Here's the url:
www(.)thecavemancookout(.)com
#coaching #criticism #failure #public
  • Profile picture of the author YasirYar
    Originally Posted by jkhdsf View Post

    What happened here?

    I was stoked on this project, it combines a lot of my passions: food, fitness & video marketing.

    Yet, it flopped.

    I used internet marketing methods to promote a local event and somewhere along the line, it didn't work. Check it out and see if you can spot any mistakes, i'm totally up for criticism and learning from the experience.

    Here's the url:
    www(.)thecavemancookout(.)com
    Where are you trying to get the traffic from?
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  • Profile picture of the author jkhdsf
    Local Crossfit gyms have posted fliers on their community billboards and blogs & Slow Food has it up on their events page.

    It's all local traffic that i'm looking for so the idea was to have them hear about the event in real life and go check out the website (I left tear off tabs with a website link on the event fliers)
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  • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
    You put on this event and the turnout was poor?
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  • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
    Wait it says August 6... What am I missing?
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    • Profile picture of the author Jake Gray
      Originally Posted by Rich Struck View Post

      Wait it says August 6... What am I missing?
      Seems kind of strange. Kind of seems like he is promoting it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Fraggler
      Originally Posted by Rich Struck View Post

      Wait it says August 6... What am I missing?
      I read it as he didn't get the interest he was expecting to actually hold the event.

      You need to go into more detail about how you ran your advertising campaign for anyone to critique. Were you getting a lot of traffic to the page but they didn't convert to interested leads or did you struggle to get any traffic to the page at all?

      You perhaps could have contacted related blogs, even if just with a press release, to get your event in their faces. Having your ad placed in the right spots is important but a more direct approach would have given you a better idea of community interest.

      Perhaps you should have also approached some community radio stations, or even local podcasts to make sure your message is heard.

      Were people picking up your pamphlets or clicking on your advertisements on that site?
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    • Profile picture of the author David Keith
      Originally Posted by Rich Struck View Post

      Wait it says August 6... What am I missing?
      yea, the event date through me off too. not sure how he knows for sure he failed at promoting the event. or maybe he was just expecting more traffic to his site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Gehr
    Being that this was a small community event, I have a feeling it would have benefited more from offline strategies.

    Since you were looking for opt-ins, I don't think that would have worked in that your video is long and could perhaps been offered after the opt-in, or a short portion of the video could have tempted the visitor with more, i.e. the rest of the video AFTER they opt-in.

    Essentially, this is not a squeeze page. There's too much going on and the draw is not focusing on the opt-in. Failing to get those names and emails could have been the downfall of this project, but I think it was more of a failure offline.

    Fliers are actually a poor marketing strategy. I haven't checked stats for a while, but they used to sit at around 1% response from fliers.

    The event itself is lost on your page, and unless you watch the video all the way through, there's nothing really compelling enough for people to be artfully drawn to your opt-in to the right.

    Just a few thoughts.
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    • Profile picture of the author jkhdsf
      Thanks for all the helpful tips. To address a few things:

      Yes, I am promoting the event but not to this community. It is a local event for a niche group of fitness nuts.

      The even has not taken place yet but tickets haven't sold and I was supposed to sell 60 so thats why I've called it a failure.

      To market the event, I put up fliers at all the local Crossfit Gyms (there are 7), and got 3 or 4 local, relevant fitness blogs to give me a shout out.

      Slow Food also helped by listing it in their Events page.

      I didn't receive much traffic, but it would have been all from people seeing the various blog posts, event listing on slow food, seeing the flier at their gym, or seeing the event Liked on others Facebook pages.

      From June 20 - July 26, we have received 308 visits/533 pageviews. The highest number of visits in one day was 44. Unfortunately we lost analytics for 8 days in the middle of the launch so its hard to give accurate results. At the end of the day though, there are 0 tickets sold.

      During the prelaunch, I set up a squeeze page to capture emails and things. That didn't work either but I also wasn't aggressively directing traffic to it.

      One possible reason for noone buying isthat the percieved value of a pig roast is low and we are asking $49 for it

      I am wondering if anyone has experimented with internet marketing strategy to market a local offline event or product?
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  • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
    First, I would have to say the background color is a deal breaker, I feel pain reading off a black background and I think you should never go for a black one.

    Second, the video looks amazing, but I guess if you made more description so even the people who are not going to read video or not interested in videos can figure out what is going out, Many people will not click play button unless they think they have an i dea what is going on in your website.

    I honestly can't judge about the traffic as I don't know where are you getting it
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Ok, first off I am still waiting for the video to load - so I am lost already.

      There is no immediate benefit I see posted - no real headline. I need a headline. I need something to entice me to stay while the video loads.

      "Swallow Tale Chef Shows Her Piggies - Will You Be Joining This Elite Group?"

      I need to know that spaces are limited and this is a time sensitive issue.

      You might consider offering 2 free tickets for one lucky person who signs up for more information on the event.

      Hit up the local radio station.

      Will there be women? Topless Men? Cabana boys? Will there be booze (I"m not a big beer person)? Will there be karaoke?

      Anyone famous attending?

      What if I don't like Pork?

      Who is doing the music?

      Can I play frisbee?

      Is this indoors or out?

      What happens if it rains?


      You are missing one big thing in that video too -

      Why do I need this?

      4 Questions:

      Who are you?
      What do you have?
      Why do I need this?
      How do I get it?

      I'm not sure why I need this pig roast.

      You could tell me something like "It's just not a proper summer if you have not been to at least one pig roast!" or something like that.
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      "May I have ten thousand marbles, please?"

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      • Profile picture of the author jkhdsf
        Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

        Ok, first off I am still waiting for the video to load - so I am lost already.

        There is no immediate benefit I see posted - no real headline. I need a headline. I need something to entice me to stay while the video loads.

        "Swallow Tale Chef Shows Her Piggies - Will You Be Joining This Elite Group?"

        I need to know that spaces are limited and this is a time sensitive issue.

        You might consider offering 2 free tickets for one lucky person who signs up for more information on the event.

        Hit up the local radio station.

        Will there be women? Topless Men? Cabana boys? Will there be booze (I"m not a big beer person)? Will there be karaoke?

        Anyone famous attending?

        What if I don't like Pork?

        Who is doing the music?

        Can I play frisbee?

        Is this indoors or out?

        What happens if it rains?


        You are missing one big thing in that video too -

        Why do I need this?

        4 Questions:

        Who are you?
        What do you have?
        Why do I need this?
        How do I get it?

        I'm not sure why I need this pig roast.

        You could tell me something like "It's just not a proper summer if you have not been to at least one pig roast!" or something like that.
        A valuable look into what crosses the mind of people viewing my site. Thanks for your contribution Jill!

        I've done my best to get across why people should come in the video. They are part of the crossfit community and their tribe will be meeting to drink beer and roast an animal without them if they don't attend. It's posted up on blogs on billboard they see in their comjunitys and i've done my best to create buzz at the gyms about it.

        I don't want to do a hard sell because i am not trying to just get huge numbers and convert some kind of percentage, I am trying to focus more on getting leaders within the community to attend and promote the event because they think its cool
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  • Profile picture of the author 3bagsfull
    1. why did you say "contribution for catering" -- contribution??? why not say "buy a ticket" - contribution is variable. Poor choice of words
    2. $49 for a ticket? that seems high to me. so if I am gonna spend that kind of money you better tell me exactly why I should spend it
    3. Video Details and Text Details - strange choice of words -- I don't know what they mean -- How about Learn More - get more details etc etc
    4. Force the video to start when I get on the site. like an advertisement
    5. you need offline advertising/marketing. what local papers have you called. what facebook pages have you posted on? what online "friends" have you leveraged to tweet REGULARLY about this event? one tweet is a waste of time. you need MANY tweets
    6. how is this associated with health and working out? I don't see the connection

    your failure (as you put it, not me) is not fully planning out your marketing and ENGAGING the end purchaser. the internet may not be the answer for you. it is only a small part of a big picture

    and = august is a bad time for events -- I am involved with event capture for a local magazine in my town. NOTHING gets going until september when people are back from vacation and kids are back in school -- what if you push this off until september and october when a dinner like this might be more appealing when it is cooler weather and people can attend
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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
      First off, I liked the video. I thought you did a good job.

      But $49 a head is not a pig roast, $49 a head is a political fundraiser.

      Basically, you're asking guys to spend $100 to take their girl to a meal. A couple with two kids would need $200 to play.

      From the video it looks like the event will be held in someone's back yard. That alone makes the $49 price look obscene. Perhaps you could look at your metrics and lower the price. Substantially.

      Keep in mind at the price point you've chosen your competition are the better eateries around town. And they are most likely a known commodity, hence no surprises. Your event? Who knows. That makes it a $100 gamble.

      It looks totally delicious, btw. Just watching the video made me hungry. Not $49 hungry, but hungry nonetheless.

      Hope it works out for you.

      ~Bill
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      • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
        Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post

        First off, I liked the video. I thought you did a good job.

        But $49 a head is not a pig roast, $49 a head is a political fundraiser.
        I can't really comment on the price as I have no idea what the cost of living in in that particular community.

        I can say that you can command $49 or what ever - but you need to really demonstrate a higher perceived value some how.
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      • Profile picture of the author jkhdsf
        Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post

        First off, I liked the video. I thought you did a good job.

        But $49 a head is not a pig roast, $49 a head is a political fundraiser.

        Basically, you're asking guys to spend $100 to take their girl to a meal. A couple with two kids would need $200 to play.

        From the video it looks like the event will be held in someone's back yard. That alone makes the $49 price look obscene. Perhaps you could look at your metrics and lower the price. Substantially.

        Keep in mind at the price point you've chosen your competition are the better eateries around town. And they are most likely a known commodity, hence no surprises. Your event? Who knows. That makes it a $100 gamble.

        It looks totally delicious, btw. Just watching the video made me hungry. Not $49 hungry, but hungry nonetheless.

        Hope it works out for you.

        ~Bill
        Thanks for the praise Brian. You are right about the price point. I am going to see about knocking it down to a simpler event at $20 a head or so. What do you think of that price?
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        • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
          Originally Posted by jkhdsf View Post

          Thanks for the praise Brian. You are right about the price point. I am going to see about knocking it down to a simpler event at $20 a head or so. What do you think of that price?
          $20 is a manageable amount. My guess is you'll have a much better chance of selling 60 tickets at that price.

          ~Brian
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        • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
          Originally Posted by jkhdsf View Post

          I am going to see about knocking it down to a simpler event at $20 a head or so. What do you think of that price?
          A simpler event? The website only says pig roast - round here that costs from £5 -£8 (UK pounds) per head. If you were offering something else, then it doesn't say so.

          Perhaps your mistake is in not telling people what they are actually paying for?
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          • Profile picture of the author claywalsh
            How about you just give free tickets to everyone in this thread then?
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    • Profile picture of the author jkhdsf
      Originally Posted by 3bagsfull View Post

      1. why did you say "contribution for catering" -- contribution??? why not say "buy a ticket" - contribution is variable. Poor choice of words
      The supper club is in a legal grey area and so we cannot officially sell tickets. The money has to be given as a donation or contributed in a pool to pay for the catering.


      Originally Posted by 3bagsfull View Post

      2. $49 for a ticket? that seems high to me. so if I am gonna spend that kind of money you better tell me exactly why I should spend it
      Ya you are on to something here. The perceived value of a pig roast is low. I chose it because it is easy to pass on through word of mouth and it fits the caveman theme. The cost comes in the quality of pig we sourced, the home grown ingredients used and the 8 hours it takes to cook the pig. Still, low perceived value so I will have to reassess this next time


      Originally Posted by 3bagsfull View Post

      3. Video Details and Text Details - strange choice of words -- I don't know what they mean -- How about Learn More - get more details etc etc
      4. Force the video to start when I get on the site. like an advertisement
      Fixed

      Originally Posted by 3bagsfull View Post

      and = august is a bad time for events -- I am involved with event capture for a local magazine in my town. NOTHING gets going until september when people are back from vacation and kids are back in school -- what if you push this off until september and october when a dinner like this might be more appealing when it is cooler weather and people can attend
      This is helpful to know. Thanks for the tip on that. An autumn or late summer pig roast might do the trick.

      Can you give any other general tips and lessons you've learned in doing events?
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    This type of thing can be advertised in churches, chambers of commerce, local clubs (lions, Elks, Eagles and all the animals) women's clubs, local PTA announcements - door to door flyers, library, local supermarket bulletin boards - local newspaper.

    Local events sometimes need local awareness more than SEO.

    For online, local sites such as craigslist etc will help. Twitter might even get you some extra notice
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    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
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    • Profile picture of the author brentb
      A few things:

      Social media is very lacking... you have 15 likes... I have a page with gibberish on it that got 30 likes in a day. Tell people to share it on Facebook... post on facebook like crazy, im sure you have a personal account you can spout out links to the page? Do it!

      Do google PPC campaign, I have found good deals on local postings, like the name of your town or nearby local things (xyz church, or whatever is hosting the thing etc) yeah only 100 hits will come of it but they will be the people you want!!!!

      Your site is awkward... its pretty cool looking in general, but not informative. I have no clue what its really about and neither does anyone else. Also, do away with the flash... I saw the loader and im on a T1 connection all by my lonesome.... flash isnt good for really anything, everyone hates it.

      Give me a big starburst with BUY A TICKET NOW - CLICK HERE and a list on the front page with everything going on.... nobody knows what contribution for catering is... and to be honest... I thought you showed up and paid until I read other peoples responses, even after looking through the site....

      The price is ridiculous... unless its a ticket for unlimited drinks at an open bar... I would pay that, find a way to make it cheaper or else...

      Lastly, event sites need to be small! YES simple and small... like 1-3 pages, thats it... your menu, video details, text details... wtf is that? I had no idea what was going to come up... who does that? Put all the details on one page, video text or other... one place. Idk what friends is either so I didn't bother to click it... and contact I know what that means but idk why I would contact you... you can put that in the footer to aid with simplicity.

      Hope that helps...
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      • Profile picture of the author jkhdsf
        Originally Posted by brentb View Post

        A few things:

        Social media is very lacking... you have 15 likes... I have a page with gibberish on it that got 30 likes in a day. Tell people to share it on Facebook... post on facebook like crazy, im sure you have a personal account you can spout out links to the page? Do it!

        Do google PPC campaign, I have found good deals on local postings, like the name of your town or nearby local things (xyz church, or whatever is hosting the thing etc) yeah only 100 hits will come of it but they will be the people you want!!!!

        Your site is awkward... its pretty cool looking in general, but not informative. I have no clue what its really about and neither does anyone else. Also, do away with the flash... I saw the loader and im on a T1 connection all by my lonesome.... flash isnt good for really anything, everyone hates it.

        Give me a big starburst with BUY A TICKET NOW - CLICK HERE and a list on the front page with everything going on.... nobody knows what contribution for catering is... and to be honest... I thought you showed up and paid until I read other peoples responses, even after looking through the site....

        The price is ridiculous... unless its a ticket for unlimited drinks at an open bar... I would pay that, find a way to make it cheaper or else...

        Lastly, event sites need to be small! YES simple and small... like 1-3 pages, thats it... your menu, video details, text details... wtf is that? I had no idea what was going to come up... who does that? Put all the details on one page, video text or other... one place. Idk what friends is either so I didn't bother to click it... and contact I know what that means but idk why I would contact you... you can put that in the footer to aid with simplicity.

        Hope that helps...
        Thanks for all this Brent. Really valuable advice!
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  • Profile picture of the author brentb
    Added note: 95% of internet surfers are complete idiots... the 5% that aren't are on forums like Warrior, the rest of them are your target audience...

    You need to hold their hand, guide them along, and the more steps you put in front of them, the more options you give them, the more that will trip over themselves before they make it to the end. They are sheep that need to be herded and they will go wherever you tell them to, as long as they don't get confused.

    Remember this always!
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  • Profile picture of the author Maria Nguyen
    Hi,

    Your biggest problem is that you used social proof at the wrong time. Imagine going to an empty forum with just a few users. Despite how good the video might be, no matter how good your sales copy could be, but if you throw in social proof where it lacks social proof, then it shows no one really cares. Or at least not enough. That also means, not enough for them to care.

    THAT is your problem for this promotion. This site is pretty well put together but you have to use different marketing assets and elements at the right time and appropriately.
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    • Profile picture of the author claywalsh
      Here's what you do,

      You make the event completely free in a last ditch effort to save the event.

      "FREE PIG ROAST"


      Then you sell beers at the event and make all your money there.



      I think you were catering to the wrong crowd though for sure - next time try promoting UFC fights at the gym - "Come watch the UFC fight for free on the big screen here" (then sell beers).


      CW
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    • Profile picture of the author jkhdsf
      Originally Posted by Maria Nguyen View Post

      Hi,

      Your biggest problem is that you used social proof at the wrong time. Imagine going to an empty forum with just a few users. Despite how good the video might be, no matter how good your sales copy could be, but if you throw in social proof where it lacks social proof, then it shows no one really cares. Or at least not enough. That also means, not enough for them to care.

      THAT is your problem for this promotion. This site is pretty well put together but you have to use different marketing assets and elements at the right time and appropriately.
      That makes sense. Are you referring to the facebook likes box?
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesGw
    I think your best strategy would be to sell the tickets at $10 per head and operate at a loss. You can then obtain contact information from these people in order to sell a product, like a caveman workout program / diet plan or whatever.

    For local events, it's also a good idea to use your friends to promote. I know for a fact I could get 60 people to an event (maybe not for $50) just through friends and friends of friends.
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  • Profile picture of the author 3bagsfull
    I just saw your post so I am going to respond

    1. If you have a "grey" area - then "help" the buyer with the process. Say a FIRM/minimum $49 contribution will get you blah blah blah. Try and explain it without getting into trouble
    2. Do you have a local radio station that will let you get on air? like a mom and pop AM station? we have a local one here that would allow for this kind of "story"
    3. If it is a Donation situation -- then push that as a reason to buy the "ticket" -- help support XYZ organization -- make it a FUNDRAISER. Let the participants understand where their money will go. ie. new paint, pay for the electricity, whatever
    4. Get SPONSORS!!!!! who will donate something for the exchange of marketing and advertising. Can they put up a sign? can they pass out fliers? can they put business cards out? can they get a list of emails to market to later? -- this will cut down on the cost -- or at least the actual check writing/money outlay -- it is a BARTER system
    5. What does the CAVEMAN thing mean???? you need to make this clearer.
    6. Can you give away two tickets as a promotion to get some publicity? put it on facebook. or say "like" my page and if we get to 200 likes someone will get two free tickets -- or something like that

    7. Consider POSTPONING the event. Get it pushed back into the fall for more time to advertise, promote, get sponsors etc This really isn't a big deal because so few people really know about it. If someone asks, say we needed to change the date due to some conflict. be vague. it will be ok.

    good luck -- you need to get OFFLINE with this. You can't rely on the internet for an event like this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew S
    Unless you have a strong local audience or the social proof of owning an already successful restaurant I just can't see this working.
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