Using Paid Search Ads to Book More Photo Booth Sessions
Thanks to their appealing, locally focused and super-niche business model, photo booth owners have opportunities for amazing returns on paid search ads and other forms of search engine marketing.
For instance, unless you have to live in a highly populated area like New York City, competition for generic photo booth terms will likely be extremely low. This factor gives photo booth owners the power to experiment with low-bid campaigns to determine optimal ad phrasing, audience targeting and more.
Even in highly competitive markets for photo booth operators, the ability for paid search ads to target niche audiences and capture long-tail keywords gives you the opportunity to snatch up traffic even on a shoestring budget.
All of these benefits can be yours as long as you use the following best practices when setting up paid search campaigns for photo booths.
Start With Keyword Research
In many ways, paid search marketing begins and ends at keyword choice. The ads you create will only display in response to certain search engine queries, and the success of the ad hinges on its contextual relationship to that query.
For instance, an ad set to display when someone searches for “photo booth rental in [your city]” will more likely lead to a paying customer than an ad linked to the term “wedding photography tips.”
The good news is that paid search campaigns provide a substantial amount of keyword research in and of themselves. Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner tool, for instance, lets you not only generate sample keywords but see the word’s average bid price (more on that in a moment) along with the typical search traffic and click-through rate (CTR) for the term.
By essentially creating hypothetical campaigns, you can get a feel for valuable keywords that generate heavy traffic related to photo booth bookings. Backlinko outlines a great detailed strategy for this approach with their regularly updated keyword research guide.
One thing to keep in mind is that the most expensive keywords to bid on aren’t necessarily the best. Instead of seeking out more generic terms like “photo booth,” try to find keywords more directly related to purchase intent. You can also look for longer, lesser-searched keyword phrases like “how to set up a photo booth for a wedding,” which generate relatively small traffic but have a high conversion potential.
Build and Test Sample Campaigns
Paid search platforms like Google AdWords work by you setting a number of parameters, including a budget and a maximum bid amount. Paid search campaigns only charge you when your ad actually shows up and people click on it, hence the common nickname “pay per click” or PPC.
The bid amount setting refers to the most money you are willing to pay for a single click. If you are competing for a search term like “photo booth rental in Austin,” the PPC platform automatically compares everyone competing for the term and their maximum bid amounts in a process called real-time bidding (RTB). Whoever had the highest bid wins, and their ad gets shown. If someone clicks on the ad, the winner gets charged the amount of their winning bid.
Note that set bids are a maximum, so if you are willing to pay $10 per click on an ad and the next-highest amount is 80 cents, your bid will win at just above 80 cents.
Our point in telling you this is to reveal that you can make sample ads with fairly small bids without any real consequence. The information you generate from these low-risk campaigns will help inform your strategy as you move further along. For instance, you may discover that an ad stating “Rent a Photo Booth NOW!” draws fewer clicks than “Have a blast at your wedding with your own fun photo booth!”
Try running different versions of the same ad with a minimal budget to learn more about what types of keywords and other targeting parameters convert the most effectively. Even when you discover a formula that works, be willing to experiment with low-bid campaigns to cast a wider net and capture more long tail keywords.
Connect Your Paid Search Campaigns for Photo Booths to Landing Pages With Strong Calls to Action
At their heart, each paid search ad is really just a glorified, promoted link. The ad says whatever you want it to, but ultimately the result is that someone clicks a link leading them to one of your site pages.
To maximize the effect of your paid search campaigns, direct each campaign back to a relevant, dedicated website page called a “landing page.” Think of this page as the equivalent of having booked an appointment to test drive a car rather than just arriving on the lot unannounced.
As an example, you wouldn’t want an ad connected to “quinceañera photo booth” to just dump a search engine user onto your home page. Instead, it should direct to a more relevant page, like a “Teens Parties” section. Even better, the ad will lead to a unique page created just to convince someone to book your service for a quinceañera. It can include bullet point benefits they get, how you are different than competitors and could include eye-catching photos taken at past quinceañera events.
Connecting paid search campaigns to landing pages in this way increases the likelihood that a click leads to a booking. You can also more accurately measure the journey someone takes from:
Typing in search query ⇒ Clicking on PPC ad ⇒ Booking an Appointment
Knowing how many people reach each step lets you truly know the return on investment (ROI) your ads create.
Use Targeting Measures for Higher ROI
Paid search platforms let you create custom audiences for your PPC campaigns. One attribute you definitely want to use is geotargeting. This feature lets you restrict where your ads show just to search engine users in your area. That way, you are not paying money for ads to be shown to someone half a country away.
- Estimated age
- Keyword groups
You can also target for “negative keywords,” meaning keywords you want to exclude from your campaigns. For instance, perhaps you want to eliminate the word “apps” from your “photo booth” keyword campaigns since someone looking up “photo booth apps” may be a competitor rather than a customer.
Constantly Measure Performance, Experiment and Optimize
Realize that it will take a few months for you to become skilled at creating paid search campaigns. In that time, you will generate heaps of data that can teach what keywords and targeting parameters work best. Eventually, you will develop an ongoing strategy that works for bringing in consistent extra bookings through paid search.
Even as you find these successes, be willing to continue experimenting. The online landscape and market competition will evolve over time. Strategies that worked last month may not work next month. Prepare for this change by continually creating low-stakes campaigns for you to experiment with and find keywords+targeting attributes that expand your reach to new audiences.
Use Hilarious Photo Booth Props to Make Landing Pages Succeed
Photo booth owners have another enormous advantage with paid search campaigns in that their landing pages can always land. As soon as someone clicks on an ad and sees fun, silly photo booth photos, they are that much closer to being a paying customer.
Seize this natural advantage by finding the best photo booth props, photo booth backdrops and other items that you can. The funnier and more attention-grabbing the items you can get, the better chance you have at attracting customers looking to create a great time for their event.
Get started making your landing pages and PPC campaigns more successful by taking a look at Prop Trunk’s high-quality selection of photo booth accessories now!