Frequently Asked Questions
- Will this require us to display ads on our site?
Nope! Ads are only displayed on third party sites. Nothing visible is added to our sites. They'll pop up anywhere from washingtonpost.com to your favorite internet meme site.
- What does this cost?
Just setting up costs nothing. In fact, if you want to participate merely to help feed the shared visitor ad target pool, and never run an ad campaign, you can totally do that without expending a dime.
Actually running advertisements does cost money, though. Briefly: You have a flat cost to create a campaign ($25 is both the minimum and the recommended value). You also spend approximately that same dollar amount as upkeep for each week that your campaign runs, which Adroll uses to "bid" for ad space out in the wide world. So, if you're running, say, a Facebook campaign for two weeks leading up to a one-night event, you'd spend around $75 ($25 to start it up, $25/week to keep it going).
The dctheatre.rocks web interface, which you get access to if you're participating, actually helps you do all that math. Your can fiddle with a few sliders and checkboxes before creating a campaign to see how much things will cost, and adjust according to your budget. Even a cheap-as-possible campaign can be very cost-effective: at $25/week, all it has to do is sell a ticket or two and it's earned its keep. All money you throw at it goes to your ad campaign, as well- this is a pro bono operation, nothing skimmed off the top.
- What do I need to do to set this up?
- What kinds of images do you need to run an ad campaign?
Anything meeting Adroll's guidelines is valid, and technically we only need one image to run an ad campaign.
For a general web campaign, I strongly recommend providing 300x250, 728x90, 970x250, 160x600, 320x50, and 300x600 images. Additional image sizes which seem to be of value are: 336x280, 250x250, 468x60, 200x200, and 120x600.
All images must be less than 150kb in size. Turning down JPG quality settings in your image editor can also get them under the threshold. For simple designs with few colors, saving them as GIFs rather than JPGs can sometimes be more efficient.
Adroll has grown progressively more stringent about "adult content" over time, so be aware of that when working with your marketing team to develop assets. For example, WSC Avant Bard ran afoul of content restrictions with a cigarette-smoking character, on both the ad imagery and on the ads' landing page on their site.
- What about Facebook ads?
Lately we're finding currently that Boosted Facebook Events perform very strongly. Right now that tactic may be more cost-effective than retargeting Facebook ads. If you've got a little extra cash to throw at both, though, it certainly won't hurt..
Facebook ads only require a single 600x315 image. However, Facebook has rather stringent requirements for this image:
- A maximum of 20% of the image can be text. You can easily test with their Grid Tool. Things like the name of the show, dates, etc, aren't really necessary, though, since they'll appear around the ad image.
- Facebook won't link to web pages which have embedded video.
All of the textual information you might otherwise include on an ad image is instead put in text around and underneath Facebook ads. The end results are displayed like this.
- Configuring your website
- What's this about Google Analytics? Do I need to set that up?
No, it's not strictly necessary. I do recommend it, however. It's free, and it's a great tool for picking apart just how well marketing and search engine traffic is working for you, both in general and when running ad campaigns through the DC Theatre Ad Commune. It's purely for your own information. See http://analytics.google.com
By way of example, if you have Google Analytics up and running, you can often see who's clicking on links from your site to, say, your ticket sales provider. Go to Behavior -> Events, and see if there's an "Outbound links" event category. If there is, select "Event Label" on the left and find the link that correlates to your ticket link. Once you've clicked on that you can futz around with the Secondary Dimension button to harvest all kinds of useful info about who's clicking on your ticket link and where they're coming from. I have a saved shortcut for this, with Secondary Dimension set to "Source/Medium" under "Acquisition."