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?

    Two things:

    1. You'll need to install a small piece of Javascript on your website, which I'll provide to you (get in touch with me at stange@johnstange.net to get started). This code is what logs anonymized visitor traffic into the shared visitor pool. The method for setting this up varies, depending on what software drives your website. I've included pointers below for some common platforms.
    2. Your site must have a Privacy Policy to comply with our ad network provider, Adroll. It can be essentially boilerplate, a bit of disclosure about what data are being collected and an opt-out link for the browsing public for folks who really don't want to be logged. Most theatre makers can use this one without much modification. If you do go with that one, first you should review it and ensure that everything it says is true for both your website and your organization.
  • 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
      The Javascript code for visitor logging needs to be embedded in every page, ideally right before the closing </body> tag. If you have a hand-maintained website with, say, a footer template, or a menu frame which is included on every page of your site, that might be an ideal place. Otherwise, you'll have to follow the method that makes sense for your website's content management system:
    • Wordpress

      The CSS & Javascript tool box Plugin has worked for others. Note that this is only helpful if you have a Wordpress installation which permits you to install your own plugins. A free hosted wordpress.com blog is locked down so heavily that you're prevented from adding code in this way. Here are some step-by-step instructions.

    • Weebly

      http://www.quora.com/Is-it-possible-to-add-custom-Javascript-to-a-Weebly...

    • Wix

      You can embed Javascript, as well as arbitrary HTML, with the Wix HTML Add-On

    • Squarespace

      https://support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/205815928-Adding-custo...

    • Drupal

      There are a number of ways to do this, but the easiest is probably to install the Adroll module. Advanced users can also embed the Javascript directly in the site's theme.

  • 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."

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