Welcome to Birch Banter, where we discuss the latest digital marketing updates and provide insights into the escape room industry.
In this episode, Connor Bearse and Jake Dieball of Birch River Design Group dive into crucial digital marketing updates, including the transition from Google My Business to Google Maps, the latest Google search algorithm, and the need to migrate to Google Analytics 4.
They also discuss escape room industry advertising performance for April 2023. Join us as we explore the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape and offer valuable insights for escape room owners.
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Connor Bearse: [00:00:00] Hey everyone. I'm Connor Bearse, head of Birch River Design Group.
Jake Dieball: And I'm Jake Dieball, lead media buyer and head of the Escape Room division at Birch River, and you're listening to Birch Banter.
Connor Bearse: week there are a couple of digital marketing updates that business owners should know about. Then we provide our monthly update on the Escape industry through the eyes of marketers.
the digital marketing industry is constantly evolving, and April, 2023 was no exception. It can be difficult to discern what updates are important and what ones aren't. Let's review a few updates that you should be aware of. In 2021, Google announced that Google My Business was being transformed into a general Google business profile.
The transition has been gradual, but Google recently announced that the dedicated Google My Business app will be discontinued, and all management of your business profile will be done through the Google Maps app. If you haven't, d done so already now, it would be a good time to explore your Google Maps app and find where your business listing went.
Jake Dieball: [00:01:00] On April 25th, Google completed the rollout of their latest search algorithm update. This update places even more emphasis on reviews than before. So to take advantage of this, we highly recommend using a review automation system to automatically ask every single client for a review.
Connor Bearse: Finally, Google is going all out on its campaign about shutting down Google Analytics UA with a huge countdown popup when you flog in. If you have not yet migrated to GA four yet, we highly recommend doing so now or reaching out for assistance so you don't need to worry about it at all.
Next up is our escape room industry update, where we will go over our advertising numbers for escape rooms and what that tells us about the market
Connor Bearse: All right, Jake, let's take a look at April, 2023 for the escape room industry. First off, was escape room demand up or down in April compared to March.
Jake Dieball: Rather surprisingly to us demand was down in April compared to March, and what we are are tripping it to is mostly the weather got really nice across the whole nation, which led folks to not necessarily seek things to do indoors.
Connor Bearse: Yeah, seemed like the first really nice week of weather across the whole nation.
What was the cost per booking in April on Google Ads? How did that compare to March?
Jake Dieball: The cost per booking on Google Ads was fairly similar to March. Our average cost per booking was around $19 in March. The average cost per booking was around $18, so very comparable.
Connor Bearse: Do we spend all our budgets in April?
Jake Dieball: No, we didn't spend all of our budgets in April [00:03:00] due to demand being slightly down compared to March.
Connor Bearse: So despite demand being down, that didn't increase our cost per conversion. We just didn't spend all of the budgets,
Jake Dieball: That's correct. Yeah.
Connor Bearse: How is the Meta suite performing?
Jake Dieball: The meta suite's been performing phenomenally. Lately, we've been averaging around a 6x return on ad spend on meta between our conversion based campaigns and our remarketing campaigns. So great numbers to see, and they compliment the Google Ads campaigns very well for some additional revenue.
Connor Bearse: any adjustments across the board and strategy we're making based off of April's numbers.
Jake Dieball: Not necessarily adjustments across the board and nothing outside of our weekly check-ins to the account and optimizations that we do on a a weekly basis.
Connor Bearse: Any other thoughts before we wrap up?
Jake Dieball: No, no, no other thoughts. Uh, we're already seeing, uh, numbers rebound in May, so the demands rebound are rebounding, and we typically start getting into a busier stretch the summer, and we're looking forward to turning in some great numbers there.
Connor Bearse: we're really looking forward to the [00:04:00] summer numbers. Excited about that. Well, awesome. That's about it for Birch Banter this week. Be sure to subscribe so you can catch our update next month. We're on Spotify, YouTube, or wherever you listen to your podcast.
Jake Dieball: And remember, if you're an Escape Room owner, we want to talk to you. We're growing fast and can only onboard so many escape room locations per month. So please reach out on our website and see if you're a good fit.
Connor Bearse: Thanks again. Talk to everybody next month.
Jake Dieball: We'll see you.