Join host Connor Bearse in this episode of Birch Banter, as he delves into the escape room industry's performance in March 2023, Google Ads numbers, and demand fluctuations.
Connor is joined by Jake, the senior ad specialist, who shares valuable insights on cost per booking, spending strategies, and how the Meta suite (Facebook & Instagram) is performing.
Subscribe now to catch our next update and be sure to reach out if you'd like to chat about growing your escape room business!
Connor Bearse: [00:00:00] Welcome to Birch Banter. I hope everyone has been doing well on today's show. I'll be asking Jake, our senior ad specialist.
How March, 2023 went for our escape rooms across the country. We're also talking Google ad numbers and demand fluctuations. I'm Connor Bearse, and of course Jake Dieball is here. Hey Jake.
Jake Dieball: Hey Connor. Thanks for having me again.
Connor Bearse: We're going to get to the interview in just a moment.
Connor Bearse: All right, Jake, let's take a look at March, 2023 for the Escaper industry. First off, was escape room demand up or down in March compared to February?
Jake Dieball: Escape room [00:01:00] demand was up. There were no surprises here considering February typically is our slowest month for demand in the escape room industry. March comes around and we start seeing things like spring break pop up. Families have a little more free time, are looking for things to do, which coincidentally brings demand up for escape rooms.
Connor Bearse: What was the cost per booking in March on Google Ads?
Jake Dieball: Cost per booking averaged out at about $18 per in February. We were at roughly $20 per booking, so the cost per booking was down in March compared to February.
Connor Bearse: Did we spend all our, all of our budgets in March
Jake Dieball: In March, demand was high enough for us to spend all of our budget, which compared to February, we struggled slightly with spending our entire Google Ads budget.
Connor Bearse: when we can spend all of our budget, like in March? Is that a sign we should be increasing our budget?
Jake Dieball: No, not necessarily. So part of our strategy includes dialing in our spend and making sure that we have the exact right budget for each of our clients. So just because there's an increase in demand doesn't [00:02:00] necessarily mean that there needs to be an increase in our DA daily budget for Google Ads.
Connor Bearse: Because we don't wanna like over dominate the market, right? If we're showing up in the top three spots, there's no point in paying to only be in the first spot above and beyond everyone else.
Jake Dieball: Correct, because that's when you start seeing a diminishing point of returns on your Google ad spend.
Connor Bearse: Yeah, and that's always a big question is where is that point of diminishing returns? So that's awesome to hear. March was looking good for moving on from Google Ads. How is the meta suite performing? That's Facebook and Instagram right now.
Jake Dieball: Meta suite's been performing fantastically in our large population areas, we've been seeing anywhere from seven to 15 x return on ad spend from those efforts.
Connor Bearse: Wow. That's fantastic. I will say I have noticed. An interesting amount of tracking issues showing up around Facebook. We spent a lot of time in March hunting down pixels, maybe not tracking the right people. So we were really on top of that all month. But that was an interesting [00:03:00] fight and I saw on Twitter some people having issues with that across the board.
So our returns were still, what'd you say? 15 x around there for March.
Jake Dieball: high as 15 x. Yeah.
Connor Bearse: Yeah, that's, that's the upside of us in this all day long. We can fight those weird issues and still get a 15 x return on ads spend. That's awesome. Any adjustments across the board and strategy we're making based off of March's numbers?
Jake Dieball: No, not necessarily. So from February, what we wanted to do was really hone in our ad spend and adjust our strategy to make sure that, we were only focusing on the highest demand searches. Going into March, knowing demand was gonna pick up, we were able to of open that strategy back up our standard Google ad setup for the escape rooms.
And moving into April, we're gonna stick with the exact same thing.
Connor Bearse: Nice. That's great to hear. How are you feeling about April so far?
Jake Dieball: So far, we're 11 days in here on the day we're recording, and April's been putting up some good numbers for escape rooms across the whole country.
Connor Bearse: Fantastic to hear. Awesome. Thank you so [00:04:00] much, Jake, for your insights today.
Jake Dieball: No problem here whenever you need me.
Connor Bearse: That about wraps it up for Birch Banter this week. Be sure to subscribe so you can catch our update next. We're on Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcasts on. And remember, if you're an Escaper 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 to myself at Connor@birchriverdg.com or go to our website and book a time to chat. Thanks again. Talk to everyone next month.