The Colony Theatre, located in the heart of South Beach, first opened in January 1935 as a Paramount Pictures movie house.
Today the theatre, managed by Miami New Drama, is a state-of-the-art venue with an impressive art deco design that makes it one of the crown jewels of Miami Beach. The theatre hosts an exciting array of events, including music, dance, comedy, and theatre performances.
On March 7th, 2019, the theatre launched the world premiere play by Rakontur, “Confessions of a Cocaine Cowboy,” based on the award-winning documentary series “Cocaine Cowboys.” This play recreated the outrageous era of the 1980s Miami cocaine boom that riveted and shocked the world and explored how coke, cash, and corruption created the Magic City we know today.
The Colony Theatre wanted to drive awareness and ticket sales- and hired Motion Ave. to do the job.
Here’s how our online marketing strategy successfully increased the visibility of the play and sold more than 550 tickets across South Florida with a return on advertising spend (ROAS) of 5.81, which means that for every dollar we spent, we generated 5.81.
- Creative and Content Development
- Video Ads Production and Post-Production
- Facebook and Instagram Advertising
- Analytics and Optimization
We knew the most effective way to reach the target audience of the theatre and this play would be by creating Facebook and Instagram advertising campaigns that would get us direct exposure to the target market.
However, this was the world debut of this play- we had no idea how well-received it would be. Thus, our initial strategy was to A/B test various messages, creatives, and audiences, presenting the play with different angles, before launching a targeted campaign.
To identify the most viable opportunities for awareness, we conducted several audience tests for cold, warm and hot audiences.
For cold audiences, or top of the funnel (TOFU), we tried different audiences- for example, people interested in related upcoming events, theaters, plays, etc., and people interested in topics related to the new play. We also reached lookalike audiences.
For warm audiences or middle of the funnel (MOFU), we retargeted people who purchased a ticket in the past to another play and hence had interacted with the brand.
For hot audiences, or bottom of the funnel (BOFU), we retargeted people who visited the play landing page but didn’t buy tickets. Ultimately, these audiences cost the least in advertising dollars per ticket purchase.
We additionally tested different creatives and formats including videos, images, and carousels. In some campaigns, we used dynamic creatives to find the best combination of headline, copy, image, and CTA. We concluded that real pictures of the play, with copy and headlines providing background, had excellent performance.
Once the play opened, we began adding testimonials and quotes from satisfied audiences to the ad copy, to great success.
To accomplish the goals of driving awareness and generating purchases, we set up an advertising strategy on Facebook and Instagram.
Investing in engagement and brand awareness was key to creating buzz around the play and driving leads to make a purchase. The key was greater community credibility: posts or ads with social proof- comments, likes, and shares- drove more conversion at a lower cost per purchase.
Here are some examples of the assets we deployed:
After just one month of advertising with brand awareness and purchases as primary objectives, the Facebook and Instagram campaigns delivered successfully.
Our work with the Colony Theatre in this specific play generated ticket sales, but also brought more loyal customers to the theatre.
If you’d like to consult a team of skilled and passionate experts to learn how to build your brand better and also find out how we can put solutions like these to work for you, please, say hello. We’d love to talk to you about how to bring your brand to Facebook- and beyond!