ROI of Marketing: Increasing the Value of Library Services Through Promotion #InternetLibrarian @benbizzle

Ben Bizzle

Branding is every connection with your customers.

Two of the biggest challenges: lack of awareness and barriers to entry.
People think libraries are just buildings full of books.
It might take 14 clicks to download an e-book

2008, his director said libraries were at war with the trinity of evil: Google, Wikipedia, and Amazon.

His library’s weapon in the war? A boring web site that probably looked old-fashioned even then.

The world’s judging you by your web site.

Today the web site looks modern, responsive, works on all devices.

Advertising seemed heretical. Would you rather spend $50 for advertising or $5,000 on a service nobody uses? If 10 people were using it, then 20 people are, you’ve doubled the value.

Social media: have a robust promotion on Facebook. People need to see that your page is updated. Facebook advertising has reach, can be targeted. $50 ad reaches about 10,000 people. For example, with Freegle (song-downloading service), you can calculate how much your users saved over pay services. Because of promotion, the library’s cost was about 19 cents a song compared to about $1 users would spend elsewhere.

Genealogy night. T-shirts: who’s your granddaddy? Pull up your genes.

Theme for arts and crafts show. (Called it “vaudevillian,” but it sounds more like a sideshow theme to me: strongman, magic act.)

Regional interest: Elvis week.

Poster: should be cool, make people think.

Wet t-shirt *throwing* contest.

Creative team, not just one person.

Billboards. “Spoiler alert! Dumbledore dies on page 596.” “Cheap date? You get dinner, we’ve got the movie.”


Speed dating at the library didn’t work out too well.

Controversial: “At least I know my book will be good in bed.”

Diana Nyad quoted Mary Oliver, “Are you doing what you want to do with your wild and precious life?”

Coasters for a bar. Downloadable at

Woman found out she was illegally adopted at birth. Librarians helped her find her family she didn’t know she had.

Homeless people were proud to be in a library video.

Advertising isn’t about making you agree. It’s about making you never forget what you just saw.

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