Until now my advertising has been limited to three places:
Each of these has their pros and cons as you'd expect. BoardGameGeek has a huge number of hits each month and is mostly targeted at the customer. The downside is that one of their revenue streams is to get people to pay money to 'join' the site, and this allows them to block all adverts from the site (I do this!). Since the most hardcore users are likely to be the ones who join, they're the least likely to see my ads, but the most likely to buy games :-( Plus, it's expensive.
Boardgame News comes in a bit cheaper, and in previous campaigns I've had more enquiries from people who saw an ad there than those who saw the same ad on BGG. Again, it's mostly targeted at customers, and the more hardcore ones at that.
The Greater Games Industry Catalog is as you'd expect from the name targeted at industry - shops and distributors. It's pretty cheap to get a page ad in there and they give you a listing every quarter for free so that's good. I've no idea if advertising in there has helped at all though - I've not had anyone mention they've seen my ads in there.
Now that I've got a pretty good distribution network, my next aim is to get more shops stocking and customers buying my games. How to reach that audience? A good question.
A couple of my distributors offer services to their suppliers to market games to their customers (the shops). So customers of mine want me to be a customer of theirs too. Weird.
Alliance Game Distributors the largest distributor in the US have a monthly trade magazine, Games Trade Magazine which they send out to their customers - the US shops. I can give them a wad of cash to place an advert for one or more of my games in the magazine, which would hopefully lead to more sales to the shops and then more customers noticing the games in the stores. It's pretty expensive though.
ACD Distribution, another large US distributor are offering me the chance to place flyers in every order they ship for a few weeks. I can even make the flyers like posters so they serve a triple purpose: raising awareness of my games with the store staff, giving the store owners something to decorate their store with and raising awareness of my games with customers in the store. It's a bit cheaper than the Alliance option and it hits both the shops and the customers. Sounds good. But to be most effective the posters need to be put up in the stores and I've no control over whether or not they will.
Just to make things even more bewildering, I've no experience designing adverts or posters so I've no idea how to make them look good, or even what information to include. I've asked for a back issue of GTM to get a better idea.
Any suggestions of which route is the best to go down, or what information to include?