One door closed, and a dream door opened for Sally and Dave, the husband and wife owners of Baubles, Bites & Boots. These new business owners take advantage of the networking and advertising opportunities offered through the Greater Saint Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau and Destination Travel Network. And the campaign is paying off: in a recent Destination Travel Network survey of our Top 100 Best Performing Campaigns*, they earned the 83rd spot.
“The company we worked for was sold and we found ourselves out of a job,” shares Sally. “We both had independently dreamed of opening a shop one day. So we decided if ever there was a time to do something like this, this was the time to take the leap.”
Three and a half years ago Baubles, Bites & Boots opened on the corner of north Main Street in the tourist town of St. Charles, Missouri. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Sally’s vision really makes sense. Originally, they were going to name the place Baubles, Bikes and Boots. Her dad was a jeweler with his own business, which is where Baubles comes in. St. Charles is on the Katy Trail, a famous bike trail. And the couple always wanted a boot store. There was only one problem.
“We didn’t know a thing about bikes,” laughs Sally. “One day at lunch I had an eureka moment. It’s supposed to be bites not bikes! Bites meaning small fudges and things to eat, a term I hear all over the Food Network® now.”
Sally calls their shop a gentique: it’s like a general store and a boutique combined, with the feel and pricing structure of a general store that offers the goods and services found in an upscale boutique. The couple takes pride in creating a down-home atmosphere where their guests can discover treasures surrounded by “the magic of Main Street” (a term she coined). From fine gifts and free engraving to fudges ,coffees and chocolates to hats, scarves—and you guessed it—boots, shoppers at Baubles, Bites and Boots will feel they have stepped back in time where people were cordial and shopping was a special, meaningful treat.
“I’m such a novice at running my own business I really appreciate the accessibility of my CVB. When you join something like this, you’re not alone."
To promote their gentique, Sally and Dave tried a few things like coupon books and static print ads in the beginning but found they weren’t getting anywhere. She credits her very active convention and visitors’ bureau with helping them out.
“The Greater Saint Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau is just wonderful. They are always promoting Main Street and the businesses here. They originally introduced us to Destination Travel Network for the digital advertising,” she said. “Every time I put something on the Discover St. Charles website, I would reap some benefit from it.”
"With DTN, I’m getting so much more exposure for a better return on my investment all from one trusted resource.”
Sally decided to run a campaign and chose multiple placements to get Baubles, Bites & Boots noticed. The campaign includes a Featured Listing, a Run of Site Banner, a Page Sponsor and a Spotlight Text Link. These four placements put their company across almost every page of the website, and at the top of the shopping page.
“I really like that DTN is a one-stop-shop, which made my life a lot easier. Main Street in St. Charles is based on tourism, so there’s no better way to reach customers then the Discover St. Charles website,” she explains. “My DTN account executive, Brittany, is wonderful. She put together a campaign that was very affordable for us and we know it is working.”
DTN provides reporting so advertisers know how their campaigns perform. When a Top 100* report was calculated by DTN Operations, Baubles, Bites & Boots was number 83 on the list. In a 13 month period, their campaign resulted in almost 1.2 million impressions and almost 7,000 clicks for an average of 0.59% CTR. Considering the DTN Ad Network services more than 1,600 advertisers, this performance is outstanding.
“I have found the DTN Ad Network to be absolutely wonderful. It’s very easy for a business to sign up and get online, and the clicks from my digital ads go right to my website. I can see my impressions and my clicks and know folks are actually engaging with our ads—you can’t get this kind of reporting on other networks,” she said.
Something neat; Something sweet; Something to put upon your feet.
On finding out Baubles, Bites & Boots made the Top 100, Sally was thrilled. Even though they are not a household brand, her small business is thriving. She credits some of this success to a clever tagline and affordable digital advertisement placements published on her tourism website.
“I’m such a novice at running my own business I really appreciate the accessibility of my CVB. When you join something like this, you’re not alone. The Greater Saint Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau and DTN go out of their way to help businesses like mine, and I really appreciate that,” she said.
If you own a small business, Sally recommends digital advertising opportunities for three main reasons. The ads click to your website. You have the chance to put your business listing above other folks so you’re seen first. And when you choose run-of-site placements, your business and your brand is displayed on other pages building more awareness.
Her final bit of advice: don’t balk at the annual price of advertising.
“You can’t focus in on the total price of an annual campaign. You need to break that down and look at this expense on a monthly basis to really compare it to other advertising options. I think you’ll see that this program is no different than doing a short-term static coupon or publication. With DTN, I’m getting so much more exposure for a better return on my investment all from one trusted resource.”
If you’d like to join the DTN Ad Network, learn how to become an advertiser. If you’re a DMO and want to learn more about becoming a DTN publisher and offering your local businesses enhanced exposure opportunities on your website, schedule a demo today.
*The Top 100 Advertisers by Click report was generated by the DTN Ad Ops team and included performance data from January 2017 - February 2018.