How to promote a concert – that’s the big question that every concert organizer asks because without promotion, ticket sales will be much lower than they could be with amazing marketing programs in place that spread the word about the concert and motivate people to buy tickets.
Live music is still one of the most popular forms of entertainment, but without someone working behind the scenes who is promoting your concert, it won’t be as successful in terms of ticket sales and profit-generation. In fact, the concert might not even break even! That’s why learning effective methods of promotion is crucial for anyone who dreams of booking shows that sell out and keep people talking for months.
The fact is the world has changed, and simply placing some radio ads isn’t enough to sell out a concert anymore. We live in a digital age where people respond to different types of stimuli. To promote a concert, you need to be where prospective ticket buyers are and you need to deliver the right messages to them at the right time. To help you get started, following are some important tips for successful concert promotion.
How to Promote a Concert on Social Media
Let’s get real – social media is huge! Anyone who underestimates the importance of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (to name just a few) to today’s society isn’t in touch with reality. Whether or not you use social media platforms yourself and how you personally feel about them doesn’t matter. The majority of people you’re trying to put in seats at the concert you’re promoting use social media, and they tend to respond to social media promotion extremely favorably – often more than other traditional promotion methods.
Promoting a concert on social media sites starts by creating a presence for your event on each platform. At a minimum, you should promote your event on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Other social media platforms like Snapchat and Pinterest can also be helpful, and for business-related events, LinkedIn should be part of your promotional plan.
The key is to build a following on social media that can boost word-of-mouth marketing for your concert and drive more ticket sales. For example, you should work to build Facebook likes and boost Facebook engagement. You should also use Facebook marketing tricks and Facebook ads to raise awareness of your concert and convince people to not just buy tickets but also share the event with their own Facebook friends. Since most social media platforms offer comprehensive advertising tools, it’s easy to choose highly targeted audiences to show your ads to by geography, interests, demographics, and more. Facebook even allows you to do ad retargeting, which can increase ticket sales exponentially.
The best part about many social media marketing activities is they’re free! If the band you’re promoting has a strong social media following or has achieved some success, their fan base will probably share the event, too!
To recap, some of the advantages of promoting a concert on social media include:
- It costs nothing.
- An event has the chance to go viral as others share it.
- It’s easy to implement.
The biggest negative of social media marketing is that it’s time consuming. You either need to invest your time or pay someone else to invest their time for social media marketing to be most effective. Also, your efforts need to start months before ticket sales begin.
How to Promote a Concert on Radio
Believe it or not, radio still plays a heavy role in music promotion for artists and concert promoters alike. Getting a radio station to get behind you can literally make or break an event.
The problem is that some people go about radio promotion all wrong. They think in terms of purchasing costly 30-second ads. While buying a few ad spots is something you should definitely consider, there are other ways to get a radio station on board.
One of the best ways is to offer them some tickets to give away to listeners. This is a cheap method of exposure for your concert. Sometimes, a radio station will mention the free tickets multiple times a day or even offer a special contest for listeners to win. Think about it. A 30-second ad could cost you hundreds of dollars and only be heard two or three times a day, but a contest to win free tickets gives you ongoing exposure.
Furthermore, radio promotion can give you some added credibility. If concertgoers hear your show promoted on the local radio, the trust factor goes up.
To summarize, some of the advantages of promoting a concert on the radio include:
- It’s cost effective if it’s done by offering free tickets for radio stations to use as giveaways.
- It reaches a targeted audience.
- It adds credibility to the concert.
Again, the biggest disadvantage of radio promotion can be the cost, so work with your local radio stations to come up with creative promotion ideas that don’t rely entirely on advertising.
How to Promote a Concert with Posters
Do promoters still promote concerts with posters? The answer, surprisingly enough, is yes. Even though concert posters hearken back to the days of the 1970s, they still work when placed effectively. Placement is everything!
Posters are relatively cheap, so make sure you get plenty. Take them to establishments that are regularly visited by the audience you’re trying to reach. Music stores, vape shops, and clubs are just a few places where posters can be used with great effect. Most establishments will be happy to let you put up a poster, but if they balk, just offer them a couple of show tickets. The doors of acceptance will magically open wide.
If you’re promoting a local band, have the members sign a few posters as giveaways. You can even include these with the tickets you give local radio stations to sweeten the pot.
The advantages of promoting with posters include:
- You get lots of bank for your buck.
- Posters can be placed in areas visited by your target audience.
- Posters can be bundled with other forms of promotion.
Using posters to promote a concert is a form of guerilla marketing. Flyers are another effective guerrilla marketing tactic. You can pass out flyers or hire a street team to pass them out to people on the street, in malls, in parking lots, and more. For digital guerrilla marketing, a great tactic is to post your event on websites that publish local event calendars.
How to Promote a Concert with Email Marketing
If you’re working with a band that already has a following, then they probably have an email list of fans that you can send messages to inviting them to the concert. This is in addition to emailing your own list of subscribers. If you don’t have an email list yet, make sure you can build one from your ticket sales page!
The key to successful email marketing is sending messages that motivate people to buy tickets. Develop a variety of email marketing messages that give people a number of reasons and opportunities to buy. Email marketing is not a once-and-done thing! It’s also very important that you segment your email marketing lists, so the right messages get to the right people at the right times. A poorly structured email marketing plan could hurt ticket sales, but a well-organized, strategic plan can skyrocket sales.
The advantages to promoting with email marketing are:
- It’s very cost effective.
- It’s highly targetable.
- It’s easy to track results.
The hardest part of email marketing is setting up your campaigns and tracking systems, but once these are in place, many email marketing activities can be completely automated.
Your Next Steps
These are valuable tips, but they’re just a start. Now, it’s time for you to start developing some promotions. Something else a concert promoter should do is pay very close attention to their local market. Take note of the methods used by other promoters that have been successful. Duplicate their methods, and be sure to avoid the methods that have produced poor results in your area.
Give yourself every opportunity to succeed by doing what works, no matter how crazy it might seem. If handing out flyers works well for club shows in your town, do it. If buying television ads sells out large concert halls, bite the bullet and buy some spots. Know your demographic and types of promotions that they respond to. To help you think out of the box, here are 10 event marketing activities you’re probably missing that can boost ticket sales.
When it’s time to sell tickets and promote your concert, contact me at AttendStar (615-223-1973) or use the Contact Us Form. We’re not just ticketing experts, we also have years of experience in event marketing and promotion!