Good concert marketing requires creativity and a plan. The marketing plan is essential, as it lays out the strategy you and your team will use to ensure you have a successful event and sell tickets. It may also include valuable software to keep you on track, organize and automate tasks, and provide insights into the success of your concerts.
The initiatives and tactics outlined in our concert marketing guide are a standard campaign set for any concert. Make them part of your normal booking process and you’ll have great turnouts at every show.
Marketing Prep Work
The first step in our concert marketing guide is laying the foundation – the sooner the better. You’ll want to get to work on marketing as soon as a show is confirmed. The more initial effort you put into marketing the show the better the attendance will be.
Most artists and agents have approved promotional material and press photos to use for marketing. Make sure to request these as soon as possible. First up you’ll need to create the show artwork. If the booking is part of a tour, there is usually an ad mat or art template to use for design. You’ll want the artwork in a few different formats
- Ticketing Banner (image size depends on ticketing platform)
- Facebook Event Banner (1200 x 628)
- 1:1 Square Social Graphic (1080 x 1080)
- Double Sided Flyer (3”x5”)
- Poster Design (11”x17”)
Just posting the show flyer over and over again isn’t very effective marketing so you’re going to want a variety of assets to use to promote the show. This is where press and performance pics come into play. The more assets you can initially gather the more engaging and varied your marketing will be. Put them all into a folder so they’re easy to find later.
Creating video assets will make concert marketing all the more effective because video outperforms images on every platform. If the concert is part of a tour, the artist may have a video asset already created. If they don’t have a video, request any raw video footage they have and have a video editor put together a show sizzle reel.
Having the artist create a shout out video is a great way to engage fans for the show. It’s as simple as recording a selfie video with the artist or band saying something along the lines of, “What’s up New York! We can’t wait to play CBGB’s on Friday, March 4th!”
If you’re doing paper campaigns, get the flyers and posters ordered as soon as the art is ready. Production and shipping can take a few weeks so the sooner the order is placed the better to get them in time for the announcement.
All of the work that’s gone into the show so far has been behind the scenes. It’s time to go public with it.
Announce the Show
Next up in our concert marketing guide is getting the word out. Traditionally, the announcement is the first thing that goes public about the concert. If the artist has a fan club or if your venue has a loyal following, it could be a good idea to let them know about the show a day or two before it goes public. It creates goodwill because they know about the show before anyone else which is one way to make them feel special and creates buzz.
The date of public announcement should be set in advance and usually needs to be coordinated with the artist’s management. The concert should be announced eight weeks before the date.
The announcement time should be set when it’s most likely to be seen, generally somewhere between 10 am and 3 pm on a weekday.
If tickets go on sale at the time of the announcement, a ticket link should be included everywhere the concert is listed. If tickets will go on sale at a later date make sure to update all listings when they do.
With the announcement, the basic idea is that you want to make fans and potential attendees of the concert know about it no matter where they are.
- Social Posts: Posts on all of your socials announcing the show
- Facebook Event: Facebook has the most users of any social media platform. Creating an event is a quick and easy way to generate awareness and should be a standard procedure in your concert marketing toolkit. Invite the venue, promoter and artists to be hosts on the event so as many people as possible can see it.
- Website: The show should be listed on your website.
- Concert Listing Sites: While your fanbase probably follows your socials and visits your website, the more you can reach outside of your current network to potential ticket buyers the more people that will attend the concert. Bands In Town and SongKick are concert directories that track most major artists. Fans can follow their favorite artist and be notified when they play in a nearby city.
- Press Release: Get all of the important information about the concert and artist into a press release. Send it out to college radio stations and local publications.
- Email Blast: Feature the announcement in an email blast. If you don’t have an email list, get one started.
Keep Attention on the Show
With the show announced, the third step in our concert marketing guide is to start moving tickets. Every ticket that you sell is an anchor for attendance. When someone buys a ticket to a concert, they often encourage their friends to go. There is nothing more effective than word of mouth marketing for a concert so your goal is to move as many tickets as you can early on to get as many people talking about it as possible.
Most of the time ticket sales pick up exponentially the week before the show. Again the more tickets you move early on, the better the show will do so put as much effort as possible into selling tickets early on.
The more sustained attention you can keep on the concert the better. Feature the show in any email blasts that go out after the announcement and before the show. Post about the show on socials and always include a ticket link in every post. You want the easiest path to a ticket sale as possible so make it convenient.
Post about the show on your socials as much as possible. All the work you did initially to gather assets will now pay off because you have a repository of awesome content to use. Organic social posts can definitely help get word out about the show but your audience is limited to the people that follow you on socials. The more that you can reach outside of your following the better. There are a few strategies to do this.
One of the most effective ways is paid campaigns. The Facebook ads network, which includes Instagram, other websites and apps, is an effective medium for reaching potential concert attendees. Using a traffic or conversion campaign directed to your ticketing website is usually your best bet.
You can target people who like the musician or similar musicians. The more precise your targeting, the more relevant the concert will be to them. Broader targeting generally means you reach more people but it comes at the expense of relevance. Keep a close eye on the ad campaigns and make adjustments as needed.
Another tip from our concert marketing guide is to get outside of your following by hosting a “like and share contest.” The basic idea is that you hold a contest for a pair of tickets. To enter the contest, people have to share or retweet content about the concert.
By sharing your content to their network, you reach exponentially more people because it reaches people both in your network and their network. The more people that share the content the more people you reach. This is the same basic principle that facilitates something going viral.
If you printed posters, get them up inside the venue and anywhere else you can post them. It’s worth having agreements in place with other businesses. You can give the business a pair of tickets in exchange for letting you hang up posters in their establishment. Coffee shops are perfect because they often have bulletin boards. Flyers can still be a useful marketing tactic. If you’re using them, designate some concerts in a similar genre at your venue and hand out flyers to attendees as they leave.
One of our best tips is to connect your financial app to your ticketing platform so you can see how each ticket sales impacts your bottom line – as it happens. You won’t have to wait for your ticketing partner to send you weekly or monthly reports and then have to manually enter the data into your accounting software. When you integrate the systems, you get real-time updates and the ability to make earlier, smarter decisions about your budget.
During The Show
During the show make sure to capture as much content as possible. You can easily record stories for Instagram and Facebook with someone’s phone. Stories can be informal so capturing a quick video is all you need. It’s also a great opportunity to give followers a look behind the scenes of a concert. Hire a photographer to take photos of the show. Make sure to get crowd pics in addition to photos of the band.
After The Show
The “show” isn’t over when the show ends. The final step in our concert marketing guide happens after the show. The day after the concert, post in the Facebook event and thank everyone for coming out. This simple effort can reap long-term rewards in terms of keeping your existing fan base happy and encouraging a new fan base to stay engaged.
If photos from the event require approval from management, make sure they’re submitted as soon as possible. When the photos are approved and ready, you can also add them to the Facebook event. Make sure the photos find their way to albums on socials. People can tag themselves on Facebook which is a great way to keep people talking about the event even after it’s over.
The recommendations in our concert marketing guide are the minimum that should be done for concert marketing. Effective concert marketing requires effort and upfront work. Early effort leads to early ticket sales which results in a greater turnout. The more creative you get with your marketing the more effective it will be so let this guide serve as a starting point for your concert marketing and build off of it. Want to give Prism’s purpose-built, all-in-one live music management software a try to see how that ticketing sales platform integration works or what automated offer generations look like? Discover what these and so many other capabilities can do for your business. Schedule a free demo of Prism today.