Live music concerts are far from being pushed into the past, even after Covid-19 rocked the whole world and changed many things as we know them. In fact, it has become more important than ever to live life to the fullest and spend time on things you value. For most Americans, this means attending more live music events.
Before Covid-19, a Nielsen report found that more than half (52%) of the U.S. population enjoyed live music events so much that they would attend them at least once a year. Following the pandemic, another study reported that 96% of people planned to participate in live events as soon as they fully opened. Now that we’re here and fully opened, 25% of Americans made plans to attend live music events in the summer, and another 12% made plans for the fall. These figures are expected to continue rising each year.
The key to reaching these concert-goers is to look beyond just the traditional ways you once marketed your event. Here’s everything you need to know about the changes that have occurred since the pandemic and tips for using that knowledge to optimize the potential of your live music marketing.
Things ARE Different, But Live Music is Thriving Again: Update How You Reach Concert-Goers
First and foremost, traditional means of music venue marketing such as posters and flyers are still relevant today. However, digital promotions have become increasingly important to live music marketing now that most people spend their time online — both learning about your upcoming events and connecting with your brand.
Take social media, for instance. Research shows that 95% of people follow at least one brand, and 52% of the time, people discover brands through social media. Moreover, more people are turning to the web in greater numbers for news, announcements, brand interactions, connections, etc., since Covid-19 hit. The number of internet users in 2020 alone grew by its highest percentage in more than a decade (10.2%) and has continued growing since.
What this means for your live music marketing is that you need to focus more on meeting potential concert-goers where they’re at (on the internet!). And this doesn’t mean just announcing your upcoming events. Today’s concert-goers — 78%, in fact —want marketers to forge connections with them online using social media and other platforms.
So, your marketing should include promotions of upcoming events, but it should also include building/maintaining relationships with your target audience.
How to Market Your Music Venue Post Pandemic
Marketing your music venue today goes beyond just attracting new people to your venue and straight to your audience’s digital platforms. To stay relevant and meaningful in today’s environment, you must interact and engage with people using your target audience’s favorite online platforms.
After all, your venue is just a place, but your brand is much more. According to Small Biz Genius, 64% of women and 68% of men admit to feeling an emotional connection with a brand. That same connection cannot be made with an event, but brands are much like people in the sense that consumers can become personally connected to them with the right live music marketing strategy.
In addition to your traditional live music marketing promotions, here is a list of things you should be doing to build meaningful relationships and keep your brand in front of your audience as much as possible.
Tip#1: Take a Look at the Marketing Budget
According to The Chron, your marketing budget will vary by a range of factors:
- Your potential for earning, which depends on the size of your venue and the music acts you’re promoting.
- Location matters. Large cities such as New York and Los Angeles will earn much more than smaller locations.
- The more shows you put on, the more popular you will be. Consider this when booking acts (big and small).
- Consider common costs such as caterer, insurance, advertising, staff, security, and the act’s crew and performance fees. They can chip away at your profits while accommodating entertainers.
A lot falls into that basic formula of creating your marketing budget, and marketing is one of them. However, it’s up to the promoter to decide how much to invest in marketing and where or how to spend it. For instance, how much does that promoter have to market the show to get people in the door (or online)? How much is a promoter willing to spend on marketing to make sure that happens?
The marketing budget requires the promoter to take the gross potential, back out the estimated costs to put on the show, then determine the maximum marketing spend from what remains.
Once you’ve determined a venue marketing budget you can live with, the next step is to determine how to spend it. It can go anywhere from Facebook ads to print advertising, other digital media, and radio.
Tip #2: Come Up with Objectives
Just as with any business initiative, you need to start by first developing and prioritizing your key business objectives that drive what tasks need to get done to achieve those objectives.
The critical element here is ensuring your goals are detailed, attainable, measurable, and bring value. A popular way to ensure that they are is by creating SMART goals — meaning they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. According to HubSpot’s research, 52% of people said that the SMART framework ‘always’ helps them reach their goals, and another 35% said it ‘sometimes’ helps them achieve their goals.
Note that this stage is just about getting your thoughts on a roadmap and prioritizing them based on the urgency and value they will bring to your business.
Tip #3: Determine Your Strategy
Your strategy is a detailed map of how you are going to achieve your objectives to market your music venue. The strategy will likely involve multiple people, so be sure it’s understandable and documented.
Keep in mind that every single goal, project, and task must align directly with your marketing objective. You need to break down your strategy into the types of people you want to attract, your goals for attracting them, and how you will measure success to inform future decisions.
Tip #4: Define Your Target Audience
Part of the strategy needs to be defining your personas or the type of people that come to your venue or that you want to attract. Who are they? What kind of music do they like? What age group are they? What are they willing to pay for tickets? Where do they live? What other interests do they have? Once you know your audience, you can advertise your venue where you know they are – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, magazines, radio stations, and even paper posters where they congregate.
Tip #5: Set Your Goals
Your music venue marketing goals need to be specific. Suppose you want to increase brand awareness. In that case, you can set up specific tasks that will help you achieve that goal, such as creating targeted social media ads and/or bumping up your email marketing to target specific personas you created.
Make sure the goals are aligned to the strategy and bring real value. That means you need to evaluate whether the cost to execute your plans is worth the value you expect to get out of the effort.
Tip #6: Establish Success Metrics
One of the biggest pitfalls businesses make in their strategy is to overlook the success measurement element. Defining how you will measure your marketing success is critical because it 1) allows you to see if your efforts are moving the needle, 2) identifies which actions are most effective and which aren’t bringing the intended value, and 3) gives you a chance to adjust your strategy or efforts to make more of an impact.
Tip #7: Make Sure You’re Set up for Success
It’s one thing to say you want to improve brand awareness or increase sales. It’s quite another to have the systems and capabilities in place to execute your goals. If, for instance, you don’t already have a venue fan page, you need one. Where else are you going to send people you were successful in attracting? How do your social media pages look? Are they optimized and designed in a way that attracts your target audience? Are you consistently adding fresh content?
This may mean focusing more on one social channel than another. In the music industry, audiences engage more on Instagram rather than Facebook. Here are some Insta-specific ideas you can consider.
- Use Instagram stories to your advantage: You can jazz up a simple pic of a show poster with animated GIFs, text, and even clips of music from the artist you are promoting. You can also use the “swipe up” feature in IG Stories to link your followers directly to your venue’s website or a ticketing website.
- Be a follower: A great way to start getting more followers is to start following other Instagram profiles. Seek out the people you interact with most often. Then start building outward from there by following the accounts of the bands that are playing your venue in the future. With any luck, they’ll start following you back and sharing your IG pics and info about their upcoming show.
- Don’t fear hashtags: Hashtags are still one of the easiest ways users of Instagram can seek out accounts that share their interests. Use simple things like the artist’s name, #livemusic, #music, #rock, etc. It sounds silly, but it’s surprisingly effective.
- Learn to regram: If you see something great that an artist has posted to their Instagram, you can, and should, post it to your account. This is an excellent venue marketing opportunity to promote your business via their upcoming show. You can do this by using an app or via Instagram Stories.
- Share and share again: Make sure that you connect Instagram to your venue’s other social media accounts. With a couple of extra taps, you can share your posts everywhere, bringing new followers and engagement back to Insta as a result.
- Use Instagram for ticket giveaways: This can be an enjoyable way to get your followers and fans of an artist even more excited about an upcoming show. Just keep the rules simple and make sure that you look over Instagram’s regulations regarding promotions to keep things on the up and up.
Tip #8: Assign Tasks
Get your whole team involved and make sure everyone is on the same page. Delegate tasks with a strict timeline attached to them. Come up with specific activities that need to happen to reach those goals and objectives. Everyone should know who is doing what.
Related: Video Marketing with Purpose: Creating Unique and Fun Videos for Your Venue or Show’s Social Page
Think Outside the Box
The above tips are intended to help you get a system in place for any ideas you want to pursue. Brainstorming ways to make money and build brand awareness requires all hands on deck. Here are a few of the more creative ideas we’ve seen venues implement lately:
- Behind-the-scenes videos: The majority of your music fans likely have no idea what it takes to put on a show. They don’t know what goes on backstage, but they probably would love to. Leverage video platforms to educate them.
- Partner with your acts: Just as people are interested in seeing how music venues work, they’ll often pay money to see an exclusive video interview with their favorite bands. This is money you can earn and split with the acts that agree to take an interview. Be sure you get your bands to market the videos on their channels as well and, if needed, offer to help them set up a way for fans to purchase tickets. You can also work with your band to host live or recorded concerts that people can buy tickets to see.
- Leverage Spotify: Did you know that you can set up a Spotify account to reach an entirely new audience? Once you get your profile, you can start building your playlist. You will make fans, promote your brand and venue, and can eventually sell tickets on Spotify.
- Support a Cause: Did you know that just 49% of people believe businesses impact society positively? That figure is down almost 10% from just the year prior. Supporting a meaningful cause can make you stand out in a positive light when done genuinely and transparently (show your audience the impact the support made). People love to support businesses that support others. The same report from Engage for Good noted that 73% of people believe a company can take actions that both increase profits and improve conditions in their communities. And when you do, 71% are willing to pay more as long as they know some of it is going to charity.
- Rentals: You’ve worked hard to make your venue a place people want to visit, so get creative with your venue marketing and offer it up as a rental space. The venue can also host small exercise classes, private training sessions, stage tech lessons, and even remote office space.
Effective Live Music Marketing — How Do You Manage All of This?
A lot goes into effective live music marketing, and you’ve got artist and concert details to manage. How do you do it all? You need technology that brings everything together under one platform and automates it for your convenience and efficiency.
Prism keeps all of your venue/concert details organized and everyone on the same page with dates, contracts, ticket sales, budgets, and more. Disorganization and manual processes (i.e., updating spreadsheets and jumping from one app to the next) can hold you back or generate mistakes, but an integrated platform will help you reduce your costs and be more organized, efficient, and productive.
With details well organized and updated for everyone the moment you enter them, you can spend more time planning your most creative marketing strategies, building relationships and interacting with concert-goers to scale your brand, and optimizing your live music marketing potential.
Today’s concert-goers don’t just want a great experience at your live music venue — they want a great experience with a brand they’ve grown to rely on. Contact us today to get started with Prism.