Live Music & Events
A huge part of putting on live music is enticing people to attend. Here you’ll find tips and advice on various ways you can promote your event and engage the public.
Media and Publicity
The backbone of any successful media plan is a thorough understanding of your audience – i.e. who you’re marketing to. Aim to create a simple plan that builds good relationships with the gig-going public.
Media coverage can drive people to your shows and your venue. The right stories can keep them coming back. If you have the budget, engaging a good publicist to promote your events can be a worthwhile investment. Often, they can secure great media coverage across many platforms. However, they can be expensive. If you’re a venue, check whether the artists you’ve booked to perform already have a publicist. If they do, make sure you supply them with all the critical information about your venue and the upcoming show.
If you’re frequently programming live music, it’s essential to have a web presence. Most businesses nowadays have a website and you should be no different. Think of it as your main public-facing marketing tool.
Make sure it’s up to date. Put aside two hours a week to update the website with new shows. Upload each event about a month before it takes place. Include links to tickets and information on the artists performing.
If you’re running a live music venue, your website should host production and staging information so artists know what to expect when they perform. It’s also a good idea to list contact details of the person who books the bands/artists. Outline how they like to be approached.
Use your website to sell tickets and merchandise. This ‘e-commerce’ enables you to collect useful data such as email addresses and locations. So in the future, you can use this information to market upcoming events.
Social media promotion is all about having digital conversations and giving small amounts of information in targeted ways to your audience. It’s about having conversations, rather than directly marketing. If you’re new to social media, take it one platform at a time. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can each be used to promote your show or venue in different ways.
Facebook can work as the hub of your social media plan. Rather than using a personal profile, set up a Facebook ‘Page’ to promote your venue or artist. Opt to have a sign-up form. In future, you can use the data collected to tell fans about shows and events.
Measure the performance of your social media through analytics. See what works and what doesn’t and learn how to use these insights to your advantage.
When it comes to social media, protect your reputation and create an ongoing story with your fans.
Printed and digital gig guides are a good option for promoting your shows. Research what publications are the most effective in your area. Create a contacts list that compiles all the print media that have weekly gig guides and upcoming events sections. Contact them and ask how they like to receive information.
There are a number of digital and app-based gig guides that allow you to easily upload details of your venue and upcoming shows. Check the following for further information:
Traditional Print and Poster Runs
Despite the digital age, printed media is still an effective promotional tool. Just know your market and focus on connecting with them.
Print advertisements in local papers and music press can educate the public on where and when shows take place. Use our sample media release and reach out to the events or entertainment editor of your local paper. The editor may be interested in writing an article on the artist and the venue. Often this goes hand in hand with a print advertisement. What’s important is you remember your audience – there’s no point trying to get editorial in a jazz magazine if you’re a folk act!
Poster runs or ‘pole posters’ can be a great way to advertise upcoming shows. Just be aware that some local authorities regulate where they are placed. Check before putting them up or engage a company to poster on your behalf.
A short run of postcards and flyers advertising upcoming shows can have a good impact. Deliver them to busy coffee shops, record stores, bars and cafes. Always get the permission of the business owner before leaving flyers in a shop.
Community radio is very supportive of live music. Their presenters can be easily approached and programs are always looking for new content. Learn about the stations in your area and research radio programs that will be interested in your event. Check the station’s contact list on their website to find the presenters and producers of each program. Then look to build a relationship.