If your choir is anything like the one that I sing in, then you will have a regular audience that you can market to to generate concert ticket sales. You do that through newsletters, emails, social media and, most importantly, word of mouth.
You also attempt to widen your reach to new potential audience members through posters and banners, advertising and other promotional means. But these cost money, so you tend to restrict how much you do.
What else is there? Well, have you ever considered asking for help - concert co-marketing?
Concert co-marketing – identify who else benefits
Think about it. There are more people who benefit from a bigger audience at a concert than just the choir themselves:
- Any charity being supported by the concert – increased donations
- Any other guest acts involved – a more enjoyable performance
- The venue – greater use of facilities, promotion of the venue and (if a commercial space) sales of refreshments etc
- Local community groups – demonstrates bringing the community together
- Any sponsors of the above – better return on their investment
So why not ask them to help selling tickets?
You don’t need financial help
Obviously, it is great if any of the potential partners in your concert co-marketing can provide some contribution to your marketing budget, but it is by no means required. In fact, they can often offer something of greater value – their contacts.
Each of these groups have their own supporters, followers and acquaintances who are interested in what they do. So, by marketing to these groups you will be getting your message out to people who have an element of ‘self-qualification’. They are more likely to be attracted to your concert than many of the people who pass by a poster or see an advert in the press.
What can you ask your concert co-marketing partners to do? Basically, it is to promote the concert to their contacts in as many ways as possible:
- Word of mouth – still the best way to generate interest and ticket sales
- Website – place information about the concert and how to get tickets
- Social media – post, like, share, retweet on whatever platforms they use to communicate to their followers
- Posters and flyers – put posters up in their premises and on notice boards and distribute flyers
- Newsletters – promote the concert in regular newsletters, emails etc
- Press Releases – issue a joint press release with each partner
You have to do the ‘heavy lifting’
You may not be asking for hard cash from these groups, but you are asking them to put in some time and effort. So, you need to minimise the work that they have to do. Of course, that does mean you need to do more!
Content – text and images
As well as making it easier for your partners, by providing standard text and images for the concert promotion will ensure that your concert co-marketing messages are consistent.
Ideally you probably want to produce promotional text in, for example, 10-word, 25-word, 50-word etc versions for different usages. A social media post needs to be much shorter than a paragraph in a newsletter, for example.
Similarly, you will want to provide a variety of images suited to different media – the Social Media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have specific recommended image dimensions. You might also like to provide image files of your logo for partners to use.
It can be pretty time consuming to put these items together every time you ask a partner to help promote your concert. You also need to ensure that everyone receives the most up-to-date copy. And then there are the email recipients who cannot receive large image files.
So, I maintain an “Information Folder” of words, images and recordings that can be shared with partners – and then I just send the person a link to that shared folder. I use Dropbox for this, but there are other file sharing services, such as Google Drive, that are available.
Posters and Flyers
It goes without saying that you will need to provide at least the artwork for posters and flyers (probably in A4 and A5 sizes). I would strongly recommend that you also provide printed copies. Posters run off on a home printer are never going to look as good as ones printed professionally.
This does mean that you will need to find out how many copies of each poster and flyer your concert co-marketing partners can use before putting your order into the printing company. Also be aware that they may have specific needs. For example, a theatre venue we perform at standardises on A3 for its posters – so we have to provide them in that size.
When you are posting promotional messages about your concert make sure you directly reference your concert co-marketing partners so that it makes it easier for them to see the posts and share with their followers. For example, use @ in Twitter and Facebook, and in your Facebook Event entry label the partners as ‘co-hosts’.
If you want to issue a press release with one or more of your partners, then you will need to write it. The only thing you may need to ask for is a quote from a named person in the organisation, but even then, you may want to suggest its content!
Be prepared to be the ‘expert’
Just as with the choir – some of your potential concert co-marketing partners will be run by volunteers who may not have the time or skills for promotional marketing of your concert. You will probably be called on to help in many ways, so be prepared!
At the end of the day it is in all of your interests to attract a bigger audience to a concert, and coordinating efforts is probably going to be much more effective than leaving it to chance. Apologies, but that means you have to be the coordinator – and so it does involve a little extra work!