So, you want to promote a concert but don’t know where to start? I got you. Below is a starting guide that I use for every event at The Rust Belt. It’s not guaranteed to pack your show but it will definitely make the promoting process easier.
#1 Lock Down the Logistics.
Before you do anything else make sure you have the details of the show set in place. They may seem obvious but setting all the backend details at the very beginning can help avoid major headaches down the road. Think of this as the Who/What/Where/When portion of promoting a show. Items to consider below.
- Show date
- Ticket Price
#2 Create your marketing plan.
Start with a few simple questions to ask while creating the plan:
- Who’s the audience for the show? How can you reach them?
- What’s your budget? Cost is often the driving factor for any decision and can simplify your plan from the very beginning.
- Get approvals – Does the band or venue need to sign off?
#3 Secure the Assets
Get approved and up-to-date images and biography of the show’s lineup. Ensure you have them in the format(s) and size(s) you’ll need. Facebook/Instagram/Twitter all have different size requirements so double-check that whichever image you are using will work.
Here’s a cheat sheet 🡪 https://makeawebsitehub.com/social-media-image-sizes-cheat-sheet/
#4 Coordinate the show announcement
Are you announcing the show via social? Your website? Email? Radio? Align and schedule your show announcement to go live at the same time so that your audience can see/hear it regardless of how they choose to consume.
#5 Create a Facebook Event.
It’s an easy way for your fans and followers to quickly learn about the show. Add the event space and artists as co-hosts. Don’t forget to put a link to buy tickets.
#6 Let the Press Know
Write a press release and send it out to any local media contacts you may have. Include information on the show, on-sale dates, and ticket prices. Include press contact info for the band for potential interview requests.
#7 Use Your (FREE) Resources
Did you know VisitQuadCities.com has a free events calendar that you can submit your event to? Did you know it also feeds the Concert Calendar at www.theechoqc.com? Don’t overthink it. Add your event.
#8 Schedule Out Your Social Media
Announcing the show on Facebook and never posting about it again isn’t going to cut it. Make a plan to schedule out content about the bands and the event from the announcement to the show date. Don’t forget to include links to buy tickets. Use the 80/20 rule, 80% of the content should be about the band, album, reviews, etc. and 20% on promoting the show.
#9 Be Smart with Paid Advertising
If you have the budget to spend on advertising via social or more traditional avenues, be strategic. I like to focus most of my spending budget around the show announcement and then again in the week leading up to the event. Paid advertising is a little bit art and a little bit science so do your research on making sure the audience you’re trying to reach is available in the method you choose. Utilizing social media like Facebook can give you immediate data on if your ad is driving clicks and ticket sales. Check your metrics frequently so you can make adjustments to your ad set or copy before you blow out your entire budget.
#10 Give Out Some Freebies
Holding a Like/Comment/Share contest on Facebook and Instagram is an easy way to create buzz around your event. Not only can it spread the reach of your event to a larger audience, but it’s also a great way to reward a few of your existing fans.
#11 Don’t Rule Out Old-School Methods
A well-designed poster at a high-traffic location can still be an effective way to get the word out about your show. Use a QR code on the poster linking directly to your ticket platform. Maybe even staple a couple to a power pole for good measure.
#12 Keep the DMs Open
Make sure you’re checking your Instagram DMs and Facebook messenger often. It’s the go-to way for your followers and fans to ask questions about details/logistics/etc.
#13 Go Behind the Scenes.
Use your social channels as a peek behind the scenes in the run up to the show. Unloading the van, sound check, etc. are all great opportunities to try and convince your audience to make a day of decision to attend the show. Maximize the FOMO.
#14 Enjoy the Show!
Don’t forget to share images and videos during the event. Don’t be shy about showing what a great time the audience is having- your followers will remember this when you start promoting your next show.
Zach Gatton is part of the marketing team at The Rust Belt. He considers himself a country music hippie but would never feel comfortable sharing his Spotify year in review stats to even his closest friends.