Marketing is essential to your theatre’s success, and it’s a big job that can quickly get overwhelming, especially if you’re a one-person department or handling marketing for the first time. We’ve assembled 5 tips for better theatre marketing to help you keep it simple, effective, and organized.
Tip 1 – Make a Plan & Work Ahead
The best way to improve your marketing is to get ahead of it. In order to do this, you must take the time to make a plan. Create a checklist of all the items that need to be done and note their deadlines. This list should include things like press releases, show posters and other graphic design pieces, social media posts, etc.
Work backwards from show opening for a promo schedule. Once that’s done, continue your marketing plan through the closing, and don’t forget a “that’s a wrap” email or social post after closing night. Take that opportunity to tease what’s coming next in your season.
There are plenty of simple and affordable tools out there to help you create a content calendar and effective emails. “Batch” your content by creating a series of social posts to fill out a few weeks or write multiple promo emails at one time and save them for later. Use templates and make duplicates of past work to maintain your branding and save time. Working ahead by creating a content bank vs creating and delivering your content in real time will save you so much time and stress.
Tip 2 – Let the audience sell the show
If you’re not already collecting audience testimonials, it’s time to start! Send each patron a thank-you email for coming to your show and include an online survey where they can give you feedback on their experience. Use their positive comments as testimonials in your marketing for the rest of the run. Save these in a comment bank for when you need to pull a great audience quote for the future.
Tip 3 – Writing to one person
When you’re writing your emails and other marketing materials that go directly to your customers, write as if you’re speaking to one specific person instead of anyone and everyone. Use phrases and verbiage that connect best with your patron and don’t be afraid to show your brand’s personality.
If you’re stuck on this, look into “audience personas” or “client avatars” and how to create them. (Use surveys to poll your audience to gather demographic information and preferences.) Honing your marketing as if you’re speaking to a particular person will help you clarify your message and strengthen your brand.
Tip 4 – 1 Email, 1 Offer
For your email marketing, it’s best to keep in simple. Even if you have multiple shows running simultaneously plus your annual fundraiser, keep your email offers separate. Following the 1 Email, 1 Offer rule guides your patrons to click through exactly what you want them to do. When you have one, clear call-to-action (CTA) for what you want the patron to take next, ie “buy tickets,” the more engagement you will have. A confused patron does not act.
Tip 5 – Put the “social” back in social media
Is your social media communication a two-way street or is it just you with a microphone? Engage with your audience by asking questions, conducting polls, and responding to comments on your posts. Share and comment on posts your audience has tagged you in. Engage with artists and companies you follow and initiate conversations. If you use or follow certain hashtags, comment on relevant posts when others use the same hashtags.
Your success is part of our mission. That’s why we created easy-to-use digital tools for busy theatremakers, so they spend more time on their mission of creating great theatre for their audiences.