Theatre leaders should constantly strive to gain and retain new audience members. The easiest way to reach that goal? Innovative marketing solutions. Whether you’re hoping to get more seats filled at an in-person showcase or get more eyes on your next hybrid production, On The Stage offers advice to get you there.
See What’s Working, See What Isn’t
It’s important to continually assess your marketing strategies and pivot if necessary. If you’re in the midst of a marketing evaluation, ask yourself if you’re truly on target to reach your goals. Check email subscribers, open rates, social media interactions, unsubscribe rates for email lists and the overall growth of your brand.
Make notes of where you can improve, as well as the types of content that gain you the most traction. After studying your metrics and making a few adjustments, roll out the new and improved plan with the goal of enticing your target demographic and growing your audience.
Consider Hybrid Options
The world has changed considerably in the last two years, and theatre makers have (or should have) changed with it. If you haven’t already, consider hybrid shows that blend in-person and video-on-demand or live streaming options. With these new choices available to increase your accessibly, build a marketing campaign around it. This way, your digital audience is built in advance and you can focus on producing a great show.
If you don’t have the budget to hire a digital production specialist for your virtual showcases, carve out extra time to learn the ropes about livestreaming and video-on-demand. Feeling overwhelmed? This article can help. Additionally, On The Stage offers demos to assist you with streaming. Bottom line: We’ve got you covered!
Optimize Your Online Presence
You won’t get more audience members if your presence online is weak. Consider the following to make your branding online pop:
- Create a Facebook Business page and additional event pages for each show to curate top-of-mind awareness for your theatre
- Create and manage a YouTube account where you can showcase behind-the-scenes moments and snippets from previous performances
- Get a handle on your SEO in regards to your website and other online platforms to ensure you pop up consistently in relevant Google searches
- Ensure your theatre is listed on major sites that drive people’s entertainment decisions – everything from Yelp to your city’s chambers of commerce, plus online social calendars and local publications’ calendars
- Stay consistent in your social media posting; brands with consistent content tend to earn favor on the algorithm
Cultivate Community Partnerships
The importance of community partnerships can’t be overstated. After identifying potential partners and gaining their support, you’ve also gained a voice in the community to help build up your brand. Aside from organic marketing, the types of benefits you can gain from these partners include:
- Monetary donations
- In-kind donations of time, props, costumes, services or manual labor
- Food/drink/percentage off coupons if patrons come to their business after seeing a show (a mutually beneficial call to action)
- Sponsorship/ad placement in your playbill
- Digital partnerships through social media promotions
Turn to Your Students
Utilizing an in-house marketing team of students to promote your show offers you numerous advantages. These include:
- A budget-friendly option that relies solely on the energy and enthusiasm of your cast and crew
- Organic marketing opportunities like word of mouth or social media promotion to get your message across
- A crash course in marketing for students interested in the industry
- An increase in overall passion for your show from the community
Social media is easily one of your biggest assets when it comes to marketing your show. Along with sharing posters, merchandise and other production artwork on your platforms, don’t be afraid to get your audience involved in the fun.
A great question to ask yourself in regards to your social media marketing is this: Is your communication on these platforms a two-way street, or is it just you with a microphone? If it’s the latter, work for more engagement by asking questions, responding to comments on your posts, tagging partners and conducting polls. People just want their voices to be heard!
It’s easy to say you’ll up your marketing efforts, but harder to put that idea into practice. If you need help crafting your marketing plan for next season, let On The Stage help; book a demo today.