You’ve spent a lot of time on planning it. Now you need to know how to promote a show.
In this guide, we’ll first go over some general promotion tips and strategy. Then we’ll move into how to promote a show both online and offline.
Make a cup of tea, because there will be a lot to take in…
General tips on how to promote a show
Before we get into the different ways you can promote your show, we should take a look at some general show promotion tips.
1. Define your audience
Your promotional efforts should be guided by who you’re trying to reach. A children’s comedy show and an adult comedy show are both comedy shows. But since they have very different audiences, you will also need different marketing approaches.
2. Give yourself enough time
You should start promoting the show well in advance. The further in advance you begin, the more likely it is your event will sell out. You should also allow for possible mistakes and delays.
3. Set a budget and stick to it
It’s easy to get carried away with marketing spend. That’s why it’s important to outline how much you’re willing to spend on each channel before you start.
4. Keep the tone conversational
No one likes being sold to. That’s why it’s essential you maintain a conversational tone when you promote. Start conversations, ask for opinions, and offer value.
5. Choose which channels to focus on
You can’t be everywhere all the time unless you have unlimited money. Since you most likely don’t, it’s crucial that you choose which marketing channels to focus on.
6. Monitor and adapt
Whether you’re doing TV, magazine, posters, or social media ads, it’s crucial you keep an eye on your return. Is it working? If not, why not? Would it be wise to change direction?
How to promote a show online
There are many advantages to online promotion, such as targeted advertising and broader reach. But the biggest one is that a lot of it can be done for free.
Since Instagram is part of Facebook, you can kill two birds with one stone if you use targeted ads. It’s also the go-to place for images and videos from your event.
If your event is very visual (such as a fashion show or theatre play), you should consider Pinterest. Find inspiration for your show and create your own event board.
YouTube is a great place to live stream your event. You can also upload teasers and trailers. YouTube pre-roll ads are also a great way to advertise your show on related videos.
6. Google AdWords
If you’re using Twitter and Instagram, spend some time researching popular hashtags. It will boost your exposure if you include a few hashtags every time you post about your show.
8. Ad retargeting
If you use PPC ads on any of the social media platforms, try retargeting your audience. Just because they didn’t act on the first one, doesn’t mean they’re not interested.
9. Lookalike audiences
Once you’ve nailed down your ideal target audience, you can broaden your scope. Find lookalike audiences to target with your Facebook PPC ads.
10. PR campaigns
Although PR campaigns traditionally got your show into the printed press, much of it takes place online. Find a good PR agency to help promote your show to media outlets.
11. Email campaigns
If you don’t have a mailing list, then start building one now. Use a website like MailChimp to keep track of your subscribers and how many people open and read your emails.
12. Social media influencers
Try to enlist the help of a social media influencer to help promote your show. If you’re putting on a well-known comedian, ask them to promote the show on their own social media profiles.
13. Event listing sites
Find the right event listing site to help you sell tickets for your show. It’s vital that the site allows for native checkout on social media platforms (see below).
14. Native checkout
Native checkout means that people can go to your Facebook Event page buy a ticket through the app. It helps reduce the number of steps between discovering a show and buying tickets for it.
15. Ticket giveaways
It sounds counterintuitive, but it can help to give tickets away for free. Create a competition on social media and incentivise people to spread the word in exchange for a ticket.
16. Virtual street team
Believe it or not, but people are still out and about in the real world. Sometimes, when people look up from their phones, they’ll see a poster. Or speak to a real, human person.
You should always have a poster promoting the show inside and outside the venue. You never know who sees it and decides to come back the following week for your show.
Although it’s an old-school marketing technique, there is still something to be said for flyering. Just try to be selective with where you leave them and who you hand them out to.
3. Street team
If you’re really busy (which you probably are) then it’s a good idea to recruit a street team. They can be paid or volunteers. All that matters is that they decorate the streets with your show promo.
4. Print Ads
If you know that your audience reads a specific publication, consider print ads. They can be quite cheap if you get in with smaller and more local magazines.
5. Local newspapers
6. Networking at other shows
If you attend shows similar to your own, chances are you’ll meet people who’ll be interested. Get to know them and invite them (and their friends) along to your show.
Let’s get to it.
As a reminder, how you promote a show will depend on who you promote it to. Your audience comes first, because they’re the ones who will buy your tickets.
Think about what they read and watch, where they go, and who they speak to. Then make sure your show is promoted in those places.
Good luck and happy promoting!