Arts marketing isn’t just about selling tickets; it’s about building relationships. Building trust with those who have never engaged with your brand while also strengthening the connection you’ve already made with seasoned patrons. When strategizing ways to market and promote events or performances, it is important to create social media content that reaches both audiences without alienation. The last thing you want is to ignore new audiences or leave your existing patrons feeling forgotten.
Here are some tips and tricks to not only fill the seats in the venue, but also build a solid audience base.
Stick to the Golden Rule
Not all social media content is created equally. If you work in social media, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the 70/30 rule of engagement. To effectively engage with your audience, 70% of your content should be fun, compelling and shareable, while the remaining 30% should be sales driven. This can be a challenge for many arts organizations, especially nonprofits, who are stuck in a “sell, sell, sell” mindset. Break away from the sales jargon and have some fun with your social channels. Stay in tune with national holidays, famous birthdays and industry trends. The less you come across as a marketing-fueled unit, the more your audience will trust and engage with your brand.
Give your followers VIP access
In the coming weeks of each performance or event, take your audience on a journey to opening night. They want to see everything—rehearsals, interviews with artists, a sneak peek into the set, fun facts about the work. This will not only garner excitement around the event, but also make your audience feel enthralled by the nitty gritty of the production. From a media relations perspective, treat reporters and influencers with the same regard. Invite them to a rehearsal or give them an exclusive look into the work before it is completed. Everyone wants to feel special, so give your audience a little something extra.
Continue the conversation
The customer journey doesn’t have to end when a patron buys a ticket. In fact, arts organizations should invest more energy in engaging with patrons after the curtain call to build upon that critical relationship. You should give your patrons the opportunity to become an ambassador for your organization. Following a performance, share a positive review on social media and ask your followers for their thoughts. Go the extra mile and engage with their feedback to make them feel heard. Even a simple “thank you for coming” goes a long way when building your audience.
At the end of the day, relationship building will take your organization farther than ticket sales. Use these tips to broaden your reach and connect with those who believe in your work and mission the most. Over time you’ll not only begin to see a boost in attendance, but also an online community that’s proud and ready to cheer your organization on.