Chances are, you already have a go-to checklist to market your shows. But if you really want to increase ticket sales in 2018, it’s time to get creative.
We spoke with 20 industry experts about the online music marketing strategies that could change the game in the year to come. Here’s how you can use tech to attract new fans for the new year.
Want more insights to conquer 2018? Get all 8 concert technology predictions from industry experts in the full report.
1. Turn to “mystery marketing” with no-phone zones
While many venues are eager to have their fans do their marketing for them, some artists would rather the audience put their phones away. Technology like Yondr, a case put around smartphones upon entry that automatically locks when fans enter a phone-free zone, allows venues to make this a reality. Yondr has already been used by A-list entertainers like the Guns N’ Roses, Alicia Keys, the Lumineers, Dave Chapelle, and more.
While your fans’ posts on social media become a form of aspirational marketing, John Riccardi, a Strategic Account Manager in Music at Eventbrite, calls these phone-free zones a form of “mystery marketing.”
“In an age where everything is online already, events and activities that are off limits to phones and cameras are equally popular,” Riccardi says. “It creates a ‘you had to be there’ event, which can only live on by word of mouth — from those with bragging rights.”
When looking to the future of phone-free technology, it’s worth turning to the company behind the phones. Apple has also recently patented technology for deactivating iPhone cameras at live concerts, though their plans for the technology remain to be seen.
2. Use livestreams to emphasize the fan perspective
On the opposite end of the spectrum, technology like Facebook Live is making it even easier for fans to share their experience in real-time. The result is a multitude of unique, personal perspectives that can promote the show.
“Every individual that attends one of our events takes a unique path through it,” says Superfly Marketing Director Neal Cohen. “Now, the full breadth of a festival’s story is being told on a totally new level. With Snapchat and Facebook Live, storytelling is instantaneous and in everyone’s hands. It enables everyone who attends a show to share their choose-your-own-adventure view of the event.”
The result is a much more accurate portrayal of the show or festival than a two-minute recap video — with the endorsement of hundreds of fans on social media.
“We invite people to use their devices in the space, and they’re using Facebook Live,” says Caleb Custer of National Sawdust in New York City. “It can be really helpful to get buzz about the venue for our next show. Something that’s more controlled wouldn’t really fit the vibe of the shows.” Rami Haykal, the Talent Buyer for PopGun Presents, has used a similar approach with his own promotions. “Really quick Facebook Live teasers seem to be the way to peak interest before shows,” Haykal says.
Even professional concert livestreams may start incorporating fans more. “I think these viewing experiences will get more interactive, letting fans really feel like they’re part of the action,” says Amber von Moessner, the Director of Content Marketing at Livestream. “Once fans realize this type of behind-the-scenes access is available, they’ll tune in for shows and festivals they couldn’t physically attend.”
3. Rely on social media influencers to spread the word
Live music promoters are already active across social networks — 95% of venues surveyed use Facebook, 87% use Instagram, 85% use Twitter, and 20% use Snapchat. But the next big thing won’t be how you use social to communicate with fans — it will be how fans use it to share their own stories.
To participate in this fan-to-fan conversation, many venues are turning to influencers to help with their online music marketing. Nearly half (44%) of venues we surveyed want to know which of their fans are the biggest social influencers.
To get these influencers involved, some music promoters are highlighting fans in their own social media posts. “Some of our most successful posts on social are performance shots that include the audience,” Superfly’s Neal Cohen says. “It compels people to want to say they were there, so you get the ‘Hey, that’s me!’ reaction. Between RFID and drones, soon we’ll be able to actually zero in on that feeling, with photos that place the fans in that exact moment in time.”
Technology is changing the game for online music marketing. Check out the full report, “The Future of Concert Technology,” to stay ahead of the curve with can’t-miss music tech predictions from 20 industry tastemakers.