It’s been too long since you’ve heard from us. Many of you—artists, event organizers, and ticket buyers—have emailed us seeking refunds, payments, and answers, and we haven’t replied. We’re sorry. You deserve better, and we are committed to doing better. We are committed to being more open and timely in communicating what we know. Here’s
It is widely known that Facebook and Twitter are incredibly important aspects of event promotion and brand marketing. Instagram, however, has grown so much in recent years that it is now the third piece – creating a trifecta that cannot be ignored if you want to build a successful brand in the long term. Instagram can feel a bit daunting at first, given that it is a strictly visual platform, but with the right guidance you’ll be an expert in no time.
Create a Separate Business Account
I often hear event promoters mention that they promote their events on their personal account, which is a great way to get the word out to a smaller group of friends and family. In the long run, if you don’t have a separate account for your events (and essentially your brand) you are doing yourself a disservice. A separate business account will showcase your efforts and streamline all of your past, present, and future events. Just be sure to post the event link in your account profile bio. Instagram limits sales capabilities within captions, so the only hyperlink text on accounts can be found within your main bio. When you caption a photo be sure to reference the ticket link and where to find it.
Post Relevant, Quality Images
You want to remember to post images that promote interest and intrigue around your brand and your events. You will want to decide on a theme or angle for your account as a whole for potential followers. The simplest way to go about this is to stick with a particular color scheme, filter, or even a similar angle or point of view. When you think about certain professional accounts you follow on Instagram, chances are they all use this road map to some degree. Every image has a cohesive feel whether that be with content, color, or image tone. This cohesive nature and quality content plays a large role in gaining followers and continuing the long-term success of the account.
Build a Loyal Following and Hashtag with Precision
It sounds trivial, but the amount of likes and follows your account receives will likely determine how your brand and account is perceived by potential followers. You want your account to shine through and showcase your efforts to pull these followers in to increase your numbers. Engagement is a crucial component to successful Instagram marketing in order to raise the amount of likes and follows your account receives. “Liking” and commenting admiration or praise on various user’s content (by way of applicable hashtags) will get you noticed by potential followers further.
Before hashtag-ing your content, do some research. Take time to determine your target demographic and relevant hashtags for your events. You want to hashtag your images so that they can be easily found on Instagram. All hashtags are grouped so if you tag relevant, popular content your image will get discovered by potential followers. You want your hashtags to get you seen, but you do not want to stray too far from the content. If you’re hashtagging popular tags, but they are not applicable to your image, your credibility will be lowered. Once an image is located by a potential follower they will typically go to your main account and scroll through your images to decide if you are someone they wish to follow, which is why you want to make your account content memorable.
In addition to researching hashtags you will want to create and promote your own hashtag. By creating and promoting your own hashtag, it allows others to assist with content creation and will give you a chance to locate all fan images from your events. Make it something unique enough to only have images pertaining to your events, and remind followers to utilize the hashtag to continue building hype around your events.
Stay on your Attendee’s Radar
Continue posting content regularly to build your brand and excitement around your events. Posting during hi-traffic times will ensure wider visibility. Typically early morning and weekday evenings works best or maximum reach. Make sure you give your attendees all the information they need to consider purchasing tickets, and always reference that ticket link when appropriate. Feel free to keep your posts fresh by mixing up your captions a bit. Caption some of your posts with questions pertaining to the event, such as, “What song are you looking forward to hearing from the artist?” Or, what aspect they’re most excited for regarding the event. This type of engagement builds loyalty and gets your fans excited and involved with your content.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. It will take creativity and time to build your content and following. If you do it right and with passion, you will easily be able to build the hype needed to sell out your next event.
For more Instagram tips, check out The Event Organizer’s Guide to InstagramEvent Tips >
Hosting an event on Brown Paper Tickets? Congrats. Creating a visually compelling and informative event page is a key factor to selling out your event.
Before you create your event page, the first thing to do is brainstorm various aspects that are important to highlight. To do this, consider events that have attracted you in the past.
Were they visually appealing? Did the description spark interest and intrigue? Take what inspires you and translate that into your event creation. Along with a clear and compelling event name, you will want to create a compelling event description and short description.
- The short description will display in search results, in our weekly event mailing list and third-party event calendars. It is a summary of your full description with intriguing aspects of your full description.
- Give potential attendees all the information they need, so they have no lingering questions that could delay ticket purchase.
- Highlight what attendees should expect, and the unique aspects that set your event apart from similar events.
- Use bullet points to display key information so the information is easy for readers to scan.
Add a visual component next. Do you have high-quality images of the artist or event flyer? If so, upload it onto the event itself; this will further polish the professional look of your page. Feature the artist you’re promoting by uploading recent live performances, artist interviews, or anything relative to the performers and the event. Think about the possible attendees that have never heard of the artist and display any work that you think highlights the artist best. To make a bigger impact, upload the material into the event description to appear full frame so that everyone can gain a feel for the genre, style, and sound. Unsure how to post a YouTube video full frame? This simple tutorial has you covered.
You can also use basic HTML coding to hyperlink artist’s websites, social media pages, or relevant interviews or articles. This can also help boost your presence and improve page ranking on search engines such as Google. You can see exactly how things will look on your page with our tutorial here.
Now, let’s talk about sales incentives. Buyers often wait until the last minute to purchase tickets. Offering an incentive to those who secure their spots early on can jumpstart your sales and give you an idea on “where you are” in promoting your event.
How to incentivize attendees to buy early:
- Create a higher day-of or door price
- Have early bird pricing or tiered pricing that rises closer to the event
- Offer priority seating or entry to the first ( x ) people that secure tickets
To tie up all loose ends on your event page, you will want to link your Facebook Event and Twitter account to your Brown Paper Tickets event page. Linking everything will allow for a smooth transition for possible attendees to further get a feel for your event and performers.
You can further boost your search engine ranking by implementing basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. That way, when people search certain key terms, they’ll easily find your event. Avoid copying and pasting. Vary your event description from one site to the next—search engines don’t like duplicate content, so use different descriptions wherever you list your event. Make sure you add keywords—if you’re hosting a theater or music event, add “music” or “musical” or “”theater” to help your event appear in search results. But don’t jam your descriptions full of these terms; use them naturally. Read this post for more event-related SEO tips and techniques.
Once you have everything up and running, keep that momentum going. Think about how you are going to announce and present your event on social media. Check out these 10 Crucial Steps to Announcing Your Events on Social Media.Event Tips >
In the last 6 years, Brown Paper Tickets has donated over 400 employee hours to the local, listener-powered radio station KEXP. Employees can spend up to 40 hours a year volunteering for whatever causes they wish and KEXP is a favorite among staff. One team member gives a first-hand account of volunteering at KEXP.
My first experience with KEXP happened on a whim. It was 2012, I was in film school, and had a writing assignment due in the morning—the finalized opening scene to a script I had just begun. I had already outlined what was soon to be a truly awful, overused plot, the kind that seems genius and groundbreaking when you explain it to your cat after four cups of coffee and minimal sleep. So naturally, instead of writing, I was scrolling through Facebook.
My friend shared a live performance of the artist Grimes. When I pressed play, I heard DJ Cheryl Water’s voice for the first time, introducing the artist before she began. The performance was simple, captivating and executed completely from the ground where Grimes perched, surrounded by her instruments, a cup of coffee, and a brightly patterned rug. After watching a dozen more artists I adore perform at KEXP (thanks to their YouTube channel), it was safe to say I was hooked.
I moved to Seattle in the spring of 2016. One day, on-air, Troy Nelson mentioned that Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires were scheduled to do a free-to-the-public, in-studio session, limited to a small amount of lucky attendees. There was so much interest in the performance that they moved it into the main gathering space. KEXP played the first song I had ever heard by the infectious Charles Bradley, and I knew I had to attend. I was among a sea of people who came out to watch Charles and his Extraordinaires. He emerged in a bedazzled suit, hugging audience members before taking the stage.
The performance was truly humbling, everyone gathered in, many sat on the ground; his presence felt like an old friend. Bradley’s version of Black Sabbath’s “Changes,” that he dedicated to his late mother moved me to tears. That was the only opportunity I had to see Charles Bradley perform before he lost his battle with cancer on September 23, 2017.
Volunteering at KEXP
That same week I had the chance to give back to the station by way of volunteering, and my appreciation for everything KEXP came full circle. My coworkers and I answered phones during the Fall Fundraiser drive as part of the Brown Paper Tickets’ Paid Time-On benefit program. Fundraiser drives are key to the survival of KEXP.
The majority of KEXP’s funding (nearly 60%) comes from listeners; the remaining 40% is divided among local businesses and outside sources. As a listener-powered station, they can maintain zero commercial interruptions, and avoid narrow playlists dictated by corporate media involvement.
In the last 6 years, Brown Paper Tickets has donated over 400 employee hours to KEXP. This allows passionate employees (like me) to work the fundraising drives and more unique opportunities, such as DJ assisting* and hosting station tours.
Brown Paper Tickets encourages employees to volunteer time to organizations they feel passionate about, whatever that may be. I am humbled by the opportunities I am given to volunteer at KEXP and as a KEXP amplifier. If you have ever been interested in giving back to this unique and diverse station, but don’t know where to start, keep in mind that there are many ways to power KEXP.
Check out a full list of opportunities at KEXP: Ways to Give.
*Major shout-out to Jon Hamilton, a dedicated KEXP volunteer and past Brown Paper Tickets Paid Time-On-er.Radio >