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
When it comes to promotion, there are a lot of options, and it can be difficult to know where to start. The key to effectively marketing your event is establishing a relationship with your potential ticket buyers. Before you take a look at how you want to promote your event, you will need to understand who you are promoting to – this is called your target audience.
Your target audience is the demographic group of people most likely to be interested in your event. If you have a sense of the type of people most likely to attend your event, you can market your event far more effectively.
Let’s start with an example:
Let’s say you have a stack of 100 flyers advertising the jazz show you’re putting on this Friday, and you’re trying to figure out the best way to pass them out. Sure, you could just walk down the street and hand the flyers to the first 100 people you see, but there’s no reason to assume that these folks have any interest in jazz, and many of your flyers would probably end up in the trash.
Now let’s say instead of choosing people at random, you hand out your flyers outside a popular instrument repair shop, or leave a stack in the local record store. You’ll find that far more of your flyers find their way into the hands of music lovers.
By targeting a specific demographic, (music fans in this example) where they’re likely to spend time (music stores) you’re wasting less flyers, getting more positive response, and interacting with people who are more likely to buy tickets to your event–or even become long-term fans.
This same concept applies to every type of promotion–social media, traditional media, posters– whatever methods you use to market your event. The effectiveness of your promotion is determined by knowing who your target audience is, and how to reach them.
What is a customer profile?
The idea of a “target audience” may seem like an abstract concept, but it’s not– your potential ticket buyers are real people with interests, habits, likes, dislikes, and–most importantly– shared traits that can help you effectively reach them with your promotion. To understand who these people are, start by create a customer profile- a “portrait” of your ideal ticket buyer. A common starting point for creating this profile is by looking at your audience demographics, including:
- Family status
- Income level
- Education level
- Shopping habits
From this demographic information, you can then ask yourself more specific questions:
- How can I adjust my message to appeal to this demographic?
- What type of social media promotion is most likely to draw the attention of my target audience?
- How might my target audience respond to advertising in traditional media sources, such as newspapers, event calendars or radio stations?
- Where does my target audience spend time, and can I use this information to better reach them with my advertising?
For example: If you’re putting on an opera, you want to reach opera fans. What age range do you tend to see at the opera in your area? Are there a lot of people from the age of 18-24, or more 35-55 ? (Hint: you can sometimes find event demographic data online depending on what type of event you’re putting on, to test this out, try Googling “Opera Attendee Demographics”)
Let’s say you find that the average age of your attendee is 48 years old, that’s already useful information. Many studies break down trends in social media usage among different age groups, and you can use the data from these studies to assess what social media platform will best reach a potential customer based on criteria such as their age. The Pew Research Center offers a good starting point for social media usage data.
Studies have shown that a 48 year old is statistically far more likely to be on Facebook than Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Snapchat. So instead of spreading your promotion efforts across every social media platform, focus on the one that’s most likely to work.
Customer profiles will vary depending on the specifics of your event. A punk show will draw a different crowd than an opera, and the way you promote these events will be different, but understanding the concept behind targeted advertising will help you adapt your marketing to best reach your potential attendees, and will ensure that you aren’t wasting your money promoting in ways that don’t reach the right people. While data and research can help you more effectively promote, you can also identify your target audience through observation:
- Think about your past attendees. If you have done events in the past that are similar to your current event, this puts you at an advantage. If you are able to, keep your past attendees up to date on your upcoming events, and consider how they heard about your events in the first place.
- Ask yourself: am I part of my own target audience? If you fit the profile of the type of person you’re trying to reach, think carefully about where you would best be reached by marketing, and plan your promotional strategies accordingly.
- Take a look at similar events in your area. Do some research into the methods other event producers in your area use to promote their events. Social media makes it much easier to see how events are marketed. Do you see a lot of paid Facebook ads for events in your area? Do you see event organizers asking people to join their email list? Have you noticed print advertising or calendar listings for events similar to yours?
- Compile a list of relevant places to advertise your event. Think about this broadly: if you get a lot of college students at your events, think about how your average college student gets their information (social media, college bulletin boards, flyers in on-campus laundromats, libraries etc.) How about an older demographic? Might they rely more on traditional media? Calendar listings? Posters?)
- Lastly, an excellent way to make contact with your target audience is to think about any contacts you might have within the community you are trying to reach. If you have even just one friend, colleague or employee who is willing to help you with your event and has a solid network within your target audience, they can be a great asset in promoting your event. They could send out invitations to all their friends on Facebook, post your event on social media and have it seen (and ideally shared!) by their friends who share similar interests.
The last step in effectively marketing to your target audience is remembering to think ahead about future events. At your next event, pay careful attention to who attends. Consider putting a questionnaire on your ticketing page that asks attendees how they heard about your event, and using this information to refine your advertising in the future.
If you have more questions about defining your target audience, contact our promotions team.Event Tips >
Got the event launching jitters? Sasha from our promo team gives solid advice on the most effective way to announce an event on social media. This strategy will help you get all those likes, shares, “going” and “interested” pouring in.
Use steps 1-5, before announcement and steps 6-10 at announcement.
1. Choose an ideal date and time to announce your event
Timing is crucial to ensure as many people as possible see your event. If you make your announcement at an hour when folks are likely asleep, at work or otherwise occupied, the announcement could flop.
The best time to announce an event on social media is generally in the morning around 11AM (in your event’s timezone), so that it will be up and visible when most people check their Facebook at lunch. The day you choose is important as well. Monday through Thursday is ideal, as people tend to have more unpredictable schedule on weekends and may miss the announcement.
Be attentive to other factors: it is ill-advised to announce on a date when there is an event that is similar to yours, or if there is big news that day, e.g. World Series Game, eclipse, UFO sighting, you get the idea.
2. Create a Brown Paper Tickets event page
You will want to have your Brown Paper Tickets ticketing page up and ready to go so that people can purchase tickets when they know about the event. Our system makes it easy to schedule the date when your sales begin, so you can create the event ahead of time, and have sales go live automatically when you announce your event.
3. Create your flyer image, Facebook Banner image and IG Square image
Compelling visual images are essential for effective event promotion. Your flyer design is more than the who/what/when/where/why; it’s the face of your event, so you want to make sure it looks good wherever you post it. The key is properly sized flyer images.
Create or ask your designer to create three versions of your flyer image, since they may need to adjust the layout for each one. If three separate designs are a bit too much, it’s still advisable to create some version of your flyer that will fit each of these sizes with all text visible.
A banner image:
Size: 1920 x 1080
Uses: Facebook Business page banner image, Facebook personal page banner image, Twitter header
A square image:
Size: 1000 x 1000
Uses: Instagram posts, Facebook profile pictures, Facebook posts, Twitter profile photos, general social media sharing
A flyer/poster sized image for printing:
Size: 1650 x 2550px (11 x 17 inches)
Uses: Printing handbills and posters, general posting.
While the standard size for printing flyers is 5.5 x 2.125in (a quarter of a standard 8.5 x 11in sheet of paper), the size listed above is big enough that it can be printed onto a poster or a flyer. However, because of the size of the image, the image will have a large file size. You may consider asking your designer to create a smaller version for social media posting.
4. Draft your announcement post for social media
Before you launch your event, write out the text you will post when you announce your event on social media. This post should be clear, concise and engaging, and contain basic details to stir up excitement.
There are a few ways you can go with this announcement. There’s the basic: “We are proud to present a night of roots reggae one night only at the Crocodile.” And the involved and unique: “Some try to avoid hordes of the undead on their weekend, we say Bring it On! Three screenings of Dawn Of The Dead, this weekend only at the Balboa Theater.”
Your goal is to get people to like, comment, or share the post, so make sure the content draws people in while staying on-brand.
Be brief. While you want to provide the important details, you don’t want the post to end up too long. Aim to strike a balance between informative and concise.
5. Make sure everyone on your team is ready to announce
Make sure anyone helping you with your event or willing volunteers (coworkers, friends, family) are available, at their computers, are given specific instructions to post about the event and send Facebook invitations to their friends. This team who agrees to help you ahead of time are your primary promoters. As you’ll see, a number of the following steps require you to communicate and work directly with them to maximize your announcement’s impact.
6. Create Facebook event page
Learn how to create Facebook event pages with these easy instructions.
Some notes about adding details to your event:
Host: This field allows you to specify your event’s host. If you have a Facebook business page, you will be able to select either your business page or your personal page. You can always add other people as hosts later. Depending on your settings, hosts have the ability to edit the event, or to add other hosts.
Event Photo: Use this field to upload your event’s banner image. The image will appear at the top of your event page. If you don’t have a flyer, consider using an image related to your event, a photo from a past event or a stock photo of relevant subject matter. As mentioned in Step 3, however, having a properly sized flyer image greatly improves the look of your event page, catches people’s attention, and provides all the necessary information about your event in one place.
Event Name: Enter a short, clear name for your event. Your event title may not be in all caps, and cannot contain excessive amounts of symbols. It also helps to make your event title easily searchable so that people can locate your event easily. “The Beatles Live at the Showbox” is a good title, “***BEATLES LIVE SEATTLE ((@ SHOWBOX))!!!!” is not.
Location: Enter the exact location of your event. Many venues will already have their information stored on Facebook, and will appear in the drop down menu as you type in the venue name. If you see your venue appear in this menu, select it.
Tags: Type in tags for your event and select the results from the drop down menu. These are based on things that people have selected as interested or “liked” on Facebook. These tags can be specific or more general, but should always be relevant to your event. Examples: theater, wrestling, Seattle techno, hiking live music.
Ticket URL: Enter the URL for your Brown Paper Tickets ticket sales page. This will provide an easy and direct link for people to purchase tickets to your event, and will appear near the top of your event page.
Co-hosts: If you would like to give anyone else access to edit your event page, enter their names here. If you would like to add another business page as a host, first add the individual who is the admin for the business page, and then they will be able to add the business page itself.
7. Send as many Facebook invitations as possible, and have your friends do the same
Once your Facebook event page is created, invite your primary promoters to attend. They will receive a notification on Facebook that they have been invited to the event, and this will signal to them that it is up and ready to be promoted. Once you and your primary promoters have clicked “going” on the event, each of you should send as many invitations as you can to anyone on your friends’ list who might be interested.
This may be the most important step in the announcement process as it provides an initial promo blast across your networks as well as your friends’ and coworkers’ networks. Think of it this way: if you and 4 other people each invite 500 friends, you’ve just advertised to 500 people instantly, without spending a penny.
8. Make your announcement posts
Once you and your primary promoters have sent invitations on Facebook, it is time to post the pre-written announcement you drafted in step four.
Facebook uses a number of algorithms to determine how many people see posts that you make. To make sure your post gets as much visibility as possible, keep in mind that the following post types get the best visibility:
- Short (90-140 character) text posts
- Posts with images, the less text on the image, the better
- Posts that do not explicitly mention the fact that they are promoting an event and avoid using certain key words such as “event,” “buy tickets” or other terminology that clearly indicates your post is (essentially) an advertisement.
- Posts that do not contain direct links to Facebook event pages or Brown Paper Tickets ticketing pages.
What exactly should you post?
Your square flyer image or a visually engaging photo of your performers (or press shots if available,) accompanied by your announcement text that you prepared earlier. Make this post from both your Facebook business page and your personal page.
How do you direct people to buy tickets if you can’t link them to the ticketing page in your post?
Put the link to your ticketing page or Facebook event in the comments of your own post, after the post has been up for a few minutes.
Facebook uses automated systems to detect when people are promoting their events, and if you’re not paying for advertising, Facebook will make sure your post goes to the bottom of your friends’ feeds. Posts with just pictures or text tend to get more “likes” and comments, and are thus seen by more people. You can use this to your advantage; make a post that doesn’t contain an event link–at first. Then add the link in the comments once the post starts to gain visibility.
Additionally, post a link to your Brown Paper Tickets ticketing page in the “Discussion” section of your Facebook Event Page, and pin the post (here are instructions).
9. Change your Facebook profile/Business page banner image, and encourage your friends to do the same
By changing the banner image on your page and on your profile, you are effectively getting an extra promo boost every time someone visits your page. If you encourage your primary promoters to change their banner images as well, it will increase the number of people who see your flyer image across your promoters’ networks.
10. Make a follow up announcement for anyone who missed the boat
Once your Facebook announcement is done, you’ll want to make sure you follow up later in the evening with an additional post so that anyone who was busy or away from during your earlier announcement gets caught up. The ideal time to make this post depends on your audience, but 6-9PM is usually a safe bet as a lot of people are home.
Announce on your other networks
Have a Twitter account? Tweet out your square flyer image and a short announcement about your event. Be sure to tag your artists or performers in the Tweet if they are on Twitter, and create a Bitly link to direct people to your Brown Paper Tickets ticketing page.
Read more on effective Twitter hashtagging.
To create a short link, use Bitly.
Got an Instagram? Post your square flyer image there too, as well as a selection of hashtags relevant to your event. Since Instagram doesn’t let you put hyperlinks in posts, put the link to your Brown Paper Tickets ticketing page in your Instagram Bio, and include a note in your post saying “Ticket link in bio.”
For more information on Instagram’s “Link in bio” and why it’s great, check out this article.
Don’t forget to cross promote across all your social media channels. Occasionally post a link to your Facebook event page on Twitter, or a link to your Instagram on Facebook. Sending traffic between your social media feeds will help boost your followers across all platforms.
Now that you’ve completed these 10 steps, you’re done for the day. From preparation to announcement to the follow up, by carefully planning your announcement you should see a solid response from your social media network. Don’t forget, however, that promoting events is all about the long game. A strong announcement is important, but consistently posting about and promoting your event between now and the event date is just as important. Make sure that the event doesn’t fade from your network’s memories—build hype as it gets closer and closer.
Interested in learning more about announcing and promoting your event? Contact the Brown Paper Tickets promo department.Event Tips >