This article is by the team behind the branding division. These guys have done branding and marketing campaigns for dozens of west-end shows including mamma mia, wicked and tons more, so when it comes to marketing for theatres I think they know what they are doing!
Instead of just explaining some tips and giving you an outline, I thought I’d instead talk about a 5 step process we go through with all new marketing prospects. These are clients that are looking for brand campaigns. Usually they already have a relatively large presence but we are looking to sell tickets (or products) as well as build the brand.
Stage 1: Social
Social media marketing has become a bit spammy of late, but when done correctly it is one of the most powerful marketing methods of the century! Mixing social with promoted posts, means you can get your event in front of thousands if not millions of people in about an hour! Writing these ads doesn’t take a lot of time either, but first you need the correct social accounts and have them optimised for your specific goal.
For example, all businesses regardless of size should have a facebook page, linkedin page, twitter page and one other social profile. This usually depends on the industry the business is in. For example if our client is in the fitness industry then I’d recommend snapchat or instagram. If your business is more commercial then you can look into smaller marketing social channels and not really worry about the size of the channel, just get some relevance! So our first step is to get our social accounts either created OR if they are already created, which they usually are, then I would recommend optimising them perfectly.
Stage 2: SEO & PPC
SEO and PPC are the backbone of commercial marketing online. Many people might email you daily about how they can “get you to the top of Google” which as you know is all BS. But the people that are actually reliable can make your business a lot of money! Personally we outsource all of our seo and ppc services to HQ SEO. This is for both client work and personal promotions, but the ROI is usually kept constant.
A quick note on ROI of both SEO and PPC. PPC stands for pay per click and is generally associated with Google AdWords, which is the biggest and probably still the best PPC platform online. Any client that signs up with us will get a PPC campaign because its so dam effective. Picture this, you sign up and 4 hours later you get your first lead…. That’s a very quick ROI indeed! You’ll start earning money from day 1. SEO is the complete opposite, it takes a long time to rank organically in Google for 3 main reasons, but mainly if you could rank quickly you wouldn’t need PPC and hence Google would lose money!!! SEO’s ROI is exponential BUT it takes a lot longer to get to that break even level, for example it might take 6 months to rank for a keyword and profit from it, whereas you can have an ad up in about 6 minutes using PPC. Generally getting a happy mix is the best method. We get in motion both campaigns in the first week of sign-up.
Stage 3: Content Marketing
This tends to come in the discussion of SEO and paid advertising nowadays but personally I think its something very different. We don’t do as much content marketing as we should, I’ll be the first to admit that and I think our CEO knows that too. The issue is the risk vs reward formula is usually too difficult and also it takes a hell of a long time too! Even if you create the greatest piece of content on earth, chances are you won’t profit from it for month! Even if it does go viral too. Sometimes it is just easier to set in place a PPC campaign and get the company some quick results!
Once we’ve done stage 1 and 2, which is usually in the first couple of weeks of a client signing up, we will get going on a content marketing plan. Although this is difficult, using the correct strategy you can “literally” profit from a couple of articles for the next decade! Good content marketing campaigns are evergreen, meaning you can make money from a article that was written years ago. If it has the potential to go re-viral or ranks (seo) for some keywords then there is no reason why you won’t have a constant stream of traffic and potential leads coming to your site.
Stage 4: Creative Marketing
This section is one where we don’t reveal everything. But if the budget for the client allows it, then you should always try some creative marketing techniques. This can be anything from dropping giant blue balls across the city, to simply creating a great ad and putting it in a local magazine. For example, reverse graffiti is one of the fastest growing marketing methods and it works! Use this to promote hashtags and get the social buzz going for your business, this might be the spark your business needs to explode your sales and get your business really on the map!
Stage 5: Review & analysis
Review everything you do. Even if it didn’t work very well. Analysing marketing and branding campaigns means you can constantly tweak and improve the ones that are still running. The easiest way to analysis a campaign’s success or failure is to see how many people heard about it in a specific industry or location. Another great way is to look at metrics such as sales, followers and likes…. Increased? Good job!
Branding is very easy. You just have to know what works in a specific niche or industry and repeat this for your clients. The easiest way? Simply develop a system that works in any niche, and add touches for that specific niche or industry. Easy peasy.
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