Facebook is making it harder for bands to promote and be seen unless they pay to be seen, and on Twitter your tweets have a half life of about 2.8-3.2 hours—and that’s only if your tweet is popular. It’s become increasingly easy for social media consumers to skim over your content, so when you post about that new album or upcoming show, that information is starting to be swept under the rug, and maybe your friends and family can only care so much about your band for so long. While consistently posting the same thing over and over again with different wording will get the word out there, at a certain point, people get bored. So how do you change the way you market your show so that you increase awareness and crowd size?
The first rule is to strategize. Even if this is your first show or the number of shows you play is infrequent, you should be strategizing and planning the lead time you have until you reach the day of the show (DOS). For example, while it’s tempting to take any chance you get to perform, do some research of your own before agreeing to a show to be sure that playing this show will benefit you as an artist. You don’t want to be a hip-hop act that plays a bluegrass venue.
Limit how many shows you play. As with anything, oversaturation isn’t ideal. If you make yourself too available in one area, people will start to care less and realize that when you play a show it’s not a rare occasion. People will feel as though they can “just see you next week (or month).” Don’t be that band.
Guerrilla marketing. Have you already posted a million flyers at local coffee shops and university campuses? If the answer is yes and the numbers at your show are still stagnant, it’s time to try something new. Stop making flyers and Facebook posts, and do something really out of the ordinary. Consider what season you’re in...maybe you can do a contest where a fan will win free tickets and beanie with your bands logo on it. Maybe you can give away free cheap bracelets that come with a ticket discount code or some free swag when the fans arrive at the show. Think outside the box here and generate some new excitement.
Cross promote with the right businesses. Believe it or not, your music is a brand. If you are thinking of promoting your music at a business or radio station, make sure it’s the right one. It all goes back to the first piece of advice: strategize. Always be sure that when you are cross-promoting that the two markets go together hand-in-hand. Business and music business are all about mutually beneficial relationships—for you AND the other company involved—so be sure to keep this in mind.
Take a break! If you are finding yourself at a point where you can’t come up with a new idea that might work, take a little hiatus from playing shows and regroup. Go out in the world, create new memories, gain new experiences, and then apply those lessons to your future marketing once you you’ve regrouped.
Got any ideas to add? Leave them in the comments below.