It’s an intangible thing, but you know it when you hear it, see it, or even feel it. That’s right – it’s a buzz! No, we’re not talking about bees or that annoying hum of overhead lights; we’re talking about that excitement that hits right before your theatre production goes live!

Creating and maintaining buzz can be achieved through pre-performance and pre-sale marketing efforts. After all, the foundation of a successful showcase often lies in the strategies implemented during the pre-sale phase. If you’re wondering how to create buzz before tickets go live, On The Stage offers a few marketing strategies to help. 

The Importance of Pre-Ticket Sales Marketing 

Marketing should be an ongoing effort for your theatre, but it becomes vitally important right before tickets go on sale for your next show. Why? Well, pre-ticket sales marketing: 

Builds Anticipation 

Think of watching the trailer for your favorite movie for the first time – or hearing a snippet of a song from a beloved artist’s new album. That anticipation is important, because it keeps interest in a brand or event high, even if nothing has truly been released yet. The same goes for your theatre – you want patrons to feel excited about your newest show long before opening night. 

Builds Awareness 

The majority of patrons look for information about an event online prior to attending – and theatre patrons are no different. So, it’s vital to create content for educational and marketing purposes prior to tickets going on sale. Pre-ticket sales marketing will get you on the radar of not just existing patrons, but new ones as well. 

Boosts Attendance 

Going hand-in-hand with No. 2, if more people are aware of your show, more people will attend your show. So, getting your marketing efforts started early guarantees a larger turn-out when the curtain rises. 

Increases Organic Traffic and Engagement 

No matter which marketing route you choose, pre-sale marketing tactics will drive more traffic to your show site and to your social media pages. More traffic translates to more engagement – which can be a great revenue driver down the line with sponsorships, business partnerships, and more. 

How to Create Buzz Before Tickets Go on Sale 

Now that we know why pre-sale marketing is a great idea, how do we go about creating that intangible buzz for your theatre production? A few ideas include: 

Creating Teaser Campaigns 

Teaser campaigns can be an effective way to build excitement. A great way to do so is to release small snippets of content over time – leaving your patrons wanting more. One of the easiest and most common ways to start off a teaser campaign is with a “coming soon” landing page, and graphics relevant to your newest project all on social media. The key is to never give too much away at once! 

Utilize Social Media 

No matter the number of social media followers you have, it’s an excellent tool to utilize in your pre-sale marketing. Consider creating countdowns to an event announcement or an event itself, and be sure to post about the event, sale, or show consistently across all channels. 

Additionally, social media is a great platform for future patrons and audience members to ask questions about your theatre or performance. 

You can also utilize paid posts on social media if you’re looking for additional exposure. Sponsored posts are an effective way of reaching an audience that’s highly targeted, but doesn’t already follow you. 

Tap Community Partners 

Whether you’re a school program, community theatre, professional entity, or something in between, you likely surround yourself with community partners and business sponsors who can help spread the word before sales begin.

Ensure your partners have promotional materials ready to share with their patrons, friends, and colleagues. Set up posters in their storefronts or come together to create discounts or promo code deals that business sponsors and your theatre production can utilize in tandem. 

Partner Up with Local Media/Influencers 

Some of the most successful ways to enact pre-sale marketing are actually the simplest. This includes spreading the word through local media outlets and popular influencers in your area.

Contact newspapers, magazines, news channels, podcasters, and other news organizations in your area to see if they have air time or space in their newest edition to discuss your upcoming show.

Along the same lines, reach out to popular influencers in your region to discuss potential collaborations. Their engaged social media followers could soon become yours! 

Don’t Overlook Email Marketing

Email marketing is simple yet incredibly effective. Alongside spreading buzz for your showcase, email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your attendees before and after the event. Remember – people who signed up for your email marketing information are already interested in what you have to say, more so than people who find your site via search engines or see an ad on social media. So, these patrons should be your first target when enacting pre-sale marketing efforts via email. 

Be sure the content of your emails is brief, effective, and educational and includes engaging subject lines and snappy visuals. 

Enact Giveaways

No matter who you are, free stuff will always be exciting. That’s why enacting social media or email giveaways before ticket sales for your theatre production go live is a great way to create buzz for your show.  

When it comes to giveaway content, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Merchandise or free tickets are always a great place to start.  In short, offering something a little extra to your patrons – as a way of thanking them for registering for the show – gives extra value to your audience. It increases loyalty and engagement, too! 

How On The Stage Can Help 

Looking to drive community engagement, create buzz, and increase ticket sales? On The Stage (OTS) offers best-in-class social, digital, email, print, and traditional marketing and promotional tools to help get you all that and more. Get the word out about your upcoming theatre productions to generate more awareness and increase ticket sales with a comprehensive marketing suite.

With The OTS all-in-one consolidated platform, you can: 

  • Increase awareness of your program through social platform integrations, automated email marketing, and show art
  • Generate more revenue by selling tickets and merchandise through Broadway-style show sites or an embeddable ticketing widget 
  • Grow your patron base with ticket buyer outreach, patron tracking, and engagement tools
  • Fund your program with robust fundraising campaigns built on fundraising best practices
  • And so much more!

So what are you waiting for? Book a personalized demo with On The Stage today to get your pre-sale marketing efforts underway.