As the entertainment industry continues to evolve, it’s becoming increasingly important for theatre leaders to find new and effective ways to attract and engage with audiences. While producing high-quality shows is essential, it’s equally crucial to ensure that those shows are seen by as many people as possible. This is where innovative marketing solutions come into play.

At On The Stage, we understand the challenges that theatre leaders face in gaining and retaining new audience members. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing expert advice and guidance on how to achieve this goal. From traditional methods like print and online advertising to cutting-edge strategies like social media and influencer marketing, we offer a wide range of solutions to help you reach your target audience.

Whether you’re planning an in-person showcase or a hybrid production that blends live and virtual elements, we can help you get more seats filled and more eyes on your show.

See What’s Working, See What Isn’t

It’s important to continually assess your marketing strategies and pivot if necessary. If you’re in the midst of a marketing evaluation, ask yourself if you’re truly on target to reach your goals. Check email subscribers, open rates, social media interactions, unsubscribe rates for email lists and the overall growth of your brand.

Make notes of where you can improve, as well as the types of content that gain you the most traction. After studying your metrics and making a few adjustments, roll out the new and improved plan with the goal of enticing your target demographic and growing your audience.

If you’re new to the marketing game, here are some questions to help you assess your current marketing strategies:

  1. Who is my target audience and how do I reach them effectively?
  2. What are the most successful marketing tactics I have used in the past?
  3. What are my competitors doing that I am not?
  4. What can I do to improve the visibility and reputation of my theatre program through marketing?
  5. How can I use customer feedback to improve my marketing strategies and overall program experience?

Optimize Your Online Presence 

To attract more audience members, it’s essential to have a strong online presence. This means ensuring that your branding is on point across all digital channels, from your website to your social media profiles. To make your branding pop, focus on creating a consistent visual identity, using eye-catching graphics and images, and providing high-quality content that engages and informs your target audience! Here are some things to consider as well:

  • Boosting your social media efforts: Use tools like automated marketing emails, pre-show engagement, and post-show communications to keep your audience engaged and informed about upcoming shows. On The Stage’s ticket buyer outreach program can help!
  • Creating Facebook and event pages: Curate top-of-mind awareness for your theatre by creating a Facebook Business page and event pages for each show. Regularly post updates and engage with your audience on these pages to increase visibility and attract new fans.
  • Showcasing performances on YouTube: Build excitement for your upcoming shows by creating and managing a YouTube account to showcase behind-the-scenes moments and snippets from previous performances. Share this content on social media and your website to give your audience a taste of what they can expect.
  • Improving SEO for online platforms: Optimize your website and other online platforms to ensure that you pop up consistently in relevant Google searches. Use keywords and optimize your content to increase visibility and attract new fans.
  • Listing your theatre on major sites: Drive attendance and attract new fans by ensuring that your theatre is listed on major sites that people use to make entertainment decisions. This includes everything from Yelp to your city’s chambers of commerce, as well as online social calendars and local publications’ calendars.

Consider Hybrid Options

In recent years, the entertainment industry has seen a growing trend towards hybrid shows that combine in-person and digital elements. These shows offer a unique opportunity to expand your audience reach and build engagement with fans who may not be able to attend in person. By offering video-on-demand or live streaming options, you can make your show accessible to anyone with an internet connection, regardless of their location.

If you’re considering a hybrid show, it’s important to build a marketing campaign around this new format. By promoting the digital aspect of your show, you can build a digital audience in advance and ensure that they are ready to tune in when the show goes live. You can use social media, email marketing, and other digital channels to generate excitement and anticipation around the show, and to showcase the unique features that make it stand out from traditional in-person performances.

Cultivate Community Partnerships

The importance of community partnerships can’t be overstated. Aside from organic marketing efforts, partnering with businesses and organizations can provide a variety of benefits to your theatre company. Here are some ways that these partnerships can benefit you:

  • Monetary donations: Partnering with local businesses and organizations can result in financial support for your theatre company. This could come in the form of direct donations, grants, or fundraising events that you collaborate on.
  • In-kind donations: In-kind donations are non-monetary contributions that businesses can make to support your theatre production. This could include donations of time, props, costumes, services, or manual labor, which can help to reduce your overall production costs.
  • Increase visibility: Sharing production artwork posters to community bulletin boards, offering merchandise at your local coffee house, etc. helps get the word out about your show and serves as consistent reminders!
  • Food/drink coupons: Offering discounts or promotions on food or drinks at local businesses can be a mutually beneficial call to action. By promoting these discounts to your audience, you can encourage them to patronize local establishments, while also potentially receiving a percentage of the proceeds.
  • Sponsorship/ad placement: Partnering with businesses can also provide an opportunity for them to sponsor your production or place an ad in your show program. This can help to offset production costs and increase exposure for both your theatre company and the sponsoring business.
  • Digital partnerships: Social media promotions and other digital partnerships can help to increase your online presence and attract new audiences. By collaborating with local businesses and organizations on digital campaigns, you can reach a wider audience and build engagement with potential fans.

Turn to Your Students

An in-house marketing team can provide a cost-effective and dedicated approach to promoting your show, allowing you to tap into the creativity, knowledge, and passion of your own team to develop a tailored marketing strategy.These include:

  • A budget-friendly option that relies solely on the energy and enthusiasm of your cast and crew
  • Organic marketing opportunities like word of mouth or social media promotion to get your message across
  • A crash course in marketing for students interested in the industry
  • An increase in overall passion for your show from the community

Get Social

Social media is easily one of your biggest assets when it comes to marketing your show. A great question to ask yourself in regards to your social media marketing is this: Is your communication on these platforms a two-way street, or is it just you with a microphone? If it’s the second, work for more engagement by asking questions, responding to comments on your posts, tagging partners and conducting polls. People just want their voices to be heard!

It’s easy to say you’ll up your marketing efforts, but harder to put that idea into practice. If you need help crafting your marketing plan for next season, let On The Stage help; book a demo today.

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