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Theatre leaders: it’s time for some real talk. Marketing is crucial to the success of your company and is not something that should be considered an unaffordable luxury or an afterthought. Marketing is the key to building your theatre’s brand, expanding your audience, and increasing your ticket sales. Here’s why:
The visual aspects that make up a brand’s identity – colors, fonts, graphics, slogans, etc. – contribute to its recognizability factor, which is important for building and retaining an audience (more on that later). In other words, marketing builds your company’s reputation. Are you cultivating your marketing accordingly?
Whether it’s for a community theatre in a small town, a storefront theatre in a large city, or a LORT A house, marketing is essential for creating and claiming a spot in people’s minds as a brand they know, like, and trust for their arts entertainment. The more you consistently market your theatre, the more people will be reminded that they should really come see a show.
Speaking of seeing your show, do you have full houses every night of the run? Are you meeting your sales goals? Do you even have a sales goal?
“If you build it, they will come” is a great slogan for a baseball film, but if you want people to come to your show, you need to tell them about your show. Marketing is the only thing that is going to get butts in seats, and you need to have a game plan.
Just like your productions have timelines for building the show (rehearsals, set build, costume construction, etc.) before the actual run of said show, marketing works the same way. A lot of planning and designing happens before a marketing campaign is unveiled to the public. And keep in mind that as each production has its own script, set, costumes, and light plot, a unique marketing strategy should be designed for each production.
This is where the nitty gritty of marketing comes into play. Your theatre’s email newsletter, media buys, social media, mailers, and any other advertising methods all need to be treated with the care and time they require. And yes, they do require quite a bit of time. But remember, investing in your marketing will result in higher ticket sales and bigger audiences.
Just like theatre, marketing is all about storytelling and relationships. Are you targeting the right demographic for your current production and then creating a story with your marketing? Is that story so enticing that it makes buying a ticket the easy and obvious choice? It’s really as simple as that.
The first step is to determine your target audiences, which will have some variation from show to show. The next step is to find out what types of media this audience consumes and then go advertise in exactly those places. Why? Because getting in front of more like-minded people and enticing them with your marketing is key to growing your audience.
It is also essential to create marketing pieces that invite engagement from your audience. This includes (but is not limited to) consistent email newsletters with irresistible links to click, social media posts that are intentionally social in nature, and post-show surveys that audiences are incentivized to complete.
Marketing is the bridge between a theatre company and its audience, and the goal is to keep the traffic flowing in both directions. On the Stage’s business tools are here to help.
To find out how On The Stage can help improve your ticketing, promotion, and audience engagement, schedule a 20-30 minute call with us today!