Disruptive Marketing is a Gift Artists Can Use to Their Advantage

In case you haven't experienced it, marketing is tough!  Thanks to the rapid growth in technology, our increased need for immediacy and the decrease in our attention spans, consumers and patrons are overwhelmed and over saturated with options promising them a better quality of life: everything from products, services and entertainment.  Even the most influential and expert marketing professionals are struggling to define easy, effective marketing strategies for anyone’s use.  We are in the midst of disruption in marketing and self-promotional efforts! 

No wonder many independent artists struggle with marketing and self-promotion for their own artistic practice! 

For a more positive experience managing marketing strategies, there are two ways an artist can embrace the disruption: 1.) Think of the disruption as a gift for your creativity; and 2.) Focus on listening to your audience as they grow with you.    

Instead of feeling overwhelmed and defeated, artists can look at the disruption in marketing as a gift - one that artists can take full advantage of.   This major disruption means that there are no right OR wrong ways to go about grabbing an audience’s attention.  Utilise your unique creativity as much as you use your creative abilities within your arts projects.  Artists challenge audiences by presenting ideas that provoke emotion and intellectual thought or conversation.  Similarly, artists can create marketing content that promotes their work as well as challenges marketing norms.  By focusing on the use of the artist's gift through marketing creative individuals, the artists, may become influential to changes in others' approaches.

Once your marketing strategy is created and executed, start focusing your energy on listening to your audience with intent and purpose.  Be mindful of their reactions.  Ask for genuine feedback from your audience in order to what within the strategy clearly communicated.  Obtain information like was content presented on social media effective; was an advertisement in a publication catchy; did the strategy spark conversation within the community that spread word of mouth?  These critical questions can help focus your future efforts so that your efforts are lighter and your budget stronger. 

Do not feel overwhelmed by the disruption in marketing.  Instead think of it as a gift that allows the artist creative freedom to connect with an audience unbounded by rules.  Once your content is released, switch your focus to listening to your audience for critical feedback.  Knowing what content worked, where it was placed and how it resonated with your audience will save you stress and money for the future.  Feel FREE, have FUN and get FOCUSED about your marketing and audience development strategies today!

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For support on your marketing and audience development strategies, book a FREE 30-minute consult!  Email april(at)bcausearts(dot)com(dot)au.

 

 

 

Three Tips to Focus the Art of Marketing a Festival Event

Many Australian independent artists are in the midst of festival season: Perth is half-way through its Fringe World festival, the Adelaide Fringe Festival begins approximately in three weeks, and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival commences in about two months.  What an exciting time!

I hope that by now many festival participants have begun cultivating ideas regarding marketing their event.  There are many ways to promote and inform audiences of your event, but where to begin?

Before embarking on your festival experience; even before diving into boosting social media posts, hiring a publicist or sending out emails to friend, family or subscribers; I’d like to offer three often overlooked marketing tips independent artists can use to focus a clear and simple marketing strategy for any festival event.

Read festival annual reports – Every year, festivals survey their audience members in order to collect data that will be used for an annual report.  This report highlights the turnout of the general festival experience, often including overall attendance numbers, a breakdown into audience demographics (age, profession, residency, etc.) and artist participation factors (number of participants, number of events, ticket sales revenue, etc.).  The kind of information that will be most helpful to an independent artist is the audience demographic breakdown.  Take note of the following information:

  1. The number of tickets sold throughout the festival
  2. The number of patrons who attended
  3. Residential information of patrons (locals VS regional, international or inter-state visitors)
  4. Occupation of patrons
  5. Number of artist participants and number of events

By breaking down these festival factors, an artist is able to identify how their event will cater to festival patrons.  Additionally, this kind of information will help an artist focus their efforts in executing a clear and thorough marketing strategy.

Research the venue’s audience breakdown – An artist has been assigned a venue ever since their festival application was approved.  More than likely, the venue is a space that has a regular attendance of patrons.  Familiarise yourself with the venue and its patrons.  Browse the venue website to inform yourself of previous and upcoming events.  Find out if the venue is active on social media.  If so, follow them closely to discover who they communicate with (their regulars) and how they communicate to the general public.  Additionally, initiate communication by sending an email to the venue management team: ask them questions about the space, their events and their regulars.  If they are active on social media, ask if they would be willing to share your Facebook event with their followers.  If you can, visit the venue on occasion to observe the crowd.  Your visit can also be a great opportunity to spark conversation with patrons and staff.

Focus on building a reputation – It is known that the first impression is the best impression to offer.  Build a strong reputation for yourself by creating an experience your audience will remember for a long time.  Think about ways you can make your audience feel welcomed to the space, appreciated and acknowledged for taking the time to see your work.  The emphasis should be on ways to encourage your audience to come back for more.  If you’ve created a caring, quality experience, most likely your audience will encourage others to attend your show too – word of mouth marketing sells more tickets than any other strategy!

These overlooked marketing tips can inspire, ignite and focus your festival event marketing campaign.  Most importantly these tips encourage creativity and fun, which in turn will make marketing and self-promotion feel a lot freer and easy.

Looking for assistance to devise a marketing strategy for your arts event?  Click HERE to book a FREE 30-minute consultation, and mention this article to receive 20% off any BCauseARTS marketing & audience development service.  Feel FREE, have FUN and get FOCUSED about marketing your arts practice today!

The Reward for Artists to Create Valuable P2P Marketing

ArtsHub posted an interesting article last week about the latest marketing trend sweeping across the globe – gamification!  Gamification puts marketing onto smartphones and hand-held devises to engage audiences with fun activities.  (Remember Pokemon-Go?  A solid example of gamification!) Additionally, gamification allows the producer to capture audience stats instantly.  You can read the full article HERE, which highlights how Adelaide Fringe Festival is using gamification to engage with their audience members. 

This got me thinking – what’s the production cost to add gamification to any marketing strategy?  Diving into some research, I discovered that most experts agree the price tag for developing gamification marketing varies depending on features to install and information the producer wishes to capture.  Further more, developing gamification is about time, effort and brainpower, which requires a lot of experience in UX development and having a focused direction.  As independent artists, many of whom run their own small business, you have to ask is it really worth incorporating into your marketing?

But what is worth an independent artist's marketing efforts is focusing on P2P marketing.  P2P, or people to people marketing, involves face-to-face communication and real-time relationship development.  Most importantly, P2P marketing is about providing quality customer care to your audience.  Customer service involves creating an experience from beginning to end.  And by 'beginning' I mean the moment the audience member walks into the venue door; and by 'end' I mean the moment the audience member walks out the venue door. 

Most venue foyers are designed to sell snacks and beverages before the event.  That’s great!  Do independent artists see any of those sales profits from food and beverages?  You would if you sparked a deal with the venue space, but highly unlikely. 

It is imperative that independent artists begin thinking about creating an experience outside of food and beverage sales. 

A good place to begin is to remember that, like visiting a new country or entering into someone else’s home, audience members are stepping into unknown territory.

Begin 2017 with YOUR Vision and Work Backwards

Happy New Year!  I do hope that everyone had a fantastic time spent with family, friends and loved ones.

I love the holidays because I take advantage of the break in order to read to relax.  And that’s not to say that my mind wasn’t hunting for ideas to share with you regarding marketing and audience development.  In fact, I found many inspirational articles, books and blog posts about ways to further the development of relationships with audience members and innovative strategies we can use to market our arts practice.

However, I did discover that many articles tended to encourage their readers to move quickly past what many had expressed to be a begrudging 2016 and count down their top suggestions for forging ahead into 2017.  These included ideas about goal setting, the use of new technology in order to improve personal productivity and organisation, and noting daily rituals of top successful individuals that help make the most of their productivity.  As I do my best to avoid doing the same, I’d rather share my favourite advice read: work backwards.

Wait, what?  Work backwards?  Yes!  Almost every article or blog post seemed to agree that the best way to work forward throughout 2017 is to work backwards.

What does this mean?  How do we work backwards?  As I am sure you have already done, been doing, or plan on doing, to help kick-start your year take some time to set some goals.  What do YOU want to achieve in 2017?   It’s important to set both personal and creative practice goals.  And I suggest that the perfect place to start is by using your most valuable tool: your imagination.  Creative individuals have a lucrative gift of imagination.  Put it to good use by closing your eyes and imagining…it’s December 31st 2017.  Answer for yourself the following questions: what will you have accomplished by December 31st?  Be specific: where are you?  What are you wearing?  Who is around you?  What have you earned financially (and emotionally)?  Remember, there are no right or wrong answers so dream as big and as detailed as possible.

Next, work backwards: what will you have accomplished 6 months from today (by June 30st 2017)?  Where are you?  Who do you associate with?  What have you earned financially and emotionally by this time?

Continue asking yourself these questions for 3 months (or March 31st), 1 month (or February 9th) and 2 weeks (or January 23rd) from now.

Lastly, read out loud what you’ve written, reading backwards of course!  Start with your achievements in 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year.  Might I also advise to read these goals backwards (AND forwards for extra points) everyday to keep yourself focused, motivated and persistent. I hope these goals showcase a productive and successful 2017!