#TheatreMonth D.I.Fri: 4 Ways to Ensure Your Show Takes the Spotlight/
Is it that time of the week again already? Well, that’s just as well, because we love Fridays at Ticket Tailor, mostly because we can bring you our latest D.I.Fri tips!
Creating work in a very saturated market means it can be very difficult to stand out. There’s nothing worse than knowing your show is a stand out piece, yet you just aren’t attracting the right kind of attention. But fear not, for today’s D.I.Fri, we discuss 4 ways to ensure your show takes the spotlight:
1. Create a buzz
This sounds obvious, but this is something that so many people miss out on. If you’re an indie company producing a brilliant new show, get some critically acclaimed people to give their opinion. You can contact reviewers on all different scales, from public media level all the way to independent blog style review companies. Most of the latter are more than happy to review newer shows, and if you can, make sure that any reviewers are taken care of. Speaking from experience, a complimentary glass of wine can go a long way!
You can also contact industry professionals, and encourage your cast to. Again, depending on the scale of your show and the profile of the performers in it, you can reach out to agents, casting directors, artistic directors, the list is as long as you want it to be. Try to approach people with the mindset that you want these people to help you in the future, either by recommending your work or by wanting to work with you themselves. The industry is really as small as people say it is!
2. Social media
Ah yes, the most popular marketing tool of the century. Most people are on social media these days, so it’s important to be tech savvy. Be mindful about not just the content you’re posting, but the timings of them as well. Flooding your potential audience can scare them away, as there’s nothing uglier than desperation (even if it is true!). Low quality content, spelling and grammar mistakes, over selling and poor timing choices can all look quite bad when you’re trying to look professional.
Another handy tip is to not underestimate the tool of tagging. Tag everyone involved in your production and use hashtags (but not too many!). This will enhance the ability for your show to be found.
You can also pay for targeted advertisement on social media. This can be very beneficial if done correctly, but it can be a lot of money spent on quite little gain. Consider how active your audience is on certain platforms, and the times they are active as well. It’s not beneficial to post all of your content for the day at 10am if the primary engagement time for your audience is around 6pm.
Social media is a fantastic way not only to market your show, but to utilise things such as crowd funding. Again, being careful not to over saturate your audience with spam of asking them ever-so-kindly to donate some money towards the production, you can connect with groups who share a similar interest and promote your shows. There’s nothing wrong with tapping into the online network that people build due to shared interests, and often people are willing to be supportive in whichever way they can.
3. Create a Trailer
How many times have you been stood in a queue scrolling through Facebook, and you pause when a video appears? You may not even have the sound playing, but I bet there are times that you’re intrigued.
According to Social Media Today, video posts on Facebook have 135% greater organic reach than photo posts. Whilst it is important to make sure that your poster is attractive and designed well, never underestimate the power of a trailer. Nowadays it’s not difficult to either find a crew who have camera equipment, editing skills and software and lighting, and all you need is locations after that. With proper advance planning, this doesn’t need to break the bank and can be done for as little as anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds.
Your trailer doesn’t need to be a direct give-away of the events that happen in the show, in fact, some of the best trailers are those that have just given a direct feel of the piece, rather than covering any of the content involved in the piece itself. Get creative and see what you can make! Take a look at the promotional trailer for ‘Angry’ (written by Phillip Ridley) at the Southwark playhouse, which premiered last year. Trailer director Jack Silver cleverly created imagery throughout the trailer indicative of the feel of the piece, without including any specific content from the play.
4. Discounts and Perks
People love a good bargain! And when it comes to theatre tickets with discounts, people will be even more enticed.
Competitions are a great way to build up attention, as well as offering the winners a discount or freebie of some kind. Careful marketing can help this become quite a popular point of interest.
Theatre discounts are another great way to entice bums on to seats. A great way is to create some kind of promotional code which can be entered to receive the arranged discount. Think about the people you want to offer this discount to. Do you have a lot of drama students in your area? Do you have people who will likely resonate with the piece but perhaps otherwise wouldn’t be able to come? Do you want to offer a straight discount per ticket, or perhaps offer a 2-for-1 basis on tickets sold? There are positives for both options. Ticket Tailor actually do provide this option, which is fab news!
Another great way to provide a discount is by offering previews. These are the shows that are publicised before ‘press night’, and are usually sold at a cheaper cost due to the production being in a semi-finalised state, where last minute tweaks could be made to the production. Previews are not only a nice opportunity for your audience to see the show at a slightly lowered cost, but it’s a fantastic opportunity for you to see your show in action for the first few times and change anything that doesn’t quite work now that the audience is in the room. It’s valuable to have that feedback!
If your cast is quite well established or perhaps the theme of the show is an important topic that society needs to discuss, why not organise some kind of Q+A session after certain performances? Terri Paddock is known for hosting some fantastic Q+A’s after performances, and these are often live streamed so that they are reachable for all. It’s a fantastic tool to get your show reaching a wider audience.
At the end of the day, if you have a really good show, selling tickets is perfectly manageable. Have confidence in your show and use clever marketing to attract the right kind of attention to your show, and yours could be the one everyone talks about for a long time coming.