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7 Ways to Promote Your Summer Stock Production Online

The summer stock season is in full swing! What better time than now for some tips on how you can promote your production online?

Listed below are 7 marketing tips that we came up with — some of which we’re sure you already knew about or have mastered by now. But, hopefully, there is something here that you had not considered yet, and might be worth trying as something new to add to your marketing plan.

1. Video:

Create a YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/) channel for your theater and incorporate your videos on your site, blog, Facebook account, and wherever else you have an online presence.  The video can range from movie trailer-style, to informational, or (my favorite) behind the scenes.

Here is a video that The Village Players (Wolfeboro, New Hampshire) created for their production of Unnecessary Farce last summer:

Though not a very high-end production, they were smart to arm themselves with a handy video to integrate with their marketing plan for this production.

2. Social Media:

Easy, effective, and FREE. Create a dedicated Facebook fan page and/or Twitter feed for your show. Use your and your cast’s network of friends, family and contacts, provide some content on a regular basis (such as videos, photos, contests, interesting information, etc…), and watch your page’s audience grow! To get started with a Facebook page, visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php.

3. Email:

If your website already has an email sign-up feature, then you’re in good shape and are probably already using this medium effectively. If your site doesn’t have this ability, I strongly encourage it. Not everyone has a Facebook or Twitter account (yet), but everybody has an email account. Why not take advantage of this low cost/high reward medium?

For those of us that do use email to promote, the question becomes whether to use a free provider (like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc…), or a more sophisticated one (such as iContact, Constant Contact, Emma, etc…).

4. Search Engine Marketing:

The beauty of Google AdWords (www.adwords.google.com), and similar SEM (Search Engine Marketing) providers, is that you have a ton of control so there is very little money wasted. You set your own maximum daily budgets, control where your ads are seen (after all, why promote your production based in Atlanta to folks in San Francisco?), and track your advertising campaign’s performance with conversion code. This last one works if you want people to take a specific action on your website, like sign up to receive emails or buy tickets to your production.

5. Facebook advertising:

Similar to Google AdWords, Facebook gives advertisers the freedom to be as specific as they want to be. You can target Facebook users in your area, with interests that are relevant to your ad, so few advertising dollars are wasted.

6. QR (Quick Response) Codes:

Put these on your printed materials (postcards, ads, posters, etc…) to drive traffic to your website or ticket purchasing outlet.  There are a number of companies that will generate a code for free, such as this one: http://qrcode.kaywa.com/.

7. Offer a Groupon deal:

Groupon, the fast-growing online deal-of-the-day site that specializes in offering local coupons, is perfect for theaters because it is based on the ability to attract large groups of customers, and best of all — there’s nothing to lose. You only pay Groupon a small portion of the sales…so they only get paid if you get paid. More information here: http://www.grouponworks.com/.

 

What marketing have you done (or seen done) that really worked for a summer stock production?

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