If you have been following this blog, then you may know that in my last post I was writing about an experience I had with an international production between Mexico and the UK, in which I participated as both a playwright and a producer. This is the second part of that story and it will also serve me to sum up my own conclusions on how to effectively market your performance.
The last time I was talking about this subject, I summed up some of the strategies we used to advertise our play, i.e. setting a webpage, producing a video, approaching the embassies and other international organisms. After this we organized a party at a well-known venue in London. You may want to consider this for you own show, but I would recommend that you do it as close to the opening as possible, as in our experience, not many people from the party showed up to the play, only because it was done in July when the opening was not until November.
We finally went to an Advertising Agency that set up the final stages of the marketing process. Byron Read, head of this agency, pointed out the many mistakes we were making in our marketing strategies. I can safely say that most of the conclusions that I will now sum up in this blog, I draw from them.
- Social Media in the Arts: First of all, we were not doing as many posts on our social media as we were supposed to. When you are advertising your play using social media it is of the outmost importance that you make daily posts about anything, a picture, a blog post, a twitter, whatever you can think of, just put is out there using your Social media accounts. Be controversial and it doesn’t even matter if your post is related to your play. Remember that social media is all about interconnecting and interestingly enough the arts are about exactly the same. I’ve known no one in Theatre who has made it without the help of others. So, share other people’s content in your own media and they will do the same for you.
- How to Attract the Press: This is one of the most difficult tasks when it comes to marketing the arts, especially in London. There is just so much to see in this city that putting another play in the market is like putting yet another needle on the haystack. So, what this London Advertising Agency taught us, is that the only way to do it is by calling them and letting them know you are out there. Since there is so much to see then you want to call as many bloggers, newspapers, magazines, and critics as possible, chances are not many of them will come but if you have enough in your lists then your chances are immediately enhanced. Reviews are of the essence!!
- Free theatre in exchange for reviews: If you are seeing that your audiences numbers are not going too well, you may want to try some websites that offer free tickets to their members in exchange for reviews. The Audience club and Play by Play are two attractive options for this purpose; they require from the members to write reviews from the plays they’ve seen in order to get the tickets; this is a useful strategy if you are looking to stack up the house over a day when there’s not many people. We used it on a Tuesday, since it was our weakest day, and it worked wonders!
- Arts throughout the time: What we ultimately learned is that, the more time you have doing your show, the more audiences you will ultimately get when you arrive to the big city. Do readings of the play, perform it in cheaper venues outside the city, get early reviews, and so on. The name of the game is BE OUT THERE, as much as you can.
So, these are my conclusions about advertising the arts. Of course, there is so much more to say but I think this sums it up. I hope this is helpful to you, I wish you the best of luck with your show and remember to invite me!