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The Growing Importance of Influencers on Music Festival Marketing.

Andy Robertson

Having a great plan for a music festival can help make it a success and a key part of this planning process is the marketing plan. Marketing can take many forms and most organisers spread their marketing budget across multiple media channels but the role of social media influencers has become an increasingly important part of the overall marketing mix.

For a new music festival, it is likely that a higher proportion of the operating costs will be allocated to marketing, as an event becomes more established with a loyal following the need for large marketing budgets is decreased. It does, however, depend on how competitive the festival sector is that may lead organisers to allocate greater funds. 

Traditional Marketing Mix. 
For music festivals the traditional mix of marketing activities will be split between PR (Public Relations), advertising, brand development and increasingly digital advertising. Depending on the budget availability and in house skills organisers may opt for the recruitment of specialist agencies to handle PR and advertising. Whist traditional digital advertising can be good at generating ticket sales and registrations for early bird ticket sales they can only reach a limited audience that has been targeted and dictated by budgets.

Social Media Influencers. 
Influencers are generally well-known personalities with large numbers of followers on platforms like Instagram and YouTube for example. Using influencers for advertising and endorsing a festival can generate engagement, interest and promote a new brand, however it can be difficult to accurately measure actual ticket sales from posts made by influencers. In most cases it will require the specialist knowledge of an agency experienced in recruiting influencers for marketing campaigns as they can negotiate rates and select the most relevant influencers. Prices for posting content can vary from a few thousand dollars right up to hundreds of thousands depending how many followers they have. Providing incentives and guest ticket allocations to potential influencers can help reduce their costs in some cases. The social media platform rules can be vague and difficult to understand but when using influencers, it's important to comply with any requirements to disclose when they are endorsing a product or brand because of a paid partnership or personal affiliation with the advertiser.

Getting the Right Balance. 
However a festival organiser manages their overall marketing budget is makes sense to find the right balance of activities and not to put everything into a single channel. With experience and historical testing data it is possible to decide where marketing spend should be focussed. This needs to be balanced with the objectives which may include brand building, generating ticket sales and revenue but usually is a combination of both. Using influencers to promote a music festival really took off with the ill-fated Fyre festival who pumped the bulk of investors' money into influencer campaigns. Whilst the campaigns were great in generating interest the organisers of Fyre festival unfortunately did not put the same focus on the logistics which ended up being a disaster. 

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels 

Andy Robertson
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