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Online Marketing for Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

Every music festival uses their online presence to promote their event and generate interest plus ticket sales. The effectiveness of an event’s marketing efforts varies widely in execution and effectiveness, what can organisers do to improve their online marketing efforts and generate ticket sales and achieve their communication objectives. 

The design and content updates for websites and social media platforms is relatively straightforward and quick to execute so there is no real excuse for not having a great online marketing presence. Unfortunately, there are still many music festival organisations that have little or no content with infrequent updates and too much reliance on video content. Having an experienced online marketing professional working either full time or on a contract basis can make all the difference to the festival's online presence.

Online Visibility. 
It is not unusual for music festivals to be very difficult to find online, perhaps their website URL is too obscure and social media accounts use unrelated names. Poor SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) can also make any online presence difficult to find. Occasionally there are fundamental issues with broken links and social media accounts that just don’t exist. These issues are still common and easily rectified and should be a priority for an industry that increasingly relies more on its online marketing efforts more than ever.

Content Updates. 
Even if websites exist with great linking and a good range of social media accounts if there is no content don't expect visitors to return. Equally If the content is out of date, it will have the same effect, having up to date and relevant content is a key driver for successful SEO performance. Having someone responsible for managing content makes a big difference and news about dates, ticket availability, line up announcements and artist’s profiles should be made daily or at least several times a week.

Online presence design can include the look and feel, logo and colour use but even more important is the User Experience (UX). A great looking website and logo can look recognisable and appealing to a potential audience but if the website uses too much video content in an unsuitable format for bandwidth expect visitors to quit quickly. Speed of content delivery is key in the age of 5G networks and visitor’s expectations are high.

Combining Activities. 
Managing content and the entire online presence should form part of an overall communication and marketing strategy. Updating news on a headline artist on the website and social media should be combined with press releases to selected journalists, media and influencers. Any links to more information can point to online presence and make the whole operation look slick and professional.

Many music festival organisers prefer to focus on the operational aspects they enjoy which may be curating talent for example. Some may lose focus on their online presence because they rely too much on ticketing companies to generate sales. Festival-goers do have an interest in finding out as much as possible about a festival before making a buying decision and a poor online presence is not going to help. Organisers must allocate dedicated resource to their online presence, many music festivals do have a great online presence but too many still seemingly give this little priority.

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
Tranmautritam via Pexels.

Andy Robertson
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