The 3 Absolute Minimum Things You Must Do To Promote a Stage Play or Musical
Sold Out Run is chalked full of tips and ideas to promote your stage play, but maybe you don’t have time to read through the archives of this site. If that sounds like you, I’ve whittled it down to these simple steps you should focus on. You can get a lot of positive results by focusing on these ideas. Since they are so easy to implement these are the must have pieces in your online promotion strategy.
1.) Website for your show
You must have a website. Some of the easiest and least expensive things you can do to promote your show are online. Once you get someone’s attention on Facebook or YouTube or even just email, they are going to want to go to your website to learn more. This isn’t a nice-to-have. It’s a need-to-have. The simplest way to make this happen is to use a blog for your show site.
In many cases the space you are performing in may give you a little blurb on their season calendar. You might be wondering if that’s enough to count as your online presence. It’s theoretically possible if they dedicate the resources for that one page on their website to really make someone want to buy a ticket to your show. In most cases, though, the purpose of the theatre’s website is to convey what a vast array of wonderful performances they offer throughout the year. It’s unlikely any one show is going to get the coverage it really needs.
2.) Pictures of rehearsals
No one wants to shell out money for a ticket to a show unless they imagine it’s going to be good. Please don’t ask too much of the average person’s imagination. A simple paragraph about the show (even if it’s very well written) only tells someone about the idea behind the show. It doesn’t give them any reason to believe your execution is going to be particularly skillful.
Pictures give them a much clearer… well, picture of what your production has to offer. Let them see that people are investing time in making sure this is the best production it can be. To do this you are going to need a camera and someone to grab rehearsal photos. It’s also a great idea to get some snippets of costuming and sets if you can find interesting things to zoom in on. You don’t have to show the general public everything, but a little appetizer to get them excited can be extremely effective marketing.
Note: If you have the means, all of the above holds true for video… only more so.
You know those great pictures you’ve been taking. Those go up on Facebook. Why? Because Facebook has over 1 billion users. It’s not a website; it’s a country. Create a fan page for your production, upload pictures from rehearsal, and tag your photos on Facebook.
Facebook has over 1 billion users. It’s not a website; it’s a country.
The real magic here is that it makes it extremely easy for the other people involved in the show to spread the word to their friends and everyone they’re connected to on Facebook. If I ask all my friends to please, please come to my show it can come off as a little desperate. If I share a photo of myself and all my cast mates mugging for the camera, that gets people’s attention.
Those three ideas are the bare minimum of what you should be doing. You’re going to get even better results if you can spend the time learning about an editorial calendar, hiring a videographer, and finding non-traditional ways to interact with the local press. Start with these first, though. And break a leg!