Timeless Tips From 2009 On Internet Marketing Your Show

For a while now I’ve wanted to do a post where I round up the best blogs I can find on theatre marketing and the business aspect of show business. I could link to each one, give a short description of what makes the blog unique, and highlight my favorite post from that blog.

That massive who’s who post is still coming, but while I was doing research for it I stumbled across an interesting headline that caught my eye: 10 Simple Steps To Start Internet Marketing Your Show. When I clicked the headline I immediately noticed that the post was from December 2009. I was a little disappointed because I figured that the information would be too out of date to be very useful, but I decided to go ahead and read it.

Somethings never change

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that most of the advice in the 10 simple steps are still completely relevant today. Maybe that shouldn’t be surprising since the post was written by Broadway producer Ken Davenport. Of course his ideas from 2009 have a little longetivity to them. Here’s a few of the recommendations that jumped out to me.

1.) Build Your List

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you already know that I think one of the most important things you can do is build an email list of people who are interested in your shows. Of course Ken was blogging about it almost a year earlier than I was. 🙂 Stay tuned for a future post on what to do with those emails once you have them.

2.) Be Social

Sometimes it feels like social media just cropped up yesterday, but it’s actually been popular for several years now. That means you can’t hide behind the excuse that none of your audience knows what social media is. Grandmas are tweeting, and some of the least technically savvy people I’ve ever met send me messages on Facebook. On top of that social media is one of the few ways you can promote your show at the last minute. No excuses for lagging behind the times here.

Ken also suggests using YouTube – but only if you have video content. Well there’s a big difference between 2009 and 2011. Video content is not optional anymore. Especially considering how easy it is to get started with YouTube.

3.) Know SEO

This is an area where Clay of 2011 has to disagree with Ken of 2009 who recommends getting a book and educating yourself so that you can understand search engine optimization.

Now I’m not pushing SEO services here, but this stuff is really hard. Sure there are a few rudimentary tactics you could easily learn, but that’s not going to be enough to let you compete with the myriad of professional businesses that literally employ armies of people whose full-time job is to push their web pages ahead of yours in the search rankings.

…you could have been doing 10 other things that could yield you better results.

Yes, it is absolutely possible that you could learn enough SEO to make your website rank well in the search engines, but with that same time you could have been doing 10 other things that could yield you better results.

I’m sure in 2013 there will be some book or tool or something that makes SEO simple enough that the average person can play with the big boys, but as of today I have not come across that book.

4.) Buy Your Domain Name and Blog

I was thrilled to see this recommendation. Your website is going to be a hub for all of your online activity. When you send someone an email, it includes a link to your website. When you post on Facebook, it includes a link to your website. When you upload a video to YouTube… you see where I’m going with this.

Having your own domain name gives you more credibility and makes it easier to tell people how to get to your web address. And setting your site up as a blog makes it incredibly easy to add and update information, which gives people a reason to keep coming back to your site. It may sound intimidating, but the steps to get started are pretty straightforward.

Thanks, Ken

So my hats off to Ken for having some timeless ideas that are as true today as they were in 2009. When I do publish that post highlighting all the best blogs for theatre business, you can bet you’ll see Ken’s name again here on Sold Out Run.

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  1. Great article and an excellent site! I’m currently working with a theatre in the UK to develop their online marketing, and it’s surprisingly hard to find resources about what others are doing in this space. Thanks.

    Rose McGrory Social Media on Wed, Jul 20th, 2011 at 12:22pm
  2. Rose, I absolutely agree about finding resources. The funny thing is I suspect there are a lot of theatres that are doing innovative things, but they aren’t talking about it. Maybe it’s because they feel like they are still tinkering and figuring things out.

    That’s why I’m trying to use this site to just share the best ideas I have at the moment. Maybe they’ll all seem crazy a year from now when I’ve had 12 more months to expand my knowledge. I’ll add all those new ideas then. But there’s so little good information out there for theatre marketing that I’m hoping my imperfect ideas of today might be able to help someone out.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Clay Mabbitt on Wed, Jul 20th, 2011 at 1:44pm

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