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The live music industry has made a powerful comeback from the pandemic. But even though fans are excited to be dancing with their favorite bands, it still isn’t easy to sell out a tour.
Compared to before the pandemic, ticket prices in North America increased by more than 17%, making the average ticket price more than $100.
Ticket buyers aren’t happy about the steep prices. But despite their outrage, concertgoers are willing to pay a high price tag to see iconic musicians like Bruce Springsteen.
If smaller acts want to see similar results as national artists and concert promoters that regularly sell out tours, they need a tour promotion strategy that uses fan excitement to drive ticket sales.
1. Drive ticket sales with a tour announcement
Since almost 60% of concertgoers buy tickets more than a month before the event, driving ticket sales early is vital for touring bands to make a profit. If artists want tour promotion to drive sales, they need a tour announcement and follow-up marketing that grabs attention and motivates fans to buy tickets.
Successful tour announcements make a splash, which means artists and tour promoters need to capture fans’ attention before announcing the tour. This is why it’s incredibly common to pair tours with an album release. It allows musicians to use the album’s marketing campaign as a way to grab attention and begin building excitement before the tour announcement.
But releasing new music isn’t the only way to capture fan attention. You can also create buzz by doing something shocking and unexpected. Paramore deleted all of the content from its band website, leaving fans to speculate what it meant. And because fans were excited to find out what Paramore would unveil, they actively checked for updates about the band.
Once fans are paying attention, sharing the tour announcement through all communication channels ensures no fans miss the news. But it’s vital that the announcement clearly displays ticketing and tour date information so fans can plan ahead.
To capitalize on the excitement, make sure that tickets go on sale soon after the official announcement. But during the period between the announcement and ticket sales opening, you’ll have their fans’ full attention. And that means how you promote tours during this time is vital for driving ticket sales.
One powerful strategy is to encourage fans to sign up for a text list by offering early ticket access. Once fans provide their phone number and opt-in to texts, you can communicate with them directly to remind them when tickets are on sale. And once fans are on your text list, you can keep communicating with them up until the show and beyond.
2. Sustain excitement and generate buzz
Not all fans will buy tickets as soon as they go on sale (or even in the weeks after). To avoid playing to empty rooms and make a profit, you need to keep selling tickets until they’re gone or until the show starts. SMS marketing, social media, and press are great ways to keep the buzz going.
Using the tour announcement to build a text list means you’ll be able to use SMS marketing tactics to sustain excitement for fans that bought tickets and connect with those that are on the fence. You can segment your list into small groups of fans who signed up for presale codes and stay connected by asking questions like what songs they’re looking forward to hearing. You can also sort your list in other ways, like geographically, to push presales and upgrades to fans located near specific venue locations.
Traditional public relations tactics like sending press kits to national and local media outlets can also help get attention for a tour. Not every publication will help promote your tour with a feature article, but they still might be willing to include the press release details in a weekly event calendar.
It’s also common for bands to invite local tastemakers and influencers to attend shows, which gives bands an opportunity to earn positive reviews. Then, sharing that good review or other fan-generated content will pique fans' interest in other cities with upcoming tour dates and boost sales.
3. Capitalize on FOMO to sell last-minute tickets
Since tickets cost 33% less than average on the day of the concert, it makes sense that cash-strapped fans will wait to buy tickets. But you can make sure fans don’t forget about tour dates and give them extra incentives to attend with SMS marketing.
Since text messages have the best engagement rates, they’re the best way to ensure invested fans don’t miss time-sensitive tour news. According to Gartner, SMS open rates can reach as high as 98%, and response rates can hit an impressive 45%.
But just sending fans a link to a ticket seller’s website won’t be enough to sell out a tour date. Since they signed up for messages, they’re already interested in the show, but something’s holding them back. You need to use strategic messaging that makes fans feel like they can’t afford to miss out on the concert of a lifetime.
- Send a low ticket warning to local fans when nearby shows are almost sold out so they don’t miss their chance to get tickets.
- Give fans that opt in to texts an opportunity to buy discounted tickets by sending them a promo code.
- Offer exclusive last-minute VIP upgrades or meet-and-greet events to ticket holders or SMS subscribers.
- Share backstage images of sound checks, warm-ups, etc.
You can even take the lead from artists like Paul McCartney and use the concert itself to build your SMS community so you can connect with even more fans on your next tour.
Use Community’s SMS marketing to sell out your next tour
Community is a text-based marketing platform that helps artists and their record labels connect with their fans and build more meaningful relationships by communicating directly with them. It makes it easy for artists to send an automated welcome message when a new fan opts in or respond directly when they get a message from a long-time fan.
It also helps with small touches like creating a contact card, which allows music fans to feel more connected by adding their favorite bands to their phone’s personal contact list. And the closer fans feel to their favorite artists, the more likely they are to support them long-term, which is more valuable than a single ticket sale.
Ready to get your number today?