Author: Emily Ingram, Co-Founder and CEO of OnJam.
Congratulations! You’ve scheduled an online show, figured out your ticket pricing (read our tips on pricing) and published it on OnJam. Now all you need is an audience. But how do you sell more tickets?
OnJam musicians, artists and creators are an entrepreneurial and creative bunch, so we’d like to share some of the most effective ways they’ve spread the word about their online performances and maximised their revenue from ticket sales.
Events with a live component tend to sell more tickets. There are lots of ways you can accomplish this, and it doesn’t mean your show needs to be a livestream.
If you’re sharing a filmed performance, invite a few of the artists to be in the live chat with the audience during the premiere screening.
If your show *is* live, don’t forget to engage with your audience – consider taking requests, or responding to comments, or giving a special birthday shout-out to your biggest fans. They’ll love it!
Whatever you decide, make sure your marketing materials state clearly what kind of live interaction the audience will have with the artists.
In the days and weeks leading up to your concerts, give your fans a sneak peek with rehearsal or behind-the-scenes footage. Or, if it’s a filmed concert, show future audience members snippets from the director’s latest edit.
Don’t worry if the quality isn’t perfect. The aim is to let your audience into your process: they’ll see the finished result on the day.
Remember to make your posts publicly shareable so your biggest supporters (who’ve probably already bought tickets) can share them with friends.
Create an early bird ticket discount. Create a code for people to send to their students or family members. Offer an exclusive code for your email newsletter subscribers to encourage them to buy a ticket.
Give a unique discount code to your biggest supporters, so that their friends can get a special discount. Offer a prize to the person who manages to use their code the most times.
It’s easy to make multiple discount codes on OnJam. On your Artist Dashboard, go to “Promos,” then click “create promo code” and follow the instructions.
OnJam shows make fantastic, thoughtful birthday presents and Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gifts.
They don’t require postage and can be sent immediately with a personalised note from you. Perfect if you have left things to the last minute!
Live shows are also great for groups of family and friends to watch together. One person can check out with up to 10 tickets at a time. If you need help with a bigger group, contact us directly at email@example.com.
Roughly 2-3 weeks before your show, submit it to be listed on sites frequented by people looking for concerts and shows.
Here are a few examples of listing sites we’ve used in the past. Most of them are free but if they’re not, we’ve noted it.
Create a Facebook event and invite all your friends, fans, followers and supporters. Share your OnJam ticket page with Facebook groups that are relevant to your concert’s genre or theme.
Share behind-the-scenes or rehearsal footage to get your audience excited in the lead-up to the concert. Tell them how you feel about the concert, or what you’re most excited about. Encourage your fans to share your posts so they can help you sell more tickets.
A personal invitation is always most compelling, and many artists have established and loyal followings.
Provide artists with production stills or behind-the-scenes footage of themselves, or ask them to tell their fans about why this show is so special to them. Consider giving them a special discount code for their top fans.
Make sure they’re inviting their fans and supporters from all over the world. One of the benefits of online concerts is that people who live abroad or far away do not have to miss out!
Unless you are a Facebook marketing guru (and, frankly, even if you are) it’s very easy to throw a lot of money into Facebook marketing and not see much of an uptick in ticket sales.
We frequently work with Feed, a digital marketing company specialising in helping musicians reach and engage audiences online. This includes helping you to sell more tickets to your online events. They specialise in Facebook marketing and will help you significantly improve your return on ad spend – here are a few examples.
Tell them you’ve come from OnJam and we’ll try to hook you up with a good deal.
Some of the most effective free marketing we’ve seen involves (free) cross-promotion between ensembles and groups who share musicians, or focus on similar musical genres.
Cultivate a group of 5-6 organisations, and share each other’s shows so you can all sell more tickets. You’ll be amazed by how much more engagement you can drum up across multiple platforms and audiences.
We frequently see up to 80% of ticket sales come in on the day of the show, and there’s often a big spike right until the virtual doors are opened (and even afterwards).
So add countdowns to your event marketing. You can do this manually (“20 minute bell!” “T-1 hour until doors open”) or by using free tools such as the Instagram countdown sticker.
Be very clear on all marketing what time your event starts. Even if people buy their tickets very last minute, it’s fine: OnJam’s authenticated digital tickets are built to be easy and quick. One click, and your audience member will have access to your show.
Lastly, don’t forget about the real world! Convert your ticket sales URL to a QR code and print them on stickers, fliers or postcards. Put them in your local bus stop, coffee shop or bar.