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Postering - A Crucial Part Of Music Marketing
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Postering - A Crucial Part Of Music Marketing
It reaches the people who are not coming across you online and been a marketing and promotion mainstay for decades
By Loren Weisman
Postering for shows is a crucial part of your marketing and promotion. It reaches the people who are not coming across you online and has been marketing and promotion mainstay for decades. The same telephone poles that have posters on them advertising shows for tonight were advertising shows some sixty years ago.
Postering is still a crucial part of marketing and promoting a show. Yes, there is the internet, MySpace and all sorts of new ways to promote yourself, but you need to remember that they have to come across you. Postering accomplishes this in spades. It can get a person who knows nothing about you, about your show or about your night interested enough to find out more.
Over the years, people have done everything from canvassing areas like mad to hiring poster services to put them up. People poster over other people's posters in a war of promotionals. Posters go up on trees, people rip other people's posters down. There seems to be a whole lot of poster politics, but instead of going off the deep end into all that, why not just figure out the best ways to poster and the best ways to advertise?
The Poster itself
Is it a good poster? Are you using your logo? Is the information clear and catchy? Can someone drive by at a slow speed and get the basic information? You probably want to be artsy and creative, but the poster's about advertising. The music is about art and creativity. The poster should draw people to you so that they hear your music. Then they'll find out about the creative, artsy side of you that way.
If your poster is too artsy and hard to read, you are not doing all you can to attract new fans to you. Remember, the poster should be a reminder for your friends, but a reminder since many of them are already on your mailing lists, already friends on your networking sites and familiar with you. The key point of posters is to pull in new people and entice new audiences and new fans. Keep that in mind when you do the design.
Make sure your logo and your font are clear and uniform. And then repeat that logo and font everywhere! This goes back to my promotional and branding tips. You need to have the consistency and the continuity in order to become familiar to people who constantly see your posters and fliers. People are more likely to make the effort to see a band they've heard about than one they haven't or at least a band they are becoming familiar with and hearing of.
The logo can be placed in different sizes, just like the font of your band, but always, always'yes, I really mean it--ALWAYS USE THE SAME LOGO AND THE SAME FONT. You can get creative with posters and the overall designs, but keep maintain uniformity of you as the product.
Let the date, the location and the times shine. Remember you are bringing in people who don't know you, so give them a sense of why they should come to see you and you will be a lot more effective.
Remember that you are advertising the show. You are marketing to people who might not even come to the show by putting out your logo and your font of your band's name one more time than you did before. This heightens your familiarity and recognition and increases the potential of new fans seeing you.
Where do you poster?
Where do you put up posters? Do not just hit the radius of the club you are playing. That is a common mistake that is made way too often. Of course you want to work the general vicinity of the club, but you have to stretch farther and further to truly be effective.
Hit the busy places, of course: intersections, bus stops and high traffic areas, as well as places where people may stop and have time to look and read. Of course record shops are good, but don't waste too many little leaflets or small fliers in them. How many times have you gone into a record or music shop and seen dozens of mini fliers that have expired dates?
Think of places where people might be in a place where they can't leave for some time. I always tell artists to hit the laundry mats. People are more apt to look around while waiting for that load to dry or a washer becoming available.
What about coffee shops? Put up a poster or flier in coffee shops that are around the city or venue in which you will be playing. Hang them where there are people waiting in line.
Find locations where you are attracting an audience that is going to look at your poster or flier and read it. Use telephone polls and community bulletin boards outside of supermarkets.
Think of the places where the most people will see your poster. Use your brain. Do not just print up a series of posters and hit the front and back side of every poll in a concentrated section of town that is right by the venue. Work to find different ideas and solutions where you can put up posters that will stay up.
Contacting certain businesses that you frequent or that might be owned by people you know, where you can get some good window advertising is a great idea too. Maybe even offer a small amount of cash to a centralized business if they will put up your flier in their window. Think of it as solid advertising. Think of it as paying to get a poster in a place that you know will not be taken down and will remain visible right up until the show.
It doesn't hurt to ask a business you don't even know. You will get a lot of nos but you will get a good deal of yeses, too. There are tons of other places too, just use your head and think of where you can place them. Think about local schools, colleges, different sections of a city, suburb areas and places as far as a 15 mile radius out from the gig.
Stay away from trees and other places where posters don't belong. Do not become one of those obnoxious spam poster people that cover up other time relevant posters or put posters up on trees or bus shelters or other places that do not allow and should not have posters. Don't get a bad rap by putting your posters over posters that many of the poster services use. They will cover you right up and there are more of them than you. Don't make them angry.
When do you poster?
I know some bands do one crazy session of postering. They will spend hours canvassing and then hope for the best. I know other bands that will contact a poster service to do it for them and not make any effort whatsoever. These are two methods that can be used, but there is a much more effective in between that will bring better results and serve to have your posters viewed a great deal more.
Spread it out over a series of days and weeks. If you are being smart and only playing shows every nine weeks to three months in a given market or area, it gives you a greater chance to heavily advertise an event that people will be drawn to in the sense of needing to see you instead of those bands that play in town every single night and every weekend where you give off the sense of being available to be seen whenever and where ever.
Start six weeks out with a light, initial postering. Hit prime areas and heavily viewed regions. Then think of it like a daily task. Why not have posters, fliers and handlets or leaflets in your car or in your computer bag? Make a list like a set list of the different sections of a city or town you can hit on different days.
This does not mean postering for hours a day. This means postering for minutes a day. While you're driving somewhere, pull over, put on the blinkers and drop a poster or a flier somewhere. It will take two minutes and those two minutes will aid your exposure and promotion. Make a list of the different neighborhoods and try to check them off as you hit them. It will be a lot easier and with the refreshing of posters going up you will be seen a great deal more.
If you do choose to use a postering service, view it as a supplement to the postering you do yourselves. Schedule the service for a few weeks out from the show, but continue to hit other areas.
Start about six weeks out and increase as the show gets closer. Take the steps to hit one or two places a day and always have a poster, a flier or leaflet on you to post or drop off somewhere. How many times have you grabbed a cup of coffee at a cafe and wished you had a flier to put up? It pays to have them on you.
Of course it is more of a challenge for out-of-town shows, but you can reach out to fans and interns through the internet. Ask them to download the flier off your website for that show. Hint, Hint: have your posters available on your website for download both in color and black and white. Ask each fan to print out and put up five posters a week till the show. Make sure they are available in 8.5 x 11 so that anyone can print them out. This is very effective and an easy way of getting fans involved.
The more consistently your posters for a show are seen, the more fans you can potentially draw to you. You will increase the recognition and profile of your band and brand. Take the steps to stretch out the advertising campaign so as many people can be aware of you and the event as possible. It can only aid you, your show and the future of your career.
2009-05-12 Postering - A Crucial Part Of Music Marketing
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