Are you looking for new ways to promote your comedy shows? Whether you’re a full-time comedy club or a small venue holding once a week shows, you can take advantage of these online tools to boost attendance and word-of-mouth. By offering your customers an incentive to check-out your venue, you’ll be attracting new patrons that haven’t tried out your venue, thereby converting new customers to your regulars.
Utilizing these tools is no wave of a magic wand – it does require a small time investment. We both know that building your shows is important and that attracting new customers is vital to the pulse of your business. By tracking each promotion through each tool, you can focus your time on what method brought the best results.
Here are the three tools:
Background: Meetup is an online social-network that organizes off-line event meetings. Users can join and organize Meetups that are categorized by interest.
How it can help you: A Meetup can provide you with a large group of customers who may have never been to your venue before. Organizing a meet-up allows you to cultivate a personal connection with potential patrons as well as an avenue to participate in the local community. Meetups allow for users to post feedback. Review these posts and respond to praises or critiques to improve your business.
- Set-up your account and fully fill-out your profile, including picture, biography, etc. Join groups that interest you and truly invest yourself.
- People may be already ‘Meeting-up’ for your shows. Each user can post feedback about your shows. You should check to see if they have by searching at meetup.com
- Don’t hard sell your shows. If you do, people will be turned-off. Instead think about building your community around comedy.
- Personally connect with users in person and introduce yourself. Be honest, transparent and straightforward.
- Give people in incentive to come: Set-up a discounted price or some other compelling promotion to meet-up members.
- Article: Mashable – HOW TO: Organize A Successful Meetup
Background: Much like the name implies Groupon is a coupon for group buyers. If a certain number of people buy tickets to your show, they get a discounted price. To meet that minimum number, users will utilize social media and their contacts to encourage others to buy tickets, therefore filling your seats without any extra effort required from you.
Much like a group promotion that you may already be running in your club (group of 10 or more for X amount of dollars), Groupon gives users a discounted price only if the set minimum number of people buy tickets to your show.
For example: You set-up a “groupon” for 20 people at a couple bucks off your regular ticket price. The team at Groupon.com works with you to write-up an e-mail that they blast out to all their subscribers – essentially promoting your show for you. Groupon Subscribers will see your deal for the weekend and will buy their tickets while encouraging their friends to do so, until the minimum number of tickets sold is met.
What about cost?
Groupon takes a portion of the revenue from sold tickets only if you meet the minimum threshold – therefore, if the groupon discount doesn’t work to your advantage and doesn’t sell tickets, there is no cost to you.
How it can help you: Groupon speaks to people who are looking for entertainment at a discounted price. They are ready to spend and try a new place by participating in the Groupon system. This will attract new customers and promote your show by encouraging people to sell tickets for you so they get a discounted price.
- See Groupon’s website: GrouponWorks
- Groupon is available in major cities across the U.S. – Check to see if they offer their service in your city.
See also: A facebook application similar to Groupon called Wildfire
- Article: Mashable – App Lets Brands Add Groupon-Like Deals to Facebook Pages
- It is not completely free, but works similar to Groupon. If you’re not in one of Groupon’s major cities, this is definitely worth looking into.
#3 Google Places
Background: Claim your business listing on one of the most widely-used search engines on the web, Google. After claiming your listing, Google verifies your location by sending a PIN number through the mail, through an automated telephone call or by text message.
How it can help you:
Claiming your listing allows you to fully flesh out your profile with up-to-date information about your business. Besides the basics of telephone number, address, hours of operation and website – you can update your listing with photos, videos and give users an incentive to buy tickets by offering a coupon. By adding categories to your listing, your business will appear in the top results when people search their local city map for nightlife or live entertainment (or for whatever category you added).
- Fill out your profile as much as you can
- Pay attention to Google’s dashboard, as it allows you to view useful analytical information like how many times users saw your listing, and how many clicked to find out more information
- Add photos to your listing to put potential customers at ease by allowing them to get a feel for your venue before they visit.
Have you tried these tools already? We’d be interested in hearing how they have worked for you. If you are going to try them out for the first time, let us know your results. Are there any other useful tools that can promote comedy shows? Let us know about them in our comments section.