Get Hype: Create Buzz for Your Theatre Start-up

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I could have the most cutting-edge product, or the most exciting premiere show, but if I haven’t gained an audience prior to my company’s launch or opening show, then there’s a pretty good chance that my start-up will fail. According to Entrepreneur, 75% of start-ups fail within the first three years and it’s usually because people think their idea or product will sell itself. The missing ingredient: Buzz. Marketing and publicity are crucial to generate the buzz that establishes your start-up as something worth checking out or investing in. Being able to create buzz leading up to launch day is crucial if you want your start-up to succeed. Here are a few ways how:

Optimize Your Website and Build Anticipation

The best way to create buzz is to use a pre-launch landing page that provides just enough information about what you’re selling to get people talking. This could include:

  • A count down timer to the date of the launch or an event, like your premiere show;
  • A way for them to sign up for your Newsletter through email;
  • A place where people can sign up for an event before or after your first show;
  • Possibly provide a chance to win tickets to your opening show.

Maybe it’s an exclusive event. You might think, but wait, isn’t that limiting? Well yes, and no.

People like things that are exclusive, it makes them feel special. I’m not saying it isn’t a gamble, but if you pull it off, sometimes the ones who don’t get in will pretend as if they did, and they’ll start spreading the word for you about how awesome it was—just ask Oobah Butler from Vice.

Build Relationships with the Right Influencers

Influencers have become a huge deal in recent marketing campaigns. They have the ability to create buzz for you by vouching for you and your company. This is why you want to build a relationship with someone who has a large following in the theatre community. Building that relationship will involve pitching your start-up and explaining to them how supporting you will also benefit them. If you succeed in winning the influencer over, you’ll have someone who can create high-impact conversations with your target audience and help you create that needed publicity. Here is a great example of an influencer campaign from Fringe.

Utilize Your Social Media Platforms

I can’t say this one enough. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn are a direct line to your audience. You should already be using them to Build your Personal Brand. Communicating through your social media platforms is one of the best ways to spread the word about your company and should be continued past your launch’s media campaign. This is crucial if you want to maintain a loyal audience.

Produce Engaging Content and Get People Participating

You should try and get the people working with you to help spread the word by producing content that shows what you’re working on or working towards. Things like:

  • Video content—this is great because it provides your audience with a sneak peak into some visuals and can be easily done through snapchats, or vlogs from behind the scenes.
  • A blog—talk about the things you’re doing or hoping to do. For instance, maybe you’re partnering up with a charity, or you’re having a contest. Things like that will build traffic to your site and it’s something you can share on your social media platforms.

That being said, if you want to create buzz for your start-up, the most important thing is to keep your audience in suspense. Don’t give everything away all upfront. Give them a little taste, some small hints, leading up to the final reveal to draw in some excitement. But don’t stop there, continue to build anticipation before every new show. That’ll get people talking.