Need Gig Promotion Online? Why Posters Suck For Your Next Show

by Matt @ Kurb on October 20, 2008

Gig coming up? Talk to online music promotion expert matt @ Kurb about a powerful online solution.

100 posters? Uh Try . . . 100,000 ad impressions targeted at your audiences age demographic in your area. US$100 buys you a comprehensive online campaign on Google, Myspace and Facebook – we can even design poster/eflyer cheap – $US50

I always offered online promotion strategies on as part of my postering options – of course most poster campaigns are for gigs that are happening in a few weeks – most online marketing and management campaigns revolve around propelling an act towards increasing online revenue, so they can put more into developing content, more into marketing and promoting that content, more into digital management systems that can create income.

But finally had a band who realises that when you’ve got a gig you can pay me to stick posters and stuff all over the street . . .


you can stick your ad all over the internet using google, facebook and myspace.

We do some pretty good deals on posters.

What I usually suggest is a big whack of cheap black and whites – 200+ plus maybe 50 or so colours – they’re just to go up around the shops and cafes.

This band has a bit more of a profile so we’re doing all colour, 100 for $175.

But this time, the promoter has decided to go with my suggestion of spending $150 on an online campaign tailored specifically to promote the gig.

In the past, I used this as an opportunity to demonstrate the myspace software, and that will be part of the package, just sweep through a few keywords (location, similar sounding local band etc.) and pick up some extra friends, before doing a comment out.

Of course you might not know the proper etiquette for spamming myspace, so again, leave it to a pro, it’s worth $50.

Of course, spamming myspace used to be a powerful tool, now we also employ other strategies, building content on blogs and other networks and using targeted online advertising.

But 3 weeks is not enough time to build blog authority which leaves online advertising or pay per click.

You know my feelings on pay per click. If you don’t – pay per click is for musicians who have successfuly developed a high value proposition.

First we build a platform (ie a blog or website), then we engage fans with that platform, then monetize that platform, and only once we can see that your brand can sprint the 100, that’s when we give it the steroids of an online advertising budget. Budget, as in, a drug habit costs money to keep going.

A gig of course, IS a monetized platform, offline. Promoting the gig is an attempt to leverage the (band x venues) brand. That is why unfortunately posters suck for the bands who use them the most, new bands.

Because new bands have no brand (and even more disasterously, new bands playing at venues that have no brand), they’re not leveraging any exposure from putting posters all round town with their non existant brand that says nothing to anybody on it.

So you MUST at least have on the poster: A wicked night of Funky Drum and Bass DJ’s or whatever genre you’re doing. It must have big words on it, no one is stopping in the street to read your poster except maybe young delinquents. I need details in the 5 seconds it takes for me to walk past, so if you want to put a beautiful woman on your poster, i’m not going to argue that it is a terrible idea.

But If your band is not on traditional media – tv/radio/print – then posters wont work because you have no brand. Your crappy poster is just like your crappy website, it doesn’t engage. It tells people stuff but it doesn’t connect. Unless you’re engaging then you’re not motivating.

Therefore, posters and gig promotion really only serve to leverage your brand to get people to your gig. All you’re really doing is reminding people the gig is on if they’re already engaged by your content; if not, you’re merely hinting at your existance.

Okay I’m wandering perilously down the path to suggesting why  you shouldn’t gig at all if you haven’t built a brand so lets just cut that right out and get back to online advertsing for your gig – because everyone needs the humbling experience of playing to 6 people when you expected hundreds. Counting the staff.

Okay now I just love adwords pay per click. As I said, once you’ve learnt to make money, then you use pay per click to make more. The whole trick with pay per click is you get people to click on your ads, higher click through rate, and google rewards you with nicely priced clicks. Again, worth paying a pro. As in someone geekesque like me, not a real PPC expert, you dont have that much money.

But the thing with PPC for a gig is that you dont want people to click the ad! you just want them to see it!

And don’t you know the sweet as thing about pay per click?

They don’t click . . . you don’t pay.

So when you’re putting together your ad copy, all you want to do is to achieve what you would with your poster. Letting people who know your brand and more importantly if you’ve got a low profile, the venues brand, know you have a show in their town on that date.

OR if you’ve got quite a genre based bent, go for an add that blares Free Genre Frenzy so you get niche interest.

So this is what I do, I put the bid sky high at like a $1 a click, so greedy old google will show thousands and thousands of ads to all the 18-24 year old females in your area, but because I can pretty much say there’s not enough competition that anybody would want to pay a $1 for clicks in the gigs or music genre niches, so the most you’ll end up paying is like I’d say . . . 30c.

For like . . . 10,000 impressions targeted at your local demographic.

So where are your ads showing? They’re showing in Gmail. And they’re showing on myspace! And ya know what? You’re paying less per click through google then you’d pay myspace for the same spots! hohoho.

Again, make sure you list names of other similar, bigger bands than you in your area, because all the kids on mysapce will have that keyword on their page, and google will do it’s thing and the ad will show to them.

Facebook, similar, but you get a lil pic and more text to your ad. Except the thing about facebook is the targeting is on another level. You can target people by their occupations . . . oh, not to mention what bands they like, but the keywords will only register for international branded acts.

Another point about postering town is that a lot of unless they work or go to school in town, people only come into town to see a gig. It’d be much harder to argue that – depending on your demographic – that less people will see it on myspace, facebook, google and gmail.

Oh but Matt, people ignore those ads! Sure they do! They also ignore your posters, but there’s not 100,000 of those hitting your target. And of course they’re allowed to be there – there’s no vague council bylaw. There’s no street cleaners on Monday. There’s no haters pulling them down in a convoluted local band rivalry.

But those punks will sit there clicking my ad, costing me 30c! They can try, google will only charge you once.

So what are you doing? Get an online campaign going for your next gig.

It’ll be cheaper than posters, and it might just be more effective. Then you can make a video of all your fans at the gig saying how wicked it was – so you can keep building that brand as great entertainers for next time . . .

Gig coming up? Talk to online music promotion expert matt @ Kurb about a powerful online solution.

We do graphic design, and of course poster printing and distro in New Zealand.

US$100 buys you a comprehensive online campaign on Google, Myspace and Facebook.
100 posters? Uh Try . . . 100,000 ad impressions targeted at your audiences age demographic in your area.

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