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E1MA’s Top 5 Tips for Marketing Venues

Promoting your venue can be tricky, but it doesn’t need to be.

E1MA has a long background in delivering a full range of digital strategy and marketing activity for venues. Past and present venue clients include Electric Brixton, Phase, E1, Prince of Wales, Platform, SWX Bristol and more…

Here are our top tips to successful venue marketing online.

1. Consistent branding and artwork is key

Make sure you have a clear set of brand guidelines established. At the bare minimum you want to have a logo, font and colour scheme that can be applied across all your online channels as well as in-venue

(If there’s one thing we learned from Dishoom’s talk at MAD//Fest, its that customers appreciate subtle details)

These guidelines should then be incorporated into all your online channels, such as your website, email and social media pages.

We convey Platform’s brand identity through all of their marketing channels:

Social Media & Email

Consistency is the key to building brand awareness and retention. 

After all, you want your venue to be the first place that comes to mind when people ask:

“where should we go tonight?”

2. Illustrate your venue’s uniqueness through social media

74% of people use social media to guide purchasing decisions.

40% of Millennials visit on a location purely based on its ‘instagrammability’ (i.e. how good it looks on social media)

Now, we may not be interior designers here at E1MA, but we do understand that good photography can make any space look interesting – including our own office!

Hire a professional photographer to capture all the elements a customer might want to see before they book, or parts that are aesthetically pleasing.

This depends on the type of venue – music fans would love to see the space itself, for example these photos we used for Phase Croydon’s launch: 

(If you’d like to check out some more you can in this DJ Mag exclusive)

Such photos can then be used to create beautiful Instagram feeds that make the venue look interesting whilst keeping the branding consistent, like so:

Remember: A picture paints a thousand words.

3. Advertising is essential to reach new audiences

You have your customer data and your social media following. Now what? How do you grow those and ultimately sell more tickets?

The short answer is advertising.

Once you have a great brand and killer content that represents the experience – you’re ready to tell the world about it!

How you spend your advertising budget will depend on individual needs. More often than not we find venues benefit from two strands of activity:

  1. A good combination of maximum-reach brand awareness awareness activity about the venue as a whole in your local area.
  2. Coupled with more targeted activity to hone in on sales for particular events.

4. Consider using influencers to promote your venue

This is an area we’re starting to get into at E1MA, and for good reason. 

49% of consumers, particularly younger generations, use influencer recommendations.

Influencers can be expensive, but they don’t have to be.

For smaller or independent venues, ‘micro-influencers’ can be a cost-effective way of driving traffic.

What is a micro-influencer, you ask? In short:

“A micro-influencer is someone who has between 10K and 50K followers (usually on Instagram)”

Not only do smaller influencers come across as more authentic and receive higher engagement levels, their fees are much lower.

In fact, many micro-influencers will accept gifts (such as a free night at your venue) in exchange for posts.

In terms of content, make sure you give them guidelines (e.g. “post at 7PM, mention our 2-for-1 offer”) but after that, let them add their unique spin.

This is their full-time job – influencers understand their audience and know how to make your venue look like the hottest place in town.

5. Make FAQ’s easy to find

Your customer might want to check opening times, cloak room availability, accessibility and all manner of other basic information before they book their ticket.

Make that information super easy to find. Don’t make them email you to find it out your opening times – if you don’t respond fast enough you might miss out on those sales!

Another handy tip is to put these FAQs on your Instagram as archived stories, for example:

Getting important information to your customers doesn’t have to be boring.

For Noisily we give the option to ask questions directly through Instagram.

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