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What’s really changed in clubbing promotion over the last few years? Depending on who you ask, it’s everything or nothing. The truth is somewhere in between; the fundamentals of booking artists, building a buzz, securing the right venue and shifting tickets are still just as important; but online tools now rule the roost for telling the world about your event. As a clubbing promoter, you’re working anything but a regular 9 to 5 and the constant arrival of new tools can become overwhelming. Sound familiar? Well put your mind at ease, because we are here to help.
Here are our pre-event marketing tips for clubbing promoters:

1. Get your events listed
Getting your event covered by the music press is still the way most people find out about events, and their recommendation could be the making of your event. Find (or ask around) for the best places online and in the press for events in your genre and location. You can give them the inside scoop by offering them an interview with your headline DJ; they’ll scratch your back in return by prominently featuring your future events.

2. Customise your Facebook Page
Pin and highlight the important stuff to the top of your page so visitors actually see what you want them to. Change the order of your Apps so people are clicking that’s most important, rather than just what’s on the far left. Oh, and get a sign-up form in there! It makes us weep how many people forget this.

3. Email, but smarter
You should always have an aim in mind with your email campaigns, and no, ‘Everyone else does it’ doesn’t count, though that may be valid. What’s the goal for your campaign; more ticket sales, more record sales, more on-the-door or more followers on social media?

Whatever it is, ask yourself honestly how well your campaign is doing its job and then you can build on it for next time. It may take a while to figure this out, but stick at it – a decent mailing list and a strong newsletter will really boost your appeal to a potential venue.

4. Hit up your press contacts
When drafting a press release always remember to be to the point and don’t waffle. (Your press contacts will receive numerous releases each day and will skim read so you need to hit them with the facts up top). Try to vet your press contacts, so that you’re reasonably sure you’re not sending it to the restaurant critic.

The subject line is clear and to the point, the opening line should be short and explain the event with all of the When, where, who and why info included. You can save the detail for further down.

They may try to get in touch, so include a direct contact email and telephone number (which you might answer!). Offer them guestlist entry or the option to interview your acts and artists if they are willing. Also make sure that you are following the journalist on your press list on Twitter.

5. Join the cult of mobile
Ok, as far as cults go, it’s not exactly the Moonies, but mobile marketing does split people down the middle. The promoters who’ve tried it swear by it and why wouldn’t they? Mobile users are young and alert, impulsive and always eager to interact.

Remember, no-one likes unsolicited spam, so the key is to make sure people have opted in to receiving your messaging and remind them to reply STOP if they don’t want it.

You can use mobile marketing to run competitions, grow your database and reveal the secret location or surprise headliner at your night.

So join us. Join us. JOIN US!

6. Get the people going on blogs & forums
A respected opinion is worth its weight in gold online, where people seek out the oracles of good taste in the face of a never-ending array of labels, producers, DJs, clubnights and sub-genres. You can get good coverage by offering up a remix or an exclusive mix to the blog you want to cover your event.

On any of the bigger blogs and forums, you’ll find sprawling communities of rabid dance zombies, eager to chow down on the taste of metaphorical brains, like the buzz over the next big DJ or label.

Feed their insatiable hunger the right way with a drip-feed of hype, fresh content and an exciting line-up and you can ensure a growing loyal audience of the hardcore faithful.

7. Run competitions
This one could have been called ‘how to grow your customer database’ because it’s about the fastest and most reliable way to do so.

Offer up VIP tickets to your next event; that way, you know you’re reaching a relevant audience and if you’re lucky, you’re contacts’ friends will get in on the act as well. To enter, they should have to like you on Facebook, sign up to your mailing list and tweet about you.

8. Share video
You can share music videos and Youtube rips of the artists’ performances and interviews. Even a radio rip of a DJ’s most recent mix is ripe for sharing so get it out there. You should also think about how you use video during and after the event, but we’ll talk about that next time…

9. Get a regular mix on Soundcloud
This one should be a no-brainer, marketing is increasingly about sharing content online and Soundcloud and Mixcloud are the only places online specifically designed for sharing electronic music.

Just like a Youtube video, a mix on Soundcloud or Mixcloud is where your marketing campaign should start, spreading its way across the web like the norovirus. A nice norovirus, mind.

10. Keep it going during and after the event
You’ll have to stay tuned for Part 2 for this one we’re afraid, where we’ll look at what you should be doing during the event and afterwards.

Oh you’re still here. You want more Facebook likes, eh? Well then, send a blank cheque to… But really, there are no short cuts. Share interesting content regularly, interact with your followers and run competitions that will grow your reach.

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