Words by Mei.
There’s a plethora of venues running live music in Melbourne so for a punter there’s ample choice. The Melbourne Live Music Census 2017 Report showed that there were 553 live music venues in Greater Melbourne and 73,000+ gigs. Not only is that a lot of music but it generated $1.42 billion spent at music venues and festivals. So how do you stand out as a venue? We decided to take the hard work out of figuring that out. Here’s our top six tips:
1. Deals, deals, deals
Most people who go to gigs tend to drink – a lot. But many of those people also enjoy coming to gigs early to check out the warm-up acts and mingle with mates. So make it worth their while by providing drink deals to get them into your venue early. If you have a kitchen you could also offer cheap pub food, which is also a great way for people to try your food if they’ve never been to your venue before. They’ll tell their mates, who will then tell their mates and before long people will be coming to have a feed even when there aren’t any gigs on.
2. Pimp up your social media accounts
If you haven’t made a social media account or it’s fallen by the wayside, then it’s time to log back in and start promoting your upcoming events. Facebook events can be found by location so it’s an easy way for people to find out what’s happening nearby or what they’re friends are going to. Post some pics on your Insta page of past gigs and people will start to check-in when they’re at your venue for a gig. Social media is a cheap and easy way to get your business out there.
3. Use Spotify to your advantage
Another way to reach music fans is via Spotify by creating an account for your venue. There are heaps of music lovers on there looking for upcoming gigs of their favourite artists. Using your Spotify account you can share content, promote upcoming events and show people what your venue has to offer. Spotify sends out emails based on people’s music preferences of local gigs so you should get on Spotify to get your gigs included.
4. Search Engine Optimisation
Think about how your venue stands out in a Google search. Google ranks websites based on hundreds of factors but ‘keywords’ and words related to those searches are one way to get your website placed higher in the queue. Imagine how many hits come up when you type in ‘gigs in Melbourne’ – too many to name. So how will your venue stand out? It’s best to think about the clientele who frequent your venue and what they are coming there for. Maybe you’ve got a kickarse rooftop with a sick view of the city, or your band room’s floor is so sticky people joke about getting stuck to it (in a good way). Whatever your vibe, you should think about how to drive traffic to your venue’s site.
5. Data is gold
People say data is the new oil – and it’s true. If you’re not collecting data as a marketing tool, then it’s time to start now. It’s worthwhile hiring someone to do your marketing work if you haven’t got the time, but if you don’t have the money there are some simple tools such as promotional tracking links and guest check-in apps to discover where you should focus your budget. Let’s say you were running an online ad for an upcoming gig, you can look at analytics to tell you how much traffic is being sent to your website. Then you know whether this is money well spent or if that money should be spent on other campaigns.
6. Music apps are your friend
There’s an app for everything these days so it shouldn’t be any surprise that you can use an app to find up-and-coming artists to perform at your venue. For example, Muso is an online marketplace which helps venues find talent and local artists can look for gigs to play at. There have already been 1800 gigs created and over 1000 gigs played since it launched, with over 200 venues are on the platform in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. So jump on your phone and start booking undiscovered talent who are waiting for their big break.
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