How do you attract the attention of potential visitors buyers or clients? You have determined your target group and are searching for different ways to approach them. This may include advertisements, flyers or, for example, an online campaign.
When you start with your publicity, you may have made a marketing and publicity plan which you can fall back on. If not, take the time to answer the questions below.
- What do you want to promote; is it, for example, a project, product or the creators?
- What is the objective, which result do you want to achieve with the publicity; do you want to attract an audience for an event, sell a product or building the public profile of the artist(s)/organisation?
- Who are your target groups; children or the over-65s, acquaintances, a new audience, animal lovers between 30-40 years old, residents of Amsterdam Zuidoost (make your target groups as specific as possible)?
- How do you reach your potential audience (which communication channels are you going to use); for example, via schools, a daily newspaper, the nightlife scene or social media?
- How will you approach your potential audiences (which means of communication are you going to use); for example, a poster, flyer, advertisement, social media post, etc.?
- How do you make an impact on your target group: which message needs to stick or which action do you want to incite and how are you going to bring this about?
- When; which deadlines apply, how much time do you need to get the design and the printed matter done (make a schedule)?
- What is your budget; budget the required costs, such as the design, means of communications and advertising costs?
Means of communication and communication channels
There are various different ways to reach your target group(s). Below we will give a number of common and inspiring examples:
A personal website must give a professional and up-to-date picture of who you are and what you are busy with. Determine the goal of your website; should it deliver the audience for your event or will your website serve, for example, as a portfolio? And who is the sender; is that you or is your project or company the main focus? Your website can fit in with the other tools that you use to create publicity and often gives additional information as well.
You use social media to enter into a relationship with your fans, clients or visitors. Think about what you want to say via these channels: do you want to share expertise, present yourself (or your work) or do you want to know what your ‘followers’ think of your work? Choose a mix of platforms that suit that goal. Frequently used social media include Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Vimeo.
Creating accounts on this media is free, but maintaining these accounts takes a lot of time; regularly share a post, respond to questions and comments, and also share something from other people now and again. You should also remain professional and positive on the accounts that you use for business purposes and come up with reasons to keep your network informed about what you’re doing in a fun manner. If they see your posts regularly pop up, they will think of you sooner if a job comes up in your field in the future. So, if you are giving a workshop, share a photo. If you have a new client, let people know. New project? Let people see!
In general, you do not get free publicity automatically. Send press releases to various media and follow this up with a telephone call. Local radio stations and newspapers may also offer you an interview. You get attention by participating in something greater, such as a festival. Or, for example by organising a flash mob. The cheapest and best manner remains word of mouth publicity. You can foster this form of publicity by networking, but first and foremost this has to just ‘arise’.
Get your target group excited with the inspiring design of your printed matter, such as posters, flyers, leaflets, programmes, etc. Distribution of printed matter is mostly possible for free via notice boards and leaflet racks of cultural institutions and community centres. Distribution at indoor and outdoor locations by specialised companies costs money, but that is guaranteed to remain hanging for a specific period.
You can place ads in newspapers, magazines, free local papers and on the internet. You can place banners with your advert on other websites. You pay per click for that. Also ask if you can place or exchange free banners with other people. You can also try to have companies or institutions place their banners on your website, which may provide you with extra income.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) consists of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Advertising (SEA). SEO is about making adjustments to the technology and content of your website in order to ensure it ranks high in search engine results. Good combinations of keywords are important for this. SEA is advertising in search engines.
If you have a list of addresses, you can personally address your leaflets (direct mail) or send them by email. If you send a mailing by email, you can adapt this to the personal preferences of your readers. Make sure that your advertising email is not seen as spam and make the email personal.
Promotion by others
You can outsource your promotion to an agent, producer or gallery owner. You should, however, arrange good material yourself, such as photos and a biography. Showing your work on other people’s websites or brochures, such as a gallery or venue, is also promotion of course.