Small artists need to rethink the way they market themselves. One of a band’s greatest assets is live performance. Why? Concert-goers flock to live shows to hear their favorite music performed in its organic state. The live, in-person aspect is a chance for fans to sing along and build a deeper connection to an artist and their set list. Artists talk to their fans, dropping information about their personal lives and previously unknown meaning behind the songs being performed. The concert almost becomes a conversation, laying the groundwork for increased emotional connections for fans. The venue almost evolves into a reunion space that congregates a disparate community for one night, connecting fans to each other and the performer alike.
Considering how concerts double as community building efforts, perhaps it’s time for performers to seriously consider how showing up to street festivals and fairs simply to market is a band’s asset, too. Obviously, not every musical artist reaches global super-stardom, and these smaller, local artists depend on Public Relations teams, print advertisements, and press releases to get the word out to interested fans. In the digital age, its common to receive email blasts, posts on social media, and online promotion for smaller artists.
However, the time has come for smaller bands to do more face-to-face promo. Yes, it is the old-fashioned route but there is statistical evidence that backs up the efficacy of this tactic. According to Professional Meeting Management by Glen C. Ramsborg, 76% of organizations market themselves at business-to-business exhibitions, a.k.a. festivals. Formally conducted research ranks exhibition marketing as the second-most effective marketing tactic behind an organization’s personal website (Ramsborg).
Marketing smaller bands in-person isn’t as glamorous as dropping an official press-release, but it offers bands more opportunities to build more relationships with fans. Additionally, it exposes them to other businesses who could use their services as entertainment. Just because a band shows up to a festival doesn’t mean they have to perform. Instead, it can be a space for them to network and build their base. What do you think?