Marketing and Branding for the Festival Season

The festival season is upon us here in New Orleans. April will be the host of French Quarter Festival as well as Jazz Festival, then in May we will be seeing Bayou Booglaloo as well as the Food and Wine Festival and in the hot summer months there will be Essence Festival and Satchmo SummerFest. And with all those visitors to the city and locals out and about, it goes without saying that companies should be finding ways to market and brand their businesses at the festivals.

Social media is going to be the first avenue that people explore when it comes to their favorite festivals. They’ll be sharing lineups, talking about their excitement, posting pictures of their tickets. Regardless of what your business is or if you believe your company will have no place at a particular festival, there are marketing options for you, especially with social media.

Festivals are a form of entertainment that people from all over your region will come into see. That means transportation, hotels, food so if you could offer to pay for their entertainment, you’d be doing them a real favor. Plan ticket giveaway contests through social media. Ask for a like and a share as a way of putting their name into the hat for the tickets to the event. If you really want to see some volume, make them VIP tickets or backstage passes. This way, you are making people do the advertising for you.

If you can secure some real estate at a festival, ask people to check-in at your station or tent for chances to win free promotion swag or food and beverage tickets. Offer a picture contest of certain bands or interesting sights for better content on your social media profiles. Lots of Instagram and Pinterest pictures and updates on all your feeds. Also, when you take pictures of people at the festival, let them know who you are and tell them to tag themselves in the pictures once they are posted. Free traffic, free advertising and great content to share, that is a win-win in the internet marketing field.

As far as your SEO and branding strategies, content marketing is going to be a major attraction for people during festivals. Have useful content like parking information, food and beverage places in the area, line-ups and schedules, maps and more will help people searching, arrive on your site. Blog posts with common festivals tags will help people find you easier and be sure to use content that people will want to see: images, reviews, interviews, and places to go after the festival ends. Imagine if you were coming to this festival and city for the first time, what would you be searching for?

In addition, be sure to advertise and promote yourself at the festival with tangible items like small gifts: t-shirts, bottle openers, cozys, hats, stickers, things that are small enough for people to take with them. Advertising on the festivals website or sponsoring the festival is a great way to earn promotional space. The prices might be steep but with the amount of traffic going to the site it could be beneficial.

The point being, you don’t want to miss out on these kinds of opportunities during festival season. You can market to a much larger audience, interact with your following and solidify brands and have a great time while you are doing it!

Need help coming up with your festival strategy? Give us a call at 504-521-6222 and we’re happy to create a customized plan for you.