One crucial concept in an effective festival advertising strategy is nailing down a proper media mix.
Your media mix is the careful balance of advertising across ALL channels — social, TV, PPC, Radio, Print, etc
This is one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects to your festival’s campaign. Why?
Stickiness/penetration doesn’t just come from repetition. People ignore ads constantly, which means TONS of wasted dollars. You can drastically increase the stickiness of your ads by serving up the same message across multiple channels.
In other words: Rather than serving pouring money into Facebook ads only, your advertising is MUCH MORE effective if fans notice your festival on Facebook, then hear it on a radio, then see a flier, then get a display ad, etc. It’s that cross-channel messaging that really gets fans to take notice.
PLANNING & BUDGETING YOUR MEDIA MIX
Here are my steps to planning this properly:
STEP 1 – Outline your channels.
Write out every advertising channel you have at your disposal — FB/Insta/Twitter, Radio, PPC, TV, Out Of Home/Outdoor, Display, Print, Remarketing, Native, etc
STEP 2 – Outline your marketing funnel
I use the Pirate Metrics (AARRR…get it?)
Acquisition – How do people find out about your festival?
Activation – How do they become engaged and start learning more?
Retention – How do they become fans and start seriously planning their trip?
Revenue – What drives them to actually purchase?
Referral – What gets them talking about it to their friends?
STEP 3 – Attach each channel to each stage in the funnel
It’ll be specific to your festival, but an example:
Acquisition – TV, Radio, Display, FB/Insta interest and lookalike ads, non-branded PPC, Outdoor, Native
Activation – Radio, Outdoor, Remarketing (FB/Google), Branded PPC, Print, TV
Retention – Remarketing (FB/Google), Branded PPC, Radio, Print
Revenue – Branded PPC (e.g. searches for “Buying tickets to festival”), Remarketing (FB/Google), Twitter
Referral – n/a …no advertising to consumer post sale, so all organic channels.
STEP 4 – Budget for each step in the funnel.
How much to budget depends on your festival’s maturity (is it new, or is the brand established), scale (local/regional/national), and your overall marketing effort (e.g. how invested you are in organic channels).
I aim to put *at least* 60% of my budget into Retention and Revenue channels. This usually means digital gets a large chunk of the money (especially for EDM, hip hop, etc), but that’s not always the case — For example, last year we noticed that Country radio stations were driving real sales for Tortuga Music Festival, so putting over 50% of my budget into radio (and only 30% into digital) ended up selling the festival out.
While there’s no shortcut to finding your festival’s right media mix, it’s absolutely crucial that you take time to do it. As festival marketers, we need to truly be jacks of all trades — both digital AND traditional media — to really understand the big picture and achieve true efficiency in our ad strategy.
What channels do you use for advertising? How do you plan your media mix? Holler at me and let me know!
(Bonus Tip: Be sure to coordinate your campaign’s messaging across channels. Just announced your lineup? Mention it across PPC, print, in your TV ads, etc. Festival coming up? Include urgent messaging (“Under 2 weeks left!”) in your radio spots, FB ads, etc. Having a consistent message improves the effectiveness of your ads even more.)