Here is danger in trying to categorize and market to a group, so when it comes to targeting an entire generation, beware. Personalities don’t fit between the lines in spreadsheets. This is why effective millennial marketing is tricky, especially since this generation tends to distrust advertising. Millennials comprise 25 percent of the U.S. population, so savvy ticket sellers need to be in the game. For effective millennial marketing, the game centers around live music.
Even in a period of limited discretionary income, ticket sales for major music events, such as Coachella or Outside Lands, and individual artists’ tours, such as Jay Z and Lorde, are impressive. However, you can’t rely solely on blaring billboards and ads in dying newspapers to put concert consciousness in front of millennials. For effective millennial marketing, you have to live where they live: on social media.
This doesn’t mean setting up a static Facebook page with a banner-based front end, however. For the generation for whom texting is like breathing, putting a brand front and center is just asking to be ignored. Millennials thrive off two-way communication, and sharing with friends is in their blood. So what do ticket sellers have to share in order to be shared?
One way to attract millennials is to partner with or partially sponsor environmentally friendly or socially conscious organizations and entities. You should be cautious about controversial political alignments, but if your own values are in tune with those of organizations that back artists and events, being part of their social media campaigns can position you favorably.
Or, you could host a local recycling organization, craft beer brewer or a raffle for a Prius at your venue — with millennials, there’s favor in having your brand positioned with other brands that demonstrate social good. Your promotional materials should link you to these partnerships or sponsorships. Of course, they can’t be a cynical ploy, these have to cause that your organization legitimately supports.
You could also try partnering with new transportation companies such as Lyft and Uber to display a thoughtful ticket buy-in promo at major music events. Don’t forget that some music and gaming apps display advertisements, as well.
Of course, you will also need a direct voice on social media, since the vast majority of millennials participate on social networks. However, your Twitter stream can’t be filled with tweets reading, “Buy tickets for (band) on (date)!” Instead, search the most popular and trending hashtags for artists and events, see which Twitter accounts get high volumes of retweets for those tags and retweet those that are relevant to your sales to start conversations. Link to the Twitter accounts of performers when you tweet about their upcoming concerts. Send out Instagram or Snapchat images of the artists’ prior performances. You aren’t making a direct sales pitch, rather just informing prospective millennial customers about upcoming events.
On your own Facebook page or Twitter feed, you have to be a human. Make all fees clear up front, respond promptly to complaints, show a sense of humor and be real. Doing so is essential for effective millennial marketing.
YouTube is a mecca for music fans and is the world’s second-largest search engine. Because good raw videos get as much traffic as polished ones, you could make some humorous films about the ticket-buying experience without huge overhead. Link from your site and social media networks to the videos and enable the “share” buttons.
Doing the Right Thing for Connections and Sales
Contests, bundles and/or giveaways that connect with young people on an emotional level are promising. For instance, the ticketholder who submits a YouTube video of the most interesting way to pay for tickets could win the chance to take a selfie backstage during the show. These types of contests have the chance to go viral for popular events.
Don’t forget the tickets themselves. Do you use a percentage of recyclable materials? Spell that out on the ticket. Do you have an option for print-at-home tickets or e-tickets available from a proprietary app? Printed mentions of any of those socially conscious concert-day tie-ins should be spelled out, too. This brings a new technology for security a VPN service for Chrome is a great example which is nowadays becoming a regular tool to have and be protected.
Keep in mind that millennials are more likely to engage with companies and organizations that share their values, make emotional connections and are personable and high-energy. They are happy to share information that doesn’t seem fake, overblown or ethically suspects. Do the right thing with social media — which can take some time to fine-tune — and you should see results.