June 12, 2019 | by Abbie Swan
In a continually growing and rapidly evolving market, festivals need to stand out from the crowd (pun intended 😎) more than ever before.
Whether it’s a 1,000 capacity boutique arts & wellness event in a sheltered forest, or 30,000 dance music fans in a warehouse, festivals are embracing a wide range of marketing techniques to help them become the most-talked about event.
Gone are the days when one static graphic announcing the line up repetitively through the campaign is the norm; with videos proving to be 38% more engaging than static posts, it’s no surprise that they’re being used more than ever to stand out within a saturated feed.
Last year, FLY Open Air (a small dance music festival held at both Hopetoun House & Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh) created an epic story-telling video to announce their line up, collaborating with DJ & producer Denis Sulta who starred in the video.
Playing on the heritage of Hopetoun House as a stately home and using beautifully shot drone footage of the surrounding area, FLY created a compelling watch that gained 34K views on Facebook alone.
The combination of humour, a well-known name in the industry, celebration of the location and an amazingly shot and edited video, was a sure fire way to engage with their audience.
It’s no secret that dogs are a great marketing tool – they’re all over our feeds doing cute things already, so why not use them to advertise?
Eastern Electrics did just that. Using dogs owned by some of the artists on their line up to create a fun video filmed on the streets of London. In a similar style to FLY, they managed to celebrate the location of the event and the artists playing, while incorporating cute pooches and their personalities.
The video gained 62K views on Facebook, and cleverly used the hashtag #DogEE.
To announce their 2019 line up, Dekmantel took an artistic and bold approach on Instagram.
Using still-life, urban-themed photographs & the name of each individual artist, they populated their Instagram feed over 24 hours with around 100+ posts. The subject of the images incorporate stone structures, jungle-esque plants & bold neon lighting and although the same style of image is repeated, the composition never repeated itself.
Dekmantel boasts their “broadest and boldest” line up to date, and this celebration of each individual artist allowed them to remove the hierarchy found in most festival line up posts.
100+ posts in feed over a short time could have proved to be annoying, but instead this clever tactic kept their fans engaged and drove a consistent growth in followers, whilst also pushing a positive message in the removal of hierarchy.
Not many sane people would consider using potatoes in their marketing campaign, but Truck Festival brought them to the centre stage this year.
How often do you ignore the emails you’ve chosen to subscribe to? Or quickly scroll through a saturated instagram feed? To stand out from the noise Truck decided on a completely different tactic – they announced their line up by writing it on potatoes, and then sending them in the post to Early Bird ticket holders.
What ensued was a Twitter frenzy as people posted photos of their potatoes online so that they could share the bizarre style of announcements with others. This in turn gave Truck a whole heap of promotion across Twitter, a platform that thrives on conversation.
Truck proved that in a digital world, it still pays to reach out to people offline and do something a little bit different!
This innovative array of content and techniques is no surprise as festivals fight to stand out in an ever growing market. As a content marketing agency that runs campaigns for a number of festivals, we’re constantly reviewing our strategies and searching for innovative ways of sharing the message to ensure our work stands out.
After the most successful year to date in 2018, Sundown Festival had to come back stronger still in 2019 and ensure the launch stood out from the noise, engaged the core audience and reached new fans, whilst simplifying the decision making process and converting from the off.
One of our most successful posts was a simple ‘How to Buy Tickets video’, doing exactly what it says on the tin and explaining just how easy it was. The post reached over 50k and drove a high return, highlighting the power of fun animation that both relates to the audience and is helpful.
Instagram stories have also proved to be an incredibly powerful advertising tool having come a long way from its humble beginnings as a copycat of Snapchat in 2017. With 1 in 3 sponsored posts on Instagram now appearing in Stories and Instagram expecting more users to view Stories than in-feed posts in 2019, we knew it was vital to harness the power of vertical content.
We’ve used a variety of Instagram Story styles to gain attention in the feed this year – from drone footage to fast-moving split screens, artist announcements to partnership videos, all with a focus on driving the key message early and keeping the viewers engaged throughout. We’ve seen a huge growth in awareness as a result and driven audience growth from stories. Coupled with a strong in-feed strategy this has led to Instagram becoming a lead channel for a number of our partners this year.
We’re in an age of continual change, to the way media and content is both created and consumed, with the pace not showing any signs of slowing down and a constant drive to stand out through innovation.
Vertical will continue to lead the way, and the demand for longer vertical content for the likes of IGTV could (and should) change the way video is produced in 2019 & 2020.
Both music and non-music events need to capture content in a way that can be used seamlessly across multiple channels, and ensure that at the heart of every video there is an engaging story. If possible, with dogs.
What’s next on your agenda? Drop us a line, we’d love to hear your ideas and predictions on social content heading as we race towards 2020.