Music Festival Promotion Shouldn’t Be Limited to Festival Season

Lorna Gill Posted by Lorna Gill

Ah…summer in the UK. That special time when everyone dons the tiniest of shorts, skirts, and crop tops as soon as the tiniest ray of sun breaks through a single cloud.

Although the allure of hitting the garden, seaside, or even just a local park are options too irresistible to ignore, there are far more exciting summer escape options out there. The UK’s music festival scene, it seems, is one of the most impressive – especially for such a small island.

Billboard recently reported on how the UK’s festival industry is an unexpected key contributor to the national economy, revealing that independent music festivals are worth around £1bn in total. To be clear, independent music festivals, according to Billboard’s report, are those unaffiliated with a specific brand – like the V Festival, for instance.

Similar research conducted by the Association of Independent Festivals revealed that in 2014, over 635,000 people attended the organisation’s 50 member festivals, including Bestival on the Isle of Wight, Wakestock, Sonisphere, and The Secret Garden Party.

More reports show that between 2010 and 2014, audience spending alone was responsible for over £80m of revenue, which comes as no surprise when you consider that ticket prices steadily rise each year.

In fact, the Guardian reports that between 2006 and 2014, the ticket prices of V Festival and Reading and Leeds rose by an enormous 57% and 52%, respectively, making these tickets an increasingly large investment each year for those looking to attend.

Where Are the Opportunities?

Taking a look at Google Trends data for the biggest festivals in the UK – based on attendance numbers – an interesting fact emerges. Although it’s assumed that the festival industry is a seasonal one, festival searches are actually active for the majority of the year. People are always scheming about their escape plans, after all.

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It’s not surprising that Glastonbury takes the majority share over the course of the year, with traffic steadily bumping along – even in the depths of winter, as people search for the lineups and highlights of previous years.

The biggest spike for these searches by far occurs in July, when the festival itself actually takes place. Another bump emerges in October, however, when tickets actually go on sale. This peak alone is almost as large as all searches for V Festival and Reading and Leeds Festival combined, which goes to show just how popular those searches are.

This makes sense if you consider the fact that V Festival and Reading and Leeds both have two festivals going on at the same time, while Glastonbury is a one-time-only event.

There was some obvious overlap in searches for V Festival and Reading and Leeds in July, which makes sense, considering that the two festivals take place around the same time. Unsurprisingly, a similar overlap took place when the tickets went on sale for both between the end of February and the beginning of March.

All surplus tickets – those not claimed by early registrations – are generally sold in April, which explains a second peak towards the end of that period.

The least popular search, it seems, is for the rather niche Download Festival, which experienced a single peak in June – when the festival took place – and another in November and December – when the tickets went on sale.

How Can These Trends Guide Your PPC Strategy?

As Gupta Media notes, festival tickets are not usually an impulse purchase – festival goers will likely be planning their strategies very carefully, up to the day when they actually purchase their tickets.

Thousands will likely be hovering over either a Google search or the purchase page itself at the exact time the tickets go on sale, so make sure you can capture those stragglers by tieing your organic and paid search strategies together carefully.

SEO should be used in a long term strategy, while PPC should be used to gain those quick wins. Read more about tying organic search and paid search together in our whitepaper.

And time is of the essence – when there are multiple retailers selling the same tickets, it’s important to make sure that your ad appears at the top of the listing by crafting your ad copy to make it relevant, digging into the most searched keywords and bidding strategically using competitive intelligence for search to find out what your competitors are doing and doing it better.

Although these strategies mostly pertain to just the actual date of purchase, it’s also important to consider what to do during the festival and at other key periods throughout the year. Try listing ads for your presale or information about the release date of tickets to make sure you stay ahead of your competitors at all times.

Adthena’s competitive intelligence for search allows you to see what clever moves your competitors have made to gain attention from customers and can help you lay the groundwork for the busiest periods of the year.

(Main image credit: AwayWeGo210/flickr)

About the author

Lorna Gill
Lorna Gill
Lorna is responsible for acquisition marketing at Adthena, communicating their award-winning product and generating demand. She has developed her career in fast-paced, start-up environments, including two tech track 100 companies and is passionate about translating technical information into stories that excite and delight.