ReverbNation, a do-it-yourself online marketing service used by 1.8 million bands, is throwing open its doors to concert venues Tuesday.
Companies like ReverbNation, TopSpin Media, Bandcamp and others have thrived in the era of social media by giving artists simple online tools to recruit fans, sell songs and merchandise and get the word out about their concerts.
Now, ReverbNation is branching out to promoters and venues with a service called Promote It, which lets them create Facebook marketing campaigns for as little as $25. Marketers can target Facebook users by their geographic location, the kinds of music they like to listen to, their hobbies, or any number of personal characteristics users have indicated on their Facebook pages.
The company in April released a similar service for bands. Since then, about 25,000 artists have used it to run more than 40,000 Facebook ad campaigns.
Some clubs in Los Angeles have already taken advantage of the service, designed specifically to promote concerts, in the past few months on a trial basis as ReverbNation ironned out the kinks to prepare it for launch this week.
The reviews so far have been good. Tonya Cooke, Roxy Theatre's social media manager, gave it a thumbs up, saying Promote It's campaigns have boosted attendance in concerts where she used the service.
"I do think we get better attendance on the shows where we do Reverb campaigns," said Cooke, who cited the club's engagement of Overdoz on Nov. 22 as an example. "Once we set up the ads, we saw ticket sales start to go up."
It's difficult to know how well a concert would have done without ReverbNation's promotions on Facebook, said Jed Carlson, chief operating officer for the Durham, N.C., company. But that's not a new question for marketing in general.
"Here in Chapel Hill, the telephone polls are plastered with concert posters," Carlson said. "Do we know how well a gig would have done without those posters? Nobody really knows. For us, we can at least tell people who saw the ad, how many clicked on the ad and how many people shared it. While it’s not proof that’s the reason people walked in the door, it’s one step closer to knowing the truth than the current marketing method."
Here's a screen shot of what one marketing campaign yielded:
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-- Alex Pham