Are you ready to try something different when it comes to marketing your theatre? Ready to reward your fans and benefactors with a little token of your esteem? Ready to boost your box office numbers with some stealth marketing or merchandising? If you’re looking for a low-cost, low-effort, and low-maintenance way to raise your visibility in the community, consider selling or distributing custom publicity stickers.
New Life for Old Designs
Most modern theatres have probably already paid someone a fair amount of money to design an eye-catching banner for their website. Well, that banner is the perfect digital file if you want to create the perfect Bumper Sticker. If you like the design, why not give it new life and new mobility, allowing it to move about your city and spread the word for you? Printing a stack of Bumper Stickers is cheaper than renting a billboard, and those stickers go everywhere. While potential customers are stuck in traffic, they could be memorizing the URL to your website, conveniently printed on the car in front of them.
Or, work in a smaller format. Do you use a recognizable logo when you advertise your theatre? This can translate into a sticker, too. Economy Stickers come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re versatile and eminently affordable. Vinyl Stickers are all that and more: they’re weatherproof and UV-resistant, so you can stick them on outdoor surfaces, or in a well-lit window, and they last for years.
New Designs for New Life
If you don’t already have a design in mind, you can get creative. Find one that relates to an upcoming show or season. Or, hold a contest and ask patrons to design a logo for you. It’s a great way to get the community involved, create extra publicity, and generate buzz around your website. Let patrons vote for their favorite design, online or when they visit the theatre.
Printing custom stickers for your theater is not expensive, and small print runs are available. You can create a range of designs and sizes for different spaces and different budgets. Nice stickers may become a collector’s item, and some fans will want to collect the entire run.
Where Are You Going to Stick that Thing?
Depending on how much effort you intend to put into this marketing campaign, there are a few choices concerning what you’ll actually do with your stickers once you receive them. The easiest answer, of course, is sell them, either in your box office, or on your website. Cheaper than T-shirts and more versatile than programs, stickers make cool souvenirs. Some patrons will want them for guitar cases, car windows, dorm walls, or decoration of small items like notebooks or laptop computers. That’s a lot of exposure.
If money is less of an issue than visibility, you can give some of your stickers away. These could be small prizes in a contest or small gifts to thank loyal theatergoers. Or, think bigger: distributing these stickers to a general audience could result in advertising in places you wouldn’t expect. Visit arts festivals and similar events, anywhere you might expect to find lovers of the arts, and pass out a certain number of stickers. Small children have a habit sticking them in the most unusual places. At large events, you can stick them directly on people’s shirts in the morning, and all day long, they’ll share your message.
Stealth marketing takes the most effort, but, properly done, realizes a huge return. Sticker design is essential: you must create something that makes viewers take notice. It’s especially effective if the design elicits questions in the viewers’ minds. If you’ve thought of a phrase or image which will inspire people to want to follow up and learn more and (this part is essential) you’ve included your website on the sticker, you can drive traffic to the website and create new patrons.
This technique is most effective if you can stick your stickers in surprising places. Ask around: you may be able to create a campaign by placing your stickers in unusual spots in bars, art galleries, schools, and other facilities where potential patrons may be found. Bathroom stalls are a good choice, if you have permission, as are bus shelters, and well-traveled footpaths. Use your creativity and imagination. Get them where they’ll be seen, and noticed.
Change Is Good
Marketing your theatre can be trying, especially in an economic downturn, but you can get a big return on a little investment if you’re willing to try something unusual. Where will you hang your publicity?