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Promoting a Festival for Free = Blogs With a Cause

Blogs with a cause can increase traffic to your site.

Music festivals are an exciting event to promote — especially when there is a cause behind it. The festival being promoted has a devout following behind it. Informative blogs are an essential asset for gaining traffic to your site with little to no budget.

SEO and blogs go hand in hand. The more links, images, and tags the better. By writing blogs every day you can gain the necessary traffic to help rank in Google. The right SEO information will help this process along.

Blog Content

New Hampshire lacks a main page for the cause. Using a blog is an excellent method for informing people. Turning the site into a one-stop information source not only promotes credibility but since there is little to no competition for the cause, gaining traffic is easy.

Each blog post should consist of links to credible news sources, other event pages, and any interesting information using targeted keywords. Seeing as this website will be the only site in New Hampshire promoting this cause, the choice of topics is endless.

Keep in mind, you should not be posting anything that could get you in trouble with Google.

The content in your blog allows you to attract attention and gain traffic. If people feel strongly about it, they will share it with their friends, their friends will share and so on. Providing the right information is critical for establishing a community of returning visitors.

Using a blog in order to increase ticket sales and bring awareness to a cause is relatively simple (provided you know what to write about) and can attract people to something more than just a festival.

Google’s AI = Making YouTube Safe For Brands Again.

But will YouTube continue to be enjoyable?

Pewdiepie, YouTube’s most popular personality, opened up a can of worms when he posted a screenshot of a few kids holding a pro-nazi sign.

This angered a big time sponsor, Disney, who spent a lot of money to put their image in front of his episodes. Of all brands to not want to be affiliated with the Nazis, it’s Disney. If you’re in digital advertising, you already know this story.

If not, Pewdiepie put out a video that explains it (which also has 2.5 million+ views)

Since the event, Google has been researching methods to better inform advertisers on where they should put their ads.

An AI feature has been created to help advertisers fine-tune their ad process.

With the implementation of new methods of finding content come new methods of creating content. Content creators will be able to target advertisers based on the same information they gather. The process will create an ecosystem.

With both sides now trying to target each other, will content creators shift their focus to more effectively monetize themselves?

The answer is too far away to say. The possibility of content creators focusing solely on gaining ad revenue is potentially high. The focus can potentially dilute content to better suit advertiser needs.

Nazi references aside, YouTube personalities often implement some form of shock value in order to gain views. That makes people want to watch them.

YouTube does not follow the same guidelines as regular television. The premise could potentially bridge the gap between content creators and advertisers.

Promoting A Music Festival = Backlinks

Backlinks are an important piece of the puzzle when trying to bring traffic to your site.

The goal of promoting any music festival is to increase ticket sales. With a budget of zero dollars, gaining traction can be tough, but not impossible. The use of backlinks is critical when trying to get your site to rank in Google.

All festivals have sponsors. Whether they’re food trucks, merchandise shops, bands, etc. their online resources are crucial when promoting without a budget.

Stains of a Sunflower

Shade Tramp hammers away with Stains of a Sunflower

 

New Hampshire has a lot to offer without any real place to pull things towards. The music scene is sporadic at best. It consists of generic “top 40” cover bands which are always an easy sell (play what the people want). They typically bring in the older crowd, the people with money who are simply looking to have a good time. The other end of the spectrum consists of your friend’s band. They play small shows either in a vacant mill building or someone’s basement.

Both ends of the spectrum utilize self-promotion. At the least, they have a Facebook page where they post constantly. The idea is to be able to incorporate your event with the flow of traffic…for every band available. Backlinks to your site via other promotional material can benefit an event tremendously.

Each band or DJ needs to have a link to either the homepage or tickets. If they play at a fundraising event for your festival, make sure to have as many photos of them as you can. Each photo should contain a backlink as well. This helps to ensure an increase in traffic and a high amount of coverage.

When promoting an event for little to no money, backlinks will be the backbone on how you are going to gain that extra bump in the search results.

Pepsi Pulls Ad Over Outrage

Was Pepsi’s new ad the right avenue to take?

The ad opens up with a shot of artisans, models, and photographers each drinking a can of Pepsi. Meanwhile, a large protest marches by their homes. Each artist decides to take part and provide what they can for the “movement”. Generic signs stating “Join the conversation” all painted in the Pepsi-owned shade of blue take up the shot as a cameraman focusses on a shoot with Kendall Jenner. Kendall, witnessing what is going on, can’t help but be distracted by what is happening and decides to join. She takes off her makeup and wig and decides that she’s the one to bring peace. She does this by opening a can of Pepsi and handing it over to a police officer who nods in approval. Everyone starts to dance and cheer. Thank you, Pepsi, for saving the day.

The ad has caused controversy due to the lighthearted approach to current events. Many believe the ad to utilize racial tensions and implementing a cheap way to “bring people together”.

Now, a lot of people use that as a reason as to why the advertisement is bad. The truth is, that ad itself is just bad.

Where Coca-Cola created one of the most iconic advertisements ever made with its “Hilltop” ad from the ’71, Pepsi’s version in 2017 falls short by being tacky, overproduced and corny.

The ad resembles a film about a noisy frat house set right next to a house with old angry people who can’t stand them. In the end, the frat house decides to show those old people how to live by inviting them over to the party to show them a good time. They do, and things calm down. Everyone can go home now, the issue is over.

Kendall Jenner or not, the ad would have had the same effect. Apparently having a rich celebrity with no perspective on how normal people live has the means to stop world issues.  At this point, you could have had the same results with Spuds Mackenzie.

Pepsi has since pulled the ad stating:

“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark and apologize.”

Building on a Budget = Finding Organic Traffic

High organic traffic is one of the most important goals to reach when promoting a music festival.

Music and Facebook go hand in hand. New Hampshire has an eclectic and spread out music scene that relies heavily on community pages. With such a small state, these groups are perfect for growing organic traffic.

Performing a quick Facebook search for “New Hampshire”, “Music”, “Festival”, etc. yielded 13 groups focused on building a community of musicians and sharing events and shows. Adding up the numbers of everyone in each group created the potential reach of 18,518 people for every post.

One of the largest contributors was the Tupelo Music Hall. They were happy to help promote the festival and had a following of 11,000+ people.  Having a link attached to every post and description is perfect when reaching out to potential customers. Between now and the time of the event, we will have potentially reached 2,222,160 people – that’s just for one post to all pages.

Organic music gathering

Organic is just the start.

The “Granite State” lacks the large nightlife scenes like that of Boston or even Portland, ME. What New Hampshire does have is the strong desire to help support local bands. There are so many outlets for local musicians whether it be for small house parties or local bars. New Hampshire has a system for helping musicians find their gigs.

It is important to not overlook these groups as potential outlets. Even low number groups add up if you have enough of them. Utilizing Facebook groups provide a free and effective method to increase awareness for any event. Building awareness for a festival with little to no budget is not impossible.

The use of these groups creates an all organic approach to digital marketing. With a limited budget for promotions, these groups are a huge asset to the cause.

Promoting a Festival for Free = Tumblr

Promoting a music festival through Tumblr can be a fun and exciting way to utilize SEO.

Tumblr is a unique outlet for information sharing. The platform allows users more freedom to post more obscure images and related articles as opposed to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The guidelines are more liberal and once more, the platform is free. This acts as a great way to promote a festival.

Utilizing Tumblr is great for tagging, following users who share your interests and driving content to your website.

With B2B companies this doesn’t work as well. Most businesses do not utilize Tumblr due to the contents of the site, but for music, movies, and images, this provides the perfect outlet. If you’re looking to reach customers or increase ticket sales, Tumblr is the place to go.

Tumblr is one of the most viral outlets to date.  There’s something there for everyone.

Looking through the information that I had used to promote the festival via Facebook, I was able to lock in a few bits of information that helped spur an increase in traffic.

Tags

Tags are important for the obvious reasons. After searching a number keywords, rankings for the term “New Hampshire” came up relatively low compared to the other search terms that were necessary. Having a low search result isn’t a bad thing. If you can own that tag, you can be the sole proprietor. When someone searches for those keywords, that provides the opportunity for more traffic.

Traffic

Once specific keywords are dominated, then it’s time to promote. Promoting a blog via Tumblr is simple. Find other blogs that relate to the specific topic and follow them. Tumblr provides the ability to follow up to 200 people per day and can follow 5000 users at any given time. Those followers will often follow back and provide a more diverse audience. 5000 seems like a small number, but that doesn’t mean creating another profile and starting the process over will hurt.

Following and tagging are the primary focus for promoting events. With Tumblr, the process is painless and effective.

Promoting A Festival For Free = Facebook Photos

Promoting on Facebook is crucial for any event. Updates, information, and spreading awareness is key to increasing ticket sales, merchandise sales and anything else that can make you money via traffic.

Being tasked with promoting an event with a zero dollar ad budget creates an interesting scenario.

How do you promote your event without spending money?

I help promote one of the largest music festivals in New Hampshire. Unfortunately, the nature of the event comes with a list of restrictions.

The directors of the event hold fundraising events around the Manchester, Nashua, Concord areas (New Hampshire’s three main cities). At each event, there are multiple camera people looking to get their name out to the public and are in need of driving traffic to their respected websites.

What I can tell you about the event is that they want to spread “Good Vibes” and “Possitive Energy”.

After each event, I take their photos and upload them via the events Facebook page. Under each photo consists of a link to the ticket page on our website, a link to the respected photographer (credit MUST be given to them).

After our last event, we collected over 250 photos of bands that played at the fundraising event. Large crowds mean that people will want to tag each other, the more they tag, the further the reach of each link in the description.

There are multiple Facebook groups that help promote the event as well.  With 12 Facebook groups each containing between 1200-3000 unique individuals, the potential reach can be immense.

By creating this type of content, the spread of information can be shared with little effort. People want to see their photos and share them with their friends, their friends (who are also at the event) share them. This will continue on its own and help generate traffic to your site.

This was all done with zero dollars.

Micro Influencers = Becoming a Personal Brand

Micro Influencers shrink the line between life and leisure to give viewers a window into the world around them.

The internet is full of videos and images of a mid/late 20-somethings walking on the beach somewhere in Southeast Asia.

Stemming from the “travel while you’re young” ideology that many millennials have adopted, these people have become “Micro Influencers”. They packed up their belongings and created a following on social media which gave them the necessary requirements to create a symbiotic life of leisure and travel.

How do they do it?

Traveling is what everyone wants to do. Whether it be to the Great Wall of China or kissing under the Eiffel Tower, people want to see that and live it. The ability to experience a taste of that life can be viewed vicariously through the micro influencer.

Micro Influencers utilize sponsorships to help fund their travels. Sponsorships can be anything from free accommodations, food, drink, travel costs or even money. Depending on the brand that reaches out to an influencer, the benefits could be anything.

In fact, these influencers have become more successful than major celebrity endorsements.

According to this infographic by Hello Society:

 

The biggest benefit when working with these influencers is the loyalty of their followers. When there are big name celebrities endorsing a product on Instagram, followers tend to question if they really like it.

Did they advertise this because they liked it? Or were they paid?

With these new methods, brand loyalty is important. Why have a Kardashian promote a sports car when there are specific sports car Instagram pages that have large followings and more devoted fans?

With a solid and reliable following of 30,000, the micro influencer has a more condensed and valuable source to promote your brand. Whether you’re looking for travel based Instagrams or craft tips on Pinterest, the micro influencer is a large key in the puzzle of digital marketing.

Rich Snippets = Improving your Search Results.

Rich Snippets are an effective way to help sites rank in Google.

Rich Snippets are used to describe structured data markup which users can implement into their HTML. Using Rich Snippets allows search engines to comprehend what information is on each web page. This tool is another way to help a site rank higher in a search engine.

Using the traditional methods, a site will show up in the search engine with the URL, the title, and what is included in the meta description. Using Rich Snippets simply gives a site a little extra bump due to the inclusion of more information.

As to how the process work, Chris Meier, author at positionly.com writes:

  • Google only starts analyzing the new markup 10 to 14 days after it is first introduced on a website.
  • If everything appears to be correct, Google will start showing Rich Snippets for some (not all) pages, but after approximately 5 days these will disappear.
  • Several days later some Rich Snippets will reappear – either for the same set of pages, or a new set. This may be repeated a number of times.
  • Only after roughly 8 weeks will you be rewarded with (semi-permanent) Rich Snippets throughout your site, assuming Google’s repeated analysis and assessment did discover any errors.

During the setup, one of the biggest issues that websites face comes from the idea that it should be tweaked during the 8-week process.

Adding Snippets to a site can really make it stand out from the herd. The use of images can really make the search results pop. Small images or 5-star ratings that show up underneath a website’s search results can really attract the traffic that you are looking for.

If done correctly, you will start to see an increase in traffic while creating an eye-catching link to your site.

The Impact of Content Creators

Recently, Youtube’s largest star, Pewdie Pie, has come under fire for using offensive images. Due to the impact of those images, some of his largest contributors have pulled their ads in order to keep their integrity.

Here is the issue:

Advertisers are quick to jump towards the next big hit in order to promote their face to as many people as possible.

In regards to Pewdie Pie, this was the case.

Advertisers took a chance and gambled on promoting their content on his videos. The videos had often crude and slightly offensive content which could impact the credibility of certain companies reputations.

Here’s the takeaway from this disaster.

The companies advertising on his videos should have done more research in regards to the content that they were working with. It seems that they jumped in without knowledge of what his videos were about. That being said, as an independent content creator, the more respectable the content, the greater the chance of being approached by advertisers – especially big hitters like Disney.

Although Pewdie Pie is Youtube’s largest star, his videos can sometimes be shocking. Which could have an impact on how a company presents itself.

The faults are many on both sides. On one, companies are now pulling out of the ad game with Pewdie Pie. Those companies sought after the number of views and took the risk of putting their ads over content and did not do their research well enough. The other side of the coin is that content creators need to eventually pander to their income. They don’t want the backlash that Pewdie Pie now faces.

With this situation well underway, many advertisers who intentionally advertised with Pewdie Pie have not pulled out. They had the understanding of his content and it doesn’t appear that the internet star will slow down anytime soon.