Disclosure: Sarah’s Jazz Club is a creative venue launched and managed by Jazz Arts & Communications Ltd, owned by the author of this article, jazz singer and digital marketing consultant Sarah Fenwick.
Sarah’s Jazz Club in Nicosia, Cyprus, took around three years to build. The process of building and licensing the innovative project was expensive and time consuming, but the results were groundbreaking. We felt we were making a true contribution to the arts of jazz and blues, to the audience, and to the musicians’ community.
But our resources were stretched to the limit and we knew we’d be opening the jazz club on a shoestring. To save money, we decided to launch and promote only on social media until we had the budget to go to the traditional media.
The campaigns were mainly on Facebook, where we started a Page and advertised the opening date through Boosts and Advertisements. The audience was able to book directly from Facebook through messages, and the interaction and communication was free-flowing and efficient. Facebook is ideal for music branding and interest-based marketing. The group ‘Support Jazz and Blues in Cyprus’ I started in 2012 now has close to 2000 members and was another effective tool in getting the word out.
My Facebook profile helped me to send personal posts about our excitement about opening and get people involved and inspired. The outpouring of support was incredibly encouraging and motivated us to keep going even when the project development was tough.
Not a penny was wasted. We tracked each campaign’s success or failing and adjusted on a daily basis. We built the audience based on constantly-changing demographics, timings and interest tactics. The results were encouraging, each night during our Summer ’17 season had solid attendance with a few exceptions. We had chosen the most difficult time of year to launch. Summer in Cyprus is for travelling and holidays, so the success we experienced was actually against the odds.
Posting on Linkedin, Instagram and Twitter was another tactic. Several of the posts took off on Linkedin because of the project’s innovative character and the good wishes of the business community. In the tough times that followed the economic recession and financial crash in 2013, new businesses are more in danger of failing than ever before, so the business community is seeking signs of life and vitality!
Press releases were shared on Social Media, giving them more exposure to the journalists who use these channels. In recent years, Social Media has become a source for journalists and in spite of all the talk of fake news, the genuine stories still have an audience.
The biggest take aways from our soft launch campaign were:
- Communicate. Communicate the good and tough times on Social Media. You’d be surprised at the support you can receive.
- Spend a lot of time Boosting and Advertising on Facebook.
- Avoid guilt tripping people who appear to ignore your promotions, they are often not online or simply interested in another event. Build relationships, don’t tear them down with negative messaging.
- Man your Facebook Page Inbox, don’t abandon it.
The message to other creative musical ventures: make Social Media your central stage.
Sarah Fenwick is a marketing communications consultant offering services to digital marketeers, and the author of the E-book ‘How to be a Holistic Digital Marketer’. She has 25 years in the media and the arts, and is a practicing journalist and a jazz singer.