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Promoting Your 20/21 Season In A COVID-19 World

If your arts organization is like most, you have already planned your 2020/2021 season. What is the best strategy to promote it in these uncertain times?

Although we are in a COVID-19 world and business is far from usual, the same core principles of communication apply: audience segmentation, clear calls to action (CTAs), authentic messaging, and compelling content.

That said, the landscape has changed and your campaigns will need to change in response to the new normal.

Here are 6 ways to stay connected with your patrons and bring in revenue for next season's events.

1. Identify your highly engaged patrons.

The people most likely to respond to communications about your upcoming season are those who are highly engaged with your organization. Focus your strategy on communicating with them and encouraging subscription and membership renewals. This is the perfect opportunity to build on their trust and deepen your relationship.

2. Be authentic in your messaging.

Authenticity and transparency in your messaging is key at this point in time. Things change minute-to-minute so keeping patrons up-to-date about the status of upcoming events as well as contingency plans will be welcomed and appreciated.

3. Use the right communications channels.

Deploy your message on the communications channels that are the most effective in a highly targeted way. Segmenting your direct mail, email, and social media campaigns will ensure that your patrons are receiving messaging that is relevant to them.

4. Send follow-up communications.

For example, rather than sending out a series of "blast" emails to the same groups, send follow ups after the initial "sales" communication. Segment the follow ups by behavior such as opens, CTA clicks, and non-opens. This method will allow you to increase the relevance of your messaging.

5. Examine key engagement metrics.

Before you deploy your campaign, identify what your KPIs will be. These may be slightly different for every organization, but having clear key metrics will help you better gauge the efficacy of your campaign and let you know what may need to be adjusted.

6. Be flexible.

Be prepared to make changes to your campaign if it doesn't perform how you expect. Ultimately, your patrons will tell you what they are interested in through the data and you may need to change things along the way to boost performance.

Would you like to brainstorm on how your organization can implement a 20/21 season strategy? Book a time on my calendar and I’ll be happy to chat. We're here to help.

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