Imagine That: It’s Not Just About Ticket Sales!

In 2018, Imagine Music Festival was met with a critical decision. Their first option was to continue to power their ambassador program with the same tool they had used historically, an option that was focused solely on ticket sales.

Or…  

Imagine had an opportunity to engage outside-the-box thinking and select a new program that would maximize ambassador team efforts through a highly-engaged network of music fans, social media integration, and advanced field marketing tools.

The choice might have been difficult, but the outcome was clear! On-boarding SocialLadder (and stepping away from the expected approach) proved wildly successful for their fans and paid off in a big way for Imagine. Not only did it give their ambassador manager the tools to track the team, it also gave the fans a fun way to stay engaged.

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What were the keys to Imagine’s success? Utilizing the “ImagineNation” street team alongside the SocialLadder network allowed SocialLadder to run in tandem with the festival’s competitive ambassador program.

Similarly, the vast SocialLadder toolkit was used in driving social media engagement, field marketing, and innovative rewards that resulted in the following intrinsic upside for fan ambassadors:

  1. Fans were brought together in a cohesive, active fan-focused community
  2. The program helped to widen fans’ reach and social circles
  3. Fans were rewarded with elevated experiences for their efforts

And for Imagine, the increased engagement resulted in a program that produced THREE TIMES the ticket sales revenue than the competitor’s campaign did.

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The biggest win for the promoters was that 80% of the ticket sold by ambassadors to their friends were NEW ticket sales by buyers who had never purchased a ticket before.

The results were staggering:

  1. 682 Ambassadors Completed 16,673 fan engagement challenges
  2. In 100 days, more than 22 Million native social impressions were generated
  3. SocialLadder ambassadors were responsible for nearly $800K in ticket revenue

Optimizing the ambassador experience was a key driver in the success of the SocialLadder Imagine Festival program. SocialLadder made it fun for fans to be ambassadors. By giving fans more than just selling tasks, they were able to be rewarded for being active and engaged in the community.

Top ambassadors unlocked once in a lifetime experiences that will ensure their return in 2019.

BREAKING NEWS: Ambassador Programs Drive Results

STUDY SHOWS THAT MORE THAN 80% OF AMBASSADOR SALES ARE TO FIRST TIME BUYERS

MYTH: Ambassador programs cannibalize sales.

FACT: SocialLadder ambassadors sell 80%+ NEW sales for brand partners.

SocialLadder ran a study of two repeat festival partners — Lights All Night, an electronic festival in Dallas, and 515 Alive, a hip-hop festival in Des Moines. Two communities of different fans in different locations with the same results.

Of all sales made by SocialLadder ambassadors for these two festivals, an average of 83.5% were NEW sales, purchased by first-time buyers.

 

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A few tips for how your brand can find new buyers:

      1. Build a community of authentic ambassadors

Festivals are always a reunion with friends I consider family. They’ve changed my life and who I am. They’ve taught me the meaning of community!”  –Nikki Breslauer, April Ambassador of the Month

The fan journey is the most important part of the festival experience. When a fan opts into being an ambassador, you want them to feel like they are part of a community that they can relate to and feel special about. Ultimately, they are going to be helping your brand extend its reach to their friends, so make them feel like family. When ambassadors don’t feel like they are promoting alone, their overall experience is reported as being better.

      2. Convert Your Customers

The best ambassadors are people who have already purchased your product — especially early-bird or presale buyers. These are the folks who are already committed to attending your event or who have experienced your brand — which makes them your biggest fans and thus most likely to help you reach new fans (aka their friends & family).

SocialLadder is able to help brand marketers capitalize on this by automating emails to customers encouraging them to personally invite their friends to buy.

      3. Align marketing strategy with ambassador team tasks

63% of marketers interviewed in The Pulse Report: 2019 Industry Trends said that word-of-mouth was an effective strategy, and 49% said that social media — especially Facebook and Instagram — is an effective strategy to drive ticket sales. Aligning your marketing calendar with ambassador tasks is a great way to reduce your paid media spend and get ambassadors to help you spread the word — ultimately boosting your content to their personal following.

     4. Use rewards to motivate your ambassadors

What’s more hype than an exclusive afterparty or VIP tickets to your favorite festival? Using fan experiences like artist passes, free tickets and exclusive merchandise are great ways to boost fan engagement and to say “thank you” to ambassadors for their hard work. Make it easy for fans to promote your brand by providing them with sample social media posts, email messages, images, logos, event descriptions, event hashtags, and any other brand assets that will make it as easy as possible for them to spread the word, and in return earn points to unlock priceless experiences.

     5. Track results

In addition to making it easier for marketing directors to track ambassador activities, SocialLadder’s integration with e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Eventbrite enbles brand marketers to track the overall effectiveness of programs and view data to see which sales are new sales. Understanding what your customers enjoy and how they engage their friends is an important part of the marketer’s journey and an even more important factor in building a long-lasting relationship with your customers.

Lights All Night – Lights It Up with SocialLadder

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AMBASSADORS HIT 1 MILLION DOLLARS IN SALES FOR LIGHTS ALL NIGHT

Congratulations to our ambassadors for hitting 1 million dollars in ticket sales for Lights All Night through SocialLadder! Lights All Night, a popular music festival in its ninth year of celebration, partnered up with SocialLadder for their 2017 ambassador program and have continued on for the festival’s 2018 iteration as well. Lights All Night ambassadors can win exclusive rewards like free tickets, on-stage viewing, meet & greets, and more through completing online challenges, as well as selling tickets via SocialLadder!

“SocialLadder has been a massive asset to our event the past few years. From helping us push important messaging to making fans feel like they have a way to be directly involved, Lights All Night wouldn’t be where it is without them.”

The two-day end-of-year event takes place on December 28th and 29th, and will return to Dallas Market Hall. Last year’s sold-out event welcomed over 30,000 fans with huge performers like Bassnectar, Marshmello, and more. After a well-received expansion last year, the festival will continue to grow with 5 stages and over 40 acts from across the country.

Attendees can expect to see electronic music legends like Excision, Diplo, Kaskade, and Rezz performing across the unique stages at Lights All Night. The festival curates a special experience for its attendees with highlights like cutting edge production, specialty performers including stilt walkers & fire breathers, and the Disco Galaxy Stage – a 360° stage experience. Lights All Night is truly a magical experience for all.

Want $5 off select tickets? Click here & apply the discount code SOCIALLADDER to join in on the fun!

“We love having a partner like Lights All Night who always puts the fans first and understands how important it is to craft a memorable fan experience. Their use of once in a lifetime opportunities is part of that story and a really awesome way to thank their top ambassadors for making another year successful.” — Alana Bly, SocialLadder Co-founder

How To: Sell Out Your Conference!

 

How do you sell out a conference? Your strategies might differ from those employed by other types of events. In this post, SocialLadder will provide you with some tips and tricks for conference promotion that will have you on your way to selling out your event!

  • Start Early: Everything should start early: planning, organizing, and promoting. If you have your marketing materials in place ahead of time, you can start offering early bird tickets; it gets people thinking and talking about your event, and also gives the event-goers who already know that they would like to attend the chance to get purchasing tickets off of their to-do list.

  • Offer Cheap Ticket Options: Conferences tend to fall on the more expensive side, so promoting discounted or cheap tickets is a good way to call attention to the event and get tickets sold. As mentioned above, early bird tickets are a great way to get interested parties to your event who would otherwise not be able to afford it; you might also offer discounted tickets for a single day of your event, or even just the keynote timeslot. Consider running an ambassador program to give interested attendees a chance to earn free tickets in return for promoting your event and selling tickets!

  • Have A Ticket Giveaway Contest:  Along the same lines as offering cheap tickets, you can use a ticket giveaway contest as an opportunity to promote the conference. Whereas other types of events might run a lottery here, conferences might consider running a fun or challenging competition aligned with the theme of the conference.

  • Don’t Neglect Social Media: Social media is a powerful tool when it comes to promotion, but many conferences do only the bare minimum. It’s not enough these days to simply have a Facebook page and a corresponding event; a good game plan puts your brand on platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn as well, with content going out year-round and ramping up in advance of your event.

  • Use Your Panelists: Your event has a built-in word-of-mouth promotion team, whether you’re using it or not. Your panelists and presenters should be reaching out to their entire network to get their fans,  friends and family to see them speak. Consider using a brand ambassador solution like SocialLadder to catalyze this natural process and organize it into a true sales machine!

  • The Fear Of Missing Out: FOMO is quite real, and moreso in 2018 than ever! Exclusivity and necessity are the name of the game here. Can you offer your attendees the feeling that they’ve got the inside edge from attending your conference? Make sure that your event is well-photographed and recorded; a good “afterglow” being spread around on social media is key to fomenting some FOMO around your next event!

 

Of course, the backbone of your event will be your presentations, panels, and activities, but solid promotional strategy is the key to growth. Selling out is an ambitious goal – but if you’re just entering the live event arena, you should be shooting for the stars anyway! Good luck!

Click here to read more about the benefits of having an ambassador program!