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Festival Best Practices

I. Introduction

Festivals and festival Giveaways have been some of the biggest drivers of traffic and new users across the DoStuff Network. Making sure things are as simple and as uniform for users across the network is going to help increase that growth and traffic throughout the year.  We should always be the first and best source for festival announces.  

II. Vanity URL

You should use the same vanity URL year after year, rather than a new one for each year or each iteration of the fest (e.g. http://do512.com/aclfestival).
  • This will give our users a consistent URL to memorize and come back to year after year
  • It will grow the SEO ranking and gain more search traffic throughout the year
  • Keep the URLs simple -- just DoXYZ.com/festival -- don’t add the year or anything extra
    • Follow the lead of festival sites and put your festival recap (photos, show coverage, etc) on the event page immediately after the festival
    • 3-4 months after the festival, add the year to the end of the vanity URL (so you’ll have the old festival recap archived) and begin a new festival page at DoXYZ.com/festival for the next year. This way your vanity URL is always the most current version of the festival, but users can find old lineups and photos by going to DoXYZ.com/festival2015 and DoXYZ.com/festival2014

III. Create the festival Event pages as early as possible

Create festival events on your metro as soon as the dates are announced -- do NOT wait for the lineups to be announced. Just create the event pages without any Artists and put "Lineup coming soon!" in the Event description. The sooner we have the Events up on the site, the sooner we can drive traffic and rise up the ranking for Google search.

Except in certain situations, most festivals should be a single event for the entire two or three day weekend. If there is only one weekend, you do not need to create a promo user since all traffic will be going to that single two or three day Event page. Your vanity URL (see above) should point directly to the festival Event page.

If there is more than one weekend (e.g. ACL Festival and Coachella), you should create Event pages for both weekends so you can set up separate Giveaways and display the different lineups. In this case the vanity URL (see above) should point to a promo user that follows both festival Event pages.

IV. Add the lineup and the lineup poster to the event as soon as they come out

Once the lineup is announced, all Artists should be added to the Event(s) you created earlier (see above) and the lineup poster should be dropped into the Event description
  • If you are a media partner with the fest get the lineup ahead of time (even if it’s just an hour) so you can post when they post
  • If you are not a media partner keep an eye out on the fest Facebook page and grab the lineup poster the moment it is released
  • Add the poster immediately to the Event pages and start promoting it on your own socials
  • The best way to do this is to have the Event pages open right before the announce, add the posters to the pages and then save pages all at once right at announce time
  • When promoting your Event page on socials, always use the official lineup poster as your share image. These get by far the most engagement on announcement day because people immediately recognize them and want to be the first of their friends to read it and share it.

​V. Always drive traffic back to your vanity URL, not the festival website

It's OK to be selfish. When you're promoting a festival, you should always be driving the traffic back to your own metro site.
  • We want users to see the usefulness of our site, to sign up for Giveaways, and to browse to other pages
  • Facebook and Twitter engagement is nice, but our sites are where we make our money
  • Even if it’s a festival that's not in your metro, you can drive traffic back to a /p/ page with the lineup poster

​VI. Dedicated Emails

A dedicated email blast on the lineup announce date and/or on-sale date can be a HUGE value to festival partners.
  • Depending on the size of your list and the size and deal with the fest, a dedicated email to your entire list may be cost-prohibitive
  • You can create a smaller segment of your list from people who have liked the event before, or have liked Events in similar genres in the past (ask DoStuff Support for info on how to do this in Radmin)
  • If you are using a dedicated email to help announce the lineup, make sure it is at the same time or just moments after the fest pushes their announcement (no earlier, no later)
  • If you have a dedicated email deal in place, leading up to the announce date you can drive users to “Sign up for our email list to be one of the first to see this year's XYZ Festival lineup” etc.
  • Keep emails basic
  • Lineup poster, text version of lineup (for people who can’t open images), and only one or two links to your metro site
  • Simple subject line: FESTIVAL LINEUP IS ANNOUNCED: MAJOR HEADLINER, MAJOR HEADLINER, MAJOR HEADLINER
  • Example email

​VII. Social Media

Emails are big, but social media can be where you really win or lose with lineup announcements and Giveaways
  • Have your social media ready to go well before the lineup is scheduled to be released
  • If there are locals on the lineup, give them a shoutout. 
  • Local bands are much more likely to RT and share your posts. 
  • Do a twitter search for “win xxx tickets”, respond to people looking to win with our contest pages. example, example, example 
  • If you can spend a few dollars promoting it. Even if it’s just $20 it’s well worth it. 
  • Do502's Forecastle Lineup Announce on FB
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May 20, 2015, 8:18 AM
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