Are Fliers For A Show Even Worth It? Pt. 2

Previously, I had two posts that generated some great comments and insights into fliers for a show.  The first was about flier legibility which then lead to the question if fliers are even worth it.

Today, I saw a HypeBot link about QR tags that inspired me to collect the awesome comments and to add a new recommendation for fliers.

Topics in this post:

  • Add a QR code to the flier
  • Flier in the appropriate areas
  • Artwork
  • The flier is also a coupon
  • Brand awareness
  • Partner with local distributors, organizations, and charities

Add a QR code to the flier

Hypebot posted about a limited invite beta to ShareSquare.  I was lucky enough to to get on the beta, and saw the services they offerred bands by creating QR codes.  That’s when it clicked in my brain, use QR codes for fliers!

For those unfamiliar with QR codes, they are like bar codes, but you can scan the QR code with a cell phone app, and it has information in it like a website, a message, or an SMS.

I hunted around and found a website that will generate a QR code for you for free.  You can make the QR code point to your website, a phone number, an SMS, or just a text message.  Go to Kaywa’s QR-Code page.

For fliers, this QR code can point to a free download, a special coupon people can print, or more information about the show.  Anything you want.  The best part is this is you can connect with people digitally right from the flier!  Now fliers and their effectiveness can be tested and measured.  Make a unique landing page from the QR code and measure the results using something like Google Analytics or hits on a YouTube video.

Flier in the appropriate areas

Greg – likeZEBRA says:

Another quick note that is somewhat a no-brainer is to know your audience. Don’t flyer in areas that are not trafficked by your demographic in some way or another.

It definitely doesn’t hurt to experiment with different demographics and locations. Thinking outside the box could really help a band stand out when most commonly flyered locations in town are the local record store or musical instrument shop.

Spooky says:

You won’t get many results from a flier hung on a church’s cork board if your band is the embodiment of Satan, Himself. Hanging a flier up in Wal-Mart won’t bring any fans if your band is promoting anti-consumerism.


Spooky says:

Making fliers noticeable is why the art work is so important. We have a venue here who’s fliers have become collectors items, due to the artwork. That means there are people not just noticing the fliers, they are looking for them.

Hunter Heimburger says:

I, for one, wish that more band would spend time on flier design and artwork and make it look more like a commissioned concert poster. Budgets differ from band to band (or co-op, label, etc.) so print in color if you have the scratch to spend, or black & white if you don’t, but keep the flier design simple and aesthetically-pleasing. Your band works towards a reputation as a legitimate group around town, and eventually, worthy of $8 and an hour of people’s time.

The flier is also a coupon

Copsrfagz says:

“If you wanted to find out how effective your fliers are you could add something to them that would make someone who attended your show let you know they saw the flier . This could be something as simple as “Show this flier for a free gift” and give everyone who hands you a flier a free button or something of that nature. You could even A/B test two different fliers for the same show and figure out which one was more effective and propagate elements from the winning flier into your future ones.

I’d like to add something old school.  Make the bottom of the flier have little tear-away strips with either some additional info, a coupon, or raffle ticket.  People can pocket the info for later.

JMH says:

Do fliers work? Prolly not by themself but when matched up with other forms (im talking budget advertising-websites, social media, article in the local nightlife weekly, etc…) then they can work.
Heres something to try for flier demographics if you ever play for part of the cover at the door: BRING IN THIS FLYER FOR $5IVE OFF COVER** (or whatever ur cut of the door is) AT DOOR. Then have a couple of your people set up at door with a pen and a digital camera.
For every person with a flier they **have to write down thier email address and age. Then you snap a quick photo and jot down the number (my camera displays this at the top right of the photo right after you shoot it) of the digi photo with the email addr. & tell people to go to the website (which is on the business card/handbill u give them- or jus the bottom half of the original flier) to see their photo posted on the “friends of the band” in _____(location) page.
People usually come out to shows in groups or at least pairs.. Most of the time people love a crazy group snapshot on location. Especially girls.

Ok u just lost 5 bucks but you also just:
(1) got a VALID email address
(2) got INSTANT demographix (with photo and age) and info on which fliers worked (provide that u color coordinated your fliers- different color papers for different parts of the city)
(3) more important you just built an instant, PERSONAL CONNECTION and MEMORY with a potential fan

Patrick says:

Just want to point out that the free beer thing is a great idea. My old band actually did that. We talked to the owner of the bar and when people came in, the door man asked who they were there to see (something the bar did anyway, to decide how much to pay the person) The ones who were there to see us were given a ticket that we had made at home, and they could redeem it for a free beer.

At the end of the night, the bar charged us for the beer from our pay. Door charge was $4, and each beer costed $2, so for each person that came to see us, we got $2. We ended up with something like $60, at a small bar. It worked out well, we were happy, the bar was happy, and the people were happy

Brand awareness

Evan Hamilton says:

I spent years flyering the hell out of Santa Cruz, CA for Monsters are not Myths and I’m fairly convinced it never got anyone to the show. What it DID do is give brand awareness. Especially after a few years of playing, we’d hear people say “oh yeah, I’ve heard of you guys”.

This comment actually inspired me to try a different type of fliering.  I’m just going to put my band’s name out there and a link to my website.  The purpose is just to get people curious and start spreading the name around.  Bundle that with a QR code, and I got a little marketing plan.

Partner with local distributors, organizations, and charities

Ron Fife says:

Two things that my band ‘Kilt Rock’ Mother Grove has done that make flyers more effective:
1. We are sponsored by Bushmills. They provide us with posters, banners, giveaways (shot glasses, mugs), and sometimes even send out Bushmills Girls to special events. And we get to put the Bushmills logo on our home-made flyers and on our website and correspondance which looks impressive to people. Not every band can get a sponsorship but your local liquor distibuter does have a budget for it. Just ask a bar manager for contact info for his local distibuter.
2. We somtimes will make a show an event by getting a local charity or organization involved. For example we have a show coming up that’s going to be a “Kilt Night” in conjunction with the local Scottish Society; they’re going to be raffling off prizes to raise money for the organization. We get paid a flat fee at the venue so we’ll be making the same $ anyway but there will be more people there as a result of their involvement so we’ll sell more Merchandise. That particular situation is unique to our genre, but any band can find a local charity or organization looking for a bit of exposure and publicity and as a result your show becomes an event.

These comments are excellent!  Keep them coming!

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4 Responses to Are Fliers For A Show Even Worth It? Pt. 2

  1. thekai says:

    QR codes on flyers?


  2. When our band won a local award, many of the comments stated that the person had seen posters or fliers all over our town. Name brand recognition might be the difference between Tide and generic detergent.

    • You win! That is so damn quotable! “Name brand recognition might be the difference between Tide and generic detergent.” Haha!

      This is awesome feedback. So maybe fliers won’t get people flocking to a particular show, but they defintely create attention to your band’s name. What I get from this is that bands should be fliering regardless if they have a show or not. Maybe they should flier for their website, e-mail lists, YouTube videos, etc.

      I think you just inspired “Part 3” of this series! Thanks, Steve!

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