Comedy is a good investment; comedy clubs are popular because humor helps people reduce stress, according to Entrepreneur, but you’ve got to effectively advertise your shows to bring in customers. Using mainstream options such as the Internet and local newspapers provides viable alternatives for advertising your comedy shows, but you will be most successful if you don’t put all your eggs in one Internet basket. Instead, reserve some funding for offline and new, increasingly popular markets.
Once you define your target market, find out who subscribes to your city’s major newspapers. For example, if you’re bringing in an older comic like Bill Cosby, you may reach the older fans who are daily newspaper subscribers through their morning paper. If you’re bringing in a younger, cutting-edge comic like Eugene Mirman, however, you’ll want to consider the smaller neighborhood, free artsy newspapers read by more of your target market. Talk to local radio and television stations, because they may be willing to provide free sound bites for your headliners, especially if you offer free tickets or other promos that engage their audience. Radio stations like to preserve a portion of their programming for live broadcasts, so approach your comic about doing a live interview for a popular morning show.
It is no longer enough to have a great-looking website. As more and more people use mobile apps, your website must be user-friendly, provide a positive experience for your clientele, and be tweaked to work in the mobile app world. You’ve got to give viewers a glimpse or a teaser of the show they’ll see. Make it easy for users to purchase tickets on impulse from your website, including your mobile site. Put mobile coupons in your marketing messages, such as two-for-one tickets or a free T-shirt with every purchase.
Whether you run a large promotions company or are planning your first commercial comedy show, you can take advantage of social media for free access to a global audience. Social media gives you the opportunity to brand yourself and reach your clientele on a personal level. According to "Small Business Computing," in 2013, Facebook had more than 1 billion users per month, and Twitter was quickly moving into the realm with 200 million in a single 30-day period. You can use your site to link to your comedian’s page or run particularly funny clips on your own page to create the kind of persona that reflects your reputation of landing the funniest and most sought-after shows in the area. You could even get national coverage with a new joke or cartoon by your comic.
Use various techniques to help consumers find your information online. Purchase display banners on existing well-trafficked sites that cater to your target audience. New content drives search engines as much, if not more, than keywords. Ask your headliners to post YouTube clips on your site from their latest shows to drive traffic to your ticket site and to link to your site from their own fan-based websites. Create a joke for the day and get people to sign up for daily emails. Write a daily or weekly blog about various subjects that pertain to comedy, such as the many health benefits of laughing or the real meaning of a funny bone. Get your comics to write guest posts.