Sep 2, 2022

Livestream Marketing Best Practices

Post by 
Evelyn Thompson

If we had a quarter for every time we heard “what channel is best for marketing our livestream?”, we’d be swimming in the (literal) dough. Dreams of money pile dives aside, the answer is not as straightforward as you’d think. In fact, it’s not even really about a single channel at all…

Throughout thousands of marketing campaigns we’ve run, the single most important indicator of how a certain email, post or ad will perform has always boiled down to time. And when we say time, what we mean is how many days from livestream announcement to showtime. At Mandolin, we refer to this period of time as a promotional runway and run analysis on the following promotional runway sets:

  • 6-10 days out
  • 11-15 days out
  • 16-20 days out
  • 21-25 days out
  • 26-30 days out
  • 31-35 days out

Here’s the breakdown of what we’ve learned:

Fact 1: 21- 25 days of promotional runway is the sweet spot for revenue generation.

With the highest median tickets sold and revenue generated per livestream of all other time frames considered, about three weeks of promotional runway gives your audience time to discover, consider and buy for your event. 

Fact 2: Organic social posts consistently contribute an outsized impact on sales and almost double in share of the performance output the closer a show is to playing off.

Averaging a quarter share of attributed sales for all promotional runway windows, organic social posts are a great way to kick off the discovery process, as well as to remind last minute ticket buyers to grab their seats the day of show.  In fact, for promotional runways of a week or less, the share of attributed sales for organic socials jumps from ~25% to nearly ~60%.

Fact 3: Dedicated emails play a critical role in driving sales throughout the promotional runway, but are most effective 1+ week out from show date.

Accounting for about ~31% share of attributed sales, direct-to-fan emails is a really efficient way of driving sales. To avoid inundating your fans, consider a single email at show announce and a reminder email the week of show—we recommend week of show because we see email share of sales jump from ~31% to ~42%. Looking to protect your fans’ inbox even more? Narrow your targeting to fans who have opened your show announce email or to all fans who have opened any email from you in the past 90 days.

Fact 4: Affiliate offers perform best when there is a ton of lead time to make partners aware of offers (1+ mo out).

If you participate in an affiliate network, getting your offer out as soon as possible is the key to success. While the median average of attributed share of sales to affiliate channels is modest—about 5% regardless of promotional runway window—we see it jump to almost 12% when the promotional runway is 30+ days.

Fact 5: Like affiliates, paid media performs best when you have at least 3 weeks of runtime. This is due to the fact that most paid media solutions have a “learning” period that allows them to optimize placement as your showtime gets closer.

Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and the Google ad network use machine learning to optimize ad placements for better results. Each time an ad is shown, these platforms learn more about the best fans to target, time of day to show your ads and the versions of ad creative to use. They do this through extensive testing that usually takes about a week or so to complete. While the median average of paid media performance sits at ~7% of attributed sales regardless of promotional runway, we see its share jump to 15% in the 21-25 day window, meaning 1 week of learning and 2 weeks of optimized placements.

Fact 6: Website mention of the performance averages ~19.1% of total sales across all runway periods.

As the hub of all your latest news, it's only natural that an artist’s website accounts for almost 20% of attributed sales. This pattern holds true for most promotional windows, but doubles in share when promoting at least a month out. 

Putting It All Together

Phew, that was a lot. Here’s the TL;DR:

  • Leveraging channels where you directly own the fan data drives the highest median ticket sales and gross revenue, so lean heavily on email, organic social and your website throughout the promotional cycle. 
  • Paid media and affiliates are a great way to extend your reach as long as you give them enough time to optimize. 
  • From show announce to showtime, try to give yourself at least three weeks of promotional runway.

If you’d like to see the numbers in action, drop a line below and a member of the Mando team can walk you through the deets. If you’d like some help unifying and understanding your disparate sources of fan data, give Fan Navigator a spin, free for 30 days.

About Mando Measures

Mando Measures is a series curated by the Mandolin marketing team, sharing the latest learnings for fellow music marketers around the world.