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June 17, 2022

Why Word-of-Mouth is More Powerful than Ever for Music Festivals

Who would you trust more when it came to recommending you buy a product? Friends and family or an ad from the brand selling it? Exactly. 

That’s the power of word-of-mouth marketing versus other paid marketing channels. Put simply, word-of-mouth comes from relatable and trustworthy sources and it will be your biggest asset when it comes to selling out your next music festival.  

Why is Word-Of-Mouth So Powerful? 

Word-of-mouth is consistently recognised globally as the most valuable form of marketing for brands. It’s the most trusted by consumers and the most likely to drive sales for you. 

Nielsen’s 2021 Trust in Advertising study found that “globally, trust in advertising is lowest in North America and Europe—up to 20% lower than in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. In Asia-Pacific, trust is lower than in the Middle East and LatAm, but higher than in North America.” 

The study goes on to note that “Importantly, a lack of trust means a lack of action when consumers encounter ads. And a lack of action can quickly turn into dislike if a brand repeatedly seeks to engage with distrusting consumers.”

Based on these findings, Nielsen recommends that you should “put the consumer first in every strategy, plan and execution,” and say that “taking this step will help the most-trusted channel—word-of-mouth—lean in a brand’s favor. 

88% of global respondents trust recommendations from people they know more than any other channel.
- Nielsen 2021 Trust in Advertising Study 

Why is word-of-mouth now more powerful than ever?

Over the last decade, technology has increased in usage as well as its ability to connect people socially. This has made it more easier than ever, for fans to do your marketing for you. 

A tweet or Facebook post that takes a fan seconds, will be seen by hundreds of their connections who trust them, and it can quickly travel out to thousands more compounding the reach exponentially. 

Using the power of fans is even more important now considering the changes social platforms like Facebook are making where users will see significantly less content from Facebook Pages and brands, and much more content posted from people.

The virality of social sharing also carries effects offline. Your fans and all the additional people they reached through their social networks may take conversations offline and discuss the festival in the workplace, with friends or social groups furthering your reach. 

Harnessing the Power of Word-Of-Mouth 

Despite the increasing influence of mobile and social media, face-to-face communication still seems to hold incredible value for brand discovery and advocacy. 

Although so powerful, word-of-mouth alone is not a silver bullet and the solution to all your problems. 

Word-of-mouth should be actively nurtured, keeping fans at the forefront of all that you do. It should form part of your marketing mix along with channels such as SMS and emails to ensure you’re fueling conversations and keeping fans informed and engaged at every touch point possible. 

See how Audience Republic’s platform helps festivals and artists sell more tickets through word-of-mouth by booking a demo with our team

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Article by
Zac Messih

Zac is the Content & Partnerships Marketing Manager at Audience Republic. His previous experience includes working at Live Nation and top global creative agencies such as Leo Burnett and DDB.