Whilst most organisations these days have a website and email account associated with them, many organisations and grassroots community spaces exist only on Facebook, Instagram, Meetup and ticketing sites like Eventbrite and DICE. Marketing Assistant Frank Bertoletti shares some tips on reaching alternative online spaces through seeding and inboxing.
1. Why bother with seeding/inboxing?
How does this ‘seeding’ work, Frank? And why does it impact my marketing campaign? Well, dear reader, if marketing’s objective is to reach as many interested audience members as possible and generate hype around a project, how do you reach those grassroots community spaces that don’t exist in a more ‘official’ capacity?
That, I delight to inform you, is where Marketing and PR superstars like us come in – seeding is a method we’ve devised to target niche interest Facebook Groups which average several 100k members each. Inboxing is a technique I myself (Frank) devised off the back of this to reach influencers, hubs and hotspots on sites like Instagram, where the only outreach method is via direct message.
Both entail posting a brief pitch in an online space not unlike a community noticeboard, and encouraging grassroots dissemination and engagement with content to ultimately spread your event as deep into the algorithmic echelons of the internet as possible. The word-of-mouth feel to things written in these community spaces make your show or event feel way more personal too, rather than being hit in the face with a hard-sell ad campaign.
2. Who should I target with seeding/inboxing?
But Frank, where to seed? My dear reader, wherever you like! (with some caveats, namely, consent, which we’ll explore in Tip 5)
This is the fun, creative, imaginative, explorative bit of marketing! Dream up whoever you can imagine – what does your ideal audience look like? Who’s sitting in the seats? What do they have in common? What do they like to do in their free time? Asking these questions will find you your target demographics, and these are the people on whose doors we’ll shortly be a 'knocking.
Top Tip: Note down some buzzwords and use them not only in your searches but in search optimisation – if you can, have a look at which groups and identifier labels are gathering the most traction on sites like Instagram and TikTok and major search engines like Google and Safari.
3. Where should I seed/inbox?
Now we know who they are and what they might like, where can we find our target audience? Where might they congregate? Do they enjoy community organising, and thus frequent local Facebook groups and co-working spaces? Do they dwell in ‘how-to’ communities, or craft-sharing collectives? Locate those spaces, digital and otherwise, and get ready for Tip 4...
4. What am I actually seeding?
Okay then Frank, I’ve got my audience, I’m ready to seed, but what am I actually seeding? You’re in luck! I’ll tell you what - That Which Is Most Gripping To Your Audience, content creator!
It’s called ‘content’ for a reason – from the Latin ‘contentus’ (to be satisfied). Satisfying content ought to be clear, expositional, and interesting. I’d recommend always accompanying show copy with assets, be they photo assets, promotional trailers, or at the bare minimum, a link that displays a website preview. Faces famously have a higher rate of engagement, and the clearer and more direct your visual content is, the better.
We all have very short attention spans and very little time – I'm impressed you’ve even read this far, to be honest.
5. When should I seed/inbox?
Think about key posting times and don’t spam. If you post in excess of three times about the same thing in a group, they’re likely to get, well, annoyed, and we reckon that’s fair, don’t you? It’s also good to be mindful of the groups you’re posting in – some groups specify ‘no advertising’, and it’s best to steer clear of them (unless you want an inbox full of angry moderators).
Remember that the goal is to share your work with people who may find it interesting and engaging – not irritate people who won’t. Read group descriptions and rules where you can, and be mindful. If you have a show about death, maybe don’t share it to a grief therapy group. Common sense is key, and quality over quantity (though the latter helps). Get creative, and good luck! Spread your seed far and wide, my content friend.
For more how-to guides from the Mobius team check out our Five Top Tip post on:
Finding an Edinburgh Fringe PR, Using TikTok for theatre, SEO Success, Using images to support your press campaign, Social media success and Giving interviews to press. If there are any other specific fields you’d like five top tips for please do let us know.