Online marketing is a vast and quickly changing field. Here’s some tips on how to make the most of your shameless web promotion.
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Get a Facebook and/or Twitter account and start making friends. Like it or not, this is the best (and cheapest) way to spread your music and make new fans. If you are worried about people you don’t know seeing your personal facebook, create an additional page and use it as your ‘public profile’. ‘Facebook Fan Pages’ are handy but not nearly as good for spreading content and making new fans as a personal page.
You can decide what you talk about, but talk often! On a tour? Post pictures of the towns you are in. In the studio? Talk about what you’re recording. Personal touches are nice but don’t get too carried away – no one really wants to hear about what you did when you ran out of toilet paper.
The main things to remember are:
– Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want your parents to read (keep it classy)
– Try to stay out of the instant argument topics like politics and religion unless that’s a big part of your marketing persona
– Try to keep ‘sales pitches’ to 20% or less of your total posts
Sometimes the world wide web is a little too wide! There are thousands of websites out there trying to be the next ‘Social Media Portal’. The worst thing you can do is have 100 different profiles with outdated band information and long past show dates. Pick a few of the well established sites and keep them updated!
I know I just said it, but make sure every site is updated regularly with news, events, new music etc. It’s the only way you’ll keep people coming back.
Music videos, tour blogs, acoustic performances, unreleased tracks etc. The more the merrier!
If you spend money advertising online, make sure you are smart about it. Run multiple campaigns with different copy (the text body of the ad), images and demographics. Find what campaigns are working and focus the majority of your spending on them. Facebook Ads and Google Adwords both give you useful tools to keep track of your advertising statistics. Use them!
Advertise To Your Demographic
Companies like Facebook and Google take everything you do online and use it to aim advertisements at you. This may seem scary but really it’s good for everyone. Advertisers can focus their ad revenue on people that will be interested in their product and consumers don’t have to see ads that don’t apply to them (that’s right guys, no more feminine hygene ads!) Use this to your advantage when advertising online, you’ll be amazed at how specific you can be. If you think the majority of your fans are 15-25 year old single men who live in Omaha and like John Deere tractors, then you can advertise directly to them!
Have A Home
Myspace is proof that even the most popular sites aren’t popular for ever. Having a page Facebook, MySpace, Reverbnation, Twitter, Sonicbids or the like isn’t a substitute for your own website. Make an easy to navigate official website and try to direct new fans there first. Put links to all your other social media sites on the homepage as well as links where your music and merchandise can be purchased. Be sure to have a sign up form for your mailing list – email is still a great way to keep in touch with fans.
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to online promotion. Different artists, genres and budgets require different approaches.
Mike Southworth is a Producer, Musician, Director and Jack-of-All-Trades who lives in Vancouver with his wife and pet iPhone.