The development of technology has impacted many industries over the years, particularly in the case of the Music Industry, the advancement of technology has totally changed it, I like to refer to it as, re-inventing it. Whether its production, distribution or marketing, every facet has gone through a dramatic change. The only thing that still rings true and I assume it will be here for a very long time, is the actual live music performance. This is obviously not anything you don’t already know, but what I do know, is there is a lot more noise out there, with so many more artists. It has also never been as easy as its right now to make direct contact with potential fans, so this is my guide to digital music marketing for beginners.
The world of gatekeepers and major music influencers has been crushed, through the development of the web. Once, radio stations were heralded as the key platform for either making or breaking your career. Now radio stations are just a nice to have and a form of media consumption I see evaporating away as the years pass on. We live in a crazy connected society and it has never been as easy as it is now, to connect with potential new fans. I mean it’s so friggin easy though, right? Well, yes and no. It all depends on how good your marketing processes are set up and how much you would like to invest. There are an arsenal of online tools you can use to help you find fans and connect with them and whilst nothing beats a fan naturally finding you, trust me, it can’t hurt, to help them find you.
So where do you start? Well firstly you need to work out your total music marketing plan, you can take a look at the Seven Sentence Music Marketing plan here. Digital marketing is one of the marketing weapons you can use as part of your plan. The key part of this plan and before you even start thinking about doing any digital marketing, you best have figured out your identity and have your image established. Again this is part of your marketing plan, but really is a guide to how you will present yourself whilst getting your name out there in the digital realm.
Let’s play a little quiz right now. If you had two choices between the below, which one would you pick?
1. A new fan to buy something
2. A new fan to sign up to your newsletter.
Well if you answered number 1, you probably should start again. When you connect with a new fan, one of the most important things to do, apart from being an awesome person, is to get some information off your new fan. Why? Because the value of that information is far greater than the purchase of one item. When you get information, you can continue the relationship and build that connectedness and of course, you can also sell to them later, over and over again, because you have their information. Please remember though, never abuse the trust someone has given you with their information.
Below is a flow of what the digital marketing looks like:
- Organic Measures – Go viral, Content Marketing (blogging) and Social Media tactics.
- Paid – Banner Ads, AdWords, Youtube Ads, Facebook Ads.
Give Value (When they find you be sure to have something they can consume):
- Free Giveaway
- Music Video
- Song player
- Get email address – List generation strategies
- Get Social Media platform signup
Inform – Email
- Newsletter creation and delivery
- Add more value and continue relationship
- Soft Selling – Music, Shows, Merch
Inform – Social Media
- Keep a log of the bands activities
- Share valuable information
- Connect with fans and create relationships
I know the reality for a lot of musicians is that they don’t know how to use the technology, although some basically refuse to use it to promote their music. There is no shame in wanting people to discover your music and if you are willing to invest some money, with solid preparation and execution, great things can happen. I know there is a sense of stigmatism attached to spending money online, due to a lot of poor practices within the industry. In fact the shame would be if you didn’t value investing, as its the time and effort you put in, over above the music that is the most important part for success commercially. I hate to say it, but in the end it’s just business. A sustainable music career, in which you do not have to spend your own money on your music is the end goal. Whilst there are no guarantees with anything, valuing the business end and investing in marketing, definitely is a step in the right direction for setting up your music career on the right path.
In music there is nothing stronger than building a solid tribe and unless you are some kind of overnight success, things can and will take time to build. Patience is key, but delusion is also dangerous. Make sure you have your Music Marketing Plan completed and understand exactly what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it. In part 2, I will go through the digital marketing process and discuss the different platforms you can use to attract new fans.