As an independent
musician you probably all ready know it, if you don’t you better get
with it. Marketing and
promoting your music online is the way to go today. Even major signed artists
are going this route, some major players even going to the extent of
releasing a new album in digital download format only.
In a pretty detailed
telephone conversation with a good friend and associate who is the
president of a pretty big independent record label he reports that
digital music sales or digital music downloads has now reached the
50% point of all music sold.
That means that pretty soon there may not even be a need to
have a physical product.
Needless to say it will sure beef up the budget for
independent artists not having to put out for CD pressing and
manufacturing. Not to
mention how much easier it will make your music distribution
So, long story short,
where am I going with this? What I am saying is that you
should be putting the majority of time, effort, and money, into
promoting your music and project online. You should seek cyber
publicity in a larger proportion over traditional print
publicity. After all,
look at all the print newspapers and magazines going out of business
today or transferring all their publications to a strictly online
version. Yep, we should
face it. If you’re not
on the Internet band wagon yet for promoting and marketing your
music, you better get there quickly. Keeping in touch with your
fans in as many ways as you can is the way go today. Do not make them come to
you, reach out to them.
To briefly summarize,
here are a few of the methods you should be employing as an
independent artist in order to promote your music and music career,
and stay in touch with your fans in the today digital age.
Para Social Relationships
You should be setting up a presence for you or you
band on as many social networking websites as you can. Surely you have a myspace
website, which we all know is important, but today, that is just not
enough. You should be
keeping your fans and potential fans informed constantly by using
social websites such as Twitter, Facebook, iLike, Squidoo, iMeens,
Reverbnation, and there are many more. Socializing in music forums
specific to your music genre is another thing you should be doing a
lot of. Setting up meet
and greets via these Internet portals is also quickly becoming a new
way to keep interactive with your fans.
Official Band or Artist Website
Your official band or artist website is important as
well. It should be as
professionally designed as possible and be consistent with your
artist image. This is your home on the web and should be updated and
kept fresh constantly.
It should have a news page, a press page, and audio page
which should be kept fresh with new news, press clips, and music.
You should also have some interactive functionality going on at your
home page so fans can get involved, place comments, and interact
with you. A blog is
another great way to keep fans informed provided you keep it fresh
and updated as well.
With a blog, fans can subscribe via RSS Feed, and everything
you post will be delivered instantly to their desktop. Very powerful.
Online Press Kit and
An online press kit, also known as an EPK
(Electronic Press Kit) is a promotional tool that every artist or
band should have, even if you have a print or digital press
kit. The online EPK
allows you to quickly send out your bands information and music
samples to venues, labels, agents, and even fans for the purpose of
Widgets -- A Big
Widgets, as I write this article, are a relatively new
form of online music promotion but if used properly are an extremely
powerful method of viral Internet marketing. Essentially a widget is a
digital screenshot of your profile and can contain streaming or
downloadable music, bio, publicity, etc. It also enables you to
gather fans email addresses.
The widget code should be placed on each and every website
from the official, to as many social sites, including your myspace
site as possible. The
beauty of widgets is that they enable fans to actually grab the
widget from your websites and place the code on their own website –
hence spreading the word to eventually thousands of new fans. You can get your widgets
free just by signing up for an account on a place like
you starting to get the meaning of Viral Music Marketing?
Digital Mailing List
should not have to mention it but unfortunately most new artists at
early stages of development I take on still do not get it. That is, the vital
importance of a digital email sign up module on all websites. Gathering your fans and
potential fans email address and storing it in a database for
distribution is crucial.
What you can do with that mailing list is amazing. Announce all show details –
hence bringing out more fans, send out a new news or publicity
announcement, broadcast a contest, and announce new CD releases –
hence more record sales.
A digital mailing list is something no artist – independent
or major should be without.
Advertising on Genre Specific
Another good online idea, if it fits your budget,
is to consider banner advertising on music portals that are within
your music genre. You
can advertise a new release, a tour, or a new deal of some
sort. Some music
portals get many thousands of visitors a month and this can
definitely increase your exposure. Make sure however, that the
banner is professionally designed and animated if possible. Some of the genre specific
music portals I speak of will only charge twenty to thirty bucks a
month to advertise your brand.
As I mentioned, if you have disposable money in your budget,
it sure cannot hurt.
Search Engine Marketing – Drive
the Traffic to all of Your Websites
Needless to say, you can
have the most professionally design, stunning, and functional
websites online but if no one visits them they are not much good,
are they? So you want
to take some time and effort to explore search engine
optimization. Find out
all the techniques search engine savvy techies use to get ranked
high in all of the search engines and especially in music related
results. Search engine
optimization, done right, is not easy if you do not know much about
it. Again, if you have
a few extra bucks in your budget you may want to consider hiring a
search engine optimization expert. Getting your band found in
the search engines can be an awesome boost to your awareness.
Distributing your music online is key. As I mentioned in the first
or second paragraph of this article, digital downloads now hold 50%
of all worldwide music sales.
It will very soon be exceeding physical CD sales completely –
never to turn around again. You should make your music
available for digital download on as many digital distribution
portals available. Some
of these include iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody, and there are a ton
more. When making your
product available online for digital download make sure to include a
profile on each portal.
Also find out how they do their sales stat reporting. You want to make sure you
are getting the proper credit for sales in the industry as on sound
scan and sound exchange for your downloadable sales.
These are only 8 tips
and suggestions for marketing your music online. There is a great deal of
other methods as well.
The way to gain exposure for your music on the Internet is
exploding with new strategies everyday. Make sure to keep up with
this and use every possible technique at your disposal for a greater
chance of music success.