How to Rectify The Two Most Common Mistakes That Every Music Site Makes
Music marketing is by and large difficult for most artists, that is something we need to realise. Marketing yourself, being confident to allow people to listen to your tracks and most importantly, handling criticism takes a bit of time to get used to. In the majority of cases though, marketing plans do fail. you may have a great sounding track, but if it is not marketed properly then it will just be white noise.
However all is not lost.
The main reasons why music marketing fails is that 1) there is always some money involved, and 2) we market our music.
They all sound a bit strange I know, but my plan is for you to get over these hurdles and to get your music out there without any hassle. I will take each of the above points in turn, but remember they are interlinked:
1) Money marketing. This is bad. The economics of this is so: you have to sell slot of tracks to get back the amount you spent on marketing, then you need to sell a few more to make any profit. The problems is, why are we spending so much money on music marketing, or, why are we spending any money on marketing at all?! The Internet has greatly reduced the cost of marketing by 100%. Yep, marketing should be free, then any tracks that you do sell is pure profit. There are so many music marketing strategies, some of which are simple ideas that are not being utilised.
Here are some fantastic free marketing strategies are not being used, at all. How about leaflet distribution, flyers, making a mailing list then advertising your new tracks on that (they already like your tracks because they have signed upto your mailing list). Applying to competitions will always bring in some much needed traffic as competitions generate 1) leads and interest from the host site, 2) your tracks will get viral marketed especially if it has become in the top 3. Viral marketing is just another way of spreading interest, all the people who voted for your tracks will recommend the great track that they heard, and you name spreads. 3) You can always advertise the fact that you got in first, second or third in X competition (always state how many other competitors were there as well- coming third out of four entries is nothing to promote really).
Surely the ultimate advertising strategy is...give away your MP3s for FREE! A simple technique that promotes your tracks. People then trust you, they love quality items, they assume then, "hmm, if this is free, and it's good, what would his selling tracks be like?" Free stuff sells pay goods, fact. Give away alot of free stuff...MP3s being the main one, and then be patient.
Once you have finished your free marketing, start again. Just keep on promoting yourself by free processes. It gets your name banded around, people will see your Webpage link and click on it increasing your traffic. It might not too successful in the first few months or maybe even a year, but stick with it, gaining visitor confidence will ultimately prevail.
2) The above is great, but why would anyone buy any track from you in the first place? To most surfers you are faceless, they don't see you on the music videos, so why should they buy anything from you?
Harsh words I know, I'm sorry, but it is true. That is the real reason why there are thousands of good groups and artists out there in Internet land marketing away, spending cash and showing nothing for it. They marketed first, wanting cash, and their visitors are literally saying "I don't think so". You then become the banner ad- looks really good, but never gets the click.
What you need to do is create content within your site. Simple as that. Without content you are just another site that the visitor has no real reason to come back to. Content also increases the chances of you being picked up by the search engines. Please note:Google, and the other big search engines have stated that their thousands of calculations per site includes content search. This is a fundamental statement, even if you are a music site giving away your MP3s.
If you have ever looked for MP3s within the search engines, there are about 6 million sites dedicated to the term MP3. Now, your one site has to be found by a visitor, the chances are very low. However, if your site has content focused keywords, such as "good guitar riffs", "how to gig" etc, then you will be picked up much easily than a simple MP3 search. Within the various pages that you have created you put, "download free guitar MP3s" or something that suits your music, and you then advertise your MP3s through the "back door". Content will also bring back the visitors, they love a site that they are interested in, they sign up to your news-letter, and then you email them with new updates, your new MP3s etc. Then you start to create your own little buzz, you create people willing to listen to your tracks.
A sideline to content is always relevant, up-to-date content. Offering tapes with your tracks on is music marketing suicide. I have seen these actually being offered on some websites. Offering a tape states that 1. You are not up-to-date hence your sounds won't be, 2. You are offering poor quality, hence your tracks won't shine, and 3. You have to pay out for the tape (postage and packaging etc). People on the Internet want things now, not tomorrow, offering MP3s, even short WAV files is giving the visitor what they want- immediate access to your tracks.
Relevant content is just as important as current content. If you have a rock website stick to rock related web pages. If I was into hip-hop I wouldn't go onto your rock site and look at hip-hop related articles. Obvious I know, but scarily this has been done. It also has another effect. The search engines see topic specific sites as just that, topic specific. If you stray away from your chosen topic it will not look good for you with the engines. They will see that your relevance has reduced and so to will your page ranking.
Content is not that easy to accomplish. It comes with time, you need to tweak, track whether that has done any good to your traffic or click throughs. You could also just be writing alot of drivel. Content needs to be "Search Engine Focused", you need to honestly persuade people to buy from you, you need to have a one to one style (like you are talking to a friend), and definitely not be boring. Nearly forgot, you need to assess who your audience is. Are they young, middle aged, technophobic? You writing style should cater for your audience. For example, a younger audience will like more colour, more tech information, a friendly banter, and up-to-date chart acts. Generally if you write as you would talk to a friend then you will be on safe lines.
This article was posted on December 14, 2005