It is not easy to effectively market your music online. First you have to tackle the basic challenge of completely understanding digital marketing. Next you need to make sure that you understand the technology necessary to market music online (such as digitizing your music for download). And finally you need to compete with all of the other musicians out there who are trying to do the same things.
However, it’s not impossible. In fact, if you follow these ten steps you’ll be well on your way to effectively marketing your music online:
1. Invest in a great website.
A music website must be above average in order to get attention. You need to have a user-friendly website, of course. However, it’s very important that it’s visually pleasing and includes both audio and video. This is how your potential customers will learn what your music is all about. Consider it a first impression, from your logo to the overall look and feel of the site.
2. Do local search engine optimization on your site.
Musicians do want to market to a nationwide group of people. Good standard SEO is important for that. However, you also want to do some local SEO. That’s because local fans are the ones that are going to pay to come out to your shows. You want your band to show up in local music searches and local SEO work will help you make that happen.
3. Add a blog.
Every good website has a blog these days. Musician sites are no different. Every time that you do something interesting you should blog about it. Additionally, you can blog about other bigger bands that are similar to yours. This will attract their fans to your site and they may eventually become fans of yours as well.
4. Comment on other blogs and forums.
You want to be an active participant online in all areas of the music world that are relevant to you. If you actively comment on blogs that are similar to your music blog then you will naturally inspire a curiosity about you among the readers of those blogs.
5. Offer to guest post on other blogs.
This is another great way to get the fans of existing music blogs to start paying attention to your blog (and ultimately hearing your music). Contact blogs that you enjoy and ask if you can write a guest post for them with a link back to your own site. Write a high quality post that will intrigue readers.
6. Get active on social networking sites.
This is how you will find new fans for your music. It is how you will stay in touch with the people who already like your music. It is how you will connect with everyone who may be interested in your music. Make sure that you are active on all of the major social networking sites that are useful for musicians, which include, but are not limited to, MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
7. Create an app.
The mobile web is increasingly important and mobile phone apps are really hot right now. Create an app that is relevant to your music and you will gain new fans. One example might be to create a simple game relevant to your band and offer it for free to appeal to people. Alternatively, you may work with the developers of existing apps. For example, you may offer your music to people selling ringtone apps.
8. Make your music available for purchase online.
Online music marketing means making sure that your music can be purchased in as many online places as possible. You may sell downloads directly from your website. You may sell your music through CDBaby, Amazon, iTunes, or other online stores. The more available it is, the more likely it is that people will become aware of it and will buy it.
9. Ask people to review you.
Word of mouth is how you get attention on the Internet. Ask bloggers and music magazines to check out your online press kit and write a review about your music. It never hurts to ask.
10. Get offline!
One of the most important things that you can do to boost your online marketing is to spread the word offline. Attend as many music events as possible. Pass out free EPs or fliers that refer people back to your website and social networking sites. This brings your offline marketing back online and everything comes full circle.
Your Thoughts on Online Music Marketing
Can you think of another creative way to market music online?
This is a guest post by Vern, who enjoys freelance writing and rocking to some Katy Perry ringtones whenever people call him on his iPhone (and he’s not afraid to admit it)!
MUSIC MARKETING RESOURCES:
- NEW: Jeri Goldstein @JeriGoldStein has EXCEPTIONAL expertise as a Music Business Career Development Consultant assisting musicians with booking gigs. Find out what she does at PerformingBiz.com ~ I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you buy her books and music career development blog !
- Ajust Entertainment‘s free, short PDF Social Media Marketing for Musicians e-book to help musicians with social networking! Follow Ben Witherspoon @AjustEnt on Twitter
- Rock Star Lifestyle Design ~ @Greg Rollett
- Brand Like a Rock Star ~ Steve Jones @RockStarBrands
- Online Music Marketing Guru and Music Marketing Book Author Mike King Music Marketing blog ~ @atomzooey
- Music Marketing Speaker Michael Brandvold ~ @michaelsb
MUSIC RELATED BLOGS:
- Greg Percifield’s MusicForteNews @MusicForte – NEW MusicForte Store
- ManuelMarino.com Musicians Community @ManuelMarino
- MusicBlogTips @BlogNames
- Michael Brandvold
More Music Marketing Tips from the Comments:
“Don’t forget that you can target media players, bloggers, folks that work at indy, major labels, promoters, critics and fans of similar bands using FB and LinkedIn ads.
Try thanking your fans, touting awards, and other soft-touch don’t-sell-too-hard tactics. Post music videos from YouTube on your brand page and run sponsored stories, promoting it to friends of friends interested in similar music, as well as the list above.”
~ Marty @AimClear AimClear Marketing ~
“Through talking to and working with bands I’ve found social media to be a massive tool in establishing and building a relationship with fans. First-time listners use it as their main point of contact for updates while your loyal fans will follow your every move on Twitter, Facebook & Tumblr. Big time stuff!” ~ Bill from DWMusic.com.au ~
“After adding a blog to my website I saw my visitors increase ten fold. I know that search engines love new and great content. It is one of the best things you can do in your marketing efforts. That and like you said “get offline” and do as may gigs as absolutely possible.”
~ Jackson from MyClothingBay.com ~
I used to have a successful DJ who commented regularly here. Maybe he got so busy he doesn’t have time any more. Since he does a lot of weddings one of his best tips is to review the caterers, florists, musicians, etc. that he runs across in his line of work on sites like Yelp, Merchant Circle, Google Places, Yahoo Local, etc.
When someone finds one of them they’ll see a review from his related service and he is likely to give and get recommendations directly, too. I imagine he makes sure each of them has his business cards, too.”
I have a post with links to tips and where to write reviews of small businesses.