To get someone to visit your band’s website, they need to have the intent to do so – put in other words, they need to get something out of it for it to be worth their time, which is why “check out our website” is about as effective as saying “we don’t have a website” as there really is no incentive offered for them to do so.
However, assuming you’ve got that one covered (ie. you have some free downloads, or some awesome photos of your crowd from last nights gig, or maybe even some exclusive videos etc.) here are some techniques to get them to view that content from offline.
Here I’ve suggested five effective methods to take your fans from the real world to the virtual world of the net. Please chip in with your best tips on driving fans online from offline in the comments beneath this article!
1. QR Codes
With smartphone adoption increasing rapidly, QR codes are becoming a great novelty way to create a scannable link to your website – the novelty is certainly still there and if you incentivise fans to use the code with exclusive content then it can be a very effective way to drive traffic.
I am a firm believer in using branded stickers for promoting bands as they tick all the boxes – they’re a cool gift for fans, they’re cheap, they sustain a long period of time and have the potential to be seen by a large number of people depending on where they’re stuck. These days you can get a fair amount of stickers from Vistaprint.com for under a tenner, so there really is no excuse.
Including a web address on your sticker is a must, as branding is only worthwhile if it leads on to an opportunity for people to convert and become an advocate of your music. Leading them on to your website is an excellent way to do just that.
3. Mention Your Website on Stage
When you’re on stage you have a great opportunity to drive people to your website – all you need to do is mention the URL of your website and give them a good enough reason to go there. In my experience, one of the most compelling things to offer at a live gig are the photos or videos of the audience, as everyone enjoys trying to spot themselves in the crowd!
4. Word of Mouth Campaigns
What do you do when you hear a rumour about a band? Chances are you head straight to Google or the bands official website to confirm the rumour and find out more. By doing interesting things and deliberately creating rumours you will intrigue fans enough to naturally want to visit your website. This is why Lady Gaga’s outfits are always a hit - as people start asking “did you see Lady Gaga’s meat / hair / nun dress?”, which is so out of the ordinary that it intrigues and encourages you to find out more.
5. Business Cards
Similarly to stickers, business cards are another effective way to market your self relatively cheaply. If you regularly attend music industry conferences (which you should be) then these are a must. You can even use a service such as DropCards to give people a free download code on your business card, so that they also get to download a free MP3 of your music.