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« The Realities of Making a Living with Music in 2011 | Main | SEO Band Names: How To Choose A Band Name So You Will Be Found Online »
Monday
Mar142011

How Can You Drive Your Fans From Offline to Online?

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.

2. Stickers

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.

This article was written by Marcus Taylor, founder of The Musicians Guide 

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    How Can You Drive Your Fans From Offline to Online? - MTT - Music Think Tank

Reader Comments (4)

Hi!

I think with all of these and similar ideas it's key to incorporate downloadable songs in the form of download codes or websites where people can download your stuff for free. Just pointing people to your player widget on facebook or (cringe) myspace and expecting them to go back and listen repeatedly doesn't cut it. The key is to get on their ipod.

For instance, if you use Band Camp to sell your CD, you get 200 download codes each month - which is a great way to give people something free while also sending them to the page where they can buy more songs if they want to. So you could print the download codes on little mailing labels and stick them on the back of your stickers.

One could do the same thing with their soundcloud page. There are a bunch of cool service for putting your music into peoples hands, the trick is getting that information on something you can give to people who see you at the venue.

Great article!

March 15 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

Vistaprint is great! I got a whole lot of business cards for free printed with my website and my main social networks. I love it! It looks professional within the industry and when passing my information off to random people I talk to, it's something that looks legit. People are just more likely to hold on to a card than a random scrap piece of paper with my "credentials".

I get people to my website through my social networks, mainly YouTube by posting my videos and then telling them that the exclusive backstage and insider notes can be found on my website.

Example of one of my videos and description.

Also, I've just started making T-shirts. (I'm super cheap, so I'm screen printing them myself.) My website is printed on the back of my shirts.

March 16 | Unregistered CommenterSarah LaCroix

Hi
I like your sticker idea. I have had bumper stickers printed by Gotprint.com for a small local show and it was very reasonable. Just and idea: how about a beach ball with a label?

Regards, JW

July 14 | Unregistered CommenterDr.J.Watson

You could also print the download codes yourself using zankme.com Disclaimer: it's my website.
We capture your fans email (or whatever you want) and their location. You print the cards / stickers / labels yourself.

I hope this helps some of you to connect with your fans.

November 15 | Unregistered CommenterZank

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