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1. Write, record and play high quality music
It seems like an obvious thing to say, but everything starts & ends with the music. If the songs are poor, the recording is bad, and the live show is dull don’t expect to make a living from music.
2. Continue to only deal in high quality
Some of the best new bands and artists are let down by terrible videos, bad photography and shocking design. Yes it is fickle, but judging a book by it’s cover is a reality. When you are choosing which artist to review, book, or even sign you are invariably drawn to the most attractive presentation. So why not increase your chances of being heard? Remember, you can have the best music in the world but if nobody listens ,you get nowhere.
*I’m Jamie Leger, and if we haven’t already met, I’m here to hook you up with this caliber of content on the regular. You can sign up for my VIP Email List to get the latest premium content, as well as answers to your questions, and someone who really gives a crap that’s out here testing, (experimenting both personally AND helping others) and reporting what works and what doesn’t.
Justin Timberlake recently released his first song as a lead artist in almost 7 years. That’s right; 7 years! To turn this release into an event, Justin and his team at Uprising Creative made a gorgeous landing page. I think it’s a stellar example of everything a landing page should be. Let’s take a look at how the landing page dresses up the release of “Suit & Tie.”
The world’s leading global communication and measurement company, Nielsen, just released their newest report, State of the Media: The Social Media Report 2012. While the continued growth of social media is no surprise, there are several new trends that musicians should be aware of.
First, there is the idea of “the global living room” or “social tv.” TV-watching has transformed into a new immediate and shared experience. Over 33% of Twitter users actively tweet about TV-related content, making it a shared experience on a larger scale. People especially love to engage real-time during broadcasted events. TV programs are responding by not only taking in the immediate feedback, but writers are adjusting scripts based on what trends, TV shows promote hashtags for viewers, and they sometimes broadcast live tweets (if appropriate for the program).
Hello again my Think Tank friends, and welcome to part two of my beginners guide to music marketing. If you haven’t already seen part one, I suggest you check it out before going any further (Link opens in a new window). Part one looks at what music marketing is and why it’s needed, the power of leveraging established platforms to get your music out there faster, and types of online and offline platforms you could use to market your music to targeted fans of your genre.
For independent musicians, a digital publicity campaign can be a critical component to the overall marketing strategy that will help to:
1. Reach new fans
2. Increase online influence
3. Create new content that can be used to continue to build strength of existing fan base through social media
While all three of these are important goals for musicians to have, and there is no doubt that a PR campaign can help artists to achieve them, many musicians decide to jump into this too early. Without the proper assets, the likelihood that you will actually achieve these goals from a PR campaign are greatly decreased.
In order for a PR campaign to truly be successful, you must have the 5 following assets:
Most of the time, playing in the middle won’t serve you well. You blend in or stay stuck in a homogenous pattern. Sometimes, playing the extremes can help you cut through and serve the needs of a different audience.
Let’s consider what people use to watch television. In the middle are a lot of average-size TV screens. But on the edges you’ll find extremes. On one end are the huge flat screen TVs and home theater systems. On the other are iPods and smart phones with tiny screens that play video. They all serve a need and appeal to certain people at different times.
Chris Hacker here, I create Marketing Plans for artists at Cyber PR® and really enjoy working with my many clients. I’ve noticed a huge problem though. Artists call the Cyber PR® offices all the time looking for us to promote their new album, totally fine of course, but the problem lies in that many of these artists call us when their albums are coming out the next week!! It completely baffles me that an artist or band will work so hard on an album, spending hours and hours writing songs and practicing these songs and then spending large sums of money recording, mixing and mastering, to only rush the release with no plan in place! Not planning enough lead time for a press campaign isn’t the only issue, but many people we talk to try to release their album when some of the basic music promotion elements aren’t even in place, for example a website where you can sell the music!
I can’t stress this point enough. If you want to get the right sponsor, label, agent, etc., you have to treat the process like you would for a high-end job. You wouldn’t send a generic cover letter filled with typo’s and grammatical errors or an incomplete resume would you? It seems basic but nearly 70% of the submissions I receive lack some of the basics - at least 20% forgot to include the band’s name or a link to the website. If you want a someone to take you seriously, then you have to take yourself seriously enough to make sure the presentation is just right.
It’s often said “It isn’t what you know but who you know.” Just like job applicants who have a mutual contact or letter of recommendation have an advantage, artists that have spent their time networking and building their reputation will have much greater odds. Think of A&R reps as recruiters or the HR department. Put yourself in their mindset, ask someone else to look at your press kit before you hit send. Try not to send unsolicited demo’s (if it is a company you want to work with, introduce yourself and get to know them first).
When it comes to music and advertising, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. What works for some artists will not work for others, and vice versa. However here’s one thing I can tell you for sure: too many artists are using advertising as a blunt force weapon. Simply dropping a picture of yourself, your band, or your album art into an ad unit and then indiscriminately campaigning nationwide for clicks will rarely generate the advertising ROI you need to justify spending on another campaign.
Based upon my own experiences and upon the numerous campaigns I have reviewed over the last year, I believe artists should 1) commit to running numerous test-trial campaigns prior to allocating the majority of their advertising spend to a single message, and 2) seriously consider which geographic targeting option (local, regional, or nationwide) will generate the immediate ROI artists need to justify a continuous investment in advertising.
I’m continuing the Music Marketing Experts FAQs where my favorite gods and goddesses of online marketing and Social Media promotion share with me the questions they get asked the most by musicians.
What’s most important as a promotional tool; Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube?
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