Back in the good ol’ days, discovering new music took more than a click to myspace. Fans actually had to browse the local music zine, find a show that sounding promising, head out to the venue, and hope for the best. If an artist had any hope of commercial exposure, the radio was their only mass outlet. Then myspace came along. Suddenly, there was a worldwide medium that provided fans with instant access to the music they wanted to hear. The way that music is marketed was forever changed. Soon, there were unknown bands that were able to build a massive fan base through the web, and label reps were checking out the top rated profiles to find their next big act. Myspace is still an essential aspect of online marketing, but a few things have changed. Friend adders and song-play increasers have comprimised the legitimacy of profile stats. Aside from a few exceptions, this has made it far more difficult for unknown bands to “get discovered” from their page. The ability for anyone with an audio recording to have a music site for their band, resulted in an over-saturation of content. Overtime, the massive number of “myspace bands” (and sneaky hackers) began to give the site a bad rep for spam. This, along with other safety concerns, led many users who were once “potential fans,” to switch over to other networks. Labels and artists continue to utilize social network marketing as an effective method of promotion, but these days it takes more than a myspace page to get the attention of fans on the web.
It is common knowledge that the internet has revolutionized the way that music is marketed. There are countless websites that allow musicians to upload their music and share their content with the world. This is really an amazing achievement when you consider the music industry before the internet. However, it leaves artists with a very difficult task. How can we utilize this medium to stand out amongst the crowd and reach our potential audience? A professional website is an essential aspect of an effective marketing strategy. Not only does a website show that you are more than just another band with a myspace profile, but it provides a canvas for you to create an array of innovative methods of promotion.
Developing an effective site can seem a bit overwhelming initially. You want to ensure that you accuratley represent the personlity of your brand. So it is easy to quickly become bogged down in minor details. While you could spend weeks picking out the perfect shade of red, it is important to reminder yourself that the content is what people are there to see and hear. To start, jot down your ideas for the basic visual concept of the site. This will save you plenty of time and money once you begin to consult with a web designer. Next, outline the pages that you want to include on the site. It is good to start with the basics: home page, music, pictures, videos, tour dates, and a blog. Once you have outlined the content for the basic elements, it is time to work on incorporating an interactive concept. Creating an interactive community through your site, will give your viewers an intimate experience and a reason to check back often. Some effective concepts include contests, viewer submitted material, or a free download for newsletter subscribers. Try browsing the sites of similar artists to give you some ideas to work from. Take your time in developing a fun and original concept, as this aspect of your site can drastically help to jump start its popularity. Once you have developed your concept, it is time to choose a designer.
If you are on a tight budget, there are many free sites that are worth checking out. webs.com and wix.com are two popular sites. There are a few downsides to a free site. You are limited by their templates, the content you can upload, and your web address will include their name (i.e. mymusic.webs.com). Another low budget option is leasing a template. There are a number of sites that offer non-exclusive use to professional templates, such as templatemonster.com. These sites allow you to purchase the right to use the template for your site. The downside here is that anyone can buy the template. Also, if you don’t have web design software, you will still have to hire a web designer to customize the site. In choosing a site, it is important to note that most mobile devices do not support flash websites. If you want viewers to be able to access your site on their mobile device, you will want to go with a html or wordpress format. You can also try a hybrid design, where only a few elements are flash. If you have a budget for design, there are many great web designers that offer professional sites for a wide range of budgets. Take the time to shop around to find the best fit for your situation. It is always a good idea to ask for references, guarenteed turn around time, and a portfolio of past work.
For our sites, we use steadysystems.com Steady Systems is a design company that offers a range of affordable options for websites. They are very reliable and do excellent work. One of the things that led us to choose Steady Systems is their Content Management System (CMS). Their CMS tool allows you to modify your site on your own. You can log into the system and update text, music, videos, photos, and all other aspects of the sites content. By utilizing their system, you don’t have to pay your designer to update your page every time you want to add something to the site. The changes take place instantly, so you can effecientely maintain your constant stream of content.
Once you have launched your site, be sure to outline a plan to keep the site up to date and frequently add new content. This is a vital aspect of building your online fan base. Make sure that you give your viewers a reason to come back by creating an interactive experience. You can also help drive new traffic to your site by various methods of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There are many great resources on the web that will help you get started. Websitegrader.com is an excellent source to track your progress. Optimizing your online presence can be a daughting task. If you put in the work, the reward is well worth it!
I hope this article provided you with the information you need to take the next step in developing your online marketing strategy . We would love to hear your questions, comments, and feedback! If we can be of any assistance, feel free to drop us a line!
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