Thanks to new technology and the ease of recording music these days, artists are able to produce wild tunes for people with even the most particular tastes. Many people don’t realize this but their bands (or Brands as we might call them) are effectively targeting ultra specific niches.
They’re using marketing principles to create and deliver tunes to their fans (customers). Unfortunately, due to the fact most artists are too busy to read about and coordinate their own marketing, many of them struggle to get off the ground.
Although I have focused this toward bands, branders might also find this useful. Anyway, here are some popular ways to get the word out about yourselves.
What are you all about?
I’ve been seeing a lot of bands these days that seem very superficial. If you’re truly serious about your band you need to walk the talk. That means you should be an entire package which ultimately says something about your group and its music.
If you’re a funk band, ooze a “funky kind of vibe” and wear cool gear to match your attitude. Jamiroquai, one of my favourite artists, does this exceptionally well. He lives and breathes funk.
From head to toe, you literally need to become a package.
Stand out from the clutter and be seen. There are some crazy eye-catching promos that have been done before and if done right they can really pull a crowd. A holiday company sent out coconuts with an ad on them, asking people to take a break from the hustle and bustle to go on a luxury cruise around tropical islands. Surprisingly, it caught the attention of many cash-paying customers.
Click-Tour.com (gone now) made a hugely successful viral campaign where the artists behind the website sent out “clickers” to everyone who signed up to it. The “clickers” themselves were for guys to use when they saw a girl check them out. In case you’re wondering… I did send away for one :).
Using provocative campaigns like this to promote your band can be expensive but it’ll produce its worth in results accordingly, as long as you do it right.
Setup a MySpace
Yes, I know, It’s pretty cliched but it’s too useful to let pass. On MySpace, you can get a whole bunch of friends and fans. Meanwhile you can get your tunes playing and a background designed to match. One of the most popular artists to use this successfully were the Arctic Monkeys. With nearly 16 thousand comments and 64 thousand friends, they’re kind of popular. Here is an article which might help you set one up.
Get onto Last.fm
One of the coolest new places to market your band is at Last.fm – It’s a website which allows people to connect with other people with similar musical tastes by logging every song you play, on their website. Like MySpace, you can upload songs to your artist profile for people to listen to and let them comment on your profile. In addition to that, it allows you to build communities with forums and let you see who your most devout fans are.
Finally, if you’re lucky, you might be recommended by Last.fm to hundreds or thousands of users with similar music tastes.
Be careful not to be your own best fan though!
Post on YouTube
Throw up some videos. You’re literally limitless here as long as you keep the video in line with your band’s image. You can add it as a soundtrack to a video, make a film clip of yourselves or even just a video of you playing live. Some people are bound to watch it – especially if you post your video on.
If you want to look professional you need a proper website and also a blog, as the trends say these days. Through your blog you can connect with your audience on a more personal level and use popular social networking tools like digg, MyBlogLog and MySpace (All these of course will also drive traffic to your website).
Through this unique promotional piece, you can build up search traffic to your site, benefit from interlinking blogs and the dynamic content to bring back band fans. I’ve been following Yaro’s blog traffic tips and have found it quite useful – even for my own blog.
Get a Line of Merchandise
One of the best forms of promotion is word of mouth and if you can get a “sic” T-shirt design or some bling, your fans will wear it and promote your band for you. The Avalanches, a popular Aussie band, sells designer T-shirts and donates a portion towards a cause. Their designs are so popular that they sell out over and over again. I’m still yet to get my hands on a shirt which I like from them.
Regardless, you can use it as a tool to promote your band and convey what you stand for at the same time.
Find some partners
Like in my article on co-branding, a nice strategy for your band can be to leverage your relationships with other bands and companies. Not only will they help promote your brand, you can communicate something different about your band. So if you’re rallying for environmental awareness, you might team up with an environmental group or blog to show what you stand for.
Although, taking a political stance can be a very dangerous thing to do. People guard their beliefs with strength these days. So, be careful of what you stand for – it could be your coffin.
I hope you found this useful. I’m a firm believer that you can hit the jackpot by putting yourself in the middle of social media. By the way, if you happen to turn out to be the next Arctic Monkeys, swing me an invite to your concert!