"Web Marketing for the Music Business" by Tom Hutchison (2008)
Part 3, cont.:
Chapter 11, cont.: "Successful Promotion on the Web"
The Email Newsletter: sent to willing recipients who have signed up to receive the newsletter
1) They complement your web site. Most people spend a great deal of time reading & responding to emails, so this puts you right in front of their faces.
2) They are more cost effective than print newsletter--no printing costs or postage.
3) They are interactive. The fans read it, they see a link of interest, they click on it.
4) You can track their effectiveness, which links in the newsletter are being clicked on & which are being ignored.
5) They are viral. Word of mouth is easy because readers can forward the email to friends they think will be interested.
6) You are preaching to the choir. These fans want to know where the next gig is or when the next recording is coming out.
7) You can start to build your fan base & subscriber base now to take advantage of the next generation of communication technologies.
Most news emals take the form of headlines & a brief overview of each topic, but with links to the full story on the web site for the added multimedia & graphic content. Be sure that each newsletter link directs the reader to the appropriate page of the main web site, rather than to the home page. Have a great opening, use short sentences, & focus on the recipient's self-interest. Send a text version of the message along with the HTML part. Don't send out large files full of graphics & attachments; rely on the web site to provide the images. Keep email correspondence as a small, easy-to-download file so that it is not filling up inboxes or being filtered by spam filters because of the active content or file attachments.
Music podcasts are simply prerecorded shows, often in a radio-type format with narration & commentary intermingled with music. The major difference between podcasting & web radio is the time-shifting factor: podcasts can be downloaded, transferred to portable devices, & enjoyed at the convenience of the listener. Among internet radio stations are Rhapsody, SomaFM, Pandora, Live365, SHOUTcast, & PureVolume.
"Grassroots marketing is defined as unconventional street-level marketing using word-of-mouth influence & that of opinion leaders to disseminate a marketing message among potention customers." The following activites have been used to promote recording artists:
1) Posting on message boards
2) Visiting & participating in chat rooms
3) Blogging or submitting materials to bloggers
4) Pitching/promoting to online media
5) Visiting social networking sites & posting materials, including music, artwork, & videos
6) Finding fan-based web sites & asking the site owners to promote the artist
7) Acting as a "clipping service" by scouring the internet for mentions of the artist
Finding sites that attract the target market & then working with those sites
9) Submitting the site to search engines & music directories
10) Writing reviews of the artist or album on sites that post fan reviews
Reciprocal Links, also known as link exchanges & link swaps, benefit the site in another way. Search engine ranking is partially based on inbound links to your site, indicating popularity & the importance other web sites put on having people visit your site.
The following is advised in getting reciprocal links:
1) Find good-quality, complementary sites.
2) Place a link to them on your site.
3) Email the owner of the site a short, friendly note.
4) Praise something on their site. If there is nothing to praise, delete them from your list.
5) Tell the web site owner you have linked to their site & give them the URL of the page where you've placed their link.
6) Ask for a link back to your site, suggesting a page where the link would be appropriate.
7) Keep a record of sites you've linked to & requested links from.
Viral Marketing: any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, spreading exponentially as one group of people pass on the message to each of their friends. It capitalizes on social networking & the propensity for internet users to pass along things they find interesting.
6 Principles of Viral Marketing:
1. Give away something of value. Giveaways can attract attention. For example, the tag can say, "Win free music at www.yourartist.com
2. Provide effortless transfer to others.
3. Expand exponentially.
4. Exploit common motivations & behaviors.
5. Utilize existing communication networks.
6. Take advantage of others' resources. A news release reprinted elsewhere will include the viral message & perhaps the link.
The five most commonly used viral marketing methods:
1) email signature
2) screensaver giveaways
3) tell-a-friend script
4) use of message boards
5) writing articles & allowing reprints
Customized screen saver: The web site www.2createawebsite.com
suggests that an attractive screensaver distributed for free & imbedded with links to your web site will promote your products while offering something of interest to the user.
Tell-a-friend script is usually found on the artist's web site & can encourage visitors to pass along your information to their friends.
To find viral marketing articles, visit www.wilsonweb.com/cat/cat.cfm?page=1&subcat=mm_viral
To encourage & maximize fan-based web sites, marketers for established artists should scour the internet using search engines to find these fan-based pages. Then contact the web site owner of each site & ask them to join the "online network" to receive updates.
An RSS feed (really simple syndication) is frequently updated syndicated content published by a web site that appears on other web site. Webmasters for recording artists have found that RSS feeds are an efficient way to update information on many "satellite" fan sites with little effort, keeping the info on the artist current & accurate.
Search engine placement tips: http://searchenginewatch.com/showPage.html?page=2168021#position
How search engines rank web pages: http://searchenginewatch.com/showPage.html?2167961