Author Topic: Books about promoting music on the internet  (Read 6829 times)

sueintucson

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Re: Books about promoting music on the internet
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2009, 07:19:18 pm »
Review of "Web Marketing for the Music Business" by Tom Hutchison (2008)

Part 1:
This book is aimed at musicians who want to promote & sell their music on the internet.  Chapter 1 gives the history of music on the internet, including the history of Itunes.  He notes "the self-promoted artist and those on small independent labels now have several outlets through which they can promote and sell music to a wider market than in the past...Not only are these small enterprises able to promote and distribute music at a fraction of the previous cost, but the newer, sophisticated techniques for music discovery and search engines, collaborative-filtering software, and music networking sites make it easier for music fans to discover and find some of these lesser-known artists."

Chapter 2 gives the statistics of the rise of E-commerce, music sales, and music delivery and marketing.  Chapters 4-6 involves information on how musicians can set up their websites, while Chapter 8 gives the nuts and bolts for putting audio and video on the website.  Chapter 9 covers E-commerce, how to set up product ordering and fulfillment from the site.

Chapter 3 lists the components currently used to market musicians:
Publicity - press releases, news stories, feature stories, magazine covers, photos, television appearances, & interviews
Advertising - "Consumers are targeted through radio, television, billboards, direct mail, magazines, newspapers, & the internet."  The advantages of the internet are best targeting (can target based on consumer's interests), potential for audio & video sampling, & can be considered point-of-purchase if product is available online.  Disadvantages are that slow modem speeds (for some) limit quality & speed, it doesn't reach the entire market, & the internet is vast & adequate coverage is elusive.
Radio Promotion
Retail Promotion
Music Videos
Grassroots Marketing - "(sometimes called guerrilla marketing or street marketing) consists of using nontraditional marketing tools in a bottom-up approach to develop a groundswell of interest at the consumer level that spreads through word of mouth.
Internet Marketing - "It is common these days for every television show, radio station, & print publication to host its own web site. Often these sites can be used for interactive marketing campaigns, such as contests....Marketing for artists & record releases often incorporates a web component for each media event, whether it's to drive traffic to the media vehicle's web site or to encourage fans to sign up for information or prizes."  [I had a personal example of that last week.  I received an email from Whitney Houston with a copy of the first song from her upcoming CD.  I have no idea how she got my email address.  She is a friend on MySpace, but my email address there is supposed to be hidden.  Dunno]
Tour Support
Special Markets & Products, for example, getting songs included in a movie, on a TV show, or in a commercial are special markets. Special products are compilations & samplers, or "branded" CDs that are available only through the sponsoring retailer [like the Walmart version of Melinda's CD, with the extra song].
« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 07:37:33 pm by sueintucson »
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sueintucson

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Re: Books about promoting music on the internet
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2009, 08:01:33 pm »
"Web Marketing for the Music Business" by Tom Hutchison (2008)

Part 2:

Chapter 7: "Optimizing & Monitoring Your Web Site to Increase Visitation"
Increasing traffic to the web site includes not only search engine optimization (SEO), but also creating element of the web site that will (1) bring in more visitors, (2) retain visitors longer, & (3) create more repeat traffic.  "Web surfers visit particular web sites because they are looking for something of interest.  For music fans, information about music & the music itself play an important part, but it is also about the community & fun."
He defines search engine optimization as "the practice of guiding the development or revamping of a web site so that it will naturally attract visitors by gaining top ranking on the major search engines for selected search terms & phrases."  Site relevance, which helps determine how prominent the site is in search engine results can be improved by including a few extras in the site.

Search engines look for keywords when sorting & ranking sites.  This includes meta tags ("author-generated HTML commands that are placed in the head section of an HTML document, which help identify the cntent of the page & specify which search terms should be used to list the site on search engines"), but also text that appears in the first few paragraphs of the page to catalog content-rich sites.  "Because search engine placement is about beating the competition for the top slot in search results, the best place to start is by lookiing at the competition.  Use one of the popular search engines & type in keywords that members of your target market would typically use to look for your artist or music.  As the results of the search are displayed, visit the first few listings to see if they are indeed targeting the same market & are considered competitors.  You can actually use these web sites to improve your own.  Look at the keywords they use by using your browser's "view source" function to look at their meta tages.  Look at the text appearing on their home page & the titles used.  Consider any words or phrases that you find on these sites that you may not currently be using."

Some web companies specialize in SEO, & for a small expense, you can have  the experts handle this.  There are also web sites that will assist in evaluating which keywords are most successful in generating traffic & top search engine placement.  There are two types of tools for managing keywords: (1) keyword generators & (2) keyword verifiers.

Keyword Verification Tools:
Google AdWords keyword tool,  https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
Digital Point Management keyword tool,  www.digitalpoint.com/tools/suggestion
Keyword verification tool, www.marketleap.com/verify

Another characteristic search engines use to rank keyword results is link popularity, how many other sites think your site is important enough to link to it.  The quantity (popularity) & the quality (relevance) of links to your site are used to determine ranking status.  Link quality is defined as those from other sites with high page rankings for relevant search terms.  You can improve your link popularity by contacting webmasters at other relevant sites & asking them to place a link on their site that will lead visitors to your site.  Use the search engines to find appropriate sites to request link placement.   Type in the relevant keywords, & visit pages that appear at the top of the results.  Ask those webmasters to add your link.  Sometimes this can be achieved through a link exchange.  Ask fans to link to your site, & perhaps offer a contest or incentive (a free download) for all who comply.

Keyword Popularity Tools:
Market leap link popularity tool, www.marketleap.com/publinkpop
www.seocentro.com/tools/seo-tools.html

Tell-a-Friend Scripts:
www.plus2net.com/php_tutorial/tell_friend.php
www.javascriptkit.com/script/script2/tellafriend.shtml

Contests are a great way to generate traffic to the web site.  They provide something of value to visitors & encourage them to return to the site.  Visitors should be required to provide their email address & other valuable marketing info to be entered in the contest.  You can then us this info to create a mailing list, but be sure to alert visitors to this possibility & give them the opportunity to opt out of receiving future emails.

Blogs are a good way to encourage repeat visits to the web site.  Blogs are also popular with search engines.  The fresh, keyword-rich content of blogs is easy to find & catalog. Search engine spiders will crawl a site more frequently if it is updated regularly.

An effective, up-to-date email list is a valuable marketing tool & allows for e-newsletters to be sent to fans who have shown enough interest to sign up.  Web sites should post their privacy policies to avoid any confusion or legal complications.  When recruiting visitors to sign up, it is more attractive to present this as either a guest book or free membership to the artist's fan club, rather than just signing up to receive emails.

Monitoring Web Traffic:
Web traffic refers to the number of visitors to your web site & the number of pages visited.  By including a bit of programming code on each page of the web site, the webmaster can learn a lot about the visitors.

What to measure:
1. Number of visitors
2. Whether these visitors are new or returning
3. Number of page views
4. Time spent per page
5. Time spent on the site
6. Date & time - it's helpful to know most popular viewing times & days to play when updates will be made & if traffic is seasonal
7. Where visitors reside
8. Where visitors are coming from & which page they enter the site through
9. Exit page
10. Technology that visitors use: resolution of monitor, connection type, browser type, & operating system - helpful to know whether users have the technology to handle latest bells & whistles before deciding to add these features to the site

Web analytics tools help in the following ways:
1. Evaluate effectiveness of marketing efforts
2. Figure out where your traffic is coming from
3. Learn what users like & don't like about your web site
4. Learn of defects in your site
5. Get to know your customers

The most basic tool is the simple hit counter, a bit of programming language that places a component at the bottom of each page that counted the number of visitors. This should be kept private for use by the site webmaster & marketing team.

Statistics & Web Analytics Tools:
www.statcounter.com
www.iwebtrack.com
http://Analytics.google.com

Updated info from this book is available @ www.WM4MB.com

« Last Edit: August 07, 2009, 01:22:34 am by sueintucson »
Sue

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sueintucson

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Re: Books about promoting music on the internet
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2009, 01:48:38 am »
ARRRGGGGGHHHH!  I had Part 3 almost finished & the website jumped & I lost it all.  Yikes   Crying Crying Crying

"Web Marketing for the Music Business" by Tom Hutchison (2008)

Part 3:

Chapter 11:  "Successful Promotion on the Web"

Basics for Internet Promotion:
Rule 1:  Don't make the internet your entire marketing strategy.  Internet marketing should not be a substitute for traditional promotion.  The two strategies should work together. creating synergy.
Rule 2:  Build a good web site, but don't expect customers to automatically find it on their own.  Every marketing angle should tie into the web presence.  Every piece of promotional materical should contain the web site address.
Rule 3:  Incorporate the artist's web site address into everything you do online & offline.

Search engines are online directories of web sites & web pages that web visitors use to find a topic of interest or a specific site.  In February, 2008, Google had 66% of the search engine market, while Yahoo! had 20%.  Other small search engines are MSN/Windows Search, AOL Search, Ask.com Search, My Web Search, Comcast Search, EarthLink Search, Dogpile.com Search, & My Way Search.
By paying attention to these factors, you can improve the chances of getting a top listing on a search engine:
1.  Keywords:  Choose keywords that are targeted & represent the web site's topic accurately.  They should appear in the page text in addition to being listed in the meta tag keyword section.  If certain words have alternative spellings or are commonly misspelled, the variations should be listed in the meta tag section because these misspellings will not be visible to the web visitor.  Keywords should also appear high on the page, within the first 100 characters.
2.  Content:  Make sure the content of the site is represented accurately.
3.  Links:  Go to the major search engines.  Search for your target keywords.  Look at the pages that appear in the top results.  Now visit those pages & ask the site owners if they will link to you.

3 ways to get a web site listed in a search engine:
1)  submit the site directly to the search engine via an URL submission form
2)  wait for the search engine to find the site
3)  pay the search engine to index the site

E-Zines: an electronic magazine, whether posted via a web site or sent as an email newsletter
E-zines are mostly interested in feature articles & press releases pertaining to some newsworthy item (such as an album release or a tour schedule announcement).  A feature story is part bio & part press release.  Always include a publicity photo or two along.

Ezine Director has a listing of many of the better-known music ezines, along with descriptions & ratings of each. www.ezine-dir.com/Music
The Music Industry News Netword (www.mi2n.com) features articles & news of various independent artists & will accept submissions for news items.

Use email for promotion:
The best possible way to develop a quality email list is by requesting that fans & web visitors provide their email addresses so they can receive valuable updates & news.  One way to motivate fans to provide their address is by offering something extra, anything from access to "restricted" areas of the web site, where they can receive free items such as audio tracks, to offering contest prizes to those who sign up.
Important factors in email list management:
1) Categorizing the list to send targeted emails only to appropriate groups
2) Keeping the list current by purging addresses that are no longer valid
3) Promptly removing subscribers who ask to be removed
4) Providing automated ways for new subscribers to be added
Sue

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Stand often in the company of dreamers:
  they tickle your common sense & believe you can achieve
  things which are impossible.
          maryanne radmacher

sueintucson

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Re: Books about promoting music on the internet
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2009, 03:06:41 am »
"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
The advantages:
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.

Internet Radio:
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
Cool 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
« Last Edit: August 07, 2009, 03:38:07 am by sueintucson »
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  things which are impossible.
          maryanne radmacher

Alan

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Re: Books about promoting music on the internet
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2009, 07:30:37 am »
Very interesting stuff in there.  I am particularly concerned that when you do a search for Melinda Doolittle, we don't appear, but a fan club, that as far as I know (I tried to join) isn't anything more than a vehicle to make money from ads, gets top spot.

Particularly our main first page is almost all imagery - virtually no text.  That needs a redesign to keep the basic concept, but to be much more informative in textual terms.

If there are any members with true web design experience who would be willing to help, I would be very grateful if you could either reply on this thread, or PM me so we can set up a little project to rework that whole static section to attract more visitors.

We have very detailed stats (weekly reports), going back to the start of 2009 on visitor patterns which could help, so we can try variations and see what works.