We all know that social media has changed the game when it comes to marketing. Not only is it free, but it also reaches people on a global scale. Both are important when independent, unsigned music artists are trying to get their name and music out to their supporters as well as gaining new supporters to join their fan base. But just like any form of marketing media, there are ways that work and ways that don’t work when it comes to actually using social media as an effective marketing tool. Many musicians or bands think that simply putting up a Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace page and begin sharing content should be enough to start gaining enough fans that will lead to world domination. This is unfortunately far from the way it works. If these few steps are all a band ever takes, they will no doubt be frustrated at the results they are getting from their social media marketing efforts. Just creating pages and sharing content is only the beginning of the process.
Another important piece of the marketing puzzle is creating a website. Without a website, a musician or band will not be taken seriously by most industry professionals. In addition to social media, a dedicated artist website is the best tool with which to interact with fans and allow them to find all the needed information they will want to know about the artist. But it’s not enough to just have a social media presence and a website. In order to see what fans and followers respond to most, an artist also needs a way to collect data on those sites in order to improve them and allow them to best accomplish the goal, which is to get the musician’s or band’s music to new ears and continue to build the fan base. For without people listening (and at some point, buying), music is only just a hobby.
One service I found that can help accomplish this is Section 101. Section 101 is an online platform where an artist can build a website and also integrate audio, video, social media, merchandise, tour dates, and any other desired aspect of their business. They also include Google analytics and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in their services, along with various other important factors that will allow an artist to analyze how their digital content is performing. There are numerous things that can be managed all from one platform, making this tool especially useful for an upstart record label or music management group that may be managing the content of several different artists. There is a “Build-It-Yourself” feature that costs $24 a month, or a VIP package available that is priced based on the individual needs of the client. The VIP package includes Website Design and Build, Digital Marketing Strategy, Creative Brand Development, Ongoing Website Evaluation and Recommendations, Dedicated Client Service Representative, plus all of the BIY features. Due to this extensive service, it can get somewhat pricey. But it is definitely a tool worth looking into.
With so many artists being independent and using social media, anything that can create separation from the masses is a tool worth checking out. Remember, if becoming the next Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were easy, everyone would be doing it. But if an artist is willing to put in the work, the rewards will definitely be worth it! Just remember to work smarter, not harder.