Digital Marketing 101

Friday, 14 Feb 2014

Music NSW hosted a free workshop this month to help songwriters and musicians like you, learn how to navigate the world of online marketing when it comes to your music.

Danny Yau, a digital consultant at Foxtel Music, joined online music marketing experts Jai Al-Attas (Director, One Meaning Communicated Differently), Vanessa Picken (Comes with Fries) and Jake Challenor (Jaden Social).

We tagged along to bring you the best tips from their panel discussion. Here they are:

Don’t be everything, to everyone

YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Google+, LinkedIn – who knows what other social media platforms are lurking around the corner. How can you possibly maintain all of them and find time to write music too? Our speakers think you don’t have to.

“Pick one platform that you gravitate to naturally,” says Jake Challenor. “Don’t try and juggle all of them. It’s not uncommon to find a YouTube artist that has five million plays but only 100 Twitter followers. Just go where your audience is and spend time on the platform you enjoy the most.”

Jai Al-Attas agrees. “A lot of people think they need to be everything to everyone. That’s not true. Your resources and time are limited so just choose the social media platform that makes the most sense to you. That’s how you’ll be able to convert your followers into fans.” 

But I bought 10,000 ‘fans’!

At first glance, 10,000 ‘fans’ can look impressive on a band’s Facebook page. But what really counts is how often and to what extent your fans engage with you online. “Don’t buy Facebook likes,” says Jai. “If you have 10,000 fans and only three people liked your post, people will know something fishy is going on.”

“The number of people that comment on and ‘like’ your posts is way more important than the number of fans you have – genuine interaction is what counts,” says Danny. “Venue bookers, labels, distributors, blogs – what they actually want to know is whether your Facebook fans translate into people showing up at your gigs and buying your records.”

Don’t call your band Puppy Photos

Can you imagine typing that into Google?

“There are so many bands I love that I actually can’t find online because 400 other things come up on Google before the actual artist I’m looking for – it’s really frustrating!” says Danny. “Big companies like Spotify use words that don’t exist for a reason – they’re always easy to find and always will be.”

Look how you sound

Vanessa says that when you send a press release, bio, photo and album artwork to someone that’s never heard your music before, they need to know what to expect. “Brand is key. Your logo and branding needs to represent who you are,” she says. “We need to see what we think we are going to hear. I want to see an image of your band and kind of know what you’re going to sound like.”

Turn your friends into your team

If you’re an independent musician starting out in the industry, chances are you don’t have a big budget to blow on hiring a company to market your music. Instead, make the most of the resources you do have.

“Find out who can do what in your band,” says Vanessa. “Maybe one person loves Facebook, maybe the guitarist is great at talking to people and booking shows, someone else might like taking photos and can become your videographer.”

Danny agrees. “When you release a video, ask your friends to spread the word – that’s what they’re there for!”

Free workshops like this constantly happen across the country. Check out other state-based music industry organisations that run them like Q Music, Music NT, Music ACT, Music Victoria, Music SA and Music Tasmania.

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