Monday, July 21, 2008

marketing and monetizing a music artists website

 Okay so we been doing this series on online promotion, in the last post in the series we talked about the importance of your website and how to set one up.


Today we’re going to be revisiting a lot of ideas we’ve discussed about promoting your website - and talking about how you can use your website to create value for fans that leads to income.

Now we're getting into the real nitty gritty and moving beyond the basics. So this time we're going to be going through website promotion and we're going to cap it off in the next part by continuing to discuss building email lists and building deeper engagement with fans by fostering interactions and ongoing relationships.

Lets look over the series:

Part 1 is here: In digital we trust - preparing for digital music marketing and promotion

And part 2 is here: Are you ready? Content you need for your digital online promotion campaign

And part 3: Google and the importance of words on the web: more "who's going to write our blog copy" now then "who's going to direct our video"

Part 4:  Getting your head around using social media and web 2.0 to promote your music

part 5: Setting up a music artists website


And don't forget: Our new artist community has launched @ - it's still free to join in July and we're starting to add new in depth content.

And of course tomorrow @ The Depot in Devonport I'll be be giving a presentation on all this stuff Check it out if you're in auckland.


So when I’ve talked about building your website and how important your “internet property” is, it’s about creating an online channel for you to present your content and develop profitable interactions, and retaining control of that environment and those interactions.


Blogs and websites are very similar in the way that they are used as a platform to deliver content, and can be both used to conduct highly valuable propositions such as building an email list of fans from which to monetize continued interactions. Though if you’re innovative and creative your website can be used to create opportunities to drive deeper fan interaction with content that can be managed for monetization.

I tend to explain website promotion in terms of two concepts: Sales and Marketing. First comes marketing, that’s about bringing people to your website. We discussed Social Media, and we also talked about creating digital content, writing and blogging – making a lot of words in particular - to increase your depth of presence, “owning more of the net” and improving search based results. In this way, you can say content IS promotion.


But as your building your content and “owning more of the net”, committing yourself to developing your website into a platform that creates income from your music becomes a long and cumulative process.

Once you’ve worked to bring traffic to your site, we have to examine the sales process, because “Please buy our CD” in big letters wont work.



When I talk about increasing “sales”, or “conversions”, we are optimising the content that visitors to your site experience in order to produce a desired outcome. That is, put in broad terms, when a visit to your website results in the desired action by the visitor, whether that’s downloading a free song, signing up to an email list or even . . . engaging in an interaction which leads to monetization!

How can optimize your website to encourage more “sales”?

Often we can start with basic tweaks - increasing the access, the value and the uniqueness of the proposition.


But this is where we start to discuss the power of building relationships with fans. It comes back to engagement, it comes back to branding. The reality is, unless you engage you’re not likely to even get people interested in downloading your music free. So what engages people?

Well music obviously. But the problem is we’re moving beyond the era in which they used to just play music at you on the radio until you liked it. The struggle is getting them to listen. Getting them to get that far.

What will make them give your music a chance?

Branding. Branding through content that carries powerful messages fans identify with.

The house music videos of Benny Benassi and Eric Prydz carry strong visual messages about sexuality. The Hip Hop music videos of P Diddy et al carry strong visual messages about the rewards of financial success, while Coldplay alludes heavily to personal struggles intepreted through monogamy. These examples abound. Bob Marleys music is depicted as spiritual and political, Radiohead's music is depicted as having intellectual and political undertones. 

Successful artists connect with their audience through strong brand associated messages.

Here again the importance of continuing to create content that enhances the brand value to the fans of what it is you represent. If you don’t carry strong messages in this way then you don’t really represent anything powerful or meaningful to people and so they fail to engage.

It’s not just about branding but also about being unique.

But it’s also about the proposition you’re presenting. It must carry value for your potential fan as well as being unique.

When I talk about the proposition that you are using your social networks and blogs and content to draw people to your site and draw people into, it’s not only a unique and valuable brand proposition such as:


“we UNIQUELY represent a brand powerfully associated with your identity”


but also a uniquely valuable proposition in order to capture the value in your brand as a relationship that can lead to profitable interactions such as:

”So sign up for mailing list so we can continue to have interactions based around uniquely valuable propositions that benefit you!”

So let me cut the marketing speak for one moment:  It means unless people think you’re cool, they don’t care about your free mp3’s. they don’t.


It’s up to you to give them something to care about.

You gotta create the greatest opportunity and encouragement to sell the interaction that will escalate the relationship with the casual visitor.

That’s why you’ve got to go back to Rapino’s statement and recognise the role your website plays in building your email list.

“ . . . and it’s all about the website. Collecting email addresses and maximizing revenue . . . ”

So here we see the value of the email list. We can grasp the simple email list as a way to foster deeper relationships with fans and then and only then arriving at a point at which you can actually start making some money.

So coming right up is our last post in the series before we accept we've well and truly moved beyond the basics into the business of building relationships and innovating to create new value from those interactions.


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