What Is Digital Marketing?

Online marketing has become one of the most utilized forms of music and entertainment promotion, the old fashioned marketing strategies of sending physical Press-Bio Kits, EPK’s, CD’s and DVD’s is no longer valuable. All forms of media expect content instantly, and in a format that they can PLAY with ease. Email marketing and online PR has become the front runner in all aspects of marketing. PlayByVIP have been a specialist in this field since 2004.

So youʼve been writing, recording or doing the local open-mic night circuit for a while now, youʼve just recorded your first single, EP or album and are ready to start getting the word out about your brand. Hereʼs a quick music marketing check-list to help you get on your way:

email-marketing-for-musicians1. Define your brand – Ensure your branding is clear, consistent and professional across all your online and offline platforms. Define your identity who/where you target audience are. Go to your fans, donʼt expect them to come to you.

2. Collect “currency” and beware of “Hungry Companies” – Email addresses, mobile numbers and zip codes are the new currency of the music industry. Email is one the most common direct marketing channels to fans. Make sure you are collecting fan data wherever you are, both online and offline. Companies like us can service your music to digital media, blogs and DJ’s via our newsletter service, but if you have collected a member database yourself, two great newsletter services are mailchimp.com or fanbridge.com.

Never spend more than $50 on an “EMAIL BLAST”. You will most likely come across marketing companies, “Email Blast” websites and “Promo Guys” who will claim to send your music to an extremely large quantity of DJ’s or music industry contacts. These companies will take $200 (sometimes even $1000), and email your music to a much less quantity of contacts without following up and securing you any features or plays. These companies are ultimately “SPAMMERS”, because their email databases are comprised of email addresses harvested online, they are NOT grouped or targeted to specific genres. If you receive an Invoice or Payment Information on your first correspondence – beware, and don’t expect any follow up service. Spend little on “Email Blasts” and spend more on authentic “Pluggers/Publicists”!!!!

3. Create a website – having your own website instantly create a professional brand. It also acts as a uniting hub for all your other social networking sites. Remember, if Myspace or Facebook died tomorrow, all your fan data would be lost. Having a website ensure you are in total control of your brand and fan data. If you canʼt afford a website yet, then just get a holding page with a newsletter sign-up on it and links to your social networking sites.

4. Prioritize quality over quantity
– Prioritize connecting with fans one by one over applications that “autobot” fans onto your social networking sites. This will inspire loyalty in your fan base and will ultimately be the most effective way in turning potential fans into super fans.

5. Be media ready – Ensure you have both physical and digital copies of your music available, and a biography and/or press release too. Many journalists still want to receive physical product in order to judge the professionalism of an artist. However make sure you also have your full album available for download via a hidden website. I recommend Soundcloud for this.

6. Donʼt forget about offline marketing – Online marketing has made connecting with fans on a global level so much easier. We can now communicate with people in real time all over the world. However, donʼt forget about your offline marketing. Your live performance, fan interaction at gigs, and face to face networking are still fundamental. Be aggressive (but nice!) in BOTH your offline and online marketing.

7. Know your rights – Ensure you aware of the different ways of earning money online and offline. Make sure you sign up to SoundExchange (itʼs free!) in order to collect your digital royalties and keep up to date with issues affecting musicians by checking in with The Future of Music Coalition.

8. Be creative, be personal – Donʼt be afraid to ask your fans for input into your creative process. If they see you are listening to them, it will incentivize their loyalty and you will create word-of-mouth buzz.