8 steps to Inbound Marketing for musicians

If you’re a musician trying to get gigs or promote your music, there’s nothing more important than getting noticed and generate new fans and attention from venues, booking agents etc. It’s tough when you’re looking for gigs on venues, festivals or events. It can be tougher on the Internet, where you’re competing with thousands of other bands and promising acts. However, with inbound marketing, you have a great method for driving people to you, read your content and hear your music. So, here is our quick musician’s guide to inbound marketing.

What is Inbound Marketing ?

Inbound marketing, in general, means finding ways to come to your online content, First step  «Attract» people  (personas- fans or others you want to reach) ,rather than “pushing” them towards you with overt advertisements (outbound marketing). The heart of it is to earning your customers instead of buying them. Inbound Marketing approach for musicians «content driven lead generation and nurturing activities to attract customers».  In other words: attract fans,venues,festvals,labels,music professionals, media etc to your blog/website or eventually your social media profile. Further motivate your unique visitors to sign up a form (Convert visitors to leads), and follow them up with more interesting and relevant content (nurturing). The next step in your plan is to convert your leads to become real fans or customers.

8  steps for  Inbound Marketing for musicians :

  1. Who is your fan  (your buying personas, who is your optimal fan)
  2. Create great music and content, pictures, videos,music video etc
  3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  4. Create content, videos, pictures, publish in social media & Websites.
  5. Catch fan info (name, address, phone, email etc)
  6. Follow up your fans with news and relevant content
  7. Analyze traffic to your website and social media profiles
  8. Motivate your fans to become your promoter

Who is your fan

Before starting with content strategies and develop content. We need to define who we want to reach? our reader, our marketing persona. Is our new content the meant to reach festivals, labels or fans ? Defining your personas for instance your optimal fan is what you need to to before doing anything online- but also important for you business, strategy,your music creation, songwriting- knowing who your fans are and their preferences are step one in inbound marketing. Here is some categories to consider (simplified)

  • Name, age, gender, education, occupation, job title or student
  • Background and demographic information
  • Personality and interests (music lover, music taste, culture behavior regarding concerts, festivals etc
  • Their goals
  • Music buying preferences, how to they buy and listen to music? streaming, downloads. Do they prefer CD`s or Vinyl. Are they interested in live streaming.
  • Behavior, How to they find music and artists?  social media, search, through friends other sources.

To get this information to a survey using for instance tool like survey monkey. Ask people around you, other artists in your genre, music professionals, labels.

Create content

Great content is very important for any website. Focus on writing remarkable content or create a remarkable video to attract interest from your marketing personas. Remarkable content means that it has to be so great that people find it, read it, hopefully share your content link with others (Link Bait). Your link to your content includes headline and what the content is about. (hyperlink also called anchor text)

Regarding musicians your content strategy may be to approach venues, festival, event agencies companies to get gigs. Another important content strategy is to approach fans and potential fans with your music, upcomming gigs and other relevant stuff. If you on the other hand plan a release or plan a tour you may also approach media (and people) like music magazines, PR agencies, news papers etc.

Embracing SEO for Musicians

SEO (search engine optimization) is a fairly complex subject. Basically, it means creating a website and then writing it in such a way that it attracts the most attention from search engines like Google and inbound links from other sites. Since search engines work off links and search phrases, you want to take search phrases and keywords that people might use to find you, and incorporate those phrases into the site. Use your chosen search phrases/keyword in your headline, tags, meta description,alt tag(images). This process is called on-page SEO.

There are a lot of tools available to help you through this process for instance google keyword tool, word stream,google keyword planner. Always repeat chosen keyword related to you content. Great content is most important.

Off-page SEO for search engines is all activities, promotion and publishing you do outside your site– in social media profiles, web directories, sharing content, post comments elsewhere link back. Off page SEO and Inbound links is powerful to rank organic in search engines and get attention.

Publishing and Promote

When your topics is planned and content created (with headline and description) and you have implemented your on-page keyword phrases, you are ready to publish your content. Now its time to promote in social media profiles (twitter, facebook, myspace,linked-in, Youtube) websites, web directories, post on other music related blogs or guest blogging. If you do this right you will get results, inbound links rocks. Rule here is «the more you blog, publish and promote content, the faster you will get results and increase traffic» to youe website.  It is a good Idea to promote playlists and video (youtube app) on your facebook profile and your site.

Basically, the key to inbound marketing for musicians is to create buzz. If you can effectively harness the power of the Internet to get people talking about you, that will drive new listeners to your pages (inbound links), and get you more fans and more gigs

Catch fan data

So far so good, then use marketing techniques like Call-to-Action (CTA) to convert your readers to leads. It can be as simple as a link to a form (landingpage) or a message on a designed button that link to your landing page- or just a form on your page. Most important is that the reader get inspired to sign up. When you have leads data next step is to start nurturing your leads (follow up) with useful content. People may also follow your blog posts through subscription or RSS feed.

You should save your leads in various marketing persona email lists or use CRM tool (customer relationship management software- see previous blog post regarding entrepreneurship.

Follow up fans

At this point you are ready to nurture and follow up leads using for instance by using email tools (look at mail chimp).  Create new relevant content like articles, promote new songs, videos, tour dates, gigs, services etc. The goal is to bring them one step deeper in your marketing funnel, and you keep on to they are individually are ready to take decision to become real fans or customers. This process usually take a while for a company (average 3 months), but you are a musician and if your music and content is good, we believe your nurturing process will go much faster and worth doing. If you are listed on spotify, create a playlist and publish it on your site or blog. See how to do it here . Remember to let people post feedback on your content and engage with them. Other streaming service to consider is Sound cloud. 

Analyze your traffic on social media and websites

It`s  important to analyze the whole process and adjust activities and the content you create towards various marketing personas segments. Start using google analytics or maybe your blog platform has such features. Analytic tools help you analyze traffic, content and sites visited, social media,where visitors come from, what is your most effective sources and more. This is valuable information when you adjust your strategies which you will need to do all the way to reach your fans and customers (venues, festivals etc). Analysis help you to adjust your persona preferences and your content for better result- and where to increase your effort regarding content. blog, twitter, Facebook or Youtube etc.

Motivate your fans to promote you

Reward fans that help you reach out to new fans, link back to you or share your content and news. Give them discount on music, tickets and merchandise. Your loyal  fans is your most valuable asset beside your Intellectual property rights (IPR).