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The places you need to be to successfully market your music
Most musicians and bands have a MySpace page. MySpace is a great place to host some MP3s and your press kit. It's also a good place to communicate with fans and gather a database of followers. MySpace is the original. All musicians should have a Myspace page. But to really get your marketing into high gear - and make more money, play better clubs, and grow your fanbase - you need to be a lot of other places as well.
I'm not going to go into the theories behind what I'm going to tell you here. All you need to know is that with today's high-speed connections and application-development platforms, the right kind of web presence (from a marketing perspective) is one that is decentralized. Instead of one main place where people go to interact with you, hear music, etc..., you offer a multitude of points of contact all over the web, and opportunities for users to take it upon themselves to expance your presence on the web into new social networks.
Here's where you need to be, and what to do to get there:
- MySpace. See link above. On you myspace page you should have contact information, MP3s, and embedded content (such as a Reverb Nation playlist, blog feed, and video). Your MySpace page should have prominent links to your other locations on the Web. You have to choose whether or not you are going to "tend" your MySpace page. If so, focus on the social networking tools available there to inteact with your fans. If not, clearly and prominently show them where the live action is. You may want to focus your live social networking on Facebook.
- Facebook. You can set up a Group page on facebook that functions similarly to a MySpace page. Take a look at the Dave Matthews Band's FB page to see the possibilities. Facebook goes a step further than MySpace by allowing 3rd party applications you can plug into your Facebook pages. Here you can browse the applications on the FB site, and get some idea of the best ones to use at websites like this one. Important for musicians are plugins from Reverb Nation and iLike.
- Twitter. You can find out more about Twitter at my other Hub, Marketing your Music with Twitter. Read that Hub, and get on Twitter! It's the front line in your music marketing scheme.
- Blogger. Blogger is a free Blogging service from Google. You don't have to use Blogger, but it works well with Google and is compatible with most 3rd party blogging plugins, and is very flexible. From a web marketing & search engine optimization perspective, it's worth the $10/year to host your blog at your own site instead of on Blogspot.com. You can do this right through Blogger when setting up your blog (or later if you already have one set up), and still use Blogger's editing tools and dashboard. Be sure to intstall Google Analytics in your layout template (you can find help on this at Blogger Help and at the Google Analytics website).
- Your own Webpage. With all the flexibility and power of Facebook, MySpace, and a Blog with a custom URL, there doesn't seem to be much reason for a band or musician to have their own hosted webpage, right? That' right, for the most part. If you're struggling with money and have to choose between paying the $10/year to host your Blogger blog and hosting a website for $10/year, I suggest going with the blog. Still, nothing has the "class" of your own website, and of course it allows complete customization. If you have custom content that's really special and can't be accomodated by the other platforms out there, get your own website I have my own). If not, you'll lean more heavily on Facebook, MySpace, and your Blog.
- In Between the URLs. Oooh - sounds pretty cool, right? It is. These days, there are lots of ways to embed content like music and video - all over the Web. You can embed videos on your MySpace page and Blog, and embed playlists from Reverb Nation there as well. iLike and Reverb Nation also provide plugins for Facebook. Set up accounts at iLike and Reverb Nation to take advantage of these free tools as well as the powerful paid tools they also offer.