Category Archives for "Tips"

April 27, 2017

10 Facebook Best Practices For Artists And Bands

Facebook Best PracticesFacebook is one of the best social networks for artists and bands, but execution is everything in order to take full advantage of it. Here are the 10 best practices for artists and bands to increase your engagement.

1. Reach out to other artists. Ask a band whom you’re tight with to post your new music video/track/album art to their wall with a link back to your Facebook Page, and then return the favor. This is one of the best ways to use the network to expand your audience.

2. Take your fans backstage. Everyone loves to see behind the scenes, but fans are especially interested. It might seem insignificant to you, but any kind of backstage access is a big deal to them.

3. Go beyond the music. Your music is your marketing, but don’t forget to make any merch or touring info available as well. That said, don’t try to sell to your fans, just make these things easily available if they want it.

4. Ask for input from fans. Communication is a two-way street and fans love to be asked their opinion on just about anything. Besides, they’re your fans so they know what they want.

5. Be as visual as possible. Music is an aural medium for sure, but either still or moving pictures add so much to the entire package that you can’t ignore them any more. Besides, it’s so easy to take pictures these days or make short videos with your smartphone, so you can’t use gear or expertise as excuses anymore.

6. Make everything an event. This is one of the secrets of multiple singles releases rather than full albums. Every release becomes an event. You can expand upon that idea in just about any direction, from gigs or giveaways on your birthday to your best fan’s birthdays, to making every gig a special occasion. Use your imagination.

7. Give as much as you take. Once again, communication is a two way street. Don’t just ask for things. You give some and you take some and vice versa. If you ask for information, give something away for free. This goes a long way in keeping your tribe happy.

8. Don’t forget the basics. Bios, press kits, pictures, and logos are still important, so be sure to have links to where people can get them if they want.

9. Offer exclusive content. The way to a fan’s heart is through exclusive content. If a fan can get exclusive mixes or movies that no one else can get, that legitimizes his or her fandom and makes them want it even more. Alternative mixes, outtakes, interviews are all inexpensive and easy to make content that any fan would love to have.

10. Use some tools. Make sure to take advantage of everything that Facebook has to offer, but also check out apps like Reverbnation for their event, sales and music plugins as well.

Following these 10 best practices will help to increase your Facebook fan engagement and your audience.

You can read more from Social Media Promotion For Musicians and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.

April 13, 2017

Developing Your Social Media Strategy

online strategyThe online world is so large and all-encompassing that it’s not uncommon for an artist to feel overwhelmed by it all. This usually leads to a scattered approach that isn’t nearly as effective as it could be. In this video from my new Social Media Promotion For Musicians, Artists, And Engineers course on Lynda.com, we’ll look at some basic steps to take to develop an online strategy that really works.

April 6, 2017

The Best Hashtags For Instagram Promotion For Artists And Bands

Instagram promotionAccording to Nielsen Research, if you want want to reach music lovers, Instagram is one of the best platforms to use for promotion. Why? Well first of all, Instagram users are huge music fans, and spend 42% more money on music and listen 30% more than the general population. In fact, the typical Instagram user spends a surprising $269 per year on music, which is about twice as much as the average music fan that subscribes to a streaming service. That’s what makes Instagram promotion so valuable.

Hashtags are an essential part of Instagram marketing and promotion, so it’s important that you’re familiar with how they work on the platform. Contrary to all other networks, on Instagram, the more hashtags you use, the better. That’s because hashtags are the primary way you build a community on the platform. Believe it or not, between 7 and 11 hashtags get the most engagement, according to most studies.

That said, make sure you do some research as to which hashtags you’ll use. Hyper-focused hashtags will put your images in front of a more interested audience. That means that you should use hashtags relevant to music, and to your music and brand in particular.

Three ways to search for new hashtags include hashtagify.me, websta.me/search, or picodash.com. Some of the most popular music related hashtags include:

#music
#musician
#musicians
#musicproducer
#musicvideo
#musicman
#musicismylife
#musicianlife
#musicmonday
#musicstudio

The best hashtags for getting new followers are:

#love
#instagood
#me
#tbt (Throwback Thursday)
#cute
#follow
#followme
#photooftheday
#happy
#tagforlikes

Finally, don’t forget to include a custom hashtag of you or your band, if your following is large enough, and consistently use it on all your posts.

Hashtags constantly change in popularity depending upon the current trends, so make sure you do regularly searches just to be sure that you’re using the best ones for your posts so that your Instagram promotion remains viable.

You can read more from Social Media Promotion For Musicians and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com or Lynda.com.

March 30, 2017

6 Tips To Improve Your YouTube Video Search Results

YouTube video search resultsVideos on any platform can be used as an effective marketing tool, but you must observe some essential SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, techniques for that to happen. Before you go live on a video, here are 5 tips that will improve its search results:

1. Name your video something descriptive. “Untitled_bandvideo12.mov” is not descriptive at all, so your video will never get added by the search engines, and your fans won’t find it. “The Unsigned Band At the Cavern Club” is much better.

2. Make sure that your description contains the same phrase as your title. For example, “This video features The Unsigned Band at the Cavern Club on January 9, 2017.” A title like “Here’s our band at the Cavern Club” wouldn’t be as effective, because it omits the keyword “The Unsigned Band.” Make sure that you also use this phrase in the description as well.

3. Make sure that you fill out the description. The more detail contained in the video description, the more search engines will love it. That means you should include a brief summary of what the video is about, who’s in the video (including band members and actors), and the names of the director, producers (video and recording), songwriters and everyone else involved. If someone does a search for any of these people, having them listed in the description will make your video show up in the search results. It’s tough to do sometimes, but make sure the description contains anywhere from 75 to 200 or even more.

4. Always include a link. Make sure to include a link to your website and or social media in the description. Make sure that it includes the full “http://” at the front so the link will be active. And don’t forget the contact info so someone can get in touch with you if they need to.

5. Use the proper tags. Not only should the artist name be included, but also any similar artists, the type of music, and even the mood of the song will help the video to be found during a search.

6. Include the name of the original artist when doing a cover song. Cover songs are a good way to get an artist noticed on YouTube, but the song selection, performance, the title and proper tagging play a big part in its popularity.

Remember, the more text the body of your description has, the more likely it will be found by a search engine and the better your search results will be. A hundred words works well, but so could 500, so don’t feel that you have to limit yourself.

You can read more tips like this from my Social Media Promotion For Musicians book, as well as my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.

March 23, 2017

The New Strategy For Music Releases

music releasesA new strategy in music releases is beginning to take place, even within the major labels. In almost a return to the early days of records, the single song is king rather than the album, and that requires an entirely new look at the timing of when your material becomes available.

The basic premise of this new philosophy is to release fewer songs but have them come out more frequently. In other words, it’s better to release a song or two every six, eight, or twelve weeks than to wait a year for one album release of ten songs as was once done. This benefits the artist in the following ways:

  • The artist keeps their fans happy with a constant supply of new music. New music keeps the buzz and dialog going about the artist on the social networks.
  • Each release is a separate marketing event. With the release of an album, you have one single event to publicize with a long period of time until the next one is produced. With individual releases, you have the potential for 11 separate releases (ten plus the album), which means that there’s constantly new music in your fanbase’s ecosystem, and increased potential to reach new fans as a result.
  • The artist gains increased exposure for every song. In a ten song album release, it’s easy for a fan, reviewer or radio programmer to focus on just one or two of the songs while the others fall in priority. With individual releases, each song gets equal attention and has the ability to live and die on its own merits.
  • An album can still be compiled after all the songs have been individually released. At the end of the year, or at the end of the artist’s creative cycle, the songs are then put into an album that can be released in any format. The advantage is that the album has a lot of advanced exposure and publicity thanks to previously released singles. Plus it can be treated as another marketing event to the artist’s advantage.

Make no mistake, the album format is not dead in Music 4.0, even though sales continue to decrease, but the emphasis has shifted to the individual song. Not only that, the tastes and attention span of audiences today are shorter and shorter, which makes multiple releases an ideal fit with the lifestyle.

No one is saying that you can’t release an album; just that multiple singles at regular intervals before the album release works better in today’s marketplace. Choose your music releases wisely in order to take advantage of the current streaming and social media world.

You can read more from The Music 4.1 Internet Music Guidebook and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.

March 16, 2017

5 Steps To Get On Spotify And Apple Music Playlists

spotify playlistsGetting your music placed on playlists is now an important part of an artist’s release strategy. If a track is added to a popular playlist, its streams will spike and listeners will add it to their personal playlists, which sometimes adds a viral element that spreads to playlists on other networks as well. What’s more, hot playlists are now watched by radio programmers to see both what’s trending and what’s not. That being said, Spotify and Apple Music playlists are getting harder and harder to crack, especially if you’re not on a major label. Here are a few tips that can land you a spot on a playlist from Spotify or any other playlist.

1. Verify your profiles with Spotify and Apple Connect
The first thing you have to do is make sure you have a presence on the service itself. Playlist curators, especially if they’re in-house, are reluctant to feature anything by artists who’ve not verified their profiles on the streaming platforms.

2. Get as many of your fans as possible to follow you on the streaming platform
You don’t need millions of followers or streams, but you don’t need enough to get a curator interested. They want to know that you have a buzz around you before they take a chance.

3. Get the rest of your digital house in order
If a curator is interested in your music, he or she will probably check you out further by looking at your website, photos, social media, upcoming gigs and all the things that we’ve talking about on this blog. Here’s where that all comes into play.

4. Find some playlists to follow
Find some playlists that you love and begin to follow them with the idea of learning if your music is a fit. Don’t limit yourself to Spotify’s in-house curators. In this game, everyone counts because the idea is to ultimately get on a number of smaller playlists first so you’ll be noticed by the Spotify team. Also make sure to follow them on social media, and make comments where and when you can.

5. Make your pitch
Make sure that the playlist owner is well aware of you before you begin your pitch. You’ll be taken much more seriously if you’re recognized as a supporter rather than someone just cold-calling. Send a personally crafted email to the playlist owner or curator. Make it brief and to the point and tell them why you think you song is perfect for their list. Be as specific as you can and avoid being long-winded. If a curator has a submission policy, make sure that you follow it to the letter or chances are your submission won’t even be read.

Remember that some curators for the larger lists make their selections in a closed system, so they don’t want pitches and they’ll usually make that clear in their submission policy. If that’s the case, respect their wishes and don’t hassle them. The only way you’re going to get to them is if you begin to get on a lot of other playlists so your buzz will be noticed.

March 13, 2017

The Gatekeepers In The Way Of Getting Your Music On Commercials

More and more artists, bands and songwriters are interested in getting their music placed in a commercial, but unfortunately it’s not getting any easier. That’s because a wide array of gatekeepers stand in the way of any placement. A great article from Jordan Passman combined with the following infographic outlines just where the gatekeepers lie.

Music Gatekeepers infographic

As you can see from the infographic, there are two ways to get your music placed in advertising – either through an agency or directly to the advertisers. Going through an ad agency means that there’s a wide variety of people within that company that must give approval first before the advertiser even gets to hear the song. These include the agency music producer, spot producer, maybe the art director, the creative directors of the brand team, and the agency account team. They may go through as many as 300 songs before choosing one to send off the client for approval.

The song must then make it’s way through the advertiser’s junior and senior client teams, the brand marketing team and then the chief marketing officer or even the CEO. If the commercial tests well from there, it goes on air. If not, it’s back to the drawing board.

If you can skip the agency, the number of gatekeepers can be decreased by half, but it may just bypass the lowest execs on the totem pole. Regardless of how the song makes it onto a commercial, there’s a lot of many to be made for the songwriter, but the journey to get their is still a long road.

March 9, 2017

5 Tips For Building Your Email List

email listYour email list is one of the most powerful online tools that an artist can have, but how do you build one if you’re just starting out or you’ve neglected it for too long? Here are 5 tips from my Social Media Promotion For Musicians book that provide an easy roadmap to a larger list.

“Just like with your social media follows and Likes, building your mailing list takes some work. In general it comes down to the following:

1. A trustworthy site. If your site or social page makes people uncomfortable in any way, chances are they won’t give you their email address.

2. An incentive of some kind. Generally speaking, people don’t want to give their address out unless they’re get something in return. Don’t think about the fact that you’re getting their email address, think of what’s in it for the fan. He only may care about regular communication, but usually access to something free (a song, video, ticket, ebook, article, etc.) gets better results. Be careful if you’re paying to advertise a signup for your list though. Both Google and Facebook have been know to consider this “email scraping,” which could lead to your advertising account being suspended if you trade something for an email.

3. Make it easy by not asking for too much information. The more info you ask from a potential subscriber, the greater the chance that he’ll give up during the signup process. Asking for just an email address gets the greatest response, but adding a first name allows you to include a personal greeting. More than a simple name and email address makes the chances of a successful signup decrease.

4. Cross-promote across social media, business cards, banners, and anywhere else you can think of. Anywhere you get a chance to mention your email list, do so.

5. Reminders in your content. Mention your mailing list in any podcasts, blogs, or videos, because sometimes even if it’s right in front of a viewer or listener, a reminder is still needed.

Your email list is extremely powerful for communicating, interacting, and promoting to your fans. Put sufficient time and effort into it and you’ll be richly rewarded.”

By the way, you can join the email list for this blog on the left.

You can read more from Social Media Promotion For Musicians and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.

March 2, 2017

7 Best Practices For Building An Instagram Community

Instagram 7 best practicesInstagram can be one of the best social media marketing tools available to an artist or band, providing that your audience is there. Here are a 7 best practices to follow in order to build an Instagram community.

1. First of all, your profile picture and description are important. Make sure to include a profile picture that reflects your band or brand (a logo would be nice), and include a link to your website.

2. Shorten the Links With A URL Shortener. Instagram’s bio description has a limit of 150 characters, so it’s important to save as many characters as you can.

3. Leave Relevant Comments. Comments are much appreciated by the poster because they’re few and far between. For instance, every second on Instagram produces 575 “Likes” but only 81 comments. It’s a lot easier to just click the like button, but comments get you followed back.

4. Use the filters. Believe it or not, filters actually make a difference in engagement. For instance, a study of 6 million posts across 10,000 brands found that posts using Hefe, Lo-Fi, Nashville, Brannan, and Kelvin filters generated 4.5% to 5.6% more engagement than the average Instagram post!

5. Post at the correct times. Mondays and Thursdays tend to drive the most engagement, while between 3 and4 p.m. typically drives lower engagement during a workday.

6. Like with other social networks, the number of times you post per day on Instagram is important. It’s been found that the ideal number is only one to two times per day. You can get away with more on special occasions like an event, but be sure to space out the posts so you don’t overflow your followers feeds.

7. Use hashtags. Hashtags are an essential part of Instagram marketing and promotion, so it’s important that you’re familiar with how they work on the platform. Contrary to all other networks, on Instagram the more hashtags you use, the better. That’s because hashtags are the primary way you build a community on the platform. Believe it or not, between 7 and 11 hashtags get the most engagement, according to most studies.

Creating and maintaining a flourishing Instagram community takes some time and effort, but it can be much easier than you think by following these best practices.

February 23, 2017

4 Things That Will Get You A Record Deal Before Social Media

This will get you a record dealIt wasn’t that long ago that A&R execs at record labels were scouring the online platforms, looking for acts with the high view numbers, page visits or Likes. All that’s changed as artists and their webmasters became more sophisticated in gaming the system by using bots or fake users to drive up their numbers. Today you can easily purchase big numbers of views or likes for a relatively small amount of money, but does that actually help you get that elusive record deal?

A&R departments are well aware of how it all works these days so as much as they want to see them, they’re wary of those big numbers. If that’s the case, what metric do they use then? Believe it or not, A&R execs are pretty much back to the way they did it in the pre-Internet days. They look for things like:

1. Do you actually draw an audience when you play a gig?

2 .Do you connect with an audience in a live show as well as you do in an edited video?

3. Are you charming and memorable in off-the-cuff interviews and interactions?

4. Do you actually sound good live?

If there’s a “yes” to all the above, then A&R will go online and look at the the artist’s online presence. If you have millions of views, for instance, even if some of those views are bought, chances are that there’s still a buzz happening and the label will take notice. Have lots of likes, shares and followers across a number of platforms, then that’s going to confirm that there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.

  • Finally, no matter where live in the world, no matter how small the town, or how small the venue, a line of fans around the block will draw more attention from a label than just about anything else.

Your online presence is important and it’s absolutely necessary, but it’s not the only thing when it comes to getting the music industry to notice you. A record deal can come from a massive online presence, but more and more it’s what’s on stage that counts.

You can read more from Music 4.1 and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.

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