Want to build your band’s online presence and keep up with the latest music marketing technology? Check out some of these upcoming online tools for musicians!
Some hear the term ‘blog’ and get immediately angry. You may be surprised however as to what actually constitutes a blog (you’re reading one now!). They don’t necessarily have to be ‘opinion’ or ‘articles’, in fact your band could just post your news into a blog.
Rather than just having a text file on your website, a ‘blog’ is a ‘feed’ of posts, normally keeping the latest posts at the top whilst not removing the previous posts. People can comment on each post, ‘like’ the post to their facebook, share the post via social media , or simply read it like a normal website.
The emergence of RSS Feeds now also allows fans to follow your blog more easily than ever. If your fans have an RSS platform (Google Reader,MyYahoo, Amphetadesk, FeedReader etc) they can simply add your ‘blog’ address and will receive a notification each time you post something new. I have an app for my smartphone called Feedler that keeps me updated on all sorts of metal news, far more interesting than the newspaper.
A QR (Quick Response) Code is a type of 2D digital barcode that can be scanned by devices such as smart phones, iPads and cameras, directing the device to a specific location. For example, your band can generate yourselves a free QR Code that will link people to your website when it is scanned. Even better, print it out and take it to your gig, so when your fans scan it on their phone it takes them directly to your online merch store!
There are heaps of sites that offer code generation, just hop onto google.
For an app on your iPhone, try out ‘QRReader’.
This one’s been around for a while, but surprisingly not all bands are taking advantage of it yet. It’s sort of like a MySpace styled thing, but just for bands, and good.
You set up a page for your band with music, videos, pics, bio etc, then Reverbnation continuously walks you through improving your page and promoting your music. You can add your upcoming gigs and share them across other social platforms, and you can track your previous gigs to see if your crowds are growing with time.
As time goes on and you start using the page more, your profile completeness increases. This, together with page views and song listens puts your band in a ranking in charts for local music, national music, genre style and so on. It’s not uncommon to see relatively unknown bands at the top rankings, which is great exposure if you’re willing to put in the effort.
Reverbnation is completely compatible with Facebook, giving the option to embed profiles, music players, merch stores and more. It is an awesome idea, so with greater execution and more traffic, I would expect Reverbnation to become another essential tool for all bands in the coming years.
A crazy concept in it’s very early stages, Tip5 allows bands to set up an account so fans can literally ‘tip’ them five dollars. Imagine being on stage tearing it up with a huge crowd, and you say ‘if you like what you hear, please text Claim The Throne to 1800-HOT-BITCHEZ to tip us”. The fan will receive a text back with a link to your account, and they can donate $5 through PayPal.
You can also link your account with a QR Code as discussed earlier, that you can set up on stage or at your merch stand. When people scan the code it directs them to your account so they can transfer $5 through PayPal.
If buskers, waitresses and hookers can be tipped, why cant we?
We’re hearing of more and more bands raising crazy amounts of money through websites such as ‘Kickstarter’. It makes you wonder if something like this is the way of the future.
Your band first creates a campaign and a goal, for example a European Tour that will cost $20,000. That campaign then runs for three months, and if you can get enough people to ‘pledge’ money and raise the $20,000, you get the cash and must do the tour. Encourage people to pledge more by having rules like “$20 gets you a free poster”, “$50 gets you a free CD” or “$200 gets you a backstage pass”.
The best thing about pledging, is the fan doesn’t actually have to pay any money whatsoever, unless you reach your target amount. So if you have a project coming up that you are short on cash for, why not ask your fans to pledge? “Too expensive” is no longer an excuse, if there is demand for your project, then your fans will pledge.
www.kickstarter.com (US Projects)
www.pozible.com (Australian Projects)
www.pledgemusic.com (Musicians only)
Know of any awesome online marketing tools for artists? Let us know in the comments below!