New Artist's Online Strategy - 5 Step Guide
Updated: Jun 15, 2018
One of the first things an artist needs to do, whether that’s yourself or a client you represent (as a label, manager, marketer etc.), is to establish an online presence and begin their social media strategy. But that empty digital canvas can seem somewhat daunting when starting from scratch. With this in mind, I have provided a 5-step plan – a guide to starting your online presence as a new artist.
Step 1 – Know Your Tools
There are three elements required for a new artist to market themselves online effectively.
1. Assets Think of this as being where an artist’s content is located. The basic assets for a new artist will be their music, a video perhaps, a bio, any press quotes and maybe even a blog. With content location, we are primarily (at this stage) talking about your website, your blog, your YouTube channel and your Soundcloud account.
2. Interaction These are tools where you will share your content, engage with your current fans, and encourage its growth through sharing. At this stage, we are looking at ‘The Big 3’ social networks – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
3. Strategy This is where we consider branding, our deeper marketing strategy, measurement and analytics.
When these three elements are combined, and executed successfully, we enable promotion to occur in the digital world, which will hopefully cross over in to real world benefit, starting with 1. increased awareness, then 2. increased demand and hopefully 3. increased sales (downloads, streams, live tickets, merchandise etc.).
Step 2 – Think Brand
Before starting, you need to give serious thought to your brand. Your brand should portray your music and your persona. What makes you different? Is your brand appropriate to the genre of music you are making, and the target audience you have? Your brand must be consistent. Consider your band logo, ident, even your brand palette. Think about how your band can be transferred to each social network, store, website, your live show, videos, artwork etc. There should be a consistent thread running through your entire online and offline presence.
Step 3 – Entry Points
Create a focal point for your band. It may seem like a great idea to get your artist registered on as many social networks as possible, but this would be a mistake. This plan may improve your SEO in the early days, but the reality is you will not be able to update ALL social networks effectively, if at all. If a prospective fan has found your music (be it through active search, or passive discovery through press, radio or playlists) and they arrive at a social network account, that is out of date and unmaintained, it defies everything you are aiming for in ‘Step 2’ – developing a consistent brand and level of quality. In the early days, it’s very easy to both lose new fans and stop yourself from finding more, through this weak execution. Instead focus on a few entry points for the fan... Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are a good start. Once you have developed these and used them to their fullest ability, you could maybe move on to other networks such as Snapchat.
Our Music Marketing course will (amongst many other things) explain how to set up and use these three networks to their fullest ability, analysing the complex algorithms to ensure your organic posts reach a huge number of fans – something most artists and their teams don’t fully understand. For full course details and to enrol click HERE.
At this stage, it’s also important to develop your central hub or portal – your website. You shouldn’t rely on your entire online presence to be owned by a social network. Even big players go out of business – Vine recently vanished for example – so make sure your website is the place you own your brand, and you can link out to all your networks from that central point.
Step 4 – Create Channels
Now you have developed your brand, you should be securing all your networks.
For content storage, you need to create accounts on: Soundcloud, YouTube, a blog, a website. To engage with the audience and share content you need accounts on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
TIP: If brand is about consistency, when starting out, it’s important to secure the same handles for all your accounts: www. exampleband. com / www. twitter. com/exampleband / www.facebook .com/exampleband / www.instagram .com/exampleband / www.soundcloud .com/exampleband / www. youtube .com/exampleband
These social networks, and content services should be properly and fully branded.
Step 5 – Begin Promotion
You now have a brand, an online focal point (your website), beautifully branded content channels (with music, video, bio, images etc. all uploaded) and social networks. So now it’s time to bring these together, and start marketing to your current fans and discovery new ones.
If you want to fully understand the strategies and methods used by major labels, ad successful independent artists, to market music and rapidly build an audience, enrol on the Music Marketing course at SMB today. Over four weeks we will show you how to take your fans on a journey from never having heard your music, through five stages to ‘aligned super fan’. If you are a completely new artist (or you represent one) then the starting point is to develop the ‘Discovery Base’ – which we examine in depth on our course, with some expert guest speakers. New ‘untapped fans’ will discovery in two ways:
1. Active Search Here the goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to find you. Our Music Marketing course examines many strategies to ensure ‘active search’ delivers results – such as SEO, digital distribution and music search app marketing such as Shazam.
2. Passive Discovery Here the goal is to give prospective chance the best chance possible to ‘passively discover’ you and your music. Our Music Marketing course will look in depth at social media strategy, engagement and interaction, music press and promotion, the blogosphere, Hypemachine, tastemaker blogs, the printed press, radio plugging, store placements, playlist submissions and advertising – all vital for passive discovery.
This is the starting point. From here, our course will nurture your skills and provide you with the information you need to succeed in the market place; developing your brand, your audience and your commercial prominence.
For the full course breakdown of the topics we will examine please click HERE.