Super-marketing sweep: How to get noticed. 16/04/2007..:
As mentioned a couple of weeks previous I’m going to do the blog this week on how to potentially market an unsigned band successfully for cheap/free.
So to start, I’m breaking this blog down into a number of sections: community sites (myspace,bebo etc), Youtube, flyers, street teams, personal website…
As we all know there are a shedload of community sites out there offering to help promote your band, put up your music, photos etc etc and lets be honest, there is only one that matters and that is Murdoch’s myspace
We all know the great things about myspace, the fact that you can type in pretty much any band you’ve ever heard of and hear 4 of their songs, the fact that you can see when your favourite band are playing in your area next, the fact that you can look at pictures of that girl you used to go to school with. But it’s the negatives that are starting to outshine the positives recently and regular users of the site will know what I’m on about: the constant spamming (I couldn’t care less if I could make a living from filling out surveys or get a free handbag by clicking this link) and the fact that we see the words ‘Sorry, a technical error has occurred” more than we see peoples profiles these days.
So here are my tips on a good myspace:
– Make it aesthetically pleasing and not too ‘visually noisy’
If you just happen to have a graphic designer as a band member then do something different (check out http://www.myspace.com/thebedfordincident)
– Make it for the fans rather for the A&R – Don’t make it a press release, sites like myspace are about making new fans and keeping their attention for as long as possible, check out the content of The Alphites myspace, it’s funny and matches their music brilliantly http://www.myspace.com/thealphites
– Blog often to keep fans kept up to date with what’s happening in your camp, but make it interesting and not just “we’re in the studio, keep checking for new songs”; no one wants to read that, not even your mum.
If you can get this right, then you’re sorted. OK GO messing about on treadmills have now received over 20 million views! And rightly so because arguably it’s one of the best and most innovative music videos ever, both for its simplicity (one camera, one angle, one room) and yet for its complexity (quality choreography). Also, their video previous (dancing in the back garden) and their latest one (with ‘the wallpaper’) are great viral videos.
The Sick Puppies who’s track was used on the ‘Free hugs campaign’ video has received over 13 million views and from this signed a unique 1 song deal with a major label. And these aren’t the only 2 using Youtube to their advantage, out of the most viewed videos of all time on the site, 7 from the top 20 are music videos.
My tip on making a good youtube video? Comedy.
You have to make a video that makes the viewer want to copy and paste the link into an email and send it to everyone in their address book who then all forward it to their address book and so on and so on and from my experience, these ‘viral’ videos are 9 times out of 10 comedy videos. But beware! Getting comedy wrong is a disastrous thing to happen (have you ever been to a comedy where the stand up has died on his/her arse? It’s a cringe worthy experience and one that you don’t want to be associated with your band)
Waste of money and paper (think about your carbon footprint!). Let the promoter worry about these, it’s much more cost effective to do 2 text outs, 1 a week before the gig and 1 on the night of the gig. Nominate a band member to be the official ‘texter’ and put EVERY single relevant (not your local pizza hut) phone number from all of the band members phones into that one phone (most newer phones let you make groups of contacts, do this to keep it nice and organized) then get yourself over to O2 or Orange online and take advantage of their free sim packages which come with so many thousand free texts per month depending on how much you top up by (the one I used to promote my gig night was on orange, if you topped up £15 a month you received 1,000 free texts which was more then enough).
Street teams can be great if you’ve got fans dedicated enough, the only problem with street teams at an unsigned level is that you haven’t got much to offer them in return. Free entry to a gig at the M.E.N Arena is great but free entry to a gig at Yeovil Working Men’s Club isn’t that hot.
Bribe them with free tickets, merchandise, drinks etc and get them to collect emails at every gig that you play. Email addresses can be very valuable assets, especially if you can get yourself a good little collection of them:
Top Tip: get yourself down to ebay and get a cheap-as-chips PDA so when you collect email addresses you can actually read them the next day rather then trying to figure out if that is actually a D or an O where some pisshead had dropped his fag on the paper
Top Link: Ebay www.ebay.co.uk
Not much need for these anymore with the rise of myspace and the such but if you do have a personal website then make sure it’s good. A crap website is always a turnoff and from my perspective all the info an A&R person needs can be found on your myspace page so the only reason I’d visit a bands website is to see it as an extension of the brand of the band.
Top link: The Raconteurs amazing website – http://www.theraconteurs.com
Righto! Long one this week but I hope you can take something away from it. Any comments or suggestions then I’d really be happy to hear them.
What I’m listening to this week: The Arctic Monkeys & Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip (I agree, thou shall NOT question Stephen Fry)