Content marketing involves giving potential customers (visitors, followers, subscribers)) something for free in order to engage them with a product or service. This article is an example of content marketing. We are giving you free advice in order to get you interested in our project. In our case, you are not technically a customer because we don’t sell anything, but the principal is the same. Content marketing is hugely important for recording musicians.
Methods include ..
If you’re going to give something way for free, you will want to make the process visible and/or useful for you. You could for example ask visitors to your site to subscribe to your email newsletter in order to receive a giveaway. Or you could start a competition on Facebook and ask followers to vote on the best entries. Either way, try to maximise the exposure so that the end result is tangible and measurable.
People love competitions and there’s no reason why as a creative artist you can’t come up with something engaging and unique. Although offering a physical prize such as a microphone will be popular, try to think of prizes that minimise your costs. If you offer a gig ticket as a prize, rather than posting a printed ticket you could simply add the winners names to your guest list.
You are a music maker and have talents so why not produce a video master class on some aspect of music making close to your heart. An artist we know offered a master class webcast on alternate tunings, whilst another on vocal exercises. Google hangouts is an excellent platform for this, or just create a YouTube video.
Newsletters work when you have things to say about your activities that can be gathered together and published at scheduled intervals. They need to contain more than just news and although they do not have to be long, they do need to contain information and content that is interesting and engaging. Subscribers value newsletters only when they contain content of value and quality, so don’t think you can get away with just compiling all your latest tweets and social media posts. You should not commit to a newsletter unless you think you can devote time each month to producing it.
You can produce a newsletter in any word processing or page layout programme that can include images and links and which can be published in the preferred format of a pdf. You should brand your newsletter and pay attention to its presentation, design and the quality of it’s images. You can attach your newsletter to an email, distribute it via your website as a download.
You may prefer to construct your newsletter in the form of an html email using the tools provided by a service such as Mailchimp. You will need to pay close attention to the design and include multiple calls to action. Consider including short summaries of content with buttons that encourage to continue reading the full article at your website.
We love podcasts, but have yet to find a use for them ourselves. If you have the gift of the gab you might want to consider creating one. You could talk about your creative processes and perform new songs you are working on. Or perhaps create a podcast in the form of an interview or conversation with someone. You can plan questions and bookend the interview with news items about your activities and other artists you love. You will want to create some kind of short branding “jingle” to start it and perhaps some music to segueway between sections.
Google “creating podcasts” for help and visit Apples advice page at .. http://www.apple.com/uk/itunes/podcasts/specs.htm
Many artists are embracing mobile apps as an effective way to engage with their audience. This is a vast subject and technically involved but the benefits are clear and there have recently emerged some solutions to help non-techies to make their own apps.
If you are interested these links may be useful ..
Perhaps the most important single piece of content you can have is a great music video. We don’t think you should even consider releasing a new single or album without one. Documentary videos are good too, but only once you have generated interest with a music video. The good news is that creating an HD video no longer costs big bucks.
At the budget end of the market you can film, edit and publish a video with no more than an iPhone and iMovie. You will want some way to support the phone with a tripod attachment, and if you plan to shoot in-doors some additional lighting. Smartphones are not optimised for low light conditions so outdoors is best, and you will find editing software limited for green screen work.
Because video can become an important part of your online profile, you may decide to invest some money in better equipment. Here’s our recommendations ..
If you only plan to create music videos, you won’t need the mic because you will be editing soundless pictures to your pre-recorded music track.
YouTube is the delivery platform you should be using for your video for several reasons ..
YouTube has extensive advice for maximising the impact of your videos ..
go here for help in setting up a channel and understanding usage guidelines .. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbsGxdAPhjv9eg9JHbQXwBHUB5LK3mKm1&feature=view_all
go here for professional advice on marketing and optimising .. http://www.youtube.com/yt/playbook/
In addition to this advice, here’s our top 10 for YouTube marketing ..