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September 7, 2009

Monitor Your Social Media

Filed under: General Musings — ian @ 7:34 pm

I just found this funny! In the Ads by Google (bottom right) there was an Ad:
Monitor Your Social Media
Monitor Sites like
Twitter, YouTube &
Blogs with Vocus PR
Software!
www.vocus.com/uk.
Very interesting, I click on the link and go to the Vocus website. With the headline, Integrate Social Media Into Your PR & Marketing Strategies, I’m even more intrigued and wonder, “how would bands use it, and, do Vocus have an affiliate program”. I decide to fill in the form to see what happens, I get to Annual Revenue * (it’s a selection box) Option 1: Over 200 Million. Option 2: 4 Million - 199 Million. Option 3: Under 4 Million. Option 4: Do not know… As I said, I just found it funny - and stupid! What would you have chosen? Yeah you’re right, I didn’t press send and there wasn’t any more information!

August 29, 2009

Links and Linking - The Dark Art

Filed under: SEO, website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 9:09 pm

You asked "Band Needs Help With Promotion - how can we promote our band’s website to get our name out there and get more fans?" I looked at your band’s website I found two common problems, poor content and a poor linking strategy. I often rant on about content, content and content (take a look around my Blog) so now it’s the turn of Links and Linking!

Have you got a linking strategy? I couldn’t find one! A linking strategy is Your way of getting backlinks to your website that will help you to achieve your aims and goals - it’s all about planning and the big picture.

What are you aiming to achieve by promoting your band’s website? You said, "to get our name out there and get more fans", so I’m going to go with that.

A word about content: you’re going nowhere with zero content, who’s going to link to bollocks? Fix your content problem first - I see you’ve got a blog, make it your opening page, that would be better. For content think conversations.

O.K., basically there are three types of links: Outgoing links. Incoming links. Internal links.
Outgoing Links are links that lead Away from your website. They are important partly because the hypertext becomes a keyword.

Incoming Links (also called: backward links and back links) are links that point To your website. They are very important and represent one of the main ways future fans will find you.

Internal Links are links that point To your website from Within your website. They help to define the understanding of your website.

Linking in my view should be organic. Organic linking is natural and balanced, it’s linking with websites that are relevant and related to yours using a wide variety of different methods. Organic links tend to receive more traffic than non-organic (unrelated) links. Try to link with like minded websites. For a very basic example of content and linking in action see: Garden Lighting Berkshire (the page only has about 20 back links).

A Mini ‘Brainstorming’ Session

Well not really true brainstorming, but, discuss with the band…

Set Your Goals

To get our name out there - build a brand: name promotion.
To get more fans - build a fan base: invite friends, start a mailing list.

Do Some Research

Keywords be found for something else other than your band’s name:
Genre: indie rock band. Location: Wandsworth Common, London.
Other Ideas: favourite venue name. album and song titles. …remember the long tail.

How will your future fans discover you - Online or real world and how will you mix it?

Who are your existing fans and who are your target fans - what are their interests, lifestyles and how might they be attracted?

Your geographic location - local colleges & universities, independent record shops, fashion shops, cool coffee houses, pubs and nightclubs, etc. have they got websites? Will they let you put up a flyer, swap links? Do you know someone who works in one of these places?

Find Local Bands To Link And Gig With - for linking think networking
electronic rock bands London - on Google
rock bands - on Google Directory
"add your link" "rock band" - on Google
site:profile.myspace.com electronic rock band - search MySpace for ‘electronic rock band’ on Google

Do - Action

Take a look at your genre, your music and the people who listen to it, then target websites that fit-in with the "lifestyle" e.g., you are an electronic rock band, try approaching Urban Clothing &or Headphone websites like WeSC (We are the Superlative Conspiracy) - sorry about the poor example Julian, but you know what I mean.

Make your band’s website The focal point, Link To Your Website from all of your ’social media’ profile pages: MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm, ReverbNation, Wordpress/Blogger, YouTube, etc.

Keep a record of what you are doing by creating a link directory.

Create simple, bold and easy to recognize: avatar or logo, banner image, flyers - think branding, consistency and identity.
</brainstorming_session>

The What, Where and How of Back Links

The wide variety of different methods…

Reciprocal Links To get links you have to give links, it’s called reciprocal linking. Reciprocal linking with like minded, complementary websites (esp. other local bands) that fit your genre, is a good way to start promoting your band’s website and should be a matter of course. Each time you come into contact with a ‘compatible’ band start networking and swap website addresses (get some business cards). If you’re an SEO expert or an Internet marketing guru you might now be thinking ‘balderdash’, but I disagree, reciprocal linking is still alive and well - just don’t go mad with it and be very selective with whom you swap links.

The One-way Back Link An un-reciprocated link. This is the type of link fans, friends and family can help you with by including forum signatures, contributing to blogs and linking to you from their websites - not to mention social networking esp. Twitter. Make sure they don’t spam or more harm than good will come of it. Venues often link to performing bands’ MySpace, get them to link to your website.

The Big Bertha Link Just one link from a powerful site like the BBC.co.uk or the Guardian.co.uk could do it for you, of course they’re almost impossible to get, but if you keep chipping away you should get a link somewhere i.e., the BBC’s Onemusic or BBC London (BBC local).

Media Links Following on from the Big Bertha link, links gained from the media are invaluable for obvious reasons. The best places to get links are: local radio and TV. local newspapers. specialist, niche, genre magazines. online radio, podcast sites. You can get these types of links by promoting yourself through and on-the-back-of your chosen charity (instead of doing ‘free gigs’ ask for a donation (+link) towards your charity), local media are often looking for ways to appear philanthropic! Keep your eyes on the news and be ready with a story!

Press Release Links And following on from the media link… A press release is written and sent by you to a press release submission service or a journalist (if you know one), in order to highlight an important gig or pass on information that describes the who, what, where, when, why and how of your story. There are quite a few free press release submission websites, as for the journalists, look for journalists and publications interested in your genre. Obviously we’re talking about quality newsworthy information that journalists can get their teeth into.

Directory Links Google Directory, DMOZ and Yahoo are the most well known, but there are many specialist music directories and "lists" you just have to look around. Some directories ask for money, personally I wouldn’t pay for a link!

TLD Links Top Level Domain links are worth making the effort for because they usually transfer a little of their higher ‘trust’ and ‘page rank’ to you. What I’m talking about here is getting links from established websites with domain extensions like: .edu .gov .net .org. To qualify for these types of links your website needs to contain high quality content.

Signature and Comment Links The classic way for a band to increase the number of links pointing to their website is by using signatures in forums and commenting in genre related blogs. Forums, blogs, guestbooks, message boards and newsgroups - there are many thousands of these. You will get the best results if you become part of the community, spend some time reading before posting, don’t just blatantly plug your band, it’s bad for business. Create a very short signature that includes a link to your website. The true promotional value of forum, newsgroup and blog, signature and comment links is very moderate at best, what you actually have to say, your input, has a much bigger bearing on the result - so that’s content again!

Wheel Links This is taking internal linking to the extreme. You create twenty or so totally independent websites with their own domain names and hosting, they all give one-way links to your band’s website - The Authority Hub. This method does work, but it’s very time consuming and expensive - it may not be worth the time, effort or the money. It can be done with free webhosting sites like FreeWebs, Yahoo! GeoCities, LYCOS.tripod and from social media profile pages too, but unless you’ve got time to kill, I wouldn’t bother! You’ve got profile pages but you’re linking to your MySpace - ‘Think Website’.

Crème de la Crème Not to be confused with a profile page, the cream of the crop is a hosted content link or a presell page, which is a stand-alone HTML file dedicated to you and your band’s website. I make them, they’re called Micro-Sites and they’re a marketeer’s linking dream. You get textual links placed within targeted relevant content that promotes the band’s: url. name. genre. venue. Encouraging organic human click-through traffic, the page is an additional, dedicated entry point to your website. The Micro-Site should rank for itself and will add rank to yours. Your adverts and content are included on an established and trusted website (UnsignedBandPromotion.com). Plus, bands can own ALL the adverts, which has a number of important spin-offs. This type of link is almost impossible to get, especially as I’m not making them anymore, well, they’re by invitation only.

Avoid… In My Opinion Websites selling paid text links, Free For All links pages, Automated Link Exchanges and Webrings, they could bring a massive surge of traffic to your website, but not through genuine inquisitiveness or interest and they almost always increase spam email to beyond the limit. The only person/website to benefit is the person/website that set up the scheme in the first place. Handle with kid gloves. And if they are asking for money, run away as fast as you can. Buying links should only be done in very special circumstances - there are plenty of free linking opportunities.

Linking Notes

SPAM Don’t do it. When I read the words, "Sorry about the shameless self promotion, but…", rightly or wrongly I think Spam and I don’t read on. And in a way that’s the problem with spam, the actual and the perceived, for instance, here’s the entire contents of an email I received, verbatim, "We have a professional produced CD. If you have interest in listening, please send name and address and we will pack it off" Was that spam? I think bands walk a narrow path when they are in the act of marketing and promotion. If you’ve enlisted some promo. help from fans, friends and family, warn them about spamming or it will cost you dearly.

Content Keep your website up-to-date, don’t let it get stale and do your best to come up with original ideas. Content is always the keyword in website promotion. Good content means other websites will want to link to you.

Page Ranking There’s no need to worry about PR, unless it stays at 0 for a long period. PR will improve with the quality and quantity of Content, in combination with the quality and quantity of Back Links, and Time. Pick your linking partners based on quality, relevancy, traffic, and how they fit in with your lifestyle and aura.

The Linking Mix You wouldn’t put all your eggs into one basket, so don’t rely solely on one method of linking, vary your linking strategy as much as you possibly can.

Oh, and don’t forget Julian I can give you a reciprocal link, see: Band Promotion Links.

In Conversation With Bands,
Unsigned Band Promotion
~ helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines
and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own ~
http://www.unsignedbandpromotion.com/

August 13, 2009

The Arabella Question

Filed under: SEO, Band Promotion — ian @ 4:21 pm

Arabella blues pop band coventry - Kasbah nightclub West MidlandsI received an email from James (Vox, Guitar) of Arabella a dirty blues pop band from Coventry, West Midlands asking: “Please would you explain how micro-sites help SEO so much as the results seem pretty remarkable”? My answer: “An UBP Micro-Site is almost the perfect link”.

Yeah, but there’s more, SEO is a method of increasing the amount of visitors to a website by targeting the website specifically to a particular search engine, ensuring the website will be found in the result pages for targeted keywords - that’s one of the definitions anyway. There are two main directive headings; Content and Linking, and each of these have many subheadings all with tomes written about them and industries built around them. Unsigned Band Promotion’s Micro-Sites are reasonably well placed within most of the SEO criteria.

Of course I could just give bands a backlink, but compared to a simple text link a Micro-Site offers much more…

  • Links placed within highly targeted relevant content that promotes the band’s: url. name. genre. venue.
  • Organic human click-through traffic - an additional dedicated entry point to your website.
  • The Micro-Site ranks for itself and will add rank to yours.
  • Your adverts and content are included on an established and trusted website (UnsignedBandPromotion.com).
  • Bands can own ALL the adverts, which has a number of important spin-offs.
  • The Micro-Site is ‘a presell page’ or ‘hosted content’ - a marketeer’s linking zenith.

I am not making Micro-Sites by request anymore, only by invitation, sorry. Don’t be downhearted though, you are welcome to copy a Micro-Site and alter it to include your style and information. Please include a link back to me.

Arabella blues pop band coventry - Kasbah nightclub West Midlands Arabella blues pop band coventry - BIOGRAPHY Arabella blues pop band coventry - MUSIC Arabella blues pop band coventry - PRESS Arabella blues pop band coventry - MEDIA

July 24, 2009

Visit hype-free

Filed under: General Musings — ian @ 9:37 pm

hype-freeI got one of the crazy emails today offering me money to place a link on Unsigned Band Promotion for a year. I knew something was up, so I Googled their name - FortitudeHosting. O.K., let’s forget them now, nuff said.

In my search for inf. I discover: hype-free and I’ve just spent a very happy one and a half hours reading their blog, which is, in their words, "A blog which tries to demystify computer security, point out the half-truths and misinformation which floats around about this subject and hopefully reduce the hype created by semi-informed people. It also has some useful tips from time to time." –does exactly what it says on the can, as they say.

hype-free may not be Your thing, but it Is Mine and that’s why I’m giving them a link instead of some dodgy chancer.

July 18, 2009

Make Money From Your Band’s Website

Filed under: Marketing — ian @ 7:53 pm

Make Money From Your Band's WebsiteHow Can I Make Money From My Website? The following answer can be applied to almost any website, although I am looking at it from a band’s point of view.

The key factor in making money from your website is lots of repeat traffic, marketing and sales are a numbers game. A commercial website has to attract repeat visitors in order to make a profit. First time visitors don’t usually buy, second and third time visitors are much more likely to. You get the visitors to return by giving them high quality content and by creating the right environment. It really is that simple! Then it’s just a matter of constant fine-tuning until you get a decent level of sales.

Website Traffic - there are two main sources of traffic: search engines and backlinks (social media, blogs, forums, fan & band sites, etc). Most of the referred traffic on a commercial website will come from Google, however, on a band’s website most of the traffic could come from social media sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter - if you work at it.

Content - is a much bandied about word in promotional circles on the Internet, that’s because most website promotion techniques rely on search engines. For instance, if you’re looking for a band on the net, you go to a search engine, you enter in the band’s name (or something else like: "Rock Bands Berkshire"), the search engine serves up its list of relevant websites. Exactly how the search engines do this is their secret, but we all expect them to get it right and display our lost band somewhere in the top ten results. They do it by analysing Content, that is: Your domain name (YourBandName.com), header tag information (title, description, keywords), the textual content within the BODY of the web page (includes anchor titles, image ALT text and maybe comments) and how the website content relates to the websites it links to and visa-versa. We also think that the search engines analyse language, that is to say, how words relate to each other (e.g. music centre, rock and roll, money spider etc.), compound words (e.g. moneybags, bandwidth) and compound phrases (typically found in domain names, e.g. alexisthompsonmusic, fiftynineviolets, theseasonsband, unsignedbandpromotion) - that’s what keeps the search engines coming back.

Content also means: ‘the quality of what the website has to say’ (that’s what keeps the visitors coming back). The best way to get that right is by being natural, informative, entertaining and up-to-the-minute.

Creating The Right Environment - obviously, get a real website and domain name; visitors, fans, friends and family will presume your website address to be, and remember your website address better if it is your band’s name.

Your visitors’ aims are simple, they want to: listen to how you sound. subscribe to the mailing list. find gig dates, etc. Each of these objectives requires a series of actions, as in: click on the "mp3 Downloads" link, then click on choice… click the "Join Mailing List" link, fill in the form… find and click the "Gigs" link… etc. Your visitors must make a conscious decision to continue, and they will only do that if you lead them easily through each stage, one click at a time - remember: each page can have a number of different entry and exit points. Revenues on the web are also determined by usability.

One of the most important sales pages on your website is the opening page (home page, index.html), yet many bands have a splash page - a huge image with ‘Click To Enter’ (no textual content)! The opening page is ultra-important because it is the principal page that; the search engines list, people link to, visitors land on and navigate their way to their objective (note: the only outgoing link from the opening page should be to your sponsor, who will require it, don’t include any affiliate style links). The home page should be full of information that will inspire and propel the visitor into positive action.

Try to exploit the unique purpose of each web page to make money from your website, for instance: don’t just display your name, address, telephone and email on the Contact Us page, include a contact form with a chechbox, so the visitor can sign-up to your mailing list at the same time. on the Gig Listings page, include comprehensive venue information that Google AdSense might notice, and include the appropriate travel, accommodation and ticket agency affiliate links.

Interaction with your fans is very-important, sell merchandise that encourages conversation, like fake tattoos with your band’s name/logo on. Ask fans to send snap-shots of them wearing the tattoos. Take photographs at gigs of fans flaunting their tattoos. Include the images on your Home Page, Blog, Gig Listings page. A photograph of a ‘carefully placed tattoo’ would also make a very appealing avatar and a topic of discussion on social networking sites.

Mailing List - a mailing list is the ultimate marketing, promotional and money making tool, it goes together with a website like rock and roll. The main purpose of a mailing list is targeted communication by email, thus keeping your fans informed. It will pay big dividends by boosting online sales and by increasing your audience size dramatically (for audience size - keep it local). When a visitor signs up to your mailing list, they are "hot" and are likely to be the most responsive - if you reply promptly. Your most valuable asset is your hot list. A mailing list takes a lot of looking after if you want results. Spend as much time as possible tweaking the list - you’ll never get it perfect!

A well honed and targeted mailing list of around 1500 local people (that’s targeted local, not random WWW), should yield about 400-500 supportive fans, and that means you can tell the venue manager with certainty that you will be bringing 100-200 thirsty fans to the gig.

Selling Music - is what most people think of when they think of making money from their band’s website, but selling music is actually no different to selling anything else online. It doesn’t matter if you are selling pet food, T-shirts or music it is the same equation, about 0.1% to 5% of visitors buy. Caveat1: for a correctly targeted audience the percentage can be much higher. Setting up an open all hours, 24/7, Internet music store to sell your music and/or merchandise worldwide, is an exciting and positive step forward for independent musicians, It opens up the world and allows you to keep full control over your music, your business and be totally independent. The store should be 100% online and 100% automated (where possible), obviously it has to be easy for everyone to use (you and your customers). You need to be able to: take orders and process payments. package and ship the physicals. manage the stock. handle customer service. control the accounts (*money* - you must have a safe, secure and easy payment system for your customers, they will not buy anything from you otherwise - PayPal will allow you to accept credit cards and handle customer contact like invoices, receipts and returns).

Caveat2: now I don’t want to give you the false impression that after you’ve shed blood, sweat and tears, and lavished time, effort and money on your wonderful album, that you will be successful selling it from your website. You probably won’t be! Even though selling music from your website is no different to selling anything else from your website, the market currently dictates that you give your labour of Herculean love away for free. So you should put together a business strategy that will allow this to happen - such as a sponsorship deal or some form of business collaboration where your ‘free’ music gives added value to ‘their’ product or service.

It may seem a pretty daft idea to give your music away for free when you’re focussed on trying to make money from it, but by giving your music away for free from your website, you might actually earn some real money! The aim is to get as many people as possible to download individual tracks and/or the album, you do this via your many and productive social networking profiles - send your fans & friends to your website. If you’re good at making music, and you really do have lots of fans & friends, your website and your free download page will be buzzing and would be worth a tidy sum to a business looking for advertising space where they can target a particular demographic profile. Selling advertising space on a highly active page is one of the most profitable monetization methods. Nothing on the internet is really free - nothing for nothing.

If you want to sell advertising space you need lots of repeat traffic, and proof of it - businesses won’t pay much for space on quiet websites. Google Analytics is quite good - it can integrate with your Google AdSense account. I also recommend: StatCounter - they’re both free.

Affiliate Marketing - is the practice of getting rewarded by a merchant for sending visitors or customers to their website. There are four parties that make up the affiliate marketing circle: the advertiser (the merchant), the network (the intermediary), the publisher (you!), the consumer (the visitor - Joe Public). After joining an affiliate marketing network like Commission Junction, you select merchants to be affiliated with, and after approval, you display their advertising banners and/or text links on your website. After your visitor makes a purchase or fills out a contact form you get paid, typically, your payment is a percentage of the sales price or fixed amount per lead. It’s a simple way to earn some extra money and get paid for your performance!

It’s important to choose merchants that complement your band’s genre and lifestyle - give your visitors what they want. Never overcrowd your website with garish banners, don’t forget, there is a fine line between encouraging visitors to buy and irritating them - pop-ups and pop-unders may tip them over the edge, they would me.

Google Adsense - is the premier Pay Per Click network - I think we’ve all seen an Adsense ad. Google match the advertisement to your website’s content, you earn money every time your visitors click on them. The fact that the ads are relevant to your website’s content means that your fans/visitors should find them useful and probably click on them.

Donations - ask your fans, friends and family for help. One of the easiest ways to monetize your band’s website is to include a donate button and ask your visitors to support you by giving a small donation. Don’t just stick a donate button on to your website and hope for the best, try to offer something for it, like: a dedication (written, musical). a link. a credit on the album cover. a goodie bag… Of course, fans, friends and family can donate their time and skills as well, create a special button and/or area for them. During the build-up to a specific gig or event, local businesses, looking to target your audience, may be interested in making a donation in return for a temporary advertisement.

So, How Much Will I Earn From My Website? - That’s one of those impossible ‘how long is a piece of string’ questions that everyone shies away from answering. I’m a fool to try, because there are so many complex variables that make the answer swing from one extreme to the other. But, taking all things into consideration and looking at the question seriously and openly; I would say that if an ‘average’ band worked hard and applied some genuine effort, they would make about £350 (about $560) per month from: ad. space, affiliate marketing, donations, Google Adsense, merchandise, etc., not including any sponsorship deals or business collaborations. However, the knock-on effect of trying to make money from your website is considerable, in the end you will have created a website full of high quality content that is user-friendly, easy to find and capable of opening important doors.

Do not concentrate on your website in isolation to everything else, it is important that it is a part of your overall marketing strategy. To make your website sell effectively you must take every opportunity open to you, point the potential customer towards your website using both online and Real World techniques - then people will hear your music, and you’ll make some money.

Resources

July 9, 2009

They’re With The Band

Filed under: Band News — ian @ 11:01 am

withtheband - creative design agency for musicians and record labelsEven though I don’t do website design (I do website promotion), I am very interested in it because it effects what I do and how I do it. So when Emma Lawton, founder of withtheband, contacted me requesting a link, I was intrigued. I liked the name withtheband! So I asked for some blurb and here it is:
“withtheband is a new creative design agency specifically for musicians and record labels. We realize that bands and songwriters often don’t have the time or skills to put together a good website or produce attractive promotional materials. So, we’ve set up a company offering professional design, photography, video, and writing services at prices that won’t break the bank.”

It’s a pitty Emma sent me the same bit of blurb that is on her website, and everywhere else for that matter - I advise bands to distribute several different versions of their blurb, so readers don’t get their arses bored off!

<sarcastic>I love withtheband’s strap line which is, “We draw. We shoot. You rock.” a clever play on words, typical of a brilliant and artistic copywriter who wants to exploit the fun of gun culture.</sarcastic>

withtheband is obviously just starting out and I’m sure they’re aiming to please, so if you’re in need of: a website, business cards, flyers, graphic design-work, posters, merchandise, CD artwork, a music video, photography, a MySpace layout, writing services, email newsletter design… give them a shout, they are sincere, flexible, negotiable and tallented - let me know how you got on.

Ciao 4 niao,
Unsigned Band Promotion
UnsignedBandPromotion.com
~ helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines
and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own ~
http://www.unsignedbandpromotion.com/

June 29, 2009

Music Video Going Viral

Filed under: Band Promotion, Marketing — ian @ 11:14 am

One of the big buzzwords from the last ten years has been “Viral Marketing” because of its promise of fame and fortune. Viral marketing is a marketing technique that uses the various forms of social networking to generate increased brand exposure. The term was first used by Tim Draper to describe Hotmail’s practice of adding a signature at the end of a user’s outgoing email message to advertise itself, thus spreading the word via its users. Going viral (an Internet marketeers dream) is when the object of interest (usually a video) is quickly passed around by word of mouth (social networking in all of its forms) and brand awareness grows exponentially.

From a bands point of view, there has never been a better time to spread the word and market ones music with so many excellent networking applications and tools available. And going viral - the tantalizing, teasing lure that draws in hundreds of thousands of bands to overloaded sites like MySpace, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook - is still just a dream for the majority of independent bands who can’t organize themselves to set up an official website, let alone plan out a marketing budget. But, if you want to go viral and get noticed by the mainstream media, you will have to get your arse in gear and get your band a Music Video.

carlyI was contacted by Caroline Bottomley of Radar Music Videos requesting a link from Unsigned Band Promotion (me) and I thought, “I ought to do a blog post about Radar Music Videos”. Why? Because I don’t know anything about making music videos, and Caroline is a doppelganger of my lovely niece Carly!

I start off my investigations by reading Radar and in Google. I Google:
“Music Videos”, “Music Video Production”, Music Video Production Companies UK, Music Video Directors, Music Video Promotion.

Here’s a sample of what I viewed/read (not in any order):
Music Videos on Yahoo, YouTube, The Music Video Production Association (MVPA), British Music Video Directors, Amstore - Music Video Production, Rupert Noble - Music Video Production UK, Happy Hour Productions, After Hours Films, The Music Video DataBase, Radar Music Videos, Radar Commissioned Videos, plus various inf. on Twitter and MySpace.

A music video is basically a “commercial” for the band, they are normally made for marketing and promotion. And along with a demo CD, a website and professional images (which normally precede), they are The must have for a band - venue managers, promoters and booking agents love a well made music video, they can get a much better idea of what a band is like if they can watch a live performance. A music video will not come cheap, I posted How should a band spend £300 of promotional money?, however, £300 will not buy much in the music video production world where the base/entry level costs would be about £1,000.

Put your heads together and work out your marketing and promotion budget and strategy - you’ll want a return on investment (difficult to calculate). I’d say an independent band needs to budget between £2k to £7k to be able to hire a music video director who will do everything for you - of course a much cheaper option would be to use a student filmmaker or someone just starting out in the industry. The advice Caroline gives bands and labels on Radar who aren’t sure about what budget to post: low budgets are unlikely to attract experienced directors, and experience really does make a difference to the quality of a music video. Higher budgets are much more likely to attract experienced people who you can be pretty sure will turn in what they describe in a treatment and probably exceed expectations. Less experienced directors are less likely to be able to turn in a video as described in their treatment.

If you are spending large sums of money I (Me not Caroline) would recommend that you use an established music video director with a track record to help cut your financial risks.

So, how does a band find a video production company? Enter Radar Music Videos an intermediary between bands & artists and a worldwide network of music video directors.

This is what they have to say about themselves:
Radar Music Videos is a global network of music video directors, ranging from viral hitmakers and award winners to student filmmakers. Bands and indie labels use the Briefs board on the site to advertise their music video brief and invite treatments.”

“Bands/labels can click through to the profiles of directors whose treatments they like to see biogs and showreels. All directors who submit treatments are ranked according to their experience and nearly always, more experienced directors make better music videos. Bigger budgets and planned promo campaigns will attract higher ranking directors, bands/labels with very small budgets will attract treatments from newer directors. The site works best for budgets between £100/$150 and £5,000/$7,500. Above that, we recommend clients find a local production company, where they can go on shoots, into the edit and so on. If you’re spending more than £5k/$7.5k you probably want to get more hands on. The best music videos usually come from a brief that is ‘open to all ideas’ and which doesn’t need to be performance based.”

“Radar holds back 15% of the video budget and bills for that 15% if the client commissions a Radar director. There are no additional charges and nothing charged if there’s no commission. We’re also non-exclusive, so bands and labels can be soliciting treatments from their usual director contacts at the same time they’re advertising with us.”

“Artists and labels say they appreciate:
The talent discovery.
The number of treatments they get.
That we make it easy to evaluate and choose directors.
They think they get much better music videos through us then they would commissioning on their own.
They often get great promotion - videos we promote have generated 3 million views and many features.

If you want to go viral and get noticed by the mainstream media, get your arse in gear, get over to Radar, get a music video.

June 2, 2009

Unsigned Bands At Ben Sherman

Filed under: Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 2:35 pm

Unsigned Bands at Ben SermanI took my son into Ben Sherman, Reading, last Friday to buy a T-shirt, while I was there I saw and picked up a card that announced, “Are you an unsigned band or talent?” and this is what it goes on to say:

In February 2009 Ben Sherman re-launched it’s website. It’s bold, it’s beautiful and in the spirit of all things mod, we’ll continue to support the best British bands out there.

Put the scales of justice back into balance, and make your music heard.

Each month our Big British Sound page will shed the limelight on an unsigned talent. Your signature track will play automatically as our browsers click their way around the site, and we’ll even dedicate an entire page to you; band bio, gallery, media player with tree of your best, videos, links to your MySpace… the lot. Think of us as your musical pied pipers.

To expose yourselves (in the best kind of way) to thousands of new groupies, send an email to: unsigned@BenSherman.co.uk, along with a link to your MySpace, or simply attach three of your favourite tracks.

If you make the grade, we’ll be in touch.

Nice one Ben Sherman

May 10, 2009

Help Your Promotion Chances

Filed under: General Musings — ian @ 8:50 pm

Do you want to infuriate your Mailing List and make them ostracize you? Yes! Then send out an emailshot using carbon copy (CC) instead of blind carbon copy (BCC). The CC facility in your email client will add a selected entry from your address book to an email message, and display their email address in the header information. The BCC does the same but hides their email address in the header information. So, CC shows the email addresses and BCC hides the email addresses - each method has its uses. If you are going to send out an emailshot, use BCC to hide the addresses and you will not annoy anyone.

I received an email from The Gigman the other day, with the subject advertising, “The GIGMAN is here to help your promotion explosion”! What method of carbon copy do you think they used? BCC? No! The Gigman used plain old CC, so about twenty important contacts now think The Gigman are not to be trusted with their personal information (even though the email addresses were freely available on the web). Have The Gigman violated their own privacy policy?

I’m looking and laughing at the dynamics and interconnections of The Gigman’s angry list of email contacts, and I’m wondering if they will heed the email’s footer note, “Please consider the environment before printing this email” or will they just delete it like I did? Hey, Peter Acklin, “Please consider others before pressing the send button”.

It’s also obvious that The Gigman have harvested the email addresses from sites like the Gig Guide - the words ‘email’ and ’spider’ come to mind!

Cutting The Crap,
Unsigned Band Promotion
UnsignedBandPromotion.com
~ helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines
and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own ~
http://www.unsignedbandpromotion.com/

May 6, 2009

Official Website for Music Marketing and Promotion

Filed under: General Musings — ian @ 10:49 pm

This week I was lightly scammed by Jacco Wijnia of Positive Pose (a crap fusion band who I assume is from Barneveld, Gelderland, Netherlands) who is a 20y.o. music (muzikant) student at The Dutch Rock Academy which is fronted by finger lickin’ good Gerard Boontjes. Under the guise of doing an interview, Jacco Wijnia asked me some questions to help him with his homework - as if I haven’t got enough trouble with my eight year old son’s, we’re doing the bloody Vikings!

But, out of the darkness came light in the form of the words "Gerard Boontjes Official Website"!

Revival Of The Official Artist Website - Music to my ears (a good read). A digital renaissance by Martin J. Thörnkvist. Do you know, it’s funny how words seem to stick in ones head while surfing the ‘net - "Official Website"

Jacco Wijnia is doing Music Marketing and Promotion today, and had he been more up front with me I would have been able to tell him; at the heart of a band’s successful marketing and promotion campaign should be their website, a networking style profile page just isn’t good enough, plus, owning your own website demonstrates to the music industry professionals and your fans, Credibility, Control and Professionalism, and if that’s not enough, I’ve written 101 Reasons Why Your Band Needs A Website - I didn’t do that in a day.

If you are in a band, get yourselves an official website, and make it your Hub. Setup accounts in: Bebo, Facebook, iLike, iMeem, Last.FM, MySpace, ReverbNation, Twitter, Virb and YouTube. Send your new found fans, friends and followers to your website - to gain more exposure, to ply your marketing acumen, to demonstrate your creative and artistic talents.

Go to the top of the class,
Unsigned Band Promotion
UnsignedBandPromotion.com
~ helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines
and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own ~
http://www.unsignedbandpromotion.com/

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