Band Promotion Tips 101 "In no particular order!"

  1. Content is numero uno. The content of the website is crucial. In every Website Promotion Tips section you will see a phrase that goes something like this, "Content is King", it's sometimes found as a foot note!
  2. Every visitor is important to your site, repeat visitors are vital, returning possibly looking for additional information or to purchase your artwork, CD or book. The more the visitor returns the more likely they are to become part of your community and start supporting you financially. So, give your visitors plenty to read and keep the site well maintained, if the content is crap, no one is going to read it let alone return.
  3. Make your Band's Website a #1 Hit check list:
    1. Easy to find and loads fast
    2. Looks good and is credible
    3. Is in character
    4. Is user friendly and all the links work
    5. Is useful
    6. Is interesting
    7. Has purpose
    8. Is different
    9. Is entertaining
    10. Offers an easy mailing list sign-up
    11. Doesn't use questionable black hat methods for Spamming
    12. Has a clear privacy policy
    13. Offers something free
    14. Music is easy to buy and download
    15. Accepts credit cards
    16. Has a newsletter
    17. Has very clear navigation
  4. Make your Online Press Pack a #1 Hit check list:
    1. It's very, very easy to find
    2. Has Professional Presentation
    3. Has a concise biography of the band
    4. Press release is newsworthy
    5. Press release includes: who published it with contact data, when and where you're doing what!
    6. You're always first to publish the band's news - when appropriate
    7. Has professional quality photos of the band
    8. Offers press release and gig dates by email/SMS
    9. Offers an easy mailing list sign-up
    10. Clear no spam Privacy Policy
    11. Very clear relevant contact details
    12. Includes your copyright information
    13. Offers easy access to your demo music/ video
  5. MY TOP TIP Ask UnsignedBandPromotion for help with your Micro-Site! A Micro-Site is a webpage that contains and promotes all the relevant information from your band's website, including: Band Name, Pictures, Mini Biography / Profile, Gigs Link, Release Dates, Link to MP3 Download, Venue (You play or like most), Contact Information, Where Your Band's From, Band Members, Links (to all Your web addresses/information) and Copyright Information. It aims to be a presell page and landing page - Let's make one together!
  6. Find the top 5 keywords and key-phrases that best describe your band. Think about what your potential fans will search for. Then stick them in your Title tags and Description meta tags. Now you're being found for something else in the search engines other than your band's name. Example:- it could be: your genre (indie rock band), your location (Chelsea, London), the name of your favourite venue or your album and song titles...
  7. Promoting Your Website to your fans is easy, but, promoting your website to the unknown is V.difficult. Get to know your target audience.
  8. Hire a band promoter on a V.short no-contract understanding.
  9. Find a Website designer who can check your website for its promotional potential, ask unsignedbandpromotion we're free.
  10. Big Internet Turnoff, "HTTP/1.0 404 Object Not Found" and there are numerous variations on that message! If one of your pages becomes defunct but has a listing on a search engine, don't delete it, alter it or make it point to another page.
  11. You should be able to create your own 404 error page, most people put an advert on it and a link back Home!
  12. A single mention of your band and its URL (web address, domain name) with some editorial about you and your website in a national newspaper could bring hundreds of interested repeat visitors, no search engine will ever help you that much.
  13. Try some conventional advertising in a national newspaper, it's a valuable route that could pay humungus dividends - it is also not as expensive as one would expect. Most people still get the majority of their marketing messages through conventional advertising.
  14. Under Construction signs tend to be there for a long time, and are another big turnoff. Under Construction Signs always equals a Bollox Website!
  15. Start a blog, not just about your band but about your genre.
  16. A blog will increase the size and relevancy of your website, this makes linking with other relevant websites easier.
  17. There's no need to worry about Page Ranking (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.
  18. Team-up and collaborate with local bands of the same or complementary genre and promote each other online and off-line.
  19. Webhosting For Bands - BandPromotion Blog - offers: free music promotion and marketing ideas, including articles on how to promote your band's music through your Website. Up-to-date web hosting info.!
  20. There are four points I consider important when choosing a webhosting service: price; technical support; reliability; professionalism. iPowerWeb are top in all four, it's that simple. iPower Website Hosting - Free domain name. I am an affiliate.
  21. Search Engines & Band Promotion they obviously go together, with an average of 65% of traffic coming from Google, search engine optimisation is a must.
  22. Submit your band's website to the search engines, i.e. AltaVista, Excite, Google, HotBot and Lycos, etc...
  23. It might take time to get listed, submit once every three weeks until listed.
  24. Don't use submission software to automatically register your website with the search engines. Go to each one and fill in the form, OK, this does take time, but it's worth it.
  25. Don't submit the same URL more than once per day. If you hit a problem and you are not sure if your submission has been accepted, go back the next day.
  26. Search engines like html site maps and xml site maps see: http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/.
  27. Posting comments in high ranking blogs, Wordpress blogs and forums will help with getting your website listed quicker - contribute with genuine and worthwhile comments only, anything else will make matters worse.
  28. Search engines don't like flash, but love textual content.
  29. Linking For Bands is ultra important. Always make your Website the focal point, not your social media profiles.
  30. When asking for a link it's a good idea to provide the code - Like this: You can start promoting your band now by exchanging links with us:
    <!-- Start of code -->
    <p><a href="http://www.unsignedbandpromotion.com/" >Unsigned Band Promotion</a></p>
    <!-- End of code -->
  31. Swap links with us, email your details to me - unsigned band promotion.
  32. Promoting Gig Dates - add your band's gig dates to other bands' websites by using easy JavaScript, syndicated gig listings will promote your band's gigs by networking links - it's an easy way to collaborate with other bands.
  33. Blog etiquette: don't ask for a link, if you give one they should reciprocate and visa versa. Most bloggers keep an eye on their stats, so should you.
  34. Keep track of who's linking to your blog through trackbacks and or pingbacks - swap links, make comments, start a conversation.
  35. A link to your website is like a vote for your website. The more votes you have the better you will do.
  36. Fans have websites - be interested in what they're doing! They will review your music and give you a link. You just have to ASK - keep asking.
  37. Submit your website to related directories - there's quite a lot Google is good!
  38. Don't forget content! nobody wants to link to a boring website.
  39. I'm not sure about webrings? - like-minded websites link to the next member website along a sort of chain. The only real beneficiary is the website at the hub who is usually the one who set-up the webring in the first place! Oh, and that's you of course, don't bother joining one.
  40. Don't waste your time with Banners (unless you have the artistic talent to create an outstanding one). I think that most banner advertising is ineffective and isn't really worth the money. The number of people who click-through from banner advertising is getting less and less.
  41. Create a mega-simple, eye-catching and small (120px X 60px) banner to use in case fans, friends and family really need one. Always provide the code for linking back.
  42. Garden Lighting Berkshire - a very basic demonstration of content and linking in action with a hint of band promotion and vitriol thrown in for good measure - there's more to this simple page than first meets the eye.
  43. Private Health Insurance UK - another basic demonstration of content and linking in action with a hint of "The Long Tail". Be found for something else other than your band's name.
  44. Use the networking communities (esp. Facebook, MySpace, ReverbNation) to communicate with local fans. Always make your website The focal point.
  45. How To Make Money - in the struggle to make some money from your website, you will end up promoting it better than if you hadn't tried.
  46. Become an affiliate for other websites and sell products and services from your website, it's a simple way to earn a little extra cash i.e., you could sell Apple's iPod portable MP3 player! Find out how at Commission Junction.
  47. If you run a Music Website, try to earn some extra money by setting up an affiliate program of your own!
  48. Selling music online is a business. Your band is a business. Be business-like.
  49. To make money online your band needs: clarity (a clear objective), a strategy and focus.
  50. Don't crowd your website with banners and products. Sell one or two things and sell them well.
  51. Don't just stick a PayPal donate button in to your website and hope for the best. Offer something for it like a link or a credit on your next album or even dedicate a track.
  52. Sell the band's merchandise at your gigs. Here's some ideas: Badges, Bumper Stickers, Caps, Hats and Visors, CDs and Demos, Drum Sticks, Fake Tattoos, Frisbees, Greeting Cards, Guitar Picks, Imprinted Bic Pens, Key-Rings, Lanyards, Lighters, Matchbooks, Mugs, Portfolio of Signed Pictures, Posters, Stickers, Sweatshirts, T-shirts, Wall Calendars, etc., look around for online solutions and deals.
  53. Sell the band's merchandise online. You can set up a shopping cart when you use iPower Website Hosting. The package includes: 500 Megs of Space, 30 Gigs of Transfer, 300 Emails + Free Set-up & Free Domain Name. With: OS Commerce Shopping Cart, Agora Shopping Cart or PayPal Shopping Cart.
  54. Email Marketing For Bands is a total Must, even if it's by hand! Try MailChimp.com
  55. The Internet is the perfect place for the dissemination of information and email is at its heart. A website is the perfect place to gather fans email addresses so you can inform them of your next gig dates.
  56. Keeping your fans informed is the one main actions that will pay big dividends as it will increase the size of your audience - now.
  57. What are you going to do with all the received email information and addresses? Normally email information is used to send gig information, e-zines and e-newsletters and product information. Never use it thoughtlessly.
  58. How are you going to send out 500+ emails each month? You need an email client to help with this! Normally the best email software is online, and the whole thing usually comes as a package.
  59. What you need to set-up a mailing list:
    • a method of collecting the Names and Email Addresses
    • a method of keeping securely and maintaining the Mailing List
    • a suitable email client to send out your emails, e-zines and e-newsletters etc.
    • an understanding of Privacy and a Privacy Policy, see: The Can-Spam Act 2003
    • The Direct Marketing Association (DMA - you need to be a member) have an online Privacy policy generator: The DMA online Privacy policy generator
  60. The Do-It-Yourself-Professionally Way: get a Perl script from: PerlArchive.com. You need to have an enabled Web host that can run Perl scripts.
  61. The Professional Solution: the easiest, quickest and often the most economic way to get up and running with a system that will collect the email addresses of your site's visitors (with a Join Our List sign-up) and then enable you to compile and send a compelling email newsletter or gig announcement is to sign-up with someone like, MailChimp or Constant Contact.
  62. What you want: A free sign up or a free trial; A customisable website sign up form; Professional templates (newsletters, promos, invites and more); Friend forwarding; Manages and hosts your subscriber list (including unsubscribe and bounce management); Automatic delivery in the correct format, HTML or text; Real-time reporting (including opens - who clicked on which links).
  63. MailChimp offer a free limited service on a mailing list of 500, but the full version is well worth it.
  64. You can try Constant Contact for free as they offer a 60 day free trial, which I think is worth a go.
  65. The Free Method: onelist.com, yourmailinglistprovider.com and bravenet.com all give a free service, but personally, I'm not keen on the heavy advertising, of course you can remove the ads with cash.
  66. Google Groups and Yahoo Groups also offer a free way to start. Free doesn't look very professional - if that's what you're aiming for.
  67. A home baked method is the way I'd start! A simple email form can be used to collect email addresses from your fans. Here's some code, just copy and paste to where you want it:
    <!-- JOIN YOUR-BAND-NAME'S MAILING LIST -->
    <form method="post" action="mailto:your@email.address?subject=Join Mailing List" enctype="text/plain" onsubmit="window.alert('This is an Email Form. You may need to press SEND in your email client')">
    <input type="hidden" name="sauce" value="website">
    <input type="hidden" name="flavour" value="subscribe to mailing list">
    <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="220" border="0">
    <tr><td align="center"><p>JOIN OUR MAILING LIST</p></td></tr>
    <tr><td><p>Enter your name:<br>
    <input type="text" name="name" value="" size="25" maxlength="100"></p></td></tr>
    <tr><td><p>Enter your email address:<br>
    <input type="text" name="email" value="" size="25" maxlength="100"></p></td></tr>
    <tr><td align="center"><input type="submit" value="Submit">&nbsp;&nbsp;<a title="unsubscribe from the band-name's mailing list" href="mailto:your@email.address?subject=Unsubscribe From Mailing List">unsubscribe</a></td></tr>
    </table></form>
    <!-- END OF YOUR-BAND-NAME'S MAILING LIST -->
    • Obviously you need to include: Your Email Information and Your Style (CSS). The mailing list form sends you an email, in fact it works exactly the same as clicking on an email link. The person who fills in the form with their name and email address, will understand as they proceed.
    • This is what the received email will look like:
      sauce=website
      flavour=subscribe to mailing list
      name=Joe Bloggs
      email=their@email.address
  68. The fan who just subscribed to your mailing list is HOT, and is the most receptive to buying a CD or merchandise, so always reply straight away to their request with details of how to purchase your products and/or your next gig information etc.
  69. When the hot fan makes a purchase they become SUPER-HOT, offer them a one-off deal and something free - you've got them hooked.
  70. Protect your mailing list - it is pure gold. Don't give out their details to anyone. Send the emails individually or use the BCC option in your email client and always include a signature with how to unsubscribe.
  71. In The Real World: provide a simple form at gigs to collect: name, address, phone number (for SMS) and email address.
  72. (Legally) Hand out, post, pin up, stick and drop (accidentally!): flyers, stickers, business cards, button badges - in and around: schools, colleges, universities, record shops, fashion shops, cafes, pubs, clubs, venues and churches. Include your band's name, website address and free gift details.
  73. A website and an email newsletter go together like Rock and Roll.

Written by Ian Robson
IanUnsigned Band Promotion help musicians and artists to get their websites noticed by fans, search engines and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own. Find UBP on and Twitter. Ian has been working on website promotion techniques since 1994.

 

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