Faiz Fadzil (@el_flynn) said that I was only covering half the story and that there's a missing piece on UnsignedBandPromotion that maybe didn't cross my mind. Faiz was looking for something that links the online promotion tools of Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, ReverbNation, Bandcamp, etc., with the real world and gigging. A tool that would help an independent artist, musician or band line up a gig or even a tour. Yeah Fiaz, that'd be handy :)
I replied, UnsignedBandPromotion only concerns itself with helping independent artists, musicians and bands who are in the process of setting up a website, or bands who want to promote their websites themselves. We don't really advise bands on how to get gigs or which cities are best to tour for maximum payoff! In fact, we advise bands to gig locally to start with, and that's really as far as we usually take it.
Bazinga - UnsignedBandPromotion only concerns itself with The Tool that helps bands to pick up and promote gigs and tours. It's called a Website!
While successfully promoting gigs from your website and social media, you are at the same time increasing the chance of 'getting gigs'! Because, a band who can promote an event effectively are worth hiring if they can also put on a good show. So, by demonstrating that you can do both (promote & perform), you will get gigs.
My goal here is to show you how you can beat the competition, increase your visibility and attract Venues - who's objective it is to book your band.
There's no secret or magic bullet to an SEO campaign; basically, it revolves around website content and linking - by-the-way, I'm always surprised by the number of bands who don't bother with it and use repetitive self-promotion (spam) on social media as their principal method of getting noticed.
Choosing the right set of keywords for your band's website is vital to achieving your objective. Being found for your location (e.g. London) alone is almost impossible (plus, it's futile trying to compete with authoritative competitors within this category - try searching Google: London and you'll see what I mean), even combining your genre with your location (e.g Punk Rock London) will provide stiff competition.
Target your local audience. Instead of targeting competitive search terms like "Punk Rock London"! UnsignedBandPromotion have found that by being more precise with your locale (town/ district e.g. Earls Court), you will attract people who are looking for local bands and venues, e.g. Punk Rock Earls Court on Google & Punk Rock Bands Earls Court on Google
"Unless you have a hard core of 500 passionate fans who will support you what ever the weather, you should keep your promotion efforts local to the venue - meaning: within about 25 miles. It might seem odd thinking local with a World Wide Website, especially when you have fans from every corner of the globe downloading your music - but it's usually only locals who are going to turn up and support you." - Promoting Gigs From Your Website UBP 2008.
The gigs page could easily be hosted by a free Wordpress blog. Each gig listing would then be a blog post, which is very easy for you and your fans to share with the social media. Fans need to be encouraged to support your band by sharing your gig dates.
It is very important that your gigs page is kept up-to-date, even if you are not gigging; that's why creating a diary/ weblog is a good idea. You can talk about the build-up to the gig, give a post gig analysis, pin up loads of pictures of fans and ask for comments.
Use the local date format for where you live: day, month, year? Use the date like a bullet point. Always use the same structured layout, for example:
Date: Time: Doors: Venue: Town: Ticket: Age: Freebie
11:03:2020 @ 20.30, doors @ 17.30, The Troubadour Club, London SW5 9JA (hypertext link to venue page), £8; £5 with flyer, 18+ ID., 100 goodie bags: first-come, first-served.
Focus on local venues by creating a venues page. You could make a page for each venue or a page for each town and include several venues. The design and content should reflect the taste and needs of your fans - so ask for ideas and feedback.
When you promote a gig from your website you are actually promoting the venue at the same time. Make the most of it, you may be surprised by the amount of interest it generates amongst venue and event managers. Include for example:
Check that the metadata is up-to-date and unique for each venue page. The Title and Description are particularly important because the search engines can use this information to display a short description on their results page.
You definitely need to spread the word about your next gig; you can do this by encouraging other local bands of the same genre to display your flyer on their website and social media pages. See: Band Flyers and Banners
Make a perpetual gig listing ad: 180px X 255px vertical rectangle banner (orientation portrait) advertising your band. Rotate, update and replace image as and when necessary.
Swaping links and networking with other bands of the same genre, is the usual way bands start to promote their website. However, as I've already said, website promotion should be focused and aim at achieving a goal (inform a targeted local audience about your gig dates). See: Target Fan Profile Checklist
Don't only rely on your social media for gig promotion; you must take the holistic approach and utilize every resource, otherwise you'll probably fail.
Send gig and/or tour posters to the venues and local: colleges & universities, independent record shops, cool coffee houses, pubs, radio stations, fans, friends and family. Have you got a street team?
Send out/ email a press release to local papers and radio (local online radio too) stating: Band Name, Date, Time, Venue, Town, Ticket, Age Restrictions, Freebie Information, Charity Name, Your Contact Details (Include: your name, your band's name, telephone number, postal address, email address, website URL). Follow up with a phone call or actually visit them in person.
Written by Ian Robson
Unsigned 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 Google+ and Twitter. Ian has been working on website promotion techniques since 1994.
Promoting Gig Dates And Gig Listings is offered to you under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, which means: it's yours to use as long as you Attribute the work to Unsigned Band Promotion and Link Back. See: © copyright