(Photo: Marcie Casa via Flickr)
Band websites are like the life-long friend you’ve grown up with. You’re comfortable and familiar with them. Now and then a new and exciting friend comes along that steals your attention and makes your old friend seem less interesting. But when the new friend doesn’t turn out the way you hoped, your old friend always has your back…
Sounds like a teen movie plot.
Social media sites have undeniably changed the way we listen, discover, share, and interact with new music. They don’t, however, replace the need for that old friend: the band website. A crucial mistake in an artist’s marketing strategy can be neglecting their trusty URL.
Here are four reason why artists still need a website:
One Central, Branded Hub
Like a command centre for all your information and content, the band website is a one-stop shop for everything that relates to your music. Social media sites each put the focus on a specific aspect of your career: YouTube primarily for videos, Facebook and Twitter for promotion and interaction, Bandcamp and Soundcloud for audio, etc.
While most social platforms aren’t entirely singular focused, they can be divisive when it comes to your messaging and content. If a promoter or label wanted to learn more, or a journalist wanted to write about your band, a comprehensive website gives them everything they need all in one place.
How credible or current does a company look if they don’t have a website in 2013? Think of your band the same way. Keeping up a well-designed domain is a sign that you’re professional and serious about what you do.
Social media sites are far trendier than websites. They come and go relatively quickly, while websites have remained stable. Perhaps that’s only part of a longer lifespan, and they’ll eventually go the way of Myspace, but for the time being websites are a necessity for professionalism.
You Control the Content
While there is a certain level of customization on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, all pages look relatively uniform. A website gives you way more control over your image, allowing for unique and creative ways to present your brand.
Artists also have very little control over the messages surrounding their music on social media. People are free to say whatever they want about you, post crappy videos, unflattering photos, etc. Your website is a controlled setting where you can dictate the messages that get sent out.
Easier To Find and/or Discover
A properly SEO optimized website will rank higher in searches than social media profiles. This makes it easier for someone to find you when they search your name. Also, adding more content to your site increases the chance that someone might discover you when searching for something else.
Web prominence is important and websites get more love from search engines. Plus at the most basic level, people still search for websites so be where they are searching.
It’s also important to remember that simply having a website is not enough. Like any blog or social media site, it needs to be maintained and kept current. Update your tour dates, press quotes, bios, and content.
A news or blog section on your website is great, but only if you’re going to use it. If the last “news” entry is from 2009, take it off your website.
Check out some more tips on building effective artist websites.