The final panel of Music Ontario’s three-part workshop series was held last night, this one focusing on music marketing and branding.
Panelists for the discussion included:
Bobby Kimberley – Young Lions Music Club
Erin Kinghorn – eEK! Productions
Maureen Spillane – Maple Music Recordings
Sari Delmar – Audio Blood
The panel touched on a number of pertinent topics, from properly engaging audiences and positioning your music, to leveraging your social media channels and working with brands. Here are 5 takeaway tips to consider.
Be Careful With Favours When Building Marketing Assets
Be cautious when using favours to collect assets. Often artists will turn to friends or family to help write bios or take photos, especially when they’re just starting out and may not have a ton of cash to spend.
It’s hard to ask for changes or criticize someone’s work, when it has been done as a favour. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a terrible bio that you feel you have to use for fear of hurting your friend.
Try to bring a bit of money into the equation. Even a small payment turns the exchange into a business transaction, and puts you into a position where you can request changes as a “client”.
If you are using friends to help build marketing materials make sure it’s a passion project on their end, and that they really care about what you do.
Authenticity & Interaction Are Key For Social Media
As discussed early on in the panel, one of the main goals of marketing is to build an emotional connection with your audience. Social media allows you to make those connections on personal basis. Fans want to feel like the artist is talking specifically to them and be engaged in a conversation.
Therefore your voice on social media must be authentic and it must be interactive. If you’re simply programming automated tweets, then your audience will get bored. Fans will also start tuning you out if you’re solely dumping promotional messages on them.
You should be responding to every single fan mention (or as many as you can handle) and make every fan interaction a quality interaction.
One-Sheets Can Serve Multiple Purposes
While they aren’t used as commonly as they once were, it’s a great idea to have one prepared. If promoters, journalists or other members of the industry ask you for a one-sheet, you want to have one ready to go.
Bands can also use one-sheets for themselves as a record of their accomplishments. Keep adding and replacing points as the band grows, and use a running one-sheet to track press quotes. Constantly review your one-sheet to monitor your progress and develop new goals.
Make Data Collection A Priority
A great point was made that while you may have a huge number of followers on Facebook and Twitter, you don’t own any of that information.
Social media sites are trendy. Platforms come and go. It’s important to collect as much information about your audience on your own as you can.
Always collect at least an email address, and try to give something away for free in exchange for someone’s contact info (free song, private video access, etc.). Keep an updated mailing list and don’t forget to reach out to new fans after they’ve signed up to thank them.
Location-based data is also essential. Don’t underestimate the importance of an old-school mailing list at your live shows. They’re a great way to collect location-based info. No one in the prairies is going to care about a new tour on the East coast, and there’s no quicker way to tune out fans than sending them info that isn’t relevant.
Host and Music Ontario Founder Scott Honsberger started off the evening with a great quote about marketing. We’ll leave you with it here:
The goal of marketing is to make selling non-essential
Be sure to check out more upcoming events from Music Ontario.