Music Industry Challenge: Doing Some "Real" Marketing For a Change | Evolvor.com

Music Industry Challenge: Doing Some “Real” Marketing For a Change

As we continue unwrapping some of the things I’ll be teaching in my upcoming music certification course, the next big topic that drive me nuts is the topic of marketing. Much like the misconceptions around the business models associated with this industry, marketing is very much misunderstood. It’s such a shame too – with all the wonderful tools we have at our disposal like Facebook and Twitter, much of the attempts at marketing by musicians today is nothing short of spamming their friends and followers to get people to pay attention to what it is they are trying to do, whether it be promote a show, sell an album, etc.

First let’s dissect a little bit the concept of how music was marketed in the past. For the most part, radio and television were used as the main outlets of promoting new bands for the latter quarter of the 20th century as the main components to getting a band exposure. This was (and still is today) very expensive to do – you had to have a killer radio promoter with all the right connects to get a single tracked to radio (and it had to be good enough to get the feedback it needed to continue getting spins); then you had to have an expensive (usually) music video produced and the same thing went down over at MTV. Radio + MTV pretty much meant you had a shot at selling a boatload of albums.

Of course you has to be signed to a label as they controlled what got played and what didn’t, and if you we’re a smaller indie band you had to rely on the live show (i.e. touring your ass off to create buzz, living out of your van for years, courting the indie press – the same things you have to do today) as the only means to really build a fanbase. And many of those bands probably got some word of mouth from fans sharing their music for free, but other then that, marketing was tough without a big budget.

The concept I’m trying to get across here was that marketing in these days was pretty much advertising – people paid to get your songs pushed to the masses, and then all of that was reinforced by advertising in print magazines, billboards, end cap placement at Sam Goody, etc. You (or your label) essentially paid through the nose to get your name out there.

Nowadays things have changed. Sure, you still have the major labels using their connections and deep pockets to market the bands they sign – that will never change, because it’s the only way they know how to do things. The problem is, the number of bands being signed these days is not the same number as it was when the labels we’re making money hand over fist, which leaves YOU trying to market your music yourself.

Fortunately, we have all these wonderful social networking/media tools to get your message across. Blogging, Email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – these, combined with social news sites like Digg & Stumbleupon, search engine results from Google, and niche websites, can create the kind of buzz and traffic you can take advantage of to build a fan base.

The solution lies in not just USING these things but understanding HOW they should be used, and most musicians are simply not doing it right. Most are using them to advertise their stuff – advertising that you have an album out, advertising you have a show coming up, etc etc.

The thing everyone missing is that no one cares anymore about what you’re advertising, because we are bombarded by advertising all day long. Instead, the focus needs to be about storytelling – posting a blog about the who-what-when-where-and why about your music, your band, your message. People are interested in being taught new things or being entertained – that’s real interaction!

We discuss this in very in-depth detail in the certification course – how to create this kind of content, how to network with others who can share it, having it go viral – all the things everyone wants to happen to get the message across. It’s perhaps one of the things I have spent the most time doing over the past five years that no one still does not seem to get!

Here’s an example of a fantastic article about how to write a hit song by my buddy Ed from Fear Zero. Check it out and tell me what your thoughts about it here in the comments.

Do you think you’re creating good interactive content? Shoot me an email at ericATevolvor.com and let me in on it!

And don’t forget to grab a seat in our certification class (special pricing is not going to last long!)

Eric Hebert

Founder and Lead Digital Strategist

6 Responses

  1. Ka says:

    Great article Evolvor.  Retuned me to what's important and shifting my perspective.  It's about what a person, as a listener/reader/web surfer wants, and that isn't more “follow us on Twitter/like us on fb!” stuff.

  2. Ed from FZ says:

    Thanks for including my blog Eric, you da best!

  3. It is clear to me that whenever someone disagree with you on what you say it challeges your experience. I submitted my comment and you took my email information and never posted, and to think that the people in the column to your right whom you have reached some agreement have validated you somehow. I request that you delete my email information and it not how you acted in the past it's how you responds now. I came to review your program and I have many artist and I assumed that we could have worked something out. But you being bias in response to my comment disqualify the idea. So what.!? Additionally, I want go as far to say that you are a bloodsucker like it was mentioned in the comment. But by your action it is clear that you pick and choose what you want people to see which is a integrity killer. Peace

    Also if I really wanted to find them to tell them not to give there song away I can or I can forward this results to the magazine website that i clicked on to find you. Thank for showing me what you are really made of.

    Diamond D Grier

    P.S. It apparent that based on this response I want have a interest in your program for my artist.

  4. evolvor says:

    If you really wanted to “test my integrity” Diamond D you could have just emailed me, or called me and I would have loved to talk to you.

    Sometimes I get behind on things – especially moderating comments. I wasn't leaving your comment out (and btw leaving a follow-up comment on the WRONG article isn't going to do you any good as far as bringing me down), just behind on approving your comment. SORRY

    You're totally right! I'm just a bloodsucker in it for the money, I'm all about screwing artists over.

    Here's a bit of advice – get over yourself. If you don't like something, then leave it alone and go on with your day.

  5. It is clear to me that whenever someone disagree with you on what you say it challeges your experience. I submitted my comment and you took my email information and never posted, and to think that the people in the column to your right whom you have reached some agreement have validated you somehow. I request that you delete my email information and it not how you acted in the past it's how you responds now. I came to review your program and I have many artist and I assumed that we could have worked something out. But you being bias in response to my comment disqualify the idea. So what.!? Additionally, I want go as far to say that you are a bloodsucker like it was mentioned in the comment. But by your action it is clear that you pick and choose what you want people to see which is a integrity killer. Peace

    Also if I really wanted to find them to tell them not to give there song away I can or I can forward this results to the magazine website that i clicked on to find you. Thank for showing me what you are really made of.

    Diamond D Grier

    P.S. It apparent that based on this response I want have a interest in your program for my artist.

  6. evolvor says:

    If you really wanted to “test my integrity” Diamond D you could have just emailed me, or called me and I would have loved to talk to you.

    Sometimes I get behind on things – especially moderating comments. I wasn't leaving your comment out (and btw leaving a follow-up comment on the WRONG article isn't going to do you any good as far as bringing me down), just behind on approving your comment. SORRY

    You're totally right! I'm just a bloodsucker in it for the money, I'm all about screwing artists over.

    Here's a bit of advice – get over yourself. If you don't like something, then leave it alone and go on with your day.