myspace for bandsIn our wonderfully modern age where the digital and the online seem to rule the roost, it’s becoming increasingly important for musicians to jump on board and take advantage of the new opportunities internet-based music services and audiences can offer.

But it’s not out of line to fundamentally question where to actually start with online music marketing, and indeed where to stop too!

With so many different websites vying for your attention, it’s difficult to identify which ones are worth investing time in, and which ones won’t do anything for your music.

This article aims to help you identify the key points to consider when choosing where to promote your music, and provide advice on the most effective way to do it. So put on your best headphones and listen up.

Getting Started

The first tip I think it’s important to include is that you shouldn’t spread yourself too thin across too many online platforms – there’s no point creating a profile on every website, but having so many you don’t have time to update them regularly.
There are hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of websites doing exactly the same as their competitors, and make sure you don’t get swept away by a pretty website or a polite email.
Target the major ones, and even then, only choose 4 or 5 to start with.
Some of the main leaders in this area are MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Ents24, so for the purposes of this article, we’ll use them as examples.
A lot of musicians ask whether an “official” website is necessary, or whether you’re best off sticking to social networking websites such as MySpace and Facebook.
There are benefits to both.
MySpace is brilliant for fans and industry types alike because it sets out information in a familiar format. Most people involved in music will know exactly what a MySpace page looks like and exactly how to navigate around it to find out the basic info they want to know.
You might ask, therefore, what the point in an official website is.
There are a couple of points in favor of this – it gives a professional appearance to have taken the time to purchase the correct URL, and provides you with an additional SEO opportunity.
It doesn’t have to be flashy, but it’s probably a good idea to grab that domain name, but I’d also say that MySpace is a better place to direct people to unless you have great web skills and can create a simple and effective design for your website, which incorporates all of the features of MySpace and perhaps more.

Promotion

Another really important point to make about online promotion, especially through social networks, is that you should take the time to interact on a personal level, and update your fans, friends and followers as often as possible.

You can do this in a variety of ways – blogposts, videos, comments, status updates and more.

This can be really impacting and get people a lot more interested in your music; if they like you as a person and the way you express yourself, they’re more likely to develop a deeper connection with your music.

I always remember sitting with a friend when she discovered her favorite band had commented her back on MySpace – she was so excited she was in tears! It really means something to your fans if you take the time to pay them some attention and say thank you.

Thinking about our example social networks above, it’s possible to make your own life easier with fan interaction by making sure you sync as many networks as possible.

For example, you can automatically connect your Facebook, MySpace and Twitter profiles to interact simultaneously when you write something on one, saving you a lot of time and effort writing a status change on each.

Inter-online promotion is a fantastic idea too – you’ll receive a lot more hits on a YouTube video if you post it about on Twitter and Facebook, and embed it on MySpace.

You can also use Twitter and Facebook to drive traffic to your MySpace page, get people listening to your music, and gain you new fans!

Frank Turner is a great example of a successful artist who still takes the time to genuinely communicate with his fans through a personal blog, Twitter and Facebook – take a leaf out of his book and get to it!