Today, music industry professionals face the challenge of reaching out to an ever more fragmented audience. In other words, fewer individuals are paying attention to or responding to the same message. This makes it difficult to find a channel of communication that will reach these individuals (the audience). To maximize your chances of getting the word out, consider using both traditional and nontraditional channels of distribution to communicate messages.
Traditional Communication Channels
It used to be enough to have good looks and a new sound to get the attention of industry executives. In today’s market things work a little differently. Previously, music companies dictated what music would be the next big thing. In the present market, the industry is seldom willing to take a chance on unproven talent. Musicians must often show the industry that there is demand for their music before they’ll be given a deal.
It’s not enough to have a quality album and good looks. A well established following is needed to sweeten the deal.
Establishing a fan-base that will attend the shows is a good start.
Demonstrating audience loyalty through on-line message board tracking is even better.
Traditional Mass Media Communication Channels include:
Broadcast – radio, television
Electronic – email, e-newsletters
Print – banners, billboards, fliers, newspapers, posters
Traditional communication channels may be seen all around the world we live in. In general, there is a cost associated with communication using traditional channels — especially when using advertising and marketing. Public relations activities can get the job done with little or no cost; however, there is still the issue of establishing a connection with the audience.
Enter Social Media
If you want to show record executives the money, look no further than the Internet. Fortunately, on-line tools are available to help get the word out. Many of these tools are free, providing musicians and their public relations representatives with a cost effective approach to connect with the audience. Managed properly, these tools can provide enough measurement to have executives seeing dollar signs.
Using Social media tools can help develop stronger connections with the audience. They do this by providing value. This can simply mean providing information about a product, service, or interest that the audience finds useful.
Social Communication Strategy Tips:
Speak honestly and frankly
Provide information of value
Allow conversation (comments)
F is for Facebook
One social media tool has been attracting the interest of professionals in advertising, marketing, and public relations since 2004. Charlene Li, vice president and principal analyst for Forrester Research says that “Facebook marketing is about communicating, not advertising.”
This is great news for PR folks, because having the opportunity for conversation means a better chance at cutting through the media message clutter and reaching the audience.
For more on Li’s Facebook research watch her slide-show presentation from the Graphing Social Patterns conference, “Big Brands & Facebook: Case Studies and Best Practices” on SlideShare.
Those interested in a more in-depth presentation on Facebook, blogs, and social media can check out “Facebook: the “social media” revolution — A study and analysis of the phenomenon by Faber Novel Consulting.
Two case studies are included in the presentation, which also discusses Facebook’s ability to provide “the means for real conversation.” Facebook’s revenue model is also examined. For the latest on Facebook and the Facebook Platform check out Justin Smith’s Inside Facebook Web site.
M is for MySpace
MySpace supports textual information, photo illustrations, and video features. Each MySpace page allows users to create a unique experience for visitors.
Speaking of unique experiences, RockYou.com provides customizable Web site applications that can be integrated across social networks including: Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, and Tagged.
Want to dress up the Web site further? Consider another option: pod-casting. To get things started, visit GarageBand.com, a Web site offering free MP3 hosting.
- Question and answer sessions
- Band diary
- Song showcase
- On-line CD listening party