Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Formulating a Digital Strategy
In previous post I have talked about having a plan. Make your plan with one thing in mind, YOUR PLAN WILL PROBABLY HAVE TO CHANGE. As technology advances at a more than rapid pace, we all need to be students of what is happened to the business and ponder the possibilities of where it is going. The compact disk as a format has had a pretty good run (nearly 30 years) when compared to the 8 track tape and the cassette. The mp3 has had a run of over 12 years and now many of you don't even own music at all. Services like Pandora, Slacker and other streaming services now satisfy the appetite of millions of music consumers. Where does this leave all of us as far as marketing our music in a way that will actually put any money in the artists pockets? I hear and read complaints from musicians and artists about how keeping up with all of this and maintaining a social media presence eats an enormous amount of time and energy that many feel would be best spent writing and recording music or perfecting their chops on their instruments of choice or honing their production chops. My answer to that is of course, STOP YOUR WHINING! You can't have your cake and eat it too. What I mean is that the internet has eliminated the barriers of entry into the digital music market and gatekeepers such as record labels and terrestrial radio are losing market share daily to indie types like yourselves. If you make great music and can deliver your music in as many places as possible, you don't need the gatekeepers anymore. I am not saying that a record deal is never the answer and that radio can't help you, simply that there are so many outlets for your music now and great music can be heard by millions of people without all of that. The point here is that you really must define what your goals are and question why you are doing what you are doing. If you are on twitter simply to yell at people about your shows or to buy your music, that strategy will fail. Be honest about expectations. Centralize your efforts. Create continuity. The digital world for a band is more about community than marketing. Use every means necessary to not only get your music out but to listen to your fans about what makes them listen, buy music or come to your show. To sum this up, think about where you need to be, why you are there and what your goal and expectations are. Sounds simple. Is it?