I travel a lot to speak at music conferences and I see this all of the time: Musicians squirming in their seats as I present ideas on how to improve their marketing. The idea of having to do one more thing is just unbearable to them, and they literally begin to melt down in front of me.
One of my best friends is an artist – a dancer – and she literally takes to bed after she has to write a press release; it literally makes her sick.
You will NEVER achieve the success you want it if you try to do it all alone and take on things that stop you dead in your tracks!
I can not stress this enough: You MUST learn to delegate, and get the stuff that stresses you out off of your plate.
Two issues are up for you right now from reading this:
1. You can’t afford to pay someone to help you 2. You don’t want to give up control (so you continue to do it all yourself)
This article was written by our intern Benjy Jean Baptiste about his own experience as an artist manager.
For independent artists, Youtube can be one of the most powerful platforms available for promotion and exposure. Of course, it is also one of the most difficult platforms to garner any significant growth and attention.
This challenge was no different for 23 year old hip-hip artist, and Brooklyn native Rob Scott.
As his manager, it was my job to figure out how to bring his dream to fruition. Without any assistance from record labels, we began to effectively use YouTube as a platform to get Rob Scott noticed.
Within the first couple of months, it was painful to notice that his long nights in the studio would only result in his songs receiving 11 views. To make matters worst, the 11 views I am speaking about came from the friends and family that was in the studio with him.
Initially, we would post his YouTube link all over people’s Facebook pages until we realized that spamming individuals was probably not the best way to gain true fans. We then decided that garnering views organically is the best possible solution. Today, he has accumulated over 235,000 channel views and has acquired more than 1, 400 YouTube subscribers.
Some may wonder how so?
Below are 6 strategies that we used to organically build Rob Scott’s Youtube channel from desolate to highly-trafficked:
At one point, Scott would upload a video at least once a week. During one week we would upload a song with a cover art and a couple weeks later we would upload a music video for that same song.
It is important to break down your material to get the most out of it. What I mean by that is, if you have a music video that you are planning to release, put out behind the scenes footage for that video, put out the song before you put out the video, or put out a snippet before you even release the song.
Now you have three pieces of content all based around that one record.
The more things you have to release, the easier it is to follow the rule of frequency. Evidently, it is almost impossible to acquire a great amount of views if you post a video once a year.
There have been several rare cases such as the Harlem Shake video going viral without the use of “frequency”, but I would not recommend depending on pure luck.
With Rob Scott, we created a schedule and began creating on a regular basis.
Covers & Alternative Versions of Popular Songs
Another step that Rob Scott implemented to reach his amount of views was re-doing songs that were already popular.
Trey Songs released a song entitled “Can’t Be Friends” three years ago that gained a lot of commercial attention. While the song was still at its peak, Scott decided to re-do the song over with his own words and then shoot a music video for it.
Because viewers would search for the original Trey Songs version and see Scott’s rendition, it gave him a better chance of being viewed by some of the fans of that particular record. To date, Rob Scott’s rendition has over 90,000 views on YouTube and is still growing daily.
Raising Brand Awareness
Raising your brand awareness is another way to increase your views and subscribers. Initially, Rob Scott started to do local showcases where we would promote his YouTube link after every single performance.
He then had the opportunity to perform alongside major artists J. Cole and Miguel, which gave us the chance to promote our YouTube link to a much larger audience.
Because we’ve secured a licensing deal with Extreme music, Scott’s songs have been featured on MTV and VH1 premiering on shows such as Washington Heights, Love and Hip Hop, Single Ladies, and Friend Zone. Once people discover an act that they’ve enjoyed, YouTube is usually the first place they go to find more music from the artist.
Fortunately for us, that is exactly what happened.
Creating Strategic Partnerships
Another way to raise awareness is by collaborating with someone that has accumulated more views than you. When we were getting ready to shoot the visual for the Trey Songs “Can’t Be Friends” cover, we knew that we needed to collaborate with someone else, someway, somehow. We decided to use a friend of ours who had already accumulated over 50,000 views on her channel as the leading lady in Scott’s video. Once it was time to release the video, she directed all of her subscribers to our page to check out the video, which ultimately led our channel views to skyrocket.
Rob Scott never presented himself as the “unreachable artist”. When a supporter would leave a comment, he would do his best to show his gratitude by interacting with them. Clearly, he did not reply to every single fan every single time but as often as he could, Scott would make a video thanking all of his fans for the support that they have shown him.
He is currently working on new ways to engage his fans through YouTube, one of the ways being by creating a “who can do it best” contest challenging his fans to cover his material and awarding the winner with a spot on his channel. With this approach, fans will become more engaged in Scott’s music.
The last step is to simply have great content. The better the content, the better your chances of organic success.
Great content leads the viewers to not only view the material but to also engage by leaving comments. Scott has been praised endless amount of times for his musical abilities. In fact, someone on YouTube actually re did Scott’s version of the “Can’t be friends” cover that I mentioned earlier.
Because the song resonated with someone so much, they felt the need to do it over using the same words and melody that Scott created. Great content causes supporters to spread the word about what they’ve just watched which attracts more viewers to the channel.
Remember, word of mouth is the most powerful form of promotion.
Determined to set the standard, Scott is working hard to continuously progress at his craft. Undoubtedly, Rob Scott’s journey has just begun and there is no question that in the blink of an eye, he will be at the top. He is currently recording his second project entitled “Divine Tragedy” which is set to release later this year.
Goodbye cold, hello warmth! It is gorgeous here in Brooklyn today…
It FINALLY feels like Spring.
To celebrate the new season, today we shine the spotlight on the top 10 Cyber PR® artists on our current roster. With the level of talent we represent, this is never an easy decision… However we’ve compiled a list of 10 artists that have received the most attention from bloggers, podcasters and internet radio stations.
Congratulations go to each of the artists below on their successes, and a HUGE thank you to all of the media makers who have supported (and continue to support!) us and our artists as well.
Adia has got soul and style as a Singer/ Songwriter and rock violinist. In 2012 she joined forces with some of Chicago’s finest musicians to form Adia & The Seven Eyes. Adia’s improv chops and mighty voice have gained her and The Seven Eyes recognition as the Artist of the Month on The Deli Chicago.
Matthew Heller walks a fine line of traditional folk and “Stick-it-to-the-Man” grunge, and he walks it well. Hailing from Portland, Oregon Matthew Heller comes to the music scene with brutal force pushing his own social activism. His music has been likened to that of the Smashing Pumpkins, the Pixies, Coldplay, and Modest Mouse and his new self-titled album has been readily received.
International sensation, Crystal Waters, has had quite a career since the 90s winning American Music Award nominations as well as nominations from MTV Video Music Awards and Billboard Music Awards. Last week, her new single “Oh Mama Hey” (Tommy Boy) with DJ Chris Cox and DJ Frankie was number 1 on the Billboard Dance Chart!
Singer/Songwriter Lisa Bell pushes positivity with her empowering lyrics and strives to incite an emotional connection with her listeners. Lisa Bell is currently performing across the country with her deep Americana, jazz roots and rock, blues influences.
Mindil Beach Markets is known for their hip sound that they’ve laced with elements of funk, hip-hop and reggae. Their latest record, It Might Take Long, is the band inclining a bit more towards rock, a little less towards reggae, and a lot more towards fine-tuning their unique sound thats fashionable [fits] everywhere.
Singer/Songwriter and classical pianist, Sasha Papernik has got spunk, and she flaunts it on her new, well-received third album release Victory. The album is an ambitious endeavor where Sasha allows her whimsical mind and creativity shimmer with her musical artistry woven in.
Jonathon Roberts and Emily Clare Zempel said “I do” to one another and then married their musical vision. The husband and wife duo are songwriting-storytellers who offer a breath of life to the forgotten poetry and wild stories of the Bible. Their aim is to “create the world’s largest multi-disciplinary ‘illumination’ of the Bible” as a non-profit. With their second full-length album Inheritance, Spark & Echo are arriving closer to that ambition.
The Heavy Guilt is stark rock n’roll. Three albums into their career, their newest self-titled album sounds square from a dive bar. The grit is the beauty of it for The Heavy Gilt. They’re locked and loaded, honing in on their sound on The Heavy Guilt keep the rock fit sharp.
Take Me To The Pilot crave the colossal. These boys sing about girls and their tunes are garnished with big hooks but, you can’t write them off as teeny-boppers. Take Me To The Pilot are their own brand of pop and they will deliver it to you with a rock n’roll flare. All the hype that they’ve had, from being featured on Degrassi: The Next Generation to the upcoming release of their music video for their 4th single “Melody” is not just hype, but a prediction of big things to come.
Karlex has responded to the invitation of an increasing global world and lifestyle. He has been referred to as “the Bob Marley of Haiti” by harboring his provincial musical styles of his Haitian ethnicity and translating it to the global domain with his blend of Afro-beat, funk, and soul styles. The title of his new album Paris – New York – Port Au Prince is an expression of his personal feelings of world affiliation.
This article was co-written by Jon Ostrow and Ariel Hyatt
After our recent discussion surrounding the major obstacles that are stopping your effective growth on your Facebook fan page, we introduced a new two-part series focused on data relating to Facebook engagement and visibility that shines a spotlight on the harsh reality that is Facebook-centric community building.
Part 1 was published last week, highlighting the average lifespan of a Facebook post, the average % of total fan base willing to engage with a brand page average engagement, rate of a Facebook fan page.
We continue this week with part 2 and it is our hope that with this understanding, we can help you set more realistic goals, put more effective strategies in place and build stronger fan communities:
4. Posting Less Will Garner Stronger Results
After seeing these stats, the natural reaction is to want to publish content even MORE often to do everything you can to build this number higher than a measly 1%, right?
Well… sorry, but that won’t work either.
Further studies from several sources have shown that the sweet-spot of 1 -2 posts per day on Facebook fan page will garner the strongest results. Anything more than that and you will actually start to see increasingly diminishing results.
This graph below from Jeff Bullas shows how meaningful the difference between 1-2 vs. 3+ posts can actually be. His research shows that by posting only 1 to 2 times per day, your page is likely to receive 32% more likes AND 73% more comments when compared to the engagement you’re likely to receive from posting 3+ times per day.
Image Source: Jeff Bullas
5. You Will Be Published For Being Efficient
Because consistency is key to a strong social media strategy, it is critical that you publish content every single day. No breaks.
Even though you should only post one (or possibly two) posts per day, this can get overwhelming quickly. But thankfully there are several apps, such as Hootsuite, that allow you to schedule content for Facebook ahead of time.
PHEW… Great News!
Don’t get too excited just yet. Let’s see what Facebook’s Edge Rank algorithm has to say about this…
Unfortunately, a study by Hubspot has shown that publishing content from any 3rd party (yes, including Hootsuite) will average a whopping 67% lower engagement rate than content published directly to Facebook.
Good News: Facebook HAS introduced a way to publish content ahead of time using their own platform.
Do to so, go to your fan page, click the Status Update box, and click the little clock icon and add in the date and time you’d like to publish each post:
6. Likelihood of Posts going ‘Viral’ of Facebook
We have all seen those photos, memes or videos that have gone viral in the past. And understandably so, this idea of ‘going viral’ is why many people started using social media to promote themselves or their brand in the first place.
Well, we’re sorry to say that it look’s like Facebook’s Edge Rank algorithm has reared it’s ugly head once again.
Edge Rank algorithm is a system that ranks and displays only the most ‘relevant’ and ‘important’ content on your news feed from your friends and pages you have liked…
Not that it has EVER been easy to ‘go viral’ online, and the fact remains that most viral videos, photos and memes do so because of chance.
There IS NO science behind viral content.
But with that said, Facebook doesn’t make it easy for this type of viral reaction to ever happen to content published from a Fan page.
In the suite of Facebook Insights data (Facebook’s native analytics tools given to all Facebook fan page admins) there is a stat called ‘virality’ which is the percentage of fans who have shared your content on their own timelines for their own friends, family and fans to see.
A recent study from Edge Rank Checker shows that as of March 4th, 2013, the average ‘virality’ rate of a post on Facebook fan page only 1.5%. This means that of your 100 fans, only 1.5 of them (on average) will share the content with their communities.
Image Source: Edgerankchecker.com
Which Shocking Facebook Stats Have Your Hair Standing Straight Up?
These stats are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what is actually available for Facebook, as new studies are being done every month, week and day of the year. There is no question that when working with Facebook to build a community, there are some obstacles surrounding engagement and visibility that need to be considered when building a consistent content strategy.
If you have found any alarming stats that we should be aware of, please share them below in the form of a comment.
Facebook is making it almost impossible for the non-advertiser to create effective engagement, but there is no doubt that there is also human error involved as well. Take a look at last week’s article for a full breakdown.
The reaction from that article made us realize something…
A vast majority of social media users are still unaware of just how difficult growth of a Facebook fan page can actually be.
This data is not meant to scare you away from building your community on Facebook, the purpose is to shine a light on the harsh reality that is Facebook-centric community building.
With this understanding, we hope to help you set more realistic goals, put more effective strategies in place and build stronger fan communities:
1. Average Life of a Facebook Post
One common complaint about the internet in general by new users (or non-users) is that they don’t like the idea that something published online ‘lives forever’.
Well fret not… because this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Yes, your content will technically be online, but the average lifespan of a Facebook post is just a short 3 hours. This means that after the average 3 hour timespan, your Facebook posts will no longer show up in any of your fans’ news feeds.
Image Source: edgerankchecker.com
Although this is actually a far higher number than, say, Twitter (see: 18 minutes of fame), this does mean that you MUST understand when your fans are online and most likely to engage with your posts so that each day you post in your most effective 3 hour window.
2. Average % of Total Fan Base Willing to Engage with a Brand Page
As we discussed last week, Mashable covered a recent study by Napkin Labs that exposed the shocking statistic that only 6% of a total fan base will ever actually engage with a brand page:
On average, just 6% of fans engage with a brand’s Facebook Page via likes, comments, polls and other means, according to a study from Napkin Labs, a Facebook app developer that works with brands and agencies. Of those fans that did, the average engagement was the equivalent of less than one like over the course of the eight weeks the study was conducted.
While this does fuel the fire of the argument that you need more fans – A LOT more fans – in order to build any sort of community on your Facebook page, this study actually contributes to the idea of having 1,000 True Fans (see Ariel’s series on that here).
The fact that 6% of a total fan base will engage with a brand page is partially because of Facebook’s algorithm… Facebook’s ‘Edge Rank’ algorithm is a system that ranks and displays only the most ‘relevant’ and ‘important’ content on your news feed from your friends and pages you have liked. But the issue of your fan base lacking engagement also has a lot to do with the fact that the overwhelming majority of the average fan base is made up of ‘Ambient’ or even ‘Engaged’ fans, and not the kind of ‘Super Fans’ needed to truly build a consistently engaged community.
3. Average Engagement Rate
And as scary as the ‘6%’ stat above is, this one gets even more frightening…
There have been several recent studies done on the actual average engagement rate of a page (the ‘People Talking About This Page’ number) and it is shown that the average engagement rate of a fan page is only .96% (yes, that’s less than 1%).
THIS MEANS: Anything above a 1% engagement is considered strong, results-wise.
The difference between this stat and the one above (See #2) is that the number above reflects the percentage of fans who are EVER willing to engage with a page over the lifetime of the relationship. In other words, for the average fan page, 94% of your fans never have nor will they ever engage.
Meanwhile, this stat reflects the true engagement of a fan page on Facebook’s rolling 7 day scale. In other words, within 7 days (on average), the # of ‘People Talking About This Page’ / the # of ‘Total Fans’ will equal around 1%.
Here is a great matrix from Michael Leander that shows how this engagement rate actually breaks down:
Image Source: http://www.michaelleander.me
On Next Week’s Installment…
Next week, we will continue with Part 2 of this series where we will discuss why your visibility and engagement are so low, and why you’re Facebook posts won’t be going ‘viral’ any time soon.
Bandzoogle has a nice gift for everyone. During the last few years they’ve reviewed thousands of musician websites, and often, they see the same issues come up over and over again. So they’ve released a free e-Book called “Quick Fix! 12 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Band Website”.
The eBook is a collection of 12 quick ways that musicians can improve their websites to make them look more professional and be more effective.
Below is a sample chapter to give you an idea of what you’ll find inside the eBook:
Website Quick Fix: Make it easy to listen to your music
Another quick improvement you can make to your website is to make it easy for people to listen to your music. First time visitors should be able to sample your music in one, easy, and obvious click.
Make a first impression: Music to listen to, not only purchase
Keep in mind that a lot of your traffic is from people who aren’t your fans yet. Maybe they’ve heard about you. Maybe one of their friends posted your website somewhere. Maybe you’re opening for a band they like and they want to decide if you’re worth showing up early for. Think of them by putting your best track right there, at the top of your homepage in high bitrate glory (good sound quality). A good video? Even better. That way you’re grabbing their viewing as well as their listening attention.
All too often music pages only have music for sale that at best offer 30-60 second sample clips. Sometimes there is only music available to purchase with no music samples at all, or worse yet, only links to external sites to purchase music, with no music available on the artist’s site whatsoever. You should definitely have your music for sale on your website, but make sure to also have at least 1 or 2 songs people can listen to, from start to finish, so they can get a good taste of what your music is all about.
Make it clear where to listen to your music
Once your music is available to listen to on your site, make it very easy for people to find it. Again, best thing to do would be to have a music player right on your homepage. You can also use a site-wide music player that can continue to play while people surf the different sections of your site. Once they start listening, having a “playlist” of your best songs that keeps playing is definitely better that forcing them to hit “play” for each track (because chances are, they won’t).
Speaking of the different sections of your website, “Music” should be in the main menu of your website. This sounds like common sense, but there are still too many websites that either try to be fancy with sections like “Experience” or “Discover”, or have the music buried within another section of the site like “Media” or “Store”. You might only have that person’s attention for a minute (maybe less), so make it clear right on the main menu where they can find your music.
Your website is your hub, give people every reason to stay
Your website is your hub, and you should have everything available on it, including full songs to listen to. If your fans can listen to your songs on Facebook, Myspace, music blogs, etc., then they should be able to listen to them right on your website, which is where you really want fans to spend their time.
This way, they can stick around, listen to your music, look at your photos, read your blog posts, and hopefully sign-up to your newsletter or shop at your online store. If you don’t have any music for them to listen to while they’re on your site, they might leave and go to your Facebook page (or your rarely updated Myspace page), or worse, just leave your site and move onto something else entirely to pass the time.