DJ Shadow’s Marketing Tips (fb, myspace, mobile, and email)

This post is 3rd in a series of posts on Hypebot from DJ Shadow, who has been sharing his experiences while on tour. It’s about marketing, and what works and what doesn’t. Previous posts have been about how he stays connected with fans, and how he markets to fans. The advice Shadow offers is very helpful and I agree with most of what he says. But I feel like he downplays the importance of a Facebook “like,” because it can mean more than just a fan’s desire to follow posts and share you with their friends. A Facebook “like” is like a gateway drug that can lead to all sorts of other commitments from fans. Because it’s so easy for fans to click that they like something an artist needs to see how much further a fan is willing to go with them.

DJ Shadow’s First Post, and Second Post on Hypebot.

image from www.hypebot.com

Key Takeaways:

1.  Why Does Facebook work?

When I think of Facebook, I think of a community under control.  Almost it’s own country with its own President and Government.  When I think of Myspace, I think of Anarchy.  Of course, Facebook has its issues, and I can’t tell you how tired I am of seeing the “OMG, I just won a new ipod touch!” and similar spam pop up on Facebook, but in general, they have a well-balanced online ecosystem, with good security.
Bottom line: Facebook works because they figured out the ultimate formula for data portability.  The fact that I can post a geo-targeted update on Facebook, and that update will post to users within a specific geographic location, who can then share it with their entire network, is marketing gold.  When I update Shadow fans about a show, I only want to update the fans in the region of where that show is.  The beauty is, those people can then go and share it with ALL of their friends, wherever they may be, who in turn may click the link, and be redirected to the Shadow Facebook, or better yet, DJShadow.com.  This takes away the problem of mass-marketing a show for a specific region, but gives it the ability to go viral on a wider level than just the region targeted.  This also creates the ability for 1 show to begin an online buzz for the entire tour.

2.  Why I think Myspace, although “Anarchical” in terms of a social network, is still relevant.

Plain and simple: they still get a lot of traffic to music profiles, because Facebook has not fully committed to music.  I still hear bands sending people to their Myspace pages, and people saying “I heard their new track on their myspace page.”   Root Music is a great option for “Myspace-izing” your facebook Band Page, and there are other options out there for doing this, like DamnTheRadio.com, and Reverbnation.com (I recommend Rootmusic.com for an inexpensive solution for creating a nice-looking Band Page on Facebook).  But these tools are not “Facebook” products.  The other problem with these solutions is that once a fan “Likes” your Facebook page, they no longer see that custom page (created with one of the latter tools), as the default Facebook landing page for the artist (this is a weird Facebook constraint).  Facebook tried to have Music profiles, but they never really pushed it, and that is one of the main reasons why people still go to Myspace for music.

The other reason being that SO MANY artists made their Myspace page their web home (in place of a proper website), when the Myspace craze began.  Big mistake.  Get out now.

My advice: setup your Myspace as a portal to your band’s website… And my wonderful example is of course: http://www.myspace.com/djshadow Train people to go to your website first for new content.  Not Myspace, and not even Facebook.  Keeping Myspace up to date with News, and Tweets has proven to be useful for this tour.  And who would have guessed- just after my last post on Hypebot, complaining about Myspace changing their concert listings setup- they re-adjusted it.  Thanks guys!  As long as Myspace is getting traffic (and is in business), I will keep it as up to date as time permits.

3. Why Mobile is the future, and why it works.

Everyone will have a smart phone eventually, and all smart phones will be equipped with Apps.  I disagree with the whole “Web is dead” thing (sorry Prince).  I think the web is just beginning.  The web in the traditional sense will continue to evolve and expand.  Answers and solutions on command, just on smaller and much more powerful pieces of hardware.  The mobile space is becoming and will be the same on-demand solutions and content, on hyper-drive.  Because of this, the artist App, is the new, most important addition to the artist website. Think of the App as the bare-bones version of the artist website, for people to access on the go.  That is what it is.  This will change, and mobile capabilities will certainly grow, but for now, get in the door.

Creating, maintaining, and expanding Shadow’s mobile fanbase has been one of the most interesting projects I have ever worked on, and I am really looking forward to seeing how this space will evolve.  One thing is for sure: mobile fans are for the most part die-hard, and are into technology, these are great factors for monetization.

In terms of using the app on tour, the response to our iPhone photos in sync with the show pages at http://www.djshadow.com/tour has been amazing, and this is really just the beginning of what could be a very engaging and expansive campaign.  We have more ideas on the way for the next tour…

4. Email Marketing: the MOST important tool in the marketing arsenal.

At the Bandwidth conference, a question came up as to WHY an email address is more valuable than a Facebook fan, and I believe I have scanned through some residual articles on the topic since then.  But the bottom line really is: a valid primary email address for a fan is essentially a fan saying: “Contact me whenever you want to.”  This is MUCH MORE valuable than a fan on Facebook saying “I Like You.”  All “I Like You” says is: I like you and I want to see some updates from you stream on a News Feed on my Facebook homepage, along with my 900 other friends’ updates.

I don’t know any exact statistics off-hand, but I do know there has been plenty of conversation and studies recently about the amount of time we, as humans, spend on email, and the numbers are staggering.  Many people have email on their phones. Obtaining an email address is the single most important thing for bands to do in terms of Direct to Fan marketing.  I can definitely say, that we have done it well at djshadow.com.  Set yourself up for optimal fan acquisition.  The challenge then may become getting those fans to open the emails, but that is another conversation in itself.

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