Archive for the ‘ Marketing Models ’ Category

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

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,  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, and (I recommend 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: 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 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  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.


Getting More Out of Your Fans

In line with much of what I have been talking about in my Making Moves section, this article on The DIY Musician Blog offers a guide to artists on how to get more out of your fans. It’s like customer service from an artists point of view. I agree with most everything in this article and I think it’s very useful. Before you can employ these techniques you need to take a look at your fans and ask what their commitment level is (whether they would buy a ticket to your show, buy merchandise, or listen to everything you put out, etc.). Because my fan base is at such a beginning stage and is so small, it’s hard to separate them into different groups. But I can still use many of these tips to get more out of the fans I do have.

The full article: How To Increase The Dedication Of Your Fans, vol. 1

Here are some key points:

Instead of trying to cater to the needs of every type of fan, we will be specifically focusing on two actions: turning all of your passive fans (i.e. friends, bandwagon fans, listener and hobbyist) into committed fans, and then turning your committed fans into super fans.

Turning Passive Fans into Committed Fans

The problem with passive fans is that they lack interest. Of course, there is some level of interest in you, your music, or even your presence either online or off, but there is lack of need and desire to stay connected with you on a regular basis.

Listen To Your Fans — Of course, the purpose of this is to hear from your more passive fans, who are typically less involved than your other fans, so you want to make sure that you package this with something of value, maybe a free EP or unreleased track.There are literally hundreds of questions that you COULD ask your fans to better understand what they are looking for from you. But it is important to keep in mind that you don’t want to overwhelm the fans either, as asking them for too much will just drive them away.Once you have calculated the results and have discovered what your fans most desire from you, you must do two things. First, thank them! Second, act upon the results.

Direct Interaction Between Artist and Fans — Though it may be more time consuming, you should take every opportunity to network one-on-one with your fans. A single committed or super fan will spend more money on you than 100 passive fans so it will actually greatly benefit you to network on such a small scale. Talk with fans after shows, respond directly to fans on social media sites, or host live fan sessions on UStream.

Turning Committed Fans into Super  Fans

Empower the Fans — This can most easily be accomplished through a street team. A street team is a team of fans that receive missions based on different promotional strategies (both online and off) and are rewarded with exclusive benefits. Reverbnation offers a FREE street team program and there are many fantastic guides that can be found by a simple google search.

Exclusivity — The idea of alienating a portion of your fan base is consistently one of the most difficult concepts for artists to grasp. However, creating a sense of exclusivity is one of the most effective strategies you can put in place to convert committed fans to super fans. You must create a distinction between insiders and outsiders. This will create a sense of belonging and pride for those already inside and a stronger sense of desire to become an insider by those who have been left outside. Exclusivity can be achieved through contests, special mailing lists, or exclusive fan groups.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Social Media Campaign

According to an article on Mashable, a lot of artists make the mistake of measuring the success of their social media efforts by the number of fans they get. There are a bunch of other metrics are being ignored, most notably the lifetime value of each customer. Being able to estimate how much money each fan will bring you allows you to make smart investments when attempting to acquire new fans. The Mashable article is titled: “HOW TO: Calculate the ROI of Your Social Media Campaign”
Full Article

Key Takeaways:

There are hundreds of different ways to measure social media, which makes it kind of difficult to wrap your mind around. To help with that, social media metrics can be broken down into three different categories.

  • Quantitative Metrics: These are the metrics that are data-intensive and number-oriented. You can really get overloaded with different metrics here, so the trick is to pick the key metrics that most influence your business and not get bogged down with the rest. Those metrics might include unique visits, page views, followers, demographics, frequency, bounce rate, length of visit or just about any other metric that’s specifically data-oriented.
  • Qualitative Metrics: These are the metrics that have an emotional component to them. For example, if 75% of the people who mention your product online call it “cheap” and only 25% call it “inexpensive,” that’s a qualitative metric that has an impact on your business. There are several companies that provide in-depth analysis of the qualitative metrics online. Some of these include RapLeaf, Nielsen and Adobe Online Marketing Suite.
  • ROI Metrics: In the world of social media, all roads should lead to ROI. After all, during business hours, social media isn’t just about being social, is it? We’re doing it to make money. And if you track what percentage of people you converted from a prospect to a customer on your e-commerce site, or how many people you converted from a prospect to a client on your B2B website, then you’ll be able to measure the success of your social media campaign on an ROI basis.

Break Out Your Thinking Caps for Some Math

The most important formula in social media is your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). In a very basic sense, Customer Lifetime Value is the amount of revenue a customer will bring to your company over the course of their lifetime with your brand.

So, for example, if you’re a lawn care company and you know that a typical customer spends $80 per month with you and that the average customer stays with your company for 3 years, then your Customer Lifetime Value would be $80 x 12 months x 3 years = $2,880.

Once you know your CLV, you can decide how much you’d like to invest to acquire a customer. This is called your Allowable Cost Per Sale. Many people use 10% of their CLV as a starting point for their Allowable Cost Per Sale. In the example above, your CLV is $2,880 and 10% of your CLV is $288, so your Allowable Cost Per Sale is that number: $288.

A Practical Approach to an Old Marketing Model

I found this blog post on Hypebot. It is a guest post by Seamus Anthony, a Melbourne-based musician. I see many similarities between what he is doing and what I’m trying to do. His approach sounds very simple, but at the same time, I don’t see all that many artists doing it. I see a striking resemblance to Kanye’s marketing campaign for his upcoming album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”

I haven’t seen the numbers from that campaign but I’m sure it was quite successful. For a long time his site was very basic with access to free downloads if you provided your email. Each Friday was dubbed “G.O.O.D. Friday” and Kanye would release another huge track, collaborating with artists like Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Swizz Beats, Pusha T, Mos Def, Lupe Fiasco, Lloyd Banks and RZA. He released an artsy, experimental, somewhat controversial 45 minute video called “Runaway” and got an hour-long slot on MTV. Now when I return to Kanye’s site, there is a link to pre-order the album on iTunes, and when it releases on Nov 22 it will have a link to buy the album.

Very few people have access to the resources that Kanye does. Seamus Anthony is one of the people that don’t and he has provided a simple model that even the most resource challenged artists can follow. Release free mixtape songs in exchange for email addresses to promote your album. Distribute video content and other promotional content to the best of your abilities. Then hit ’em with the paid content and make it worth the price.

Seamus’ article in full is below.

image from music is my first love, I actually currently make more money as a website geek and, to a lesser extent, a writer. So I know how Internet marketing “squeeze pages” work, and how to write and build them.

Meanwhile, I have been going on my merry way making music but not exactly setting the Interwebs on fire.

Then, recently, I was casually watching a music marketing video (by Greg Rollett) and was immediately very familiar with the marketing model he was describing – and that’s when I had my giant D’OH! moment.

Basically Greg was advising musicians to use the very same squeeze page techniques that I get paid to implement for others.

It’s so obvious but I just never thought for one minute to try and use these techniques to sell and give away more of my music.

So I decided to roll out some classic Internet marketing techniques to see if it increased the consumption of my music. 

The Classic Internet Marketing Model

Here’s how your typical online marketing system works:

  • Drive leads (otherwise known as people) to your squeeze page.
  • Use effective sales copy to get their name and email address in exchange for a freebie
  • Send the freebie to their inbox
  • After that the barrage of emails begins. The clever marketers will start by offering you some further free value, before starting to slip in the hard sell.
  • Once a prospect buys something cheap, you then target them to buy increasingly expensive products.

For the purposes of this experiment, I am simplifying this model. In my case the strategy is as such:

  1. Send people to the squeeze page
  2. Get them to opt-in to get their free music download
  3. Send them a little bit more free stuff, like Youtube links, more free music downloads, maybe a short e-book or something.
  4. Then hit them to buy a CD or download of something totally new
  5. Send them some more free stuff
  6. Ask for a second purchase, can be of something old, seeing as *cough* this abounds.

Might not sound all that groundbreaking but contained within that little plan is a LOT of work.

For example: the squeeze page…

Firstly, I had a look at my existing website and knew straight away that I needed to build a new one. Why? Because squeeze pages by design have one single focus – getting visitors to fill in the opt-in form.

Next I needed a third party digital goods transaction and delivery provider that would enable me to allow some free downloads as well as easily hook into my mailing list management program. I eventually settled on DPD ( who provide you with the ability to sell or give away up to 10 digital products for a monthly payment of US$5 and have great integration with various mailing list management providers.

And so the page is up and [pictured right]

Here’s a list of things I plan to do next:

  • Improve the look of the page
  • Improve the copy (words)
  • Add a video to the page for those who don’t like to read
  • Construct a sequence of auto-responder emails offering both paid and free content (music)
  • Get as many links to the page as possible (social media, article marketing, online advertising)
  • Send people who dig my live shows to the site
  • Website optimization via A/B split testing

And that’s just the start; there is so much you can do – website optimization via A/B split testing anyone?

One thing I did already was stick the button up the top of a very stripped –down version of my MySpace page – – it will be interesting to see if that converts.

Fishing for Fans in the Great Sea of Content

Classic Internet marketing is not usually the kind of thing that musicians tend to consider appropriate for promoting their art. Yet to me, giving it a go makes perfect sense because getting more Facebook “likes” or YouTube views is one thing, and an important thing, but it’s not a sale.

Look at it this way: Once you send someone to look at your YouTube video – then what?

Mostly, after looking at your video for a bit, people just drift back off into an endless sea of content. Sometimes they spread the word for you, but then what? Not much, that’s what.

The thing that is inherently flawed about the way musicians in general (myself included) approach the whole music business palaver is that they only really expect to ever start making money once they are getting hundreds of thousands, if not millions of YouTube views and Facebook “likes”.

If your average small businessman had to get the attention of millions of people just to start making some $1 sales, forget it! They wouldn’t bother. Most small businesses survive due to their ability to make a decent wad of cash out of a manageable amount of customers.

For most musicians, the music-dollar is stuck under a big, heavy, inverted pyramid. How are they going to get the cash unstuck and into their pocket?? Possibly by putting some tried and tested Internet marketing techniques to work for them. The jury is out but I can report that I have had some encouraging results already. I’ll let you know how I go in a few months.

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