Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Artists and The "Basics" of Success

"On artist websites, our number one section is usually photos," So said Warner Bros. Records SVP of New Media, Jeremy Welt, at the Bandwidth Conference in San Francisco. Amazing the difference a few good photos can make.

During this time of elaborate marketing strategies, it's easy to forget the basics. Yes, it's true, as an artist you have to market your work, but don't become obsessed with launching a full-blown 24/7 online/offline integrated, strategic marketing campaign at the expense of the basics. It's hard not to get sucked into the marketing trap; everyday another social media, video streaming, email marketing guru emerges with the flavor-of-the-day, must-have marketing success secrets.

This is an era of seemingly endless marketing choices; online marketing including Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, blogging, email marketing and Adwords; traditional offline efforts include advertising, direct mail campaigns and traditional public relations. The trouble is more and more promotional avenues arise; many artists get so wrapped up in their need to market (which is a real need) that they often do so at the expense of their film, CD, novel or art. It can be a trap.

Don't put yourself in that situation. Before you get lost in the myriad forms of marketing, make sure you've covered the basics. An elaborate marketing campaign is not going to serve you if you haven't developed a cohesive message, a strong pitch and interesting photos and images.

So pull back a bit and pick one or two marketing avenues to focus on and make sure you've covered what's truly necessary. Which brings us back to images; the Internet loves photos. They cause people to stop and look. The more photos on a site, blog or social media site, the longer visitors stay. According to Welt, whereas once artists basically used five to ten basic looks and photos, now it's closer to 300 to 400 per campaign. Not that you need that many to start, but ten would be good. Start with a good website, a compelling press release and ten interesting images. Then move slowly and methodically. Launch a local media relations campaign. Create and daily work a Facebook page. You can slowly add to that marketing approach. Be consistent. Stay with it. Stay focused and it will work.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2010

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