What do I need to have on my website to create an effective online music marketing campaign?

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Answered by: John, An Expert in the Be a Musician Category
With the current and changing status of today's music industry, "Independent" musicians have more tools available to them now then at any other time in the past. So how do we take advantage of the tools that are out there?

How do I get myself and or group to stand out in the white noise that is generated every day by the thousands (if not millions) of other musicians and bands out there that are trying to make their mark as well? What online music marketing steps do I need to take to help ensure that I am setting myself up for long term success?

One of the key elements for any musician to take advantage of is an effective online presence. Any good online music marketing campaign will incorporate the following elements:

- A central online presence or website

- A series of online networking sites

- A consistent image that is replicated on all social networking sites

Let's start with the first main element, the website. A musician’s website should incorporate these elements:

- A clean and easy to navigate front page

- An efficient navigation bar to guide visitors around the rest of the site

- A clear message of who the artist or band is and how to get in contact with them

It is very easy to get caught up in trying to make your website look flashy and add in tons of sound clips and videos and high quality pictures. These elements are good to have on hand, but there are more efficient ways to house media elements than spending money and bandwidth on fancy animation sequences and design elements that are unnecessary for the musician on a budget.

The front page on a musician or bands site should include:

- A picture(s) of the artist and the band logo

- A short bio, with their tag line and brief explanation of who they are

- A menu to direct them to the other areas of the site that are pertinent

One key element from this list is the "Menu" or "Site Map". This is the visitors map to finding the information that they need about the artist. The basic pages that should be included on every musician’s "Site Map" are the "About Page" which gives a more detailed bio. "Booking" tab with information on how to book and possibly even a price breakdown for events. "Contact Info" gives the user the most direct way to pose questions to the artist or band. The "Calendar" page advises followers of dates and locations of upcoming shows and events. A "Links" page is the last essential element for any music web page.

Once the web page is set up the next item that is important for an online music marketing strategy is to build a web of online networking and social networking sites. This should include the big names like "Facebook", "MySpace", "LinkedIn", and "Twitter". These sites along with "YouTube" will all be linked to the website via the "Links" page so people can follow the artists in real time and have access to the media items like movie clips from shows and even sound clips that don't need to be hosted on the main site.

The last element that ties the online music marketing together is the replication of consistent information on all the sites that have been set up. It is important for web optimization that any time a new site or online social network is set up that the musician puts in the same information. From their Bio to their personal stats, all this work will only be truly effective if it is all consistent so that any time a search engine is pinged with information relevant to the artist it leads back to the same place.

These are the first steps to creating an effective online music marketing campaign and are just as relevant to musicians as to any small business owner working to optimize their web presence.

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