There are many facets to creating an effective online marketing plan: scheduling, consistency, platform choice, cross-promotion and more. In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at content creation.
Perhaps the most important aspect of implementing an online marketing strategy is keeping it simple. The more social platforms you add, the more content you commit to creating, the more people you involve (unless they are coordinated), the more complicated it can get.
That is not to discourage you from trying new things: in fact, quite the opposite. As you’re about to see, leveraging different mediums has several advantages.
However, the sooner you can establish a schedule that is realistic and organized, the more effective your plan will ultimately be. The simpler it is to put in to practice, the more regularity, consistency and reputation you can develop.
Content CreationYou’re an artist, and as such, one of the most important things you will ever do is create. The great thing about the online world – and simultaneously one of the most challenging aspects – is that you not only have the opportunity to create a variety of different media, you probably should.
Branching out and working on different things will not only stave off boredom, it has the chance to make you more visible in a variety of different places like Facebook, Google, Amazon, iTunes or YouTube, depending on what type of content you produce. Being seen and noticed on more channels is always more value for the effort.
- Blog post: it can be hard to see the short-term benefit of writing blog posts, but it’s important to understand that text is just one of many ways you can connect with your fans. Some people prefer to read, others prefer to listen or watch. The best practice is to provide content in a variety of different mediums for those who are inclined to consume it in a particular way.
- Articles: Topspin suggests collaborating on a story with a music blog. Even if the story isn’t directly related to you or your musical efforts, there are usually opportunities for backlinking and brand building. In short, it’s an opportunity for cross-promotion.
- Podcast episode: podcasts aren’t getting talked about in the music community as much as they used to, but all signs point to the fact that podcasting is going to be huge this year and in years to come. You can have a presence on iTunes by distributing your music there, but you can also spread your presence by getting your podcast listed. Depending on your commitment, a podcast episode might actually be a big thing as opposed to a small thing, but if you keep it succinct and don’t fuss about editing too much, it should be relatively painless to push out new content regularly.
- YouTube video: Topspin suggests making acoustic cover videos, and certainly that is an easier undertaking than making a video song or a full-fledged music video. One could also create vlogs, tour diaries, behind-the-scenes or goof-off videos. Videos, of course, can also be published to other video sites like Vimeo or Veoh. Whether that’s an effective strategy for musicians or not remains to be seen.
- Photos: hopefully by now you’ve realized that photos tend to engage well on social media. Whether you leverage an app like Instagram to post new photos or you take some time to transfer over and upload pictures from your digital camera, photos are a powerful way to connect with your fans. Another fun benefit is that if you only post one photo at a time to your social channels, you aren’t likely to run out of content in a hurry.
Small things should be completed and published in one-to-two-week cycles. That way you will always have fresh content to share on your website and social channels. It can take some time to build that consistency into your life, so don’t give up when early challenges arise (i.e. learning to use video editing software, having to do dozens of takes for a video, trying to find an article you want to reference in your blog post, etc.).
- EPs and albums: it takes time to produce, but one of the most powerful tools an artist has to leverage is their music. Music is used everywhere these days; movies, TV shows, commercials, video games, viral videos and so forth. And even if that’s not your goal, your music is still a huge part of your identity as an artist. Music sales can also generate income.
- Music video: video is clearly a popular medium today. Adding a visual element to your music is an effective way to create a deeper connection with the viewer.
- Play shows/tour: live performance is a great opportunity to showcase your music and connect with your fans. It can also generate income.
- Contests: this one doesn’t necessarily fall under content creation, but running the occasional giveaway, promotion or contest has been known to drive up social engagement.
The pace at which you carry out big things is largely up to you. You don’t want it to be so regular that you never have time for anything else, but you don’t want it to be so infrequent that your fans begin to wonder what happened to you.