Guest post by Lisa Occhino
With so many different platforms for fans to discover and listen to music, it can be a challenge to convince them to go to your band website to play your songs.
If they tend to view Spotify, SoundCloud, or another platform as an easier and more convenient way to listen, that means you have to not only make it a better experience to listen to music on your website, but you have to ultimately demonstrate that it’s worth it for them to change their online listening habits.
It’s a tall order, to be sure, but it’s certainly not impossible. Assuming you’ve already built an awesome website, there are a few things you can do to drive more music plays. Here are five foolproof tactics to start with — plus one thing you should never do.
1. Have a play button right on the homepage
The easiest way to get more music plays on your website is to put the play button in a can’t-miss spot right on your homepage. Most people aren’t going to have the patience to search for your music player, so don’t make them click around or scroll. Make listening to your music an obvious, one-click action, and you’ve instantly upped your chances of getting plays.
Another great option is using a site-wide music player, allowing visitors to seamlessly continue listening to each track as they bounce around to different pages of your website. The key here is to only make them click “play” once. Set up a playlist so that one track automatically flows into the next, rather than making them click “play” at the start of each track (because they probably won’t).
2. Use a call-to-action header
If listening to your music is the number-one thing you want people to do when they visit your website, use a call-to-action header to grab their attention immediately. The most effective call-to-action headers are eye-catching buttons containing short and sweet text that coordinate with your website theme.
Experiment with different text, colors, sizes, and placement, and pay attention to your website analytics to see which version is the most successful at driving music plays. Check out some examples here for inspiration.
3. Share your music on social media
If you have a following on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, it’s a good idea to share your songs and albums directly through those channels. You can either share a link to your music page and drive traffic to it by including a call-to-action in your post, or you can use an embeddable music player to allow your followers to instantly stream your music without even leaving Facebook or Twitter. Bandzoogle has some beautiful, simple options for this that you can try out.
Still working on building up your social media following? Putting even a small budget towards boosting your posts to your target audience can be extremely helpful in driving more traffic to your musician website and building up your fanbase.
4. Use your email list
Anyone who’s subscribed to your email list has already given you permission to get in touch with them, so you can be fairly certain they’ll want to know about your new music when it’s released.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that everyone on your email list is aware of your new album just because you tweeted a link once or twice. Send a dedicated email blast with a call-to-action to listen to your new music, and include a link that goes directly to your music page where they can stream the full tracks in a single click.
Of course, feel free to also include purchase links on that page that direct them to iTunes, Bandcamp, or your own online store, but make the first interaction they have with your music as frictionless as possible on your website.
5. Make your website the go-to destination for your new tracks
Try debuting your new music exclusively on your band website for the first couple of days before you make it available on other platforms.
If you consistently reinforce that your website is the go-to destination for your music, you’ll be much more likely to get plays there. Fans will start to build a stronger association between hearing your new music and visiting your website, rather than instinctively looking for it on another platform.
And one thing to never do…
Please, please, please do not assault your website visitors’ ears with auto-playing music! This is not a good way to get more music plays on your website; it’s how you annoy people and drive them away from your website. Use the tactics above to make it as easy as possible for people to find and listen to your music if they want to, but never force it upon them.
Lisa Occhino is the founder of SongwriterLink, a free songwriting collaboration website that matches you up with exactly the kind of co-writers you’re looking for. She’s also a pianist, award-winning songwriter, and graduate of Berklee College of Music.
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