Eric Hebert, CEO of Evolvor.com, has been actively involved in the music marketing world since 2004. Blog writer and creator of Label 2.0, he offers a valuable resource for your music marketing needs.
Can you describe the services you provide at Evolvor, and your background?
Understanding my background will give you a clear picture of the methodology behind my services. Since 2003 I have been active in the SEO and Social Media marketing world, with my main focus being content development. At this point I can pretty much manage every facet of an artists online business, so my list of services is a long one. My main focus however is building an integrated and optimized website, teaching artists how to create and develop viral content, and then learning how to distribute that content around the web to increase rankings and ultimately traffic. The final goal is to convert that traffic into an email list that you can sell a product to.
Can you describe some of the mistakes that bands make when marketing themselves online?
The biggest mistake I see is their lack of communication skills. I get emails from musicians and labels everyday, and I'm amazed at how many of them are written by what appears to be a 5th grader. Everyone likes to shout in capital letters to "check out my hot new tracks yo" or "new metal that will melt your face off please visit our really bad myspace page". It's kind of insulting. Musicians need to learn basic business communication skills in order to get anyone to pay attention, especially as the music scene becomes more and more crowded.
What do you think makes an effective band website?
Well, that's quite an interesting question, and my answer might surprise you. An effective band website, in my opinion, is one that has enough content on it for me to spend hours experiencing whatever it is they have to offer. Content in all areas - music to listen to, videos to watch, blogs to read, pictures to look at, etc etc. Selling the image of a band is no different then selling the image of a business in my opinion, so throwing some loud and flashy ad up isn't going to work anymore. You have to interact with people through compelling content.
Do have any tips to help bands convert casual visitors to take action (like join their mailing list, purchase music, contribute to their forum?)
Understand how people navigate and read web pages. We read from left to right, so your call-to-action should be on the right. The "above the fold" concept is true as well. so the top right corner of a web page is prime real estate. Also, give them a REASON to sign up to your email list; free downloads work ok, but an entire album for free will REALLY build that email list in no time.
Can you outline the steps that bands should take online to promote a new release?
I would just give the whole thing away, seriously, to the first 10-20,000 people you can get to sign up for it. People reading this might think I'm crazy, and no one wants to do it, but in the music biz it's all about getting people to talk about you. Give it away 20,000 times and you have a huge email list that you can sell merch to. And if it's good enough, people will talk. If everyone of those people told a few friends about you, now you've reached 100,000 people and then you have demand for your music and can start selling it! As far as spreading the word about any new release, you're gonna have to do the leg work, there is no way around it. Research the bloggers in your niche, learn how to connect with them, and produce content for them about the album that's media rich, something they can't say no to. For those interested in learning more about managing your online business, you can catch my blog at evolvor.com or check out Label 2.0
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