If you're here to look into new and different methods by which you can market your band or artist. You've come to the right place. I'm Tom Colohue, and this is Marketing Methods; your guide to traversing the basics of the marketing world while avoiding the pitfalls, the traps and the unreasonable arseholes in it.
Marketing Methods by Tom Colohue
Part Sixteen: Interest Through Release
The most difficult job for any budding musician, developing band or heavyweight contender is simply to keep people interested. The music itself is never enough to glue people to your sound and style, you have to ensure that people are always tuning in and checking up on the latest developments, however small they might be. Strategic release is a great way to do that.
First off: the album is not the only release. That's a myth that should die right now. Singles, b-sides, press releases, videos, blogs, pictures and all sorts of other things are types of release that will keep people watching. Let's examine what makes it strategic.
Timing is everything, and, when considering timing, the best thing to look at is just how much material you have. If, for example, you intend to spread the releases over a year or so, you can then use each piece of material at certain times. Six videos could be released one every two months, with two press releases coming up every six months.
The most important thing, of course, is to ensure that releases are constant, and that you don't end up with everything being released at once in order to overwhelm people.
Press releases can be done from the moment you first form a band, and never have to halt. A local paper, the smaller the better, can announce the forming of your band and, from there, you just go bigger. Aim for websites, music magazines and onwards. If you're planning to write them yourselves, spend some time studying the press releases for other bands.
Videos are an easy release. YouTube has proven that of late. As early as before your first gig, talk to a venue during a quiet day about doing a gig that isn't a gig. Basically, you perform and record without having a dedicated audience and for no pay. After that, you split the video into tracks, then release them slowly and with different titles.
Pictures are more difficult. Having your own website is good for it, but your own website will always be more difficult to draw people to. MySpace and FaceBook are in ideal positions here, as is the generally successful FaceBook fan page. Pictures can be taken from practice spaces, performances or they can be stills taken from videos.
Blogs are likely the most difficult to engage people with. Yet again, your own website is the ideal solution, but a mix of MySpace, Twitter and FaceBook can make up the difference. A blog for a band serves the same purpose as a blog for a person; it allows people the chance to connect with you on a deeper, more personal level, since you will be speaking about more personal things.
The limited release can be your best friend, especially in regards to singles and b-sides. Heavily advertising a one week release that might potentially never be seen again. It acts as a treat for those loyal fans who keep track, and acts as further enticement to keep track for those that don't.
Some parts of marketing are very simple, and strategic release is a great way to keep a buzz going and to slowly increase the numbers of people aware of you. The only thing you need to do is never miss a deadline.
That's like betraying fans.
Tom Colohue is a writer from Blackpool, England. Though he specialises in Fiction, he also writes music theory articles, and new media articles based primarily on the internet. On occasion, these also intermingle. He is well recognised by numerous critics and analysts for his integrative descriptive work and his cynical textual mannerisms. For more information, Tom Colohue keeps a Facebook Fan Page, which contains updates from new articles and his personal blog, Mental Streaming. This page can be found via this link.