Promotion is a process. You can’t just put an album out the day after you get the master back. And you can’t expect to get a full-house at your show if you book it one day in advance. It takes time to build hype. Here is the 3-step plan to promoting something…anything!
Don’t hurry. If you want to do it right, take a deep breath, step away from the situation and decide on the best outcome. Be prepared to ditch your plan, reinvent your plan, or join it with someone else’s. Good things take time to simmer and while ideas may come overnight, they could take a while to fully develop. There’s nothing worse than prematurely letting your work out into the world.
Write it down. Write down everything. Then pick out what makes sense and go with that. Releasing an album? Create a 2 month promotional plan to really give it the push it needs. Planning a show in a city you’ve never been to before? Develop a plan to book the venue, book the opener, contact local media for a write-up, promote the event, and draw out an audience.
You wrote it down, now do it! I’m fairly convinced that most people don’t know how to execute a plan simply because they don’t have one! But if you have a manual you just gotta follow the directions. If you don’t do anything you can’t expect results. Think of your plan as a job. If you don’t do it you get fired.
This is by far the most important part of the process. How can you know what works/doesn’t work if you don’t track your progress. There are so many tools out there for monitoring site traffic, link clicks, page views, video hits, status views…etc. When you keep your eye on these things you’ll have a better idea of how to gear your future promotional efforts. Here are just a few…
- Website Traffic: Google Analytics or Statcounter tell you what sites are linking to yours, how long a visitor stays on your site, the pages with the most traffic, keywords visitors use to find your site, and many many other things that you care and don’t care about.
- Facebook Traffic: Facebook Insights tells you which status updates receive the most hits, which cites, states, countries are bringing in the most traffic to your site, the demographics of your followers, and much more.
- Twitter: there are a ton of apps and platforms (like Hootsuite) that tell you which of your tweets were retweeted, how many people clicked a link you tweeted, and what country they were from.
- YouTube: has extensive analytics and will tell you how many hits a video receives on 1 particular day, a time frame of 5 days, 5 months or even 5 years! It will tell what percentage of your viewers are male/female for any specific video, and it will tell you things you never cared about knowing – like what percentage of viewers watched your latest music video on their phone vs. their laptop. It never ends…
- Bit.ly: And this here is one of my favorites. When you want to know how many people are actually clicking your link, hop onto your www.Bit.ly account, type in the website you want people to visit, and copy the generated bit.ly link. Paste that link into any location and visit your bit.ly account regularly to see how much interest that link has generated.
That’s all we got for you. Leave a note if you have additional tips or some experience in this area.