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Okay, band advertising; what works?


picker

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I started this on another thread, but it seems like it ought to be a topic on it's own.

So, who here has advertised and know it has generated response they wouldn't have gotten otherwise, where, how & how many times did you have do it to get good results, and how much did you have to pay for it?

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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So, no one has found a method of advertising for bands who aren't already widely known that generates more than 4% positive response, and is really a waste of time & money, or nearly so.

 

Why am I not surprised?

 

I'm assuming that no one has had the money to try giving away mass quantities of beer, gourmet food, and/or hookers...

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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Besides doing the usual free things (newspaper event listings and the gig spam thing), I don't do anything either.

 

But years ago I dated a woman who had A.D.D. who flitted from career to career to career. Part of that time was in radio and TV. She would get big time free press for her latest venture by schmoozing the right people at the local stations/newspaper. These folks like their work done for them, so she would present them with her own press releases that seemed to always get printed.

 

But she was relentless in this task, until she tired of it. I guess you gotta be relentless, and then not get tired of it. Like getting the gigs in the first place.

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

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The best advertising I have managed to do was personal contact with friends and acquaintances.

 

This.

 

And as I said in another thread, start a fan email list -- have a sign-up clipboard at your gigs and while schmoozing with the crowd between sets encourage people to sign up.

"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"
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Part of the problem is that it is very difficult to correlate actual results to a particular marketing or advertising method. Did they show up because I posted posters, or did it happen to be a good night? Did the radio spots bring them out or our email list? It's hard to tell. But we generally are one of the top draws in town and here's what we do:

 

1) Email List - walk around on breaks and get people to sign up. This serves 2 purposes - you get them on the list for future advertising, but also you connect a little bit more personally with them which will make them more liikely to come back and see you. Some of our most loyal fans are people we just went out and started talking to on break, and then talk to each time they come back.

 

2) Facebook - don't undeestimate this. Once I started it, our friends exploded and within just months we had over 1000. Simple status update, which I can do from my cell phone, and a thousand people know where we're playing.

 

3) Posters - lots of bands do this. I do 11x17 full color customized for each event. I use them at venues that could use a little extra help, like new venues getting off the ground. The key is to put posters up 1-1/2 week before the gig. So when the bands play the weekend prior, all the patrons know you'll be there the following weekend.

 

4) Tshirts - we came up with some cool designs that people would want to wear anyway, and just include the logo or our web site. We sell them at break-even, so we don't make money, but if you get 500 of them out there, it's that's 500 free walking billboards.

 

5) Radio Spots - we don't pay for these, but some of the clubs do and they tend to not only bring people out, but give you name recognition, even if people don't know where they heard it "Oh yeah, I've heard of you guys". If you notice clubs that advertise their bands on the radio, just try to get booked there, even at a discounted rate, and you can take advantage of the radio advertising without paying for it. Same goes for festivals, etc.

 

6) Web site - check your search engine results. Lots of people find us this way. Type 80s band St. Louis in google, guess who tops the list. Anybody looking for 80s music in St. Louis will come across us first. Then it's just a matter of making sure it's up to date.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Part of the problem is that it is very difficult to correlate actual results to a particular marketing or advertising method. Did they show up because I posted posters, or did it happen to be a good night? Did the radio spots bring them out or our email list? It's hard to tell.

 

When I'm not playing bass for fun, I actually work in marketing, PR, and communications. The only way to "correlate actual results to a particular...method" is to conduct market research among your fans and the public and to ask them how they heard about your band and how do they prefer to hear about your band.

 

It's a lot of work to conduct this type of research, but it's not impossible. I'd start by trying to capture email addresses for those who attend your shows. When you have 100 or more (and the more the better), use one of the online survey tools (like Survey Monkey) to explore this issue. It's cheap.

 

Another option is just to talk to as many fans as you can at a gig and ask them these questions. You won't get hard numbers (quantitative data), but you can get some good qualitative data that can be helpful.

 

Of course, if you were a big corporation, you'd spend several tens of thousands of dollars on research and have all the answers you need in a week or two. I'm guessing that does not describe your band, which means that this type of research is just going to take perseverance and hard work.

"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves." Leo Tolstoy
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When you have 100 or more (and the more the better), use one of the online survey tools (like Survey Monkey) to explore this issue.

 

One thing that makes me shy away from something like that is the possibility that people will be annoyed and unsuscribe. In fact, I try to keep the emails short, not to frequent, and somewhat entertaining, so people don't feel like they're getting spammed. If you start pumping them with surveys from 3rd parties, they may decide they want out. Personally, I get annoyed when I'm hit with a survey after a hotel stay, IT service request, etc. I'm curious of your take on negative response to marketing analysis techniques.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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What motivates me to go see an artist is:

1. Personal contact, especially if I hear them play.

2. Word of mouth from fellow musicians.

3. Articles in NY Times or music magazines.

4. You Tube videos

I don't hang out in bars ordinarily - I'd have to be interested in the artist to go hear them.

 

I also am drowning in spam and automatically delete 90+% of what comes my way on the computer.

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I'm curious of your take on negative response to marketing analysis techniques.

 

Of course, you don't want to be obnoxious about emailing, and in fact most people will ignore you. Don't take it personally. I usually ignore surveys from hotels and car rental places because I just don't care enough about them.

 

Couple of thoughts: 1) if you have an email sign up sheet, you could preface it with "occasionally we might email you with information about the band or a survey that will help the band get better. If you'd like to help us out, leave your email. We will never share it with anyone else." This disclaimer screens out people who just aren't interested and don't want to be bothered.

 

2) If your concerned about email overload, go back to the "talking to people at gigs" strategy. It might take you a little longer to get the info you want, but at least you'll know your audience provided the info willingly.

"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves." Leo Tolstoy
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I guess you gotta be relentless
This strategy has worked well for one local artist. She is always self-promoting and creating buzz. Since Jan 1, 2010 she has (according to her website):

 

* sung the national anthem at a pro basketball game

* recorded a new album

* was nominated for 5 local music awards

* opened for a sold-out show featuring a national artist

* released her new album in Nashville

* interviewed on radio (here and Nashville) about her album

* played a show sponsored by local government to 3000 people

* picked up 3 more endorsements

* toured nationally over the summer

* played two more local goverment shows

* played a summer festival

* local TV interview and performance

* joined CMA

* another local TV performance

* launched her new single on national radio

* released her single's official music video

* was named "Artist of the Week"

* interview printed in the local paper

 

All the while she averages probably 10 shows a month.

 

Now, these things don't just happen to people. People make them happen. And it takes a lot of time and effort to make it happen.

 

I know she has worked hard to make all this happen. She's been doing it for years. She's going to be one of those people who catch a break, and she will have earned it.

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Tattoos on strippers * :thu:

 

Depends on where they put them! :blush:

 

Just to get our name out to the general public we used to go halfsies with bar owners for radio spots. We've stopped because we can't seem to get bar owners to go for it. Too darn cheap. They didn't seem to draw all that much anyhow but a lot more people knew who we are. Before email was around we used to do mailing lists. Nowadays we give out cards, that have our picture and website address on them, to interested folks who want to know where we are playing at or want to contact us about a job. We then have an email sign-up on our site for those who visited and want to be informed.

Lydian mode? The only mode I know has the words "pie ala" in front of it.

http://www.myspace.com/theeldoradosband

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Incidentally, we have "That 80s Band" temporary tattoos, and will assist in applying them to boobs. I have pics.

 

A friend of mine hired strippers to model T-Shirts. They tend to be expensive. You can hire "promo girls" to do the same thing for $14-25 per hour. They don't like to sell. So get a buddy to man the sales table, and hire a couple promo girls to model shirts and direct folks to the table. Give them minimum hourly plus a cut of sales.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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