Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Using the Cell Phone to Promote Your Music: part 1

from the book Web Marketing for the Music Business by Tom Hutchison

Many local musicians have yet to discover that the cell phone is a great promotional device for musicians--even at the local level. This new marketing avenue is still in the development stage, but there are some opportunities already for artists.

First, you should start collecting cell numbers from fans now, even if you don't plan on using them right away--much the same as you do for getting email addresses from fans and adding them to your friends list. You can do that at gigs and online with a simple form that your fans fill out.

At this point in mobile marketing, it is not cost-effective for local artists to purchase services for sending out bulk cell messages, so it might be best to have your fans sign up for one of the mobile social networking services (actually SMS--short message services) such as Twitter, Zlango, Jygy, or others. You can find a list at http://www.go2web20.net/. Then type in the keyword mobile.

Many of these services are still in beta testing mode, so they are not yet charging for the service. Try to find a service that will allow you to send a bulk text message to a group of fans at once. Then follow these very important rules for sending out text marketing messages.

1. Keep it simple: Include a link to your web site for further information.

2. Don't send out too many messsages. The majority of recipients pay per message so it will cost them money to participate.

3. Make it timely: Only send information that is not better served on the web site, such as a reminder about tonight's gig, etc.

4. Include a call to action: ask them to show up at your gig, listen to your new tune, check out your new album, etc.

I'll be including updates to this blog with more tips on using the web and new media for promoting your band. Meanwhile, check out Web Marketing for the Music Business

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