Nowadays, with so many different social media channels to be present on, many musicians understandably ignore their own websites.
While slowly building a digital presence on your social channels — it’s also important to understand how a website can help you in your overall digital strategy.
A website operates as your storefront and ‘home’. It’s where you brand and your music is properly presented in one easy to digest format.
The ultimate goal of digital marketing is to drive traffic and leads over from your social media channels to your website (that is set up correctly and optimised to collect data from visitors).
If you’re only pushing traffic over to your other channels that you don’t own (Spotify, Soundcloud, Twitch); it will make it difficult for you to grow your business and sell your products.
Your website should present you, your value (your content), your music, and of course your products. Your website should also gather all of your channels together too.
Whether it is merchandise, show tickets, consultancy services (this is when you hire your expertise out to others) — you will sell all of these products on your website.
For example, if you are a musician and want to make music for movies; you need to dedicate part of your website to present this side of your expertise.
You may make a page showing your previous work and sharing why you love making music for movies. And provide information for people to contact you or buy your service if they are interested.
You will perhaps showcase this expertise continuously through content on your social media in order to build trust with your audience and to advertise the services to them.
When it is time for them to purchase or if you spark an interest with them, they will head over to your website to either learn more or book/buy.
The process of starting a website starts with securing your domain. This should be two domains consisting of your artist/stage name and your personal name.
You don’t want anybody else owning your personal name domain and creating content on it. Even if you only go by your artist name, it’s worth securing it for many reasons.
For example, I purchased my domain (www.rebeccasmartbakken.com) long before I started creating content on it.
Making a website is easy but all too often I see musicians making big mistakes. To optimise your website, make sure you’re not doing the following:
- No Products
Whenever I start working with a musician, I start trying to understand their website and their products.
“How are we making money?”
Then I map out a content and social strategy that will build trust and loyalty in their expertise areas which are perfectly aligned with the products they have to offer as well.
This way their content will continuously convert followers into paying fans.
Of course one of the main problems musicians face is not having any products. This makes it difficult to make a living.
I hate to break it to you but trying to make a living off streaming numbers will not be a solution.
The most common products you see are of course merchandise and show tickets.
If you are a songwriter, sound engineer or producer and you want to work with other musicians or clients — these are your products too.
You may not have a ‘Buy Now’ button on your website but you need to allocate website real estate to present this expertise and tell them you have this offering.
If you go over to my website and check out my consultancy product (where you can hire me as a team member), I am VERY specific on the type of projects I like to work on. This approach usually weaves out most of the poor quality leads and pushes through the visitors that are good leads.
If I didn’t have this on my website I wouldn’t be telling the world that they can hire me as a team member and therefore would miss out on opportunities.
2. Not Collecting Email Addresses
Remember Myspace back in the day? Everybody was on it. Then suddenly Facebook came along and not a soul was seen on MySpace. These things happen, a lot.
If you have 300,000 followers on Instagram and a new platform came along that everybody used instead, you wouldn’t be able to bring those followers with you.
Collecting email addresses on your website allows you to take ownership of your fandom and gives you the power to sell to them, even better.
When you collect email addresses you own them. You can bring them to any email provider you want and you can email them one to one or as a whole.
When you have someone’s email, you also have a direct line to them. Posting on social media these days only shows your content to around 7% of your followers which you are in no control over.
If you send out an email blast to your email list, everyone gets that email in their inbox. And email marketing typically has a higher conversion than socials.
The last email I sent had an opening rate of 25%. Which is a lot higher than 7% on Instagram.
Here is a video of how to set up email marketing as a musician:
Ensuring that you create these “entrances” and gates where people can leave their email addresses is top priority.
I typically give away some freebies in exchange for email addresses as it’s usually easier to have some sort of ‘reward’ in return for somebody giving you their details.
You may be thinking “what do I send out in the email?” — my video above will help with that — until you find an answer to this, put a basic email signup form on your website and start collecting anyway.
3. Not Displaying Content You Make on Other Channels
So you are putting tons of work into your socials and creating great content… Why not show this on your website? Many web builders have an easy way to integrate content from Instagram.
For example, I use SquareSpace and I easily inserted this on my website:
It’s @rebecca_bakken if you’re not following me yet!
Then your website will feel like it’s being updated continuously because the social feeds will always display your most recent content.
If you have a YouTube channel, you need to integrate/embed this on to your website as well. This could increase your views on your youtube as you will capture traffic that’s coming to your website from Google or Instagram perhaps.
The YouTube integration isn’t as common in most website builders, so you can use Powr to create the feed on your website.
Just as I have with my YouTube content on my website:
The same goes for your music on Spotify and Soundcloud. Find ways to embed your streaming content on your website.
Of course you still want visitors to head over to your streaming sites to start following you there. But it’s good to give them some previews on your website.
Embedding is the key here!
4. Not Taking Advantage of the ‘About Me’ Section
If someone heads over to your ‘about me’ page (which is typically the second most visited page on a website) you have caught their attention and they want more.
They want to know more about you. This is the time to talk about you and share your story. Take this real estate to connect with your fans.
You need to give them a reason to connect with you on your channels, subscribe to your email list and buy your products.
Most musicians use this real estate just showing what they have done and who they are… But they miss to bring in WHY they are doing it. What is their purpose?
Remember my video about “people don’t buy what you do, but why you are doing it”
A great example of an ‘About Me’ website page is Major Lazor’s:
Major Lazor even created a documentary to share their story and values!
They are not talking about how many awards they have had, their albums and singles… They are talking about WHY they are making music. They are giving their followers a REASON to connect with them and their music.
By the time you have seen the documentary intro, you are most likely sold and a fan for life.
So please take advantage of this real estate and really connect with your fans.
This video will help you create your Bio for your website:
5. Not Collecting and/or Using Analytics
Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel are two tools you need to install on your website right now.
Google Analytics is a popular tool that’s been around for a while. I still come across many musicians who are still not using and not tracking their metrics though their sites that are live.
It’s completely free to use and pretty easy to understand. You get tons of analytics about your traffic and get to see the behaviour of your visitors while browsing your website:
- How long visitors were on your site
- Which geographical areas bring the most traffic/fans to your site
- To learn which search terms on search engines are bringing the traffic to your site
- To understand the type of content you should keep creating
- To understand why visitors might be leaving your site so soon
- To get to know which social platforms you should be focusing your attention on
If you teach yourself to learn Google Analytics and metrics, you’ll also learn how your brand is presented, how your website works and what you can change on it to really maximise its efficiency for many purposes.
Staying on top of these metrics every week regardless of your business size will help to understand your audience leading to easier growth opportunities.
Facebook Pixel is a piece of code from Facebook that you add to your website which begins tracking your audience’s interests and behaviour when using Facebook — most people have their Facebook running in the background of their phone or browser at all times.
The pixel then starts to give you this information which helps you to start targeting your social media ads more efficiently rather than just targeting random, huge lists of generic groups of people.
You can start targeting similar people that have already interacted with you and your brand or have similar interests with your current crowd, which means the new targets are more likely to be interested in you.
For a more in depth explanation of analytics, check out my previous article here.
The importance of a website for marketing extends to every aspect of your digital marketing strategy. As the backbone of your online presence, every type of communication, piece of content, or advertisement that you put online will drive the consumer back to your website.
Spend some time (and money if you can) getting your website optimised to perfection and you’ll have a well oiled machine that pulls together your entire online identity into one place with easier access to your services and products.