Everyone wants attention. You want it too, right? Of course, you do.
In fact, that’s the first crucial step in marketing: getting people (specifically, your ideal fans) to simply notice you among all the noise and chaos of their busy lives.
It’s such a challenge to get that fleeting hint of attention these days, you probably put most of your “marketing” focus on that aspect alone. That’s why you celebrate every small gain you make in getting Facebook fan page likes, Twitter followers, email subscribers, YouTube views, LinkedIn connections, and more.
You should celebrate those wins. No doubt. But your marketing efforts shouldn’t end there. As I’ve been harping on a lot lately in my live workshops, what’s really important is what you do with attention once you have it.
Getting it is great. People notice you. You appear on their mental radars for a few moments (or minutes, if you’re lucky). Awesome! But then those good people move on to other things and sadly forget about you.
What’s a self-promoting musician to do?
The answer: Build some sort of interactive element or “call to action” into many of the things you post online (including Facebook updates, tweets, videos, audio clips, images, etc).
One example of how this works can be found in a video that guitarist Walt Pitts published on YouTube recently. (Walt is one of only a handful of musicians I do some part-time consulting work for.)
Walt had an idea for a series of videos he would record at home that featured him playing live using a Boss Loop Station, which allows him to play and layer multiple guitar parts live.
Before posting his first video to YouTube, Walt sent me a sample to get my thoughts. Of course, his playing was great. But I noticed right away that he had positioned the camera to shoot vertically, so there were large empty spaces to either side of the frame.
Walt explained that he did it that way to capture everything – from the hat he wears and the guitars on the wall behind him to the footwork of hitting the effects pedals. This was also a good representation of what Walt does when he performs live.
I understood, but all that wasted space on the screen was bugging me. So I encouraged him to create some text and graphics that would use the empty space to let people know who he was and remind them of how to reach him.
Here’s what he came up with:
If I were to get hyper critical, I might make the text and graphics a little less cluttered. But I love the way the description on the left side explains who Walt is and what he does. And at the top right you find a clear call to action that invites people who need a solo guitarist in the Phoenix area to contact him.
This is a smart way to make great use of whatever attention this video gets.
(I also gave Walt the specific words to use in the title, description and tags of this video to help it get “discovered” in searches, but that’s a topic for another day.)
Compare this video treatment to your own music videos – or blog posts, fan page updates, etc. When a potential fan sees your stuff for the first time, do you make it clear who you are and what you do?
Do you have an “engagement objective” (a phrase I just made up) for every piece of content you publish? In other words, what do you want people to DO after they watch, read or listen to it?
From now on, decide ahead of time what those answers are. Then design the various things you post online to make the best use of the attention you get online and off.
What do you think? Have other examples of effective engagement and call-to-action strategies? I welcome your comments.
UPDATE: Since there are some fervent comments below concerning the design and use of effective calls-to-action, I wanted to share a link to this How to Master the Design of Compelling Calls-to-Action post on Hubspot. Some good advice there.
Bob Baker is the author of “Guerrilla Music Marketing Online,” Berkleemusic’s “Music Marketing 101” course, and many other books and promotion resources for DIY artists, managers and music biz pros. You’ll find Bob’s free ezine, blog, podcast, video clips, and articles at www.TheBuzzFactor.com and www.MusicPromotionBlog.com.