In business, lack of communication with customers can be the sole reason for failure and the same can be true for music. With the emergence of streaming video, live chat and mobile app marketing, communication has never been easier than it is today. New forms of media outlets (Podcasts, YouTube, Periscope, Email, Blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat) are replacing the old (Radio, Television, Newspapers, Magazines, Resumes, Postcards) and they are making it possible to reach a seemingly unlimited amount of people at once. With everything being accessible from mobile devices these days, indie musicians like you have an opportunity to communicate with an audience like never before. Essentially this means….NO MORE MIDDLE MAN.
So how does mobile app marketing fit in to all of this? Mobile apps are essentially your whole entire brand living on a ‘smart device’. They allow you to sell directly to your fans, keep them up to date with your live events, send direct messages and monitor where they are around the world. Having a mobile app is also a sure way to separate yourself from your competition. “I don’t know the difference between a mobile app and a web app” In this post you will discover how you, as a musician, can benefit from using mobile app marketing to gain more exposure, make more money selling directly to your fans, get better attendance to your shows, monitor where and who your fans are, and directly communicate with them using mobile app marketing. And finally you will learn how you could possibly have your own mobile app developed and designed for your brand in a matter of weeks.
1. Selling music and merch is complicated
For the independent ‘do it yourself’ musician, selling direct-to-fan is probably the best way to get your money’s worth and having a mobile app can help simplify the process for your fans. They will be able to make purchases straight from their mobile device using their credit card or Paypal and either pick it up at the next show or have it sent to their address. (Sites like Printful and TeeSpring allow you to even sell merchandise without having to order them or do any shipping yourself.) Unlike a website, apps also allow your fans to play your music on their device even if they close out of the app.
Though it’s possible to integrate iTunes with your app, you could save about 30 cents on each dollar and collect customer information by selling using sites like Bandcamp or Gumroad.
In addition to selling tangible and intangible products, you have the ability to accept reservations and payment deposits through a mobile app. Musicians who give lessons, for example, are able to automate the process of exchanging phone calls or texts and confirming appointments by having a blockable scheduling system.
Virtually all commerce can be handled between your fans and their mobile device, without you having to do anything.
2. Fans forget about upcoming shows
How many times has your favorite artist or band performed in your city and you had no idea they were there? Don’t do this to your own fans.
Showcasing all of your live events and appearances in your app will keep your fans up to date with your whereabouts. Within each event, users are able to interact with other attendees, RSVP, get turn by turn GPS directions and share with friends with a tap of their screen.
As fans RSVP, you will be able to see how many are expected to show up and where they are located. You can then send out push message reminders to specific areas on the map about the event.
So not only will it help you to get better attendance but because of the interactivity of mobile app technology, you’ll have a more engaged crowd.
3. It’s difficult to grow all your social media accounts at once
Managing various social media accounts can take a lot of work, time and energy. Your fans’ feeds are filled with countless other voices screaming for their attention. A mobile app provides a one stop shop for all of your brand’s social media outlets but it keeps the experience within the ‘walls’ of your brand. This way your fans are less likely to be distracted and wander off into the abyss of the internet. Your Periscope, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even your blog or podcast can be integrated into an app.
And what if you needed to let all of your fans know that you’ve just released a new single or a new product in your store? Most indies would blast their social media profiles and email list but is that the best ways to get to get the message out?
Bulk SMS messaging are charged per message and pricing can add up as your list grows. (Phone numbers are a little harder to get from a fan than an email address or a Facebook like.)
Mobile apps allow you to send push notifications (our plans include unlimited messages) to your users that choose to receive them.
Here are a few other cool ways you can use an app to engage with your audience
custom comment wall where fans log in with their social accounts and leave reviews
q&a section where you can engage and answer fan questions
a fan photo submission area where fans can submit a photo to you with their camera
4. You don’t know where your fans are
“Data is the new currency.”
The three most popular websites in the world, Google, Facebook and YouTube let your use their services for ‘free’ in exchange for data. What data am I talking about? Everything that you type into a search engine, every website that you visit, the location that our IP address is at and all of the information that you provide data on your social profiles is all being tracked and recorded.
It may sound a bit creepy but this is the reality of the internet today.
But you can harness the same power of data using your own mobile app…
What data can you track with your app? Some of the same things that Google and Facebook track…
app page visits
social media profiles
in-app purchase history
So, what on earth you will do with this data or how you would use it? You will be able to:
perform a show out of state where a lot of your fans may be located
separate your ‘VIP’ fans from your casual fans in to separate lists
send out a message reminding fans to check out the least visited pages in your app
In the same way that social media follower numbers can play a big role in getting he attention of music industry taste-makers, your app user data can be just as valuable. This information about your fans can be used to get booked in to venues, get a sponsorship or even get major label consideration.
5. The internet is oversaturated with ‘musicians’
According to Wikipedia a brand (or marque for car model) is a name, term, design, symbol or other feature that distinguishes one seller’s product from those of others.
Mobile app marketing is still fairly new and it’s almost exclusively used by big brands. So having your own mobile app immediately differentiates you from your competition.
when your app is in the Google Play store, your name will have a much better chance of showing up in Google search
if you are looking to partner with a manager, label or investor, they will see that you are well invested in to your brand already and it could help you to attract a higher quality partner
creatively displaying an app download qr code on your merchandise, graphics, printouts, etc will make people curious and you will get a lot of downloads offline
your app could be used as an asset to partner with non-profits, businesses and even other musicians as a way to reach different audiences
Mobile app marketing provides a convenient way for your fans to stay up to date with your shows and buy your stuff. With it you to you can manage your fan data, communicate with your audience and differentiate yourself in the over-saturated music industry.
Major record labels can spend 100s of thousands of dollars to get an artist in front of a whole market in hopes of a small percentage of them becoming fans. As an indie, you don’t have the luxury to throw money away, so every dollar that you spend will need to get a return on investment.
We’ve made mobile apps affordable for artists, musicians, producers, labels and creative entrepreneurs that don’t have $30,000+ to invest developer man hours. You can find out more about getting your own music app and see if it would be a good fit for your brand.
Bryan "Don Suave '" McNeil-Walker is a music producer of over 20 years with a passion for marketing.
After immersing himself in digital marketing for four years he founded Alavon Enterprises to help provide entrepreneurs and creatives the tools and solutions to grow their business/brand in the new digital age.
His belief is that the marketing of today and tomorrow is social, automated and mobile.
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