Should I ask fans for their email address?

There are a number of reasons why having your fans email addresses can be really useful, and there’s a few different way to collect email addresses. 

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Having your fans email addresses is a crucial way to contact them about important information like new albums and large-scale upcoming tours. More and more people are becoming overwhelmed by and disillusioned with Facebook and I’ve noticed that people are starting to ignore Facebook events because they are just getting too many invitations.

So it’s time to look at a few more traditional methods to promote your music, starting with emails.

I’m going to talk about a few different ways that you can ask fans for their email address. I’m sure you’ve been to a website before and have seen a pop up box asking for your email. These are called lightbox pop-ups and are a simple and effective way to ask for an email address. If people are genuinely interested in your music, they should be happy to give you their email if you have a clear and simple sign-up form.

If you have tried this and aren’t getting the kind of results you were hoping for you can always offer people a reason to sign up. Including an incentive such as a 10% discount or free shipping on their first order of your web store should help convince someone to give you their email address. Otherwise you could look at other incentives such as offering fans a free download of one of your songs.

Another way you can collect emails is if you run a web store selling your merchandise products. In your checkout cart add in an opt-out tick box for people to sign up for e-news. You are more likely to receive more emails if people have to opt-out of something rather than having to tick a box to opt-in.

If your website doesn’t allow you to do this affordably, you still have a few options. Facebook gives you the option to run a lead-generation ad, which you could trial by targeting the ad to your existing fans asking them to sign up & give you their email address for your newsletter or special offers.

Once you have collected enough emails to send your first newsletter or welcome email don’t spam your fans, otherwise you could lose them through unsubscribes. Think about sending a monthly or quarterly email with latest news, updates or offers and only send emails when you have important news to share.

These kinds of emails should contain information about a new album coming out with where and when they can order it, a new range of merchandise, special discounts or a national tour.

You can also offer something unique to this group of fans, such as exclusive pre-order items, access to listen to a new song before anyone on Facebook, sales on excess stock or free shipping with purchases over $50 or run fan competitions to create content online.

These are really great incentives for any fan to sign up to your email database!

Stay tuned for my next blog where i’ll explain how to create a lead generation ad.

Where are your fans from?

Have you ever wondered where your Facebook fans are from and how it can help your online marketing?

Aside from being generally curious, there are added benefits to knowing where your fans are from if you plan to advertise online.

Switch accounts to your band page and click on ‘Insights’, on the left hand menu click ‘People’.

Here you can learn how many of your fans are male vs. female and what age brackets they are in.

Also you can see what countries your fans are from, which cities they live in and what language they speak.

How can you use this information?

Age groups

If you plan to advertise online, this can give you an indication of which age bracket you should target to, if most of your fans fit in a certain range, you may want to exclude younger/older audiences to get the most out of your money.

Gender

Which gender should you advertise to, the one you have the most or least of? It depends really, if you want more similar fans to what you currently have it would be safe to advertise to the higher gender split. But if you think the opposite gender would really like your music, you could create a specific campaign to target them online.

Location

Also when it comes to planning gigs, you can see which cities your fans live in, you might have a huge following in a city you’ve never considered touring to, or no fans in a city you’re thinking about playing at.

Have a look at your data and see what you can learn about your fans.

Here’s the demographics for Metal Marketing on Facebook.

As you can see, most of my fans are Male, aged 25-34, living in NSW Australia.

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Metal mascots – Eddie the Head

Eddie the Head

One of the most famous and memorable metal mascots is Iron Maiden’s Eddie.

Eddie, also known as Eddie the Head, has featured on all of Iron Maiden’s album covers and has appeared in their live shows. Eddie was originally created as a papier-mâché mask used as part of their live backdrop. The character was then turned into an illustration by Derek Riggs and used on their first self titled album cover.Iron_Maiden_album_cover

Eddie has famously evolved over the years, appearing as a crazed killer, a psych ward patient, an ancient Egyptian, a cyborg and even the Grim Reaper to name a few.

Iron Maiden’s frequent use of the character over the years has helped him to grow into the beloved mascot he is today.

He has become an icon in his own right, and is known as the ‘face’ (or head) of the Iron Maiden brand.

iron_maiden_-_powerslave_maskEddie’s evolving character has given the band new and creative ways to promote and sell merchandise to fans with him being used on everything from clothing to bed spreads, kitchen items to collectable figurines, halloween masks, skateboards and jewellery. Eddie has even been tattooed, painted on bodies and had an aircraft named after him.

The marketing of his character through various forms or merchandise only helped to secure his fame, he even got his very own video game!

In 2008, Eddie won the “Icon Award” at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards.

Will there ever be another band with a mascot as famous as Eddie?

Other bands have had their own successful mascots from Metallica’s Doris, Megadeth’s Vic Rattlehead, Anthrax’s Not Man and Motorhead’s Snaggletooth, but they haven’t quite stood the same test of time as Eddie.

So why do I think he’s the most well known metal mascot? Eddie mummy

Eddie was there from the beginning, he’s original and he’s dependable. Eddie has appeared on each of the album covers and he has been present in their live shows.

Eddie has evolved with each album and has grown with the band. He has always been there through thick and thin, regardless of which members were in the band at the time, Eddie is there carrying the fans from album to album.

Who is your favourite metal mascot? Leave a comment below.

Online authenticity

5 ways to be authentic online (1)

Authentic [aw-then-tik]
1. not false or copied; genuine; real.

I recently listened to Andy Dowling’s podcast, The Andy Social with James Norbert Ivanyi. In it, they discussed authenticity and it got me thinking about how musicians and bands (and anyone really) should portray themselves on social media.

If you’re a musician or you are in a band, I’m sure at some point in your time on Facebook you’ve received a friend request from someone you haven’t personally met, but may have many friends in common with. You thought you’d accept it considering how many friends you have in common, because maybe you have actually met once at a gig or maybe you just thought sure, why not?

Once you click accept, how many of you have then received an inbox message from this person saying, “Hey, check out my band <insert band’s Facebook page here>” and never heard from them ever again?

This can be quite frustrating, as yes, Facebook can be used as a networking tool but it is mostly used to share personal photos and updates with your friends.

I understand that it is difficult to get new fans on social media when you are starting at the beginning and yes, even I sent initial requests to my friends to support me and like the Metal Marketing Manager page.

This road hasn’t been cheap, but I have used more traditional methods like Facebook advertising to try and reach out to musicians online so that I remain an authentic source.

Here are my top 5 ways to be authentic online

  1. Gain followers organically, don’t beg for fans or turn to untraditional methods to gain fans, such as spamming users or buying fans.
  2. Produce valuable content, if what you share on social media is interesting or useful to your fans, there is a good chance they will be interested in what you have to say. Ask your fans questions or for their opinions, promote musicians who inspire you. Engage with the people who follow you, give them a reason to like or comment on your posts.Before you post something think, would I like this post if I saw it on Facebook?
  3. Produce regular content, consistency is key on social media. Make a plan for how often you will share content on your pages and stick to it. Consider using a scheduling tool to help keep you consistent. Be in it for the long haul, with time comes credibility.
  4. Be an influencer, don’t make everything about you. How can you help the local music scene, your community, your fans and other like-minded musicians? When networking, don’t wonder how that person can help you, think about what you can do for them to create genuine long lasting relationships.
  5. Be passionate, don’t do it for the likes. Do it because YOU want to, because you love it.

5 ways to be au

Video clip Q&A with Caligula’s Horse

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I was lucky enough to speak with Jim Grey, vocalist of Caligula’s Horse about the quality and concepts of their video clips and how it has contributed to their success.

MMM: Congratulations on the release of your new video for Turntail, it’s sitting at nearly 23,200 views after just a few weeks. What was the concept behind this clip?

Jim: Thanks! We’re all totally stoked at the response, it seems like people have really latched onto what we were trying to say with the video. Basically we wanted something to capture the nature of the song. Turntail is a song about standing your ground and taking courage in the face of adversity. The dancer in her stone-like black and white form represents her fear and anxiety, something that can be all-encompassing and controlling. She gradually learns that the things controlling her are of her own making, and learns to control them in turn. The colour returns to her and she is free.

To me, this represents Australia and our need to step up in the face of the refugee crisis. Our callous and nonsensical approach, all this offshore detention with no end in sight, is utter cowardice, driven by the hubris of our so-called leaders in an attempt to maintain their status, nothing more. We need to embrace the courage of compassion and respond to this crisis with humanity and reason. And that’s what Turntail stands for.

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From the beginning Caligula’s horse has taken a very professional approach to their videos. At that time were you thinking of an overall image or brand for the band to portray and how you wanted to viewed by your audience?

We just try to do everything to the best of our ability, really. We know that with the right amount of effort, diligence, and objective criticism of our own work, we can create something that is close to the flawless image we initially imagined. It’s hard, but that’s what it takes when you’re on a shoestring budget like we have been for years. So if we do have an image or brand, like you say, it’s more of a result of the fact that we like our art to be as polished as it possibly can be, even forsaking sleep and real life, haha.

Do you think the quality of your clips (as well as the awesome tunes of course) has helped the band to secure support slots for international artists and international tours?

It’s definitely helped, yeah – having a strong presence online, having clips that are a good representation of the band’s message, all of those things tend to add up. Plus I feel like it’s a connection with our fans that we haven’t yet been able to tour to, especially in the US. Those guys are all hanging out for a tour (and hopefully we’ll make it there soon) and a clip is a way for them to connect with our performance, in a way.

Do you work with the same team for each of your videos and do they give creative input into the video concepts?

Early on we worked with a few different crews, directors, editors and the like, but the last few clips (A Gift to Afterthought, Firelight, Turntail, and a number of live clips) have been through our mate Adrian Goleby. Basically because when you’re onto a good thing… why stop? Adrian’s awesome to work with, versatile and creative.

In terms of the creative input, most of the time Sam and I have a complete concept and image in our heads before we take it to the team. Once we’re working in pre-production with Adrian, there is of course a whole heap of back-and-forth and brainstorming until we have something that is close to our initial concept but actually achievable in reality.

Recently, the band has been releasing their videos through InsideOutMusicTV, do you think releasing your videos exclusively through a channel that is not your own has helped to get your music out to people who ordinarily wouldn’t have heard of Caligula’s Horse?

Absolutely. That basically sums up why it’s been so great working with Inside Out. Not only are they supportive creatively and give us the freedom we need, but their well-deserved and well-established fan base gives us a global platform for our music that we hadn’t reached yet.

Watch the clip below

Why call to actions are important on paid social posts

What’s a CTA and why you should use one if you boost your posts on Facebook?

I try not to use too much marketing jargon when I write, but there really are a few things that are just to long to type repetitively, call to action being one of them. call-to-action

A call to action or CTA for short, is what you want your fans and followers to do as a result of your post on social media. You can have a number of call to action responses including; liking your post, commenting on your post or sharing your post. These are the three basic CTA’s that you should aim to receive at least one of from each fan that sees your post.

The kinds of CTA’s you want your fans to do if you pay for your posts on social should be much more significant. As they say you need to spend money to make money. If you’re going to pay to get your product out there, you want a dollar value in return. These kinds of CTA’s should include; watching a video from your YouTube channel (which you may earn money from ads), going to your website to purchase some merchandise, visiting your bandcamp page to buy a new release or posting tour dates with a link to the ticketing company to purchase concert tickets. 

Paying for ads on Facebook can be a matter of trial and error, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You could just start with boosting an engaging post to people who are already your fans to make sure they can see your content.

Think about what you want to boost, are you releasing a new album? Maybe it might be best to try boosting your post to your fans and their (like-minded) friends. It has been discussed that people are more likely to do/buy something if they know their friend endorses it.

Selling tickets to a show in a city you’ve never been to? This is where much more targeted advertising will come in handy. Be very specific to get the best value for money. Click on ‘People you choose through targeting’. It will bring up a box where you can get quite specific. I have created an example for you below. Change the location to cities, and add in a radius. Start typing in the name of the city you’re selling tickets for. Add in an age bracket for your post. If it’s an all ages show make sure you lower the age, and if its 18+ make sure you change the higher age to represent your fan base. You can choose to target a specific gender, i’ve left mine as all in this example. Then add in interests, here you can include bands you sound like to get your post out there to new people who might like your music, or those who know you but don’t follow you on social. Feel free to be as specific as possible, really put your money to work.

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Once you’ve saved this information you can add in how much you want to spend over a specific amount of time and it will show you how many people your post could reach with the amount you’ve chosen. Now the keyword here is COULD. I could pay $4 and 1,900 people could see it, or i could pay $4 and 5,100 people could see it.

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This is why a good CTA is important, you are paying for these people to see your post, but what have you done to make it engaging enough for them to actually click on it?

Also, keep in mind that if you use images in your paid post that it must have less than 20% text on it, or they won’t approve it. Also note that if you are running competitions or giving something away that rules also apply. Here’s a great infographic to see if your Facebook competition/giveaway is legal.