There isn't necessarily a right or a wrong way to promote a music website, especially when it comes to what tactics or strategies to use to draw attention to it.
Perhaps from an entrepreneurial or moral standpoint, there is a right way. However, that largely depends on your goals.
What are your goals?
Is your website for a specific audience, or is it just for you? Are you looking for ways to add value to the world, or do you just want to make money? Are you building an artist website, or are you creating a website about industry trends?
These and other questions must be addressed if you want to successfully market a website. Keep in mind; you have to be ruthlessly honest with yourself if you want to find your true motivation.
Many people start a website without really thinking about what their end goal is. This makes it very hard to promote, because your overall objective is unclear. It's like setting to sea without an end destination in mind.
What is your strategy?
Once you've discerned your goals, you can begin to form your strategy.
I'm a freelance writer by day, and as such, I advise many companies to develop a content strategy (i.e. blogging, podcasting, video show, etc.) for their website, because it helps them to build a relationship with their audience, which ultimately builds trust and credibility too.
However, there are definitely times when content isn't particularly applicable to a business. For example, in Alberta, Canada - where I live - the online marketing side of things hasn't really taken off. This is because the traditional marketing approaches (i.e. billboards, newspapers, TV commercials, etc.) are working just fine for business in this area. They don't have to think about online marketing; at least not at this stage.
While your inclination may be to appeal to a global audience, you should begin by considering who you can help locally. Consider how your website fits into the ecosystem of your locality and if it matters to the people in the community or not. After all, if you can't build relationships and promote your website locally, what makes you think it will take off globally?
Your website is not for everybody. If it is, it's a sure sign that you're doing something wrong.
How will you promote it?
Having given some thought to your goals as wells as your strategy, I'm sure you're eager to get to the good part; tactics!
Again, it's hard for me to ascertain what will work for you, because you're the one that has to think about who your audience is, why they're going to come to your website, and why they're going to keep coming back.
With that disclaimer out of the way, here are several tactics you can tailor to your own website promotion activities:
- Print materials, physical products and stationery: we may be in the digital age, but that's no reason to limit your marketing entirely to the internet. Don't underestimate the value of things that people keep or hold onto: pens, envelopes, books, CDs, stickers, guitar picks, and so on. Not only will these items get you traffic, you might even get repeat impressions or new visitors from others who notice your brand.
- Social media: ongoing social media campaigns are mostly a moot point unless you have content. However, even without content, you can at least let your friends know about your website on social networks.
- Advertising: there are a variety of different kinds of advertising, both paid and free. Paid advertising obviously requires some kind of budget, and usually some experimentation too. If you want control over how much you spend on a daily basis, then try Facebook, YouTube, or Google ads. Don't forget; you can also look into entertainment magazines, community newsletters or local publications too.
Can you think of any other ways to promote your website? Jot them down, and keep adding to your list as you learn about more marketing methods.
Photo credit: Ben K Adams, on Flickr