Guest Post: Nothing Else Matters

Aaron Zimmer is making a name for himself in NYC and across the country not only for his brand of pop/rock, but also for his engaging one-man live show that includes a multitude of instruments, percussion and loops.

Through my partnership with Bandpage Experiences, Diana in Chicago commissioned me to record her all time favorite song, “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica. The premise is simple: You pick the song, I’ll arrange and record my rendition of it at my little studio here in Brooklyn. I’m also doing custom cover art for all of the songs too, which is fun.

Recording cover songs for my friends and fans is great for lots of reasons. First, I get to spend the day (or 2) working on music that might not necessarily be in my wheel house. Its good exercise and practice for me as an artist. And, you get a brand new version of a song you already love. Most of all though, I get to work one-on-one with other music lovers to create something that’s one-of-a-kind.

Never in a million years would I have considered recording my own version of a Metallica song. Because of Bandpage’s “Experience” platform and Diana’s input, I got the opportunity. And, my version didn’t come out too bad, I hope!

More info about my experiences can be found here.

Intimate Shows and 2 Reasons Why They Work

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We just witnessed Wild Child’s successful intimate show Experience in Chicago, which was one of the band’s sold-out tour stops. Based on the popular demand, Wild Child decided to supplement the tour with a last-minute show at a small, secret venue, including a special meet and greet with the band after the show.

By all accounts, this was a hit (see image above of the happy fans post-show).

The BandPage team has also been bringing in artists for small private shows at our office. Lia Rose and Cello Joe were recently featured during our team gatherings.

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Two great opportunities for bands outside of the regular tour circuit and they work well because they offer direct connections.

1. Last-minute secret shows target superfans that missed out on tickets to your sold-out shows.

2. In-person shows for companies and corporations offer win-win situations, culture and team building for companies, but the chance to build direct relationships for you with both old and new fans.

The best part? Both of these can easily be brokered by setting up Experiences on BandPage. If you’re interested in joining the beta, please let us know!

CMA Fest Contests – with Sara Evans & Corey Smith

While BandPage Experiences is clearly a great platform for you to engage with fans, artists have been using it to host a number of outstanding contests around the Country Music Awards Music Festival.

Sara Evans

Country music star Sara Evans seamlessly used Experiences to manage the logistics of her singing contest.  The lucky winner was rewarded with a flight to Nashville to perform on stage with Sara at the CMA Music Festival. Sara’s team used BandPage Experiences to gather video submissions from contestants around the nation. The top five finalists were voted on by Sara’s fan club.

Hundreds of thousands of people viewed the campaign, which generated thousands of social actions including likes, shares and comments.

Winner Lauren Elise from Florida is pictured below from her on-stage performance last week with Sara at her CMA Fan Club Party. This Experience was also filmed and will be soon featured on AXS TV on the ‘Your Country’ show, reaching millions of homes across the US.

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Corey Smith

Fellow CMA performer Corey Smith also used BandPage Experiences to collect submissions for an hour-long song-writing clinic. Corey received close to 100 submissions in less than two weeks. The three lucky winners, Chae Godwin, Tyler Giles, and Riley Green, were chosen by Corey to work with him on perfecting their song-writing skills.

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We’re stoked to see other creative ways artists can use BandPage Experiences. If you have specific ideas you’d like to share with us, please get in touch.

YouTube Playbook Guide (The Cliffs Notes)

Last week YouTube was nice enough to release a 40 page “creators guide” for musicians advising them on the best ways to leverage YouTube to build a loyal and engaged fan base.  In case you don’t have the time or energy to dig through all 40 pages we were kind enough to create our own bulleted list of what we considered to be some key takeaways.  For those of you who want to dig a little deeper, you can check out the rest of the guide here.  Enjoy!

Optimize for Better Discovery

1. Get Your Metadata Working for You:  First things first, don’t forget to lead with the song title, artist name [your name] and album title in the title of your video.  And be sure to include heavily searched terms as well.  If you have a famous guests on the song, be sure to include their name.  If you cover a song, be sure to include the name of the artist whose song you covered.  Remember, most people find music channels through search results, so optimizing your videos for discovery is key.

2. Tag Tag Tag: Tag as many terms that are relevant to your video as you can.  Use both general and specific key words.

3. Use An Intriguing Thumbnail:  Be sure to choose a thumbnail that is compelling.  You want people to want to know what is happening in your video so choose something that invites curiosity.

4. Descriptive Description: Take advantage of the real estate under video description to include calls to action like “click to buy here” or “view new video here.”  Be sure to include new album release date, up coming concert dates, links to socials, digital store, etc.

5. Take Advantage of Annotations: Annotations have a few important uses.  First, you can add annotations to your older videos to direct fans to your newest video.  Or you can add an annotation to a new video encouraging fans to check out your other videos so they can get to know you as an artists better.  On top of that, you can use annotations to promote your licensed merchandize directly in your videos.  Just don’t forget to leverage your top performing videos!

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6. Choose a Layout that Meets Your Needs: A single channel layout makes it easy for you to target announcements to specific groups of fans and encourage fans to help shape your content.   A single channel layout will include all of your curated content, live performances and official videos on a single channel.  A multi-channel layout allows you to separate your content into different channels.  You can upload official music videos onto your main channel and your favorite music, live performances, funny videos, etc to a different one.  This makes it easy for your fans to find exactly what they are looking for.

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Releasing an Album or Song

7. Not One but TWO Videos:  If you are going to use YouTube to release a new song, they highly recommend you create both a lyric and an official music video.  Lyric videos are easier to make and will help build buzz for when you do drop your official music video.  Lyric videos also help your fans connect with your music by getting them more acquainted with your message and words.  For many people, lyrics can make or break a song.

8. Leverage the Community: Get your fans to particpate in this intimate process with you.  Ask them for their feedback and thoughts on your song. Enourage them to comment, share and subscribe to your channel.  You can even ask them to create re-mixes or covers of your song and share them with you.

9. Use Data: Be sure to pay close attention to the regions that are driving the most traffic to your channel.  Examine your traffic sources.  Are there any specific blogs or sites that are driving a significant amount of traffic?   Use this data to help determine where to hold live events, interviews, reach out to the local press, etc.

Engage With Your Fans

10. Exclusive Perks: A great way to keep your fans engaged is to offer them exclusive perks.  Give your fans and subscribers first crack at new tracks, behind-the-scenes video clips or even concert tickets.  Leverage  annotations and/or your video descriptions to help promote them.

11. Q&A: YouTube recommends dedicating one day a month to holding a live Q&A or Google Hangout session with your fans.   Take questions, talk about new projects you’re working on and just hang out.   Your fans will appreciate the opportunity to spend quality time with you and you’ll continue to gain new YouTube followers in the process.  A win-win.

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Tip of the week: “Gating” tracks on your BandPage Profile

At BandPage not only are we dedicated to helping you share your music, tour dates, photos and videos with your fans but we are also dedicated to helping you make new ones.  Which is exactly what our “gating” features are meant to do.  Gating simply refers to asking a fan to take an action in order to gain access to a certain piece of content.  This action could range anywhere from “liking” your page, joining your email list or even tweeting about your new video.  In exchange for this action, a fan is given exclusive access to exclusive content like a song, video or photo.  Gating features are a great way for you to increase your number of page “likes,” help spread the word about a new song or video or gain new email addresses for your email list.  We do, however recommend being strategic when it comes to utilizing gating features.  If you are a developing artists hoping to build a fan base asking someone to “like” your page or give you their email address in exchange for the ability to stream a song may be counter-productive.  Instead, consider letting potential fans listen to your music for free.  If they like what they hear and want to own the mp3, than asking them for a page “like” or an email address in exchange for a free mp3 isn’t such too much of a stretch.  If you are an artist who has an established fan-base than you have room to be a bit more liberal with your gating.  You know fans are going to be excited to check out a new song or video so leveraging that excitement to help spread the word is a no-brainer.  Fans will have no problem tweeting or liking your page to access the new content which only helps grow your social reach.  Gating is a powerful feature, so use it wisely and experiment to see what works best for you.

In case you’ve been out of the “gating” game for awhile or just new to it, below is a quick refresher on how to set up “Like to listen”, “Like to download”, “Tweet to download”, and “Join Mailing list to download”.  Enjoy!

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Tip of the week: How to Install your BandPage App to your Facebook Page

A few months ago we made some changes to the BandPage editor and updated the process by which you get your BandPage App live on your official Facebook page.  Below is a quick overview of how to install your BandPage Profile to your Facebook Page so you can showcase your music, tour dates, photos and videos to the world.

Step 1:  Make sure that all of your BandPage content is up to date and ready to share! Once you have signed into www.BandPage.com and selected the Facebook Page you would like to edit you will be defaulted into the “Create Your Profile” tab.  Your Profile tab is where you go to manage all of your important content such as your music tracks, tour dates, shows, videos, etc.   It’s important to make sure your content is always up-to-date so fans are always seeing your the right information .  Let our new Profile Strength Bar be your guide.

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