Ricky Garvey

Music | Marketing | Transparency

Category: Marketing (Page 1 of 2)

Marketing Your Band on Instagram

I want to preface this post with two very important thoughts. Basically, you’ll need to consider the following before you dive headfirst and spend valuable time marketing your band on Instagram.

Marketing Your Band on Instagram

And to go on a quick tangent, I’ve shared 3 tips to marketing your band better on Facebook. It’s worth checking out if you’re looking to up your game on the Facebook platform.

But back to Instagram for a minute. You need to ask yourself the following:

What is your goal? – Are you looking to get people to go to your shows? Are you looking to market your latest or upcoming album? Are you looking to find new people to listen to your music? Maybe it’s a combination of all of the above. Whatever it is, you need to prioritize your goals or figure out what exactly it is you want to focus on. This will help determine the tips you utilize the most and where you focus your efforts.

Is this the right place / right time?I wrote about a great quote I heard at Digital Entertainment World Expo in Los Angeles back in January of this year. Here’s the quote from Brian Harris Frank in all its glory.

It’s all about “getting the right message to the right consumer at the right time.”

With that in mind, you need to determine if your fans are even on Instagram. Is this the best place to communicate with current or potential fans? Do a bit of research and analysis. You may find that your fans or potential listeners are hanging out elsewhere.

So let’s assume you have your goal in mind and you know you have plenty of fans and potential fans on Instagram waiting for you to communicate with them. Here are my tips to get the most of using the platform.

Utilize Your Profile URL

Let’s start you off with a simple one. To be fair, it’s simple but EXTREMELY effective.

Too often, I see a band using their profile URL and sending people to their website or different social media channel. And that’s oooookkkkkkkkk. But your fans don’t want to be redirected from site to site. The strategy of tossing people around to your various social channels is not a great one. You end up right where you started.

You need to treat your URL like a step in a call to action. If you have your latest EP being sold on a site like Gumroad, a page on your site, or at the very lest iTunes, you’ll want to use this URL to guide fans and new listeners to a place where they can hear your music.

While links don’t work in photo posts, you can guide a user to your profile and have then click on the URL. It’s a fairly common tactic and most users don’t get confused in this process. In fact, it’s been proven to be a highly effective way to get users to click on a link.

In fact, I use this whenever I write a new blog post, release a podcast, or want to send people to a specific campaign I’m working on. As you’ll see below, I used the URL to send users to my most recent podcast of Everything Rad with Michael Estrada of Be Still Kid. 

Ricky Garvey on Instagram | Marketing Your Band on Instagram

Get Your Fans to Help

This is a fun one. And it’s extremely helpful because fans loving being part of the action. In fact, I think we all have that “look at me, look at me” mindset from time to time.

Designate one day per week to share a photo that a fan has taken of a live show, meet & greet, etc. When doing so, make sure you tag them in the photo you post. They’ll be super excited that you’re sharing their photo and will probably tell their friends to check out their 15 minutes of fame.

I’ve found that the best way to find photos in this category is for your band to come up with a designated hashtag. Keep it unique. And when playing a show or meeting a fan, show some enthusiasm and ask them to hashtag it properly so you can find it.

Don’t Forget About One-on-One Connections

One of the best campaigns I ran is when I set aside 10 minutes a day to search hashtags and leave a comment on people’s photos letting them know I’ve just released an EP they may be interested in. And this can either go super great or turn out extremely ugly. It’s all in how you approach this tip.

The last thing you want to do is write a super generic / spammy comment. Remember, your goal is build an actual connection. Do whatever it takes to make the comment feel genuine. In fact, it should really be genuine!

I made it a point to only comment on 10 photos per day, but comment on photos that I actually found awesome. I left a comment with why I found their post awesome, let them know I released an EP, and gave them a special promo code that I was giving away to musicians only. And I made it extremely easy for them to follow instruction. The link was in my profile. Remember tip #1?

It worked wonders. I converted between 30%-40% of the people. Now, I communicate with them monthly when I send out my monthly email campaign.

It’s all about long-term relationships. And there’s no shortcut to this. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not a huge commitment – especially if you have 3 or 4 guys in your band. Separate the work on a daily basis.

It’s your turn now. What have you done with marketing your band on Instagram? What’s worked wonders for you? Share your tips below!

What The X-Files Reboot Taught Me About Music Marketing

After 14 years of being off the air, The X-Files has returned with a 6 episode mini-season. With the revival came a whole lot of buzz, especially since long-time fans were finally looking to get some questions answered. Questions we’ve had for over a decade!

The X-Files

But I’m not here to talk about the plot of The X-Files. Or what my thoughts were on the new season (especially that finale, am I right!?).

I want to talk about a few lessons you can take away from the reboot – be it the tools they used to create conversation, interviews with cast, or the episodes themselves – that can be applied to your music marketing.

Sound like a stretch? Maybe. But I definitely saw some of the tools they used and immediately thought of the potential for bands to take some key points and apply to their marketing efforts.

Right Place. Right Message. Right Time.

I was attending the Digital Entertainment World Expo in Los Angeles a couple of weeks back. While I was there with my currently employer, I was able to sneak off into a music marketing seminar since the panel held some very fascinating people. The panel discussed the future of music marketing and what artists need to do to stand out. That alone deserves a whole other blog post, and maybe I’ll get to that for the next post.

Brian Harris Frank, co-creator of Beats Music, Executive at Warner Bros. Records, and President of Interlude Music, had this to say:

It’s all about “getting the right message to the right consumer at the right time.”

THIS is what’s missing from music marketing today. In 2016. With all of the avenues we have with interacting with our fans. Such a simple, yet powerful comment.

So how did I come to this from watching The X-Files reboot?

Even before the announcement of the reboot, there seemed to be a resurgence of love for The X-Files. Kumail Nanjiani hosted The X-Files Files, a podcast where he discusses each and every episode, long before he could even dream of a new season. Gillian Anderson was a guest on The Nerdist Podcast and host Chris Hardwick pried into her about the possibility of a new season. From this episode ALONE, #XFiles2015 started trending like crazy on Twitter.

They had the right audience. The right consumer. The right time. All they had to do was deliver the right message. And Chris Carter and his staff of writers and actors did just that with the premier of Season 10 in January 2016.

Just take a look at Google Trends and their stats showing how “The X-Files” trended over the last 2 years. NOW was the time to take action.

The X-Files Google Trends

Know Your Audience

The act of “knowing your customer” is one that we hear all the time. But we usually use it to make sure we’re attracting the right customers and understanding their needs. This is all fantastic. But I want to know my customer in terms of understanding where they interact.

I’ve “live-tweeted” a few events in my life. Concerts. The Grammys. Political Debates. So of course I tweeted about the new season and live-tweeted the show as it was happening. (I also live-texted almost every episode with my buddy Adam Baxter. What’s up Adam!) The X-Files and Fox understand that their fans are ecstatic about the new season. They didn’t disappoint when it came to their interaction with fans on Twitter.

The X-Files Twitter Account

Look at that. Look at that in all of its glory. THAT is how you interact with fans. They knew their audience.

How are you interacting with your fans? Do you know which platform they engage with most frequently? Are they on Twitter talking about the latest hip show in LA? Can you find a way to engage with potential new listeners that way?

Are they tweeting during your set? Can you respond like The X-Files did and create something your fans will never forget?

It’s Ok To NOT Take Yourself So Seriously

Season 10 – Episode 3. Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster. Written by Darin Morgan. Darin wrote some of the most classic X-File episodes – Humbug. Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose. Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space.’

Filled with tons of Easter Eggs – both sincere and hilarious – ‘Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster’ is a classic Darin Morgan episode filled with The X-Files humor we’ve all grown to love.

One scene that sticks out to me is when Mulder is sitting against a grave stone and his phone rings. It just so happens to be the theme to the show! I laughed and couldn’t believe they were actually doing that. A show that is known for such seriousness was making fun of themselves and having a laugh. I felt connected even more because of this silly moment.

And I got to thinking. No matter how serious your band is and how serious its theme may be, there’s always room for personality and humor. So don’t be afraid to show this in your online presence.

Have some fun behind-the-scenes video of you in the studio? You’re not too serious to avoid putting this up. Showing your personality helps build the connection.


Paying Attention to Social Media Comments

I was recently featured in The Network Journal’s article titled “You Know Those Comments On Your Social Media Pages? Pay Attention to Them.” The article discusses the importance and value of reading social media comments on sites such as Yelp, Facebook, or even Twitter.

Social Media Comments

Social Media Comments

Whether a comment is good or negative, you have an extremely important opportunity to improve the image of your brand.

I’ve worked with clients that feel that ignoring or deleting negative comments is the best route to take. This can’t be further from the truth! As I told The Network Journal:

“If you fail to pay attention to comments, you’re missing two huge opportunities. 1. You’re missing the chance to communicate with people who have had a negative experience with your brand…” and  2. You’re missing the opportunity to thank someone for the positive feedback. If someone is openly saying something positive about your brand, they are now a brand ambassador…” 

VP of Growth for MailBird.com, Jason Ephriam, puts it like this:

“There is a lot of benefit you have by working with positive comments. It can add legitimacy and awareness to your brand. However, it’s the negative comments that are often the real diamonds in the rough.”

A diamond in the rough. I LOVE that wording.

Since when did business owners fear criticism? Constructive or not (and we know the internet tends to avoid constructive criticism and go straight for harsh words), business owners have a huge opportunity here to have the upper hand.

Publicly apologizing to a negative reviewer sounds like it’s hard. That’s because it is. It can really humble you. But when a person considering going to your place of business sees the apology and the way you handled the situation, you’re going to look like a winner.

As I told The Network Journal:

“Be careful how you respond. “When it comes to positive comments, respond with some personality. If you’re responding to a negative experience, take the time to communicate a sincere apology. Invite the individual to give you another chance–on your dime.”

Have you ever written a negative review and gotten a response from the business? I hope their response left you confident enough to give them a second chance. If not, they’re missing out on a huge opportunity that could be costing them money.

Share your experience below!

Marketing Your Band Better On Facebook

I’m often approached by musicians and artists who want to know how to make the best of their Facebook presence. And they want to do so with minimal effort. After all, their focus is on creating music, not being a marketer. I personally believe that all musicians MUST be marketers in equal fashion, but until this happens, here are 3 techniques in marketing your band on Facebook

Marketing Your Band On Facebook

Utilize Your Call to Action

As of early in 2015, Facebook now allows you to utilize a “Call-to-Action” button on the top of your page. This is perfect for promoting your new album, pointing fans to a new video you’ve just released, or creating any easy-to-use contact/booking button for promotors/venues to get in touch with the right person. There are numerous call-to-action button options, but these are the 3 I’d personally stick with, considering they fit the “band” business model.

Marketing Your Band On Facebook

Above, you’ll notice that Facebook will prompt you to set up your call to action. While many fans of other industries don’t make business pages a destination (instead they rely on content in their news feed), I find that artists and musicians are different. I know I find myself curious to see what’s going on with a specific band. Because of this, these call to actions are even more important.

Many users are going to be searching on mobile. The call to action is a little more prominent on a mobile device (see below). Once again, this makes this button even more valuable when you want to point your fans in the direction of a new album, new video, or trying to get booking through your page.

Marketing Your Band On Facebook - Little Climbers

The best part? Facebook will report how your call to action button is performing in their reporting tools.

Create a Content Calendar

I live off my to-do list. If I didn’t have one, I would be helpless. It’s not that I’m lazy. It’s that I need something in front of me telling me what needs to be done. My brain tends to go in a million different directions, making it hard for me to naturally be able to prioritize. A content calendar is a to-do list for all of your Social Media activities.

Content calendars don’t need to be fancy. They don’t need to be laid out in an excel spreadsheet like you’d find upon searching for the phrase “content calendar examples.”


The above example is a great start for your band, although your band is going to want to post on weekends as well. When you fill this out, think to yourself: What topics do I want to talk about? How often do I want to blog about the latest news regarding the band?

For example, Mondays could be the day you give a special fan a shoutout. Tuesdays could be a day where you re-purpose old content (music videos, live fan videos, interviews). Wednesday could be a day you share a new album that’s inspiring you, where you ask your audience what they think of the new release. Thursday’s could be a #ThrowbackThursday post where you post early photos of the band. Do your followers have any photos they can share? Have them comment and share their photo as well. Engagement will help spread your post, exposing your content (and your band!) to a new audience.

You’ll also have content that comes up “on the fly.” These include shows you want to promote, new release information, etc. These can fit in as soon as the info comes out. The focus of a content calendar is to fill in those gaps so you have a consistent flow of content coming out to remind your fans that your active and to keep your band top of mind. This is key in marketing your band on Facebook.

Use Custom Audiences to Promote

Does your band have a budget? I’m not talking about a huge budget by any means, although if you had a huge budget you’re in good shape with this tip. Even a few bucks on Facebook can go a long way. But before you start promoting your Facebook content to the entire population of Facebook, you’ll want to consider creating Custom Audiences.

So what are Custom Audiences?

When you create an Facebook Ads account for your band, you’ll have the option to create audiences. When you’re in your Ads Manager, click on “Tools – Audiences.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 7.34.01 PM

When you click into the audiences tab, you’ll have the option to create audiences based on an extremely impressive set of criteria. Are you looking to promote a specific show in Riverside, CA? No need to target people in Chicago then! Create an audience for people who live in Riverside, CA and include up to a 25 miles radius. This will ensure that your limited budget is going to promoting an event to qualified and potential attendees.

How about if you want to promote your latest album? Go ahead and create an ad, but let’s talk about who you want to target it to. You can go ahead and choose your demographic. Think about someone who is extremely likely to purchase your album. What’s their age? Sex? Location? You’ll even have the ability to target them based on your current fan base (and friends of fans). Does your band pride itself in the fact that you can say “If you love ‘band x’ you’ll dig our new album”? Then go ahead and target fans of that particular band. Sound like it’s cheating? No, it’s not! These tools are essential in marketing your band on Facebook EFFECTIVELY. Chances are, those bands you look up that are doing big things are utilizing these tools.

For more information on Custom Audiences, I’m a HUGE fan of what’s going on over at AdEspresso. They put together some great guides that go into the nitty gritty of creating ads and custom audiences. I highly encourage you to check out the following: The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Custom Audiences

I’m currently working on a longer ebook which will include more details on the above as well as a handful of other techniques to make the most of marketing your band on Facebook.

What has worked for you? Feel free to share your comments below!

Know anyone in a band that could use these tips? Feel free to share with the social icons below.

Business News Daily Feature – 10 Facebook Marketing Mistakes You Need to Stop Making

I was featured in an article published by Business News Daily titled 10 Facebook Marketing Mistakes You Need to Stop Making. The article discusses the fact that even most marketers understand the ins and outs of using Facebook on a personal level but when it comes to using the platform to market their brand, mistakes are made. And they’re made frequently.

Read the full article here – 10 Facebook Marketing Mistakes You Need to Stop Making

Facebook Marketing Mistakes

Credit: GoingTo/Shutterstock

The article summarizes the top 10 responses from a wide variety of individuals. I was really impressed with the depth of knowledge displayed by the other marketers that were featured and interviewed.

The Largest Facebook Marketing Mistakes

1. Thinking It’s OK To Buy Likes. After all, the number of likes your page has is a total vanity metric! What’s important is how well your page is converting fans into customers.

2. Posting Inconsistently. What a difference this makes! Studies have shown that Facebook’s algorithm picks up on the frequency of your posts. The more consistent you are, the more your posts will be seen by fans in their news feed. Make a content calendar and stick to it.

3. Targeting the Wrong Audience. If you have a budget to promote your content on Facebook, don’t make the mistake of targeting the wrong people. Facebook is great at allowing you to target individuals based on detailed demographics. Do you have a customer list? Upload their emails into Facebook and set an objective to upsell current customers. Looking to bring in new customers? Create lookalike audiences based off your current customers. Make sure you put that budget to good use.

Lessons From Purple Cow – A Decade Later

It’s been well over a decade since Seth Godin published Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable. I decided to give it a read again too see how relevant the lessons remain.

Seth Godin Purple Cow

Seth Godin’s Purple Cow

For those of you who may be out of the loop (for whatever strange reason), Seth Godin is an extremely respected author, marketer, and public speaker. He is known for books such as Purple Cow, All Marketers are Liars, and The Dip. AdPage also awarded Godin with the number one marketing blog out of the nearly 1000 tracked.

So what is Purple Cow all about?

Godin discusses his idea that we’ve reached a point where we can no longer market directly to the masses. In addition to offering a product in a remarkable way, marketing must play a role in offering and creating a truly remarkable product.

So what do we have left? We need to stop treating our marketing departments as simple advertising units and start treating them like innovators.

Alternative methods aren’t a fun novelty any longer. In fact, they’re all we’ve got left. The fact remains – consumers have more available choices and much less available time. Because of this, traditional marketing like television and print advertising is no longer effective.

The old system consisted of a making a profit, buying ads, widening distribution channels, selling more, and continuing this cycle. It worked years ago. As of 2003 (and definitely in 2015), it no longer works.

Why do so many businesses fail? They try to make a product for everybody. This leads to advertising to anyone and everyone. When you were the first company to introduce aspirin, this worked. Today, it doesn’t. Marketing for the sake of marketing is one of the most unhealthy things a business can do.

So what is the biggest take away from the book?

Today, more than ever, we’re seeing successful businesses understand the importance of introducing marketing into the development stages. Marketing needs to be the act of inventing the product. Marketing needs to be involved in designing it. Marketing needs to be there when the producing it. A Purple Cow company must be run by a marketer.

If you’re part of a marketing department and want your company to understand your need to be more than an advertising unit making pretty pictures, you need to purchase them this book. It could make your job a whole lot easier.

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