Content marketing in music

Does content marketing work when promoting a band or an artist? During almost two years I’ve been playing around with content marketing on this homepage to promote my death/doom metal band Soliloquium. It’s been a combination of creating search engine friendly text content and using social media promotion on platforms like Facebook, YouTube, SoundCloud and forums. Far from the traditionally successful way to promote music online, these are my learnings.

Content marketing in music

Generally, the most effective content marketing in music is done through videos, images and of course; the music itself. That’s why I wanted to try a different path. I started out writing articles like the 10 essential death/doom metal bands, 10 best Katatonia songs, and 50 best Swedish death metal bands, in hopes of ranking for the terms. These were originally intended to draw visitors through Google searches rather than social media.

Just like most articles about the topic suggests, this type of information content for Google search don’t work very well for music. People just don’t have the tendency to search for “cool doom metal bands” or “atmospheric sludge” like they search for in other, more information-heavy topics. The search behavior is simply different and not as fitting for traditional search engine optimization (SEO). Regardless, I managed to rack up a decent rank for death/doom metal due to extensive content on the topic.

My problem: death/doom metal page or Soliloquium band page?

The problem is that Google prefer homepages that focus on one theme. And when it comes down to it; is deathdoom.com a page about the band Soliloquium or death/doom metal music? Can it really merge into one concept that really ranks high on Google? Death/doom metal is also a very tight topic with few searches. What happens if I want to rebrand the band to simply “doom metal” and go for the bigger search volumes? Many questions. Few answers.

A bunch of decently performing articles like top lists about the best songs by a related band became the best strategy. It’s an ineffecient grind, but at least these articles draw a few hundred visitors here and there. It would never be worth the workload in a business situation.

Digital content marketing in music

Social media as a driver to the homepage

Things started taking off a bit when I started sharing some posts on Facebook. The underground metal landscape on Facebook is built on niché groups that don’t mind when you share your content. It took a while to stop being shy about it, but sharing an extensive top 10 best Katatonia songs article in a Katatonia group work every time. It creates discussion and draws visitors to the site. No one really cared that I was using content marketing to promote my band.

The Soliloquium Facebook page itself also draws a fair share of interest when I share the articles. However, it’s nowhere near creating value worth the writing effort. Facebook groups have been the single best traffic driver. This is especially true when my content goes hands in hand with the group theme. Post “10 essential death/doom metal albums” in a group about the music genre, and you can be sure that there will be actions and opinions.

My tips for posting your music content in Facebook groups:

  • Fit in with the group’s scope
  • Provide value
  • Have a nice looking thumbnail and catchy copywriting
  • Start discussions
  • Answer questions and follow up on recommendations
  • Befriend fans and fellow musicians in your genre

Total and organic visitors over time

What about the fruit of my labour? These lines display my total and organic visitors month by month. Organic visitors are “deserved” visitors that find my articles on search engines. Most of the other traffic that contributes to the total traffic above are visitors from social media and links. I’ve been spreading links around quite heavily on forums and music pages and it has a marginal effect at best.

Getting listeners from the homepage to Bandcamp

Deathdoom.com conversion rate

My conversion rate from the homepage to Bandcamp is around 3 percent. With that in mind, 2000 unique visitors per month isn’t much. 60 visitors to Bandcamp per month doesn’t amount to much, especially when a majority of them probably don’t listen to the music or download anything. Maybe I could make an actual dent with 20000 unique visitors, but that’s more than most staffed metal news outlets and review sites.

Is it worth having a homepage filled with informative music content for a band?

The answer is, not really. If I would’ve created this much quality content for something people actually search for, the answer would’ve been another. It’s better to focus on music content and video content related to the band or the music style. If it’s good, it naturally gets viewed on YouTube. Use the homepage as a landing page instead, promoting the latest release on Bandcamp, Spotify and wherever.

At this stage, I think I will focus a bit more on blog content. It’s highly shareable on social media in the short term, hopefully searchable through Google as well. I hope I will be able to fall back on the 2000 unique visitors per month for a while. At least that means some recognition for Soliloquium, even if they don’t go all the way to Bandcamp.

Content marketing in music

My advice would to be to scrap homepage content and SEO in favor of music content. Soliloquium’s big disadvantage is not rehearsing and playing live. With a full, active band you have the opportunity to make plenty of interesting content, such as:

  • Exclusive behind the scenes videos
  • Live versions
  • Q&A’s
  • Rehearsal versions
  • Song playthroughs

Music content pieces that I love

I enjoy reading interviews and reviews a lot, but there are other ways to elaborate on your music as well. This Klimt 1918 background story gave their excellent “Sentimentale Jugend” album an extra push. I tried my hand at doing something similar in a smaller scale on this site with my album background stories. Soliloquium is nowhere near as exciting as Klimt 1918. But it’s still something that provides extra value for the reader, which is essential in content marketing.

Did you learn anything? Got any music content marketing tips?

Did this teach you anything about content marketing in music? Am I missing out on something good that I should use in my content? Please comment!

Read more:

Promoting your music on Bandcamp ->
Promoting your music on Facebook ->
Promoting your music on SoundCloud ->
Promoting your music on YouTube ->
Content marketing in music ->

SEO for musicians ->
Soliloquium, my death/doom metal band ->