5 Ways Your Band Can Benefit From A Mobile App
Using an app allows all your fans get your message in the same way, every time, reinforcing your brand with very little effort

By Eric de Fontenay (Founder & Publisher) [10-26-2017]

Music and technology have always gone hand in hand. From the first electric guitar to the buzz created by Radiohead streaming their album Kid A in the 00's, technology has been there guiding new sounds and innovation in the music industry. The improvements in mobile technology have also had their part to play. Spotify, Amazon Music and iTunes have all made music much more readily available, with bands quickly discovering that mobile phones have other benefits besides chatting to people, particularly when it comes to getting word out there and marketing your band. Here are a few ways that you can benefit from an app to increase exposure today.

Video Uploads

It's an exciting time to be a musician. Marketing yourself no longer requires all the worry of getting a record label to promote your band. Instead, many are choosing to upload videos to social media sites such as YouTube. If you're lucky and put the effort it may well lead to success, but you'll need to add other marketing methods into the mix. If you don't believe us, ask one of the most famous "discovered" stars of YouTube, Justin Bieber. While you might not be a fan of his music, you can't doubt his efforts to be discovered. His raw talent was found through his YouTube channel when he was aged just 12 by talent manager Scooter Braun after filming a cover of Ne-Yo's "So Sick." You have to bear in mind, though, that while video streaming sites are handy to showcase your brand, the sheer number of viewers make it difficult to stand out. On YouTube, 100 hours of video content is posted to the site every minute (Youtube.com, 2017). What this means is you'll have to utilise other options for success. One of these options is an app.

You might think that apps are there for discount codes and social media, and you're right, they can be used for that, but they're also great for sharing your videos. They're also easily accessed on Apple and Google Play Store. In fact, there are over 100 billion app downloads between the two platforms annually (Medium.com, 2017), meaning that you've got a huge potential for followers right there. With such a huge number of people to reach, you'd be mad not to take advantage of the technology available at your fingertips. Your app users can also share these videos with each other using social media giving extra exposure to you guys without having to lift a finger. Pretty nifty, right?

Audio Streaming

Apps reach a level of interactivity not available with any other medium. Your fans can engage with you in real time and if they're new to your sound can check out your previous back catalogue using audio streaming or added downloads, meaning you can convert casual fans into die-hard supporters overnight. Music streaming is also the biggest revenue stream for many of the big guns. Sales of physical copies of albums has fallen with many preferring the option to download individual songs instead of purchasing a whole album. That's without mentioning the bulkiness of CDs when you're trying to store them. In short, you NEED to stream your songs to get noticed. How you do it, is up to you.

While some streaming platforms understand the importance of branding, others don't allow you to personalise your streaming profile, which means any opportunity to cement your brand and its message is lost. However, this is not the case with a mobile app. You can pull through all your graphics, media and photos from your website and social media sites for a coordinated look across all platforms. This is vital for a band trying to get discovered. Think of some of the biggest bands or artists you know. Chances are they will have a logo or specific typeface so you can differentiate them from other artists. They'll also probably have photos of gigs they've played to highlight what sort of band they are. Glance at Metallica's Facebook page to get an idea. Now compare to their mobile app. You'll see that imagery is identical, with key messages such as their upcoming tour and logo prominently displayed. This enables them to be quickly recognised by potential fans while giving a feel for what they are all about. A win-win.

Your Very Own Merch Store

Something Metallica do very well is sell merch. Well, they have been around for over 35 years, so they've got a bit of experience! But even those beginning their musical discovery can appreciate the importance of selling merchandise - it's a way of generating extra income for your band which comes in handy when you need to pay for petrol to travel to gigs or buy new equipment.

While a merch table at your gigs is great for extra sales (and you can use your people skills to gain fans) we can't tell you how important it is to sell your stuff online too to boost sales. Most apps include the ability to create an m-commerce store so you can add all your shirts, hats and stickers to generate extra income. Don't scrimp on the customer service, though. Assign a member of the band to oversee mobile orders and send them out in a realistic timescale to avoid angry customers. They should also be a point of contact in case customers have any queries about products. You'll look like a professional setup and build a reputation for reliability, something which money can't buy. Consider, too, integration with social media so those on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages can find a link to your goodies for added sales boosts.

Manage Your Social Media

Yep, we said earlier you can use apps for communication, but did you know you can manage them all at the same time from one place? Having your own app means you can write one message to your fans and at the click of the button share it on all your social media platforms at once. Talk about a time saver!

But what about music and videos? Well, using your own band app is a great way of integrating Facebook and Twitter into your social media strategy and combining them with Soundcloud and Vimeo, making it easier to keep your online presence up.

All this adds up to brand consistency. While big businesses rely on social media assistants and pages and pages of "house style" guidelines to make sure that their key messages are written in a set way across all platforms, chances are it's not the way you operate. Using an app allows all your fans get your message in the same way, every time, reinforcing your brand with very little effort. This can be handy if you're trying to get a hashtag out there for your followers to use to grow brand recognition outside of your immediate following.

If you do decide to use hashtags, make sure that they're relevant to your band and don't include anything that might confuse you with your competitors. Instagram is a hot bed of music fans, with them spending 42% more than other social media users when purchasing music online. Make sure to take advantage of this by including Instagram in your social media strategy.

Create An App Experience

XX, Bjork and Lady Gaga have all utilised apps to grow their fanbase and promote their music in the mobile age. The reason their apps have been so successful is their skill in creating an immersive app 'experience' to keep their fans entertained and engaged with their brand. These apps incorporate all the best elements of interactivity from music and video streaming to social media marketing to promote products and gigs to increase revenue. By emulating the successes of those that have already mastered app marketing, you can be sure of increasing your customer service skills as well as adding extra fans. You don't even have to be a whizz at coding. Most apps nowadays come pre-packaged, so it's just a case of selecting the elements you would like to use and away you go. Be sure to get in on the app game now to increase band exposure that will grow with you as you develop as artists to get a head start against all your competitors, today.

This is a guest article by AppInstitute, dubbed the 'WordPress for mobile apps'. Their cloud-based service aims to revolutionise the app market by providing a platform that allows businesses and bands with little to no prior technical knowledge to create their own app.

Source: http://www.musicdish.com/mag/?id=13966

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