Is it possible to replace live performance with SEO to bring in a new audience? Folkswitch aims to find out
Photographers and musicians have something in common. On the bright side, it’s easier than ever to get your work before an appreciative audience. The downfall is that people within that audience are less likely than ever to actually purchase something. Why purchase something you can already enjoy for free?
But first you have to find your audience, which is where Folkswitch comes in.
A confession … Folkswitch is a Green Man Creative project.
We are strictly a recording band. Mainly we take our lyrics from the romantic poets, and set them to music. We love poetry, love the romantic poets, and they’ve already said what we’re thinking, but in a much more lyrical way than we ever could.
There’s a hidden SEO advantage in this. There’a a fair amount of people looking for these poems online, and competition for these search terms aren’t overly fierce. Second, videos related to these poems rank very highly as well.
So it becomes an SEO project. If we get that rightt, we deliver an audience that already is familiar with the lyrics, and already like them. That to me is a better way to expose people to your music than trying to be heard playing in clubs to a crowd of inebriates whose main reason for being there is to get laid.
There are a variety of options available for selling your music online now. We opted for Bandcamp because it’s versatile. Other services get your music everywhere, from iTunes to Amazon, available as downloads or CDs. Bandcamp simply sells your music from their site, including CDs and merchandise if you have that available.
They also have a fairly vibrant community of DIY musicians, as well as the lowfi movement, where professional sound quality isn’t an issue.
You can do a lot yourself when recording now, but mastering for CDs is something best left to pros. And that’s expensive. The drawback with having your music on iTunes and other services is once it’s up, you don’t get to go back and fix things. So for now, Bandcamp is our best choice. It also allows customization for your pages, which allows you to match the look and style of our main site.
Folkswitch’s music is an acquired taste, admittedly. Our taste in music leans towards the avant garde, but that fits in with the demographics of people who like romantic poets. It also allows us to be more creative with videos, which lean towards horror at times. As such it also connects with my main Gothic Curiosity Cabinet blog, which brings in about a quarter million visitors a year, of which a substantial percentage might be interested in the music.
Organic search is much more valuable, and when it starts to work, more effective than social media. But particularly early on, social media can be valuable for getting exposure. In particular, video seems to be the medium that works best, both with Facebook and in particular, YouTube. So we’re developing a presence there as well, using the same graphics developed for the site itself.
When you do it right, each element of your presentation serves multiple functions. The important thing to remember when creating graphics is do it at full resolution. Because you never know what usage might come up later. It’s easy to make graphics smaller, but damned impossible to make them larger without sacrificing quality.
Like any artistic pursuit, you want the marketing to be as seamless as possible, so you can put your time and effort into creating, which is what you love most anyway.
So the experiment is on. Traffic is starting to trickle in via Google, we had a busy Christmas season with our videos, and were exposed to more people in a single month than we would have through live performances. Where it goes remains to be seen.
One thing is certain though. It’s always going to be loud around here.
The main site can be found at www.folkswitch.com
Our Bandcamp is www.folkswitch.bandcamp.com