I am currently writing this whilst listening to my favourite soca artist, “Skinny Fabulous”. I am here getting so hyped up and I decided to go check out his website to learn more about him and get info on upcoming concert dates when I quickly realized, he has no website. Matter of fact, there is barely any info about him online. I started searching for other Caribbean artistes and it’s a bigger problem than I initially thought.
It’s 2020 and Caribbean artistes need to do better!
Here are 5 reasons why Caribbean music artistes must learn digital marketing skills or at least have a team that understands and is capable of building their digital presence.
- Create your digital hub
- More marketing control
- Email lists for direct communication
- Make it easy for the labels
- More revenue streams
Create Your Digital Hub
This is by far the most important point! As an artiste, it is imperative you have a place where all of your information is. I don’t buy that true fans will scour all of your social media posts to find out info on you, as basic as where your next concert will be.
A good artist website should have their bio, a well put together gallery, have visual appeal, tour dates, booking & contact info, links to purchase or listen to your music, links to your social and if you are selling merch or anything else, your very own shopping cart.
I did a few quick checks and artistes like Bunji Garlin, Iwer George, Skinny Fabulous, Voice The Artiste and not only do they not have websites, they don’t own their own domain names.
Machel Montano has the best website of any soca artiste that I have seen currently. Nailah has her website but it is not a secure website and her shop is on someone elses platform. Kes also has a website but it is super cluttered and the elements overlap in certain areas, making his website a bit messy.
This means that if any of them would like to use their own names for their website, they will have to purchase it from the individual who has it registered currently. Skinny Fabulous domain name is being resold for $3500USD (YIKES).
We already have such low competition for terms online here in the Caribbean, so building your website, especially as a new artiste coming up, you have a chance to start ranking for some key terms.
Skinny…If you need me to build you a website…I don’t build websites for people…but I GOT YOU! lol
More Marketing Control
As of right now, many of the artistes are relying on social media, promoters, radio stations and DJ’s in order to get their information out there. Essentially, you have given up almost all of the control to your marketing.
You have no direct way to contact your fans without using someone else’s platform. If social media goes down (which is common), you have zero way to keep your fans connected to your brand. What happens when the “Soca Mafia” doesn’t want to play your records or promote your party? Do you see where I am going with this?
Using social media, the radio, the DJ’s, that’s all fine and dandy when it is working in your favour but the minute it stops working as intended, you become exposed.
Also, when you have your own website, you can keep a pulse on where in the world your traffic is. So whenever Carnival time comes around, you can begin targetting ads to specific countries, so that they know exactly where you will be and how to find you.
Learning the basics of digital marketing can go a heck of a long way in targetting your die-hard fans.
Direct Communication Via Email
Listen, as fans of music artistes, we want to have that connection with you beyond just the music. Caribbean Artistes need to start capturing their fan’s information and building out direct channels like their email lists.
Your email list is one of the top ways for direct communication with your fans. You can keep us informed, get personal, offer VIP discounts or sales to people on your email list.
If any point, popular social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, lose their relevance, you will at least have your website & email list in order to communicate to your fans but also provide information on any new social platforms they can find you on.
This is a major major oversight and missed opportunity for our artistes right now. Start building your email lists and capture your fan’s info.
Make It Easy For The Labels
This one is pretty self-explanatory! We are in the digital age, you might have a ton of people creating fake profiles on your behalf. Your website is the one place where labels can scout you and get critical info about you and contact you without any headache.
They can get your bio, go through your gallery to see your pics/vids of past events. Think of it like your curated electronic press kit. Have control of the info that you want the labels to know about you. It can also give them a sense of your business skills. Show them that you know how to craft your brand and market yourself & products. You are more than just an artiste!
When you know a bit about digital marketing, you will start to think about all the ways you can monetize your brand online. From selling products on your website to selling ad space, affiliate marketing and the list goes on.
Open yourself up to more than just getting booked for a gig. Soca music is growing all over the world and you do not have to wait to get booked in a country in order to service your fan’s across the globe and make money.
Not when you can be doing digital concerts and selling that live access to the experience online.
The Digital Age has opened up many opportunities for us. Producers of Soca music could start building up their online schools, teaching how to make beats and who knows, maybe the next 1st Klase, Millbeats, Precision Productions may come out of Switzerland.
Let’s go beyond gigs and being brand ambassadors for companies we do not own or have shares in.
Let us focus on building our own brands and monetizing them beyond the regional diaspora.
Caribbean culture is global, yet we aren’t doing enough to claim our space in the world. We are a force and we do not need to wait on anybody to hand us anything, promote us, or give us a brand deal.
In order for us to elevate our game, we need to understand that our brands go beyond the music and great pictures on IG. There are levels to this game and if we ever want to secure ourselves properly, let’s start with the basics of just learning a bit about digital marketing or get people around you that do.
If there are any Caribbean Artistes checking this out or anybody who is managing them or friends of them…please encourage them to start taking control of their digital presence. They are missing out!
Start with that website and if you want a little more info on how your website can generate money for you, feel free to check this blog out (3 Ways Your Website Generates Revenue).