What is so important about our techno audience?
The techno audience, or your target listener, is the key to your survival.You must treat them with respect, nurture them, and understand what they want. Let me put this into prospective:
To see and hear the word audience or listener automatically sends a picture in my mind of a cinema with loads of people watching a performance. If the performance is any good, if there is good content then the audience will be enthralled. It doesn't matter about non-named actors, directors, and a small budget- they usually offer better content and become cult classics- Hard Boiled, and The Usual Suspects to name a couple. If you capture the audience with good content, then they will believe in the cast (a "following" may happen) for the next time, and they will buy merchandise. There is also a guarantee that the next film developed will have similar success.
The Internet is very much the same. You have lots of people, millions, watching a specific performance that interests them.If they like what they see, and if there is plenty of information at hand, they keep going back to the site. Without you knowing it, you build up a trust bond between you and your listeners. Every bit of music you post, or every article you write, just adds credibility in huge amounts. It shows that you are for real, you are an authority on the subject and you are doing it for the enjoyment factor- and hey, you are willing to share your knowledge and works with others- how nice can you get!
Confidence of what you know, and understanding of your target listeners are the 2 main keys that you will always strive for, and it is what a lot of Internet sites fail (in a big way) to do.
And as with films, there are many sites out there, and you have only one chance to win the audience. If you don't deliver, they will go elsewhere. If you are talking rubbish, they will go elsewhere.
Always remember what every surfer knows: It takes one click on the back button to leave.
Your target listener wants to know a specific topic, they want to trust a site, and they want you to be the guru. They are tired of searching the Internet. The typical netizen is impatient- they want information, or goods now, not, after 20 clicks time, or on the 6th page of Google. Just look at your favourites. I bet all of them target a really decent site, and you can get to there quickly, and easily.
And that is the point. You are the listener, so what do you look for in a site? We must get into character and be a buyer, a listener, an Internet user. Your audience is anyone that is interested in your music, and can be anyone on the net.
Go down your favourites and make a list of all the general Internet sites, and think of sites that are well known, generally. Like Google, Yahoo, Amazon, and AOL to name a few. Ask your family and friends what sites do they like, and write those down as well. Now comment on all the sites listed, (yes I know it will take a bit of time, but it will be worth it). Include positives and negatives. Is the site your number 1 resource? Are they easy to navigate, clear, precise, any big files used? Are they informative- offering information and articles, do they offer more than just what you think (i.e. Yahoo is a search site, but it also deals with weather, auctions etc). Just ask yourself why do I keep on coming back to this site?
The list now generated states what you and others look for in a general web site, and because we have chosen sites that have huge traffic coming in daily, then others have thought the same as well.
One thing that you may find apparent is that the sites load quickly. This is not coincidental, research has shown that your site must capture the surfer's attention within 15 seconds, or else they will click the back button. So your site has to load quick! Oh, nearly forgot. They might be really cool, but leave the flash intros out, why? They take up way too much time to load, full stop.
How do you know that people are actually interested in your techno site? Well there is a sneaky way to look at what people search for. First, I would make a list of my favourite artists/ groups. Secondly, I would use an engine called Overture, and type in one of my favourite artists into the (free) search box. Overture then gives you a listing of your artist plus how many people have searched for that term over a month period plus it gives related words what people were looking for. Just go through the list that you made and enter them into Overture, noting the results. This is a great help, as now you can develop web pages that have high keyword focused pages drawing a targeted audience to your site looking for quality information and best of all, they also find an artist (i.e. YOU) who develops similar techno styles that they like!
So you must fill your site with quality information. For a techno music site I want to know the following simple questions, and I would like them answered on that site, I want them found easily and answered on the artists homepage, I don't want to go to several different sites to find out several different answers:
I want to know 1) what equipment they use, 2) who they are, 3) what are they doing, 4) where did they come from, 5) what are their future plans, 6) how did they start off in the business, 7) what artist do they like, 8) can I sign up to a newsletter, and 9) can they recommend some similar artists?
Don't worry about the complexity of your site. Usually, the simpler the better. Being a techno music site you don't really need to be geared up to compete with the likes of Virgin, Amazon or HMV. However your site must have content within its pages, that is the most important issue here. The above questions need to be answered with good layers of content. The more content you put into your pages the more your listeners will trust what you say and download more of your songs.
� Your site should also be suitable for online customers. These are a different breed, they are now used to added extras (browsable catalogues), free items, trial products, and easy site navigation.
� Your site must have your name as its web address- nothing long, no free hosting (search engines don't like them and they have pop-ups), and no trick names (e.g. DJ Evapor8- when said to someone they will automatically type in DJ Evaporate and you will loose traffic).
Also remember when you build your site to remember are you going to host your mp3s (large files = large bandwidth = extra cost for you) or get someone else to host them? A "store site"- like MP3.com is a better idea as you just include links on your main site to your tracks.
There are also a few "defendable" aspects that you could add to your music site. What do I mean by DEFENDABLE?
Well, when I scour the Internet, I see either:
"Cheapest site on the 'net", or
"With 3000, we house the largest collection of computer games on the Internet".
These terms are non-defendable. Going with the first example, the dollar shop used to be "the cheapest site in town", then came the 99-cent shop- every penny counts. What a great tag line, and what a glitch in the dollar shop with being the cheapest around. On example 2, if the site has 3000 games, what if a rival suddenly finds 4000? Oh dear- poor advert, and a poor basis for their status on the net.
Think to yourself, can you offer, quality (a better music track), confidence, service, or specialise. These are easily defendable from your rivals. Prove it, offer free mp3s to download (from a "store" site), a 30 second low quality teaser is not good- it states that you are unprofessional, AND you are scared to let someone download a full track...what are you hiding? With the ease that you can make a techno track, giving a few away will not harm you at all, in fact it will increase you popularity and will gain you TRUST with your listeners.
Also when you go into this, make sure you have some sort of ideal to aim for. Most people want money and fame. But search yourself for a statement. A statement that could be used on packaging or on your site- what you are trying to aim for with your music- your goal, and actually why you are there on the net.
This is not just extra work to do for fun. By filling out a statement (2 lines or so), you will go back after a short period of time and review it. Are you aiming towards your goal? Your marketing attack will be more directional, and it then becomes a measure of your progress. In business the employees are given the company motto, their statement, and it is up to the managers to make sure their company is aiming in the right direction. Now with you being the boss, who is going to motivate you? Who is going to tell you where you need to be? A statement will focus all your efforts.
What you are trying to accomplish is this: Customer Satisfaction. If you offer updates, free downloads, a newsletter, a chat room (a good idea for feedback) and info to other relevant/ similar artists (which you could obtain an affiliation through Amazon), then you will have a targeted techno audience that will come back- a prime and your ultimate goal for the web site.
Click here to find your competition, the second key to your survival.