|Fig. 1. The Facebook Page Insights tool maps your audience demographics and habits.
In the past, only music labels, with their large
marketing budgets and resources, were able to
get the demographic information artists needed
to understand their audience. They knew that by
focusing on age groups, genders, and segments of
fans, they could grow their artists’ fanbase.
Today, this kind of information is now
in your hands—and the best part is, most of
this information is free and takes just a few
minutes to pull up. You can find out your fans’
ages, which other artists they listen to, where
they hang out, what they do and like, and
where they are located throughout the world.
And all of this can help you get your music
heard by more people, and win more fans.
Use the following six sources to check out
the information you have on your current fans.
Once you know more about them, you can
adjust your efforts to find and target similar
people and grow your fanbase.
Facebook Your Facebook (facebook.com)
fan page captures statistics and demographics
associated with the people who follow it.
The Page Insights tool (see Figure 1) is the
simplest way to find out where your audience
lives, their gender, their age, and more. These
provide clues to the type of person your music
and style appeals to—and where to find them.
YouTube Videos are still one of the best ways
to get your music out into the world, in part
because videos are so easy to share on the web.
But the best part is that sites like YouTube
(youtube.com) capture a great set of statistics
about who’s watching and sharing videos
on your channel. Check out your channel’s
analytics section at youtube.com/analytics
(see Figure 2) for demographic
information. It also offers detailed stats
on your videos, including how long people
watched, and where they came from. Want
more data? Try out VidStatsX (vidstatsx.com)
for additional detailed information.
|Fig. 2. YouTube analytics provides audience demos, viewing stats, and other data.
Last.FM If you want to find out which other
artists your fans are listening to, use Last.FM
(last.fm). The Last.FM Scrobbler is a service
that people install on their computers and
devices that automatically posts what they
are listening to. As a side benefit, Last.FM
has pages for every artist, the songs that were
played, which user played them, and when.
On your artist page, you can see the fans that
listened to your music, get their demographic
information, and learn who else they listen to.
This allows you to grow your audience not only
by better understanding who your fans are, but
also allowing you to develop new marketing
campaigns by targeting the fans of similar artists.
Reverbnation Reverbnation (reverbnation.com)
captures demographic information about the
people who are listening to your music and
viewing your page in their artist control panel.
Plus, they allow you to pull information from
various social networks—giving you more tools
to analyze who your fans are and where they
are on the web.
Location-Based Stats Beyond the location
data you can get from Facebook and YouTube,
sites like Eventful (eventful.com) has a “demand”
widget that lets fans ask you to play in their town
and captures demographic information about
who’s demanding you. This lets artists who build
a fanbase online know where their fans want
them to play, allowing them to plan out tours more
effectively. Also, try Tweepsmap (tweepsmap.com)
to analyze your Twitter followers and map out
where they are located (see Figure 3).
|Fig. 3. Tweetsmap analyzes the location of your Twitter followers.
SoundOut Soundout (soundout.com) is a
service that, for a fee, will play your music to
an objective group of listeners so they can rate
and review each song you submit. You receive
a detailed report for each song you submit that
breaks the data out by demographic group, so
you can see which group likes your music
the most (or least). This can give you some
real insight as to the type of people that your
songs will appeal to before you even release it
to the world.
Once you have collected information about
your fans, you’ll know where to target your
marketing efforts. Considering that most of
these methods just take a few minutes to use
and are free, it makes sense to get started right
now. Once you do, try aiming your efforts at
the single most promising age demographic,
a particular city or region, and the fans of one
similar artist. While it may seem, at first, to
be limiting yourself by narrowing your focus,
instead, you’ll be more effective at conquering
one segment of your potential listeners, and
boost the word of mouth that grows you
beyond your original fanbase.
Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan are
authors of The Indie Band Survival Guide (St.
Martin’s Griffin), now in its second edition.