Marketing can be a mysterious thing for musicians to tackle on their own but the secret is nearly every professional marketing message follow a very simple formula, one that you can use for your own marketing efforts...

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Marketing can be a mysterious thing for musicians, but the secret to it is simple: nearly every professional marketing message follows the same formula. And it’s one you can use for your own music to help boost your marketing efforts.

There are four components to the formula, and you can remember them easily with the AIDA acronym. This stands for:

A = Attention
I = Interest
D = Decision
A = Action

We’ll go through all four of these below and what they mean, and there’s one extra thing you need to do at the start. Here's how to implement AIDA in your own marketing:

1. Choose an Action That You Want Them To Take.

Marketing messages always have an intent of influencing people to take an action. Getting them to do what you want them to do is at the heart of marketing. So you need to be clear about the action you want them to take as you're putting together the message. For example, you might want your fans to to buy an album, come to a show, or sign up to your mailing list. Decide what you want them to do before following the next steps of the AIDA sequence.

2. Get Their Attention.

You can't get the attention of your music’s target audience until you know who and where they are. Only then can you put your message in front of them and gets them to notice. If you're not sure about who makes up your audience check out One Simple Idea To Generate Tons of Marketing And PR Opportunities. And, if you’d like to learn demographic information about your audience, see our Electronic Musician article Target Your Fan Market. Once you know your audience, and where to place the message, use these techniques to get their attention:

Use Self-Identifiers
Try starting your marketing messages with the words that your target audience uses to identify themselves. Are they Metalheads? Ravers? Wrestling fans? Their eyes will snag on any message that includes words that are part of their identity. This works well with social media. Of course, the most direct self-identifier is a person's own name, but you can only do that in mass mailings and newsletters.

Use Eye-Popping Colors, Fonts, and Graphics
Words aren't the only thing that grab people’s attention. Use all of the dimensions of a visual message to get noticed.

Make the Message Stand Out
Find ways to make the actual content of the message stand out compared to other messages that the audience usually sees. For example, try placing messages at sites and areas where that kind of communication is not normally found. To get some ideas on how to do this, check out the “Standing Out” strategy in our Electronic Musician feature: Nine $0 Music Marketing Strategies.

3. Catch Their Interest

Getting someone’s attention is one thing, but if they don’t read on your marketing won't be effective. Use these techniques to maintain their interest:

Make Targeted Messages
The more the message is aimed at the person reading it, the better chance you have of holding their interest. Choose the smallest, most niche audience for each marketing message. For ideas, check out the “Conquer a Niche” strategy of the Nine $0 Music Marketing Strategies feature and use the techniques in our article Target Your Fan Market.

Ask Your Audience A Question
Asking questions causes the person reading the message to try to answer it. This keeps them engaged and interested.

Tease Them
A tease compels people to want to read on to find out more. For example, blog entries with titles like "5 Ways To Improve Every Marketing Message You Send" causes readers to want to find out what those 5 ways are and satisfy their curiosity.

4. Get Them to Make A Decision.

Your message must make it easy for them to decide that they should take the action you determined in step 1. Decisions can be made easier by doing the following:

Make The Decision Simple and Singular
The decision needs to be simple, otherwise, if they have to think about it, you'll confuse and lose them. For example, a straightforward decision is to: click a link, enter their email, or buy your song. Also, the decision should be for just one action. If you give them options, it increases the chances that they will get confused, and will ignore it. Don't make them think!

Make The Decision Reversible
People are afraid of commitment. Because of this, most every web-based service starts with a free trial where they ask for your credit card where you can cancel within the trial period. Use this technique and try to find ways to tell them that they can always change their mind. For example, tell them they can always unsubscribe from your email list if they want to. With music, encourage them to listen to a sample at a music store and then make sure the store includes an easy-to-click buy button to capture that impulse buy.

Make The Decision Compelling
Limited time, limited quantity, or limited opportunities make the decision far more likely. Also, try to give the message a value. For example, adding a link where they can get a discount for “only a limited time” means that the message also might be more attention-grabbing and interesting and they lose something if they ignore it. This also helps all the other AIDA parts of your marketing message.

5. Call To Action.

Do the following to increase the likelihood they’ll take action to make all of this come together:

Make the Actions Achievable
If you try to get someone to buy something and they are on their mobile devices where they are in a bad position to whip out their credit card, your marketing message won't be effective. There’s too much friction that prevents the purchase. For example, a physical poster is not a great place to put a link because there's another step of taking out phones or devices and typing it in. You should generally assume that every message online is being seen on a mobile device.

Tell Them What To Do
Don't assume that your audience knows how to do what's necessary. The action message needs to direct them: “Click this link.” “Buy this song.” “Pledge on Kickstarter.” Be clear with your instructions.

Make the Action Step Stand Out
Don't bury the action step under a lot of text or extraneous information. While the other parts of AIDA require text, if you don't highlight the action, they might miss what they need to do. This is where visual elements come in to help it stand out. For example, graphics artists may use advancing colors underneath buttons to attract people's eyes to the buttons that they need to push.

One way to improve at your marketing is to be aware of the marketing aimed at you. Now that you’re aware of this, notice the components of AIDA in the marketing messages you see. Determine what messages work on you and why. Then borrow these and apply them to your own messages.

Challenge: Create a marketing message using the AIDA technique to get people to buy a music track or sign up on your email list.


#Marketing #AIDA

Photo credit: Maria Elena