Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

March 31, 2010

Location-Based Music Marketing w/ Foursquare & More

If you're a smart, self-promoting musician, you want to be on top of the latest trends. One that's creating a lot of buzz these days is "location based" web sites and services. Now would be a good time to start considering how you might use this trend as a marketing tool.

The major players in the "location based" social networking arena are Foursquare and Gowalla. If you're wondering how they work, here's a good explanation from the Foursquare site:

"People use Foursquare to 'check-in,' which is a way of telling us your whereabouts. When you check in someplace, we'll tell your friends where they can find you and recommend places to go & things to do nearby. People check-in at all kind of places -- cafes, bars, restaurants, parks, homes, offices.

"You'll find that as your friends use Foursquare to check in, you'll start learning more about the places they frequent. Not only is it a great way to meet up with nearby friends, but you'll also start to learn about their favorite spots and the new places they discover."

Hopefully, you're starting to realize the music marketing potential here. For instance, if your fans used these services and let their friends know they were going to see you perform live, that could potentially bring more people out to your shows.

'Location' Is a Natural Growth Area

A lot of marketers are salivating at the possibilities of location-based marketing and advertising. Think about it ...

Google and others already deliver relevant ads based on the search terms you use. Search for "bowling shoes" and you'll get "sponsored links" in the right-hand column linking to sites that specialize in bowling shoes.

Search for "Pizza in Milwaukee" and you'll get an instant list of pizza places in that city. And many sites already use the location of your home computer's IP address to deliver relevant local content for your city.

But what about when you're on the go? Now that so many people rely on mobile phones, which increasingly have GPS capabilities, it only makes sense that you should get customized information based on where you ARE.

And that's why location-based social sites and marketing delivery systems are on the rise!

How Could YOU Use This?

Imagine you are performing in a city for the first time. You're at the hotel wondering where the nearest sushi restaurant is. You use your mobile phone to search for "sushi" based on your exact location. Not only do you get a list of the closest sushi places along with customer ratings ... but one of them offers you a 20% off coupon.

You decide to go there, and you also "check in" on Foursquare or Gowalla. One of your fans lives nearby, sees that you are there, and stops by to meet you. A new friendship blooms, and that person brings three more people to your show later that night.

This is just one example, but I hope you can see the potential value of location-based marketing.

Yes, I know it's one more thing you have to add to your overflowing plate. And yes, there are privacy concerns and other issues you must consider. But ...

If you want to stay on top of trends and use them to share your music with more people, this is something to be aware of and act on.


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posted by Unknown @ 11:09 AM   2 comments


At Apr 11, 2010, 1:00:00 AM, Blogger stphen said...

I think it's better to avoid the fans therefore creating more "mystique". The really smart musician wants to appear like an unapproachable GOD of rock and roll, not some "hey have a slice and a sprite with me" everyman. This way when some fan runs into you the old fashioned way, by chance, it's that much more important and special to them.

So to sum it all up, sunglasses, cool clothes, and an aloof/evasive attitude will get you a lot more fans (and especially groupies) than practically begging fans to have lunch with you.

But none of that means anything unless you're writing amazing songs that don't even need marketing to succeed.

At Apr 14, 2010, 9:51:00 PM, Blogger David Hooper said...

Agree with the comment about mystique above, but if you're traveling and always on the move, this can be something that will pound that drum. can also work in a similar way.

You can have more control over all these things simply using something Twitter, but I predict people will have moved on from that service by the end of the least as it is now. It's possible they'll reinvent themselves.


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