Hub & Spokes: Driving Fans To Your Band Website [Best Of Hypebot 2012]

Bandzoogle_logo_smallAll this week we'll be featuring some of Hypebot's best and most popular posts of 2012.  This one is from our friend David Dufresne, CEO of musician website and marketing platform Bandzoogle

In a previous blog post we talked about the importance of driving fans to your website. In this post, we’ll go over the “Hub & Spokes” analogy and method to help drive traffic to your site using your social media profiles, and some of the best ways you can use content to do that.

Hub & Spokes

A lot of artists we work with, or meet at different events, are often confused by how their website “fits” with their broader online strategy. Some even wonder if they need a website. What we always tell them is to see your online strategy as a “hub and spokes” image. Your full band website (and, to some extent, your mailing list) is the hub of your online world, and your different profiles on social networks and music sites are the spokes: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, SoundCloud, Tumblr, Instagram, and many, many more…

Your goal is to seed your “spokes” with great, tasteful and interesting content, making sure to link back to your own website as often as you can. You engage your fans where they usually hang out (say, Facebook), but try to bring them back to your hub, where you own the address, where you control the design and narrative, and where it’s easier for you to “convert” your fans into buyers of your music or merch, or have them sign-up for your mailing list.

This is the essence of the “hub and spokes” method, where you use your social networks (spokes) to draw fans back to your website (hub), which you control. So what content can you publish out there on your social networks to drive fans to your site? Here are 7 content ideas for your website which you can then promote on your social media profiles to help drive traffic back to your site:

7 Ways to Drive Fans from Social Media to Your Band Website

1. New Blog or Video Blog Post

Create a new blog or video blog post on your website. Some ideas for posts:

A career announcement:

  • New gig
  • New album
  • New song
  • New addition to your team (manager, agent, label, publicist, etc.)
  • Media coverage
  • Winning a contest
  • Tour announcement
  • New gear

Tour Blogging:

  • Show previews
  • Photos from shows
  • Experiences with fans
  • Photos of landmarks in each city
  • Food in each city
  • Etc.

Or you can write about a subject you are passionate about that fits with your brand (social, sports, political, charitable, etc.).

2. Contests

You can hold a contest where your fans must sign-up through your website. Some contest ideas:

  • Give away exclusive music
  • Give away merchandise
  • Give away tickets to shows
  • Invite fans to be part of the recording studio experience
  • Contest to go backstage after a show and hang out with your band
  • Contest to have dinner with the band before a show
  • Have a design contest for a new gig poster
  • Have a design contest for new album cover art
  • Contest to have your fans star in your next music video

And any other creative ideas you might have that can be used to create a contest for your fans.

3. New Song

If you’ve recorded a new song, post it on your website for your fans to get a first listen before posting the song on social networks. The song doesn’t even have to be completely finished, or it could be a different version. Make your visitors feel privileged that they can hear it on your website. They’ll appreciate it there a lot more than on their Facebook newsfeed, where the distractions and silly images to click on might be too tempting for them to give your song the full attention it deserves.

4. New Video

Same idea as with a new song, if you’ve made a new video, post on your website first before embedding it on social networks. Some video ideas:

  • Official music video
  • Teaser video for an upcoming album
  • Teaser video for an upcoming show
  • Live video from a show
  • Message for fans
  • Video from recording session or rehearsal
  • Video of a cover song

5. Live Streaming Video

Another great way to drive traffic to your website is to hold a live streaming video event. This could be to live stream a:

  • Studio session
  • Jam Session
  • Live show
  • Video chat, taking fan questions
  • Live show after-party

Simply create a channel on a service like Ustream, then embed the video on your own website and tell your fans the date & time of your live streaming event.

6. New Merchandise

Once you’ve released a new piece of merchandise, be sure to put it up for sale in your online store and announce it through social media. This can be:

  • Albums
  • Digital singles
  • Vinyls
  • T-Shirts or other clothing
  • Live albums
  • Stickers/buttons
  • Etc.

7. Special Offers

Why not have a sale through your online store? Everyone loves a deal. You can discount prices on merchandise and music, bundle items together, which can be great when you have new merch and want to move some older stock. The more creative the deals, the better.

These are just some of the ways that you can create content on your website “hub” and use your social media “spokes” to drive traffic back there. In what ways have you used the “hub & spokes” method to drive traffic to your site?

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