For wedding entertainment professionals, it’s a tough and competitive market out there. Numerous entertainment agencies compete against individual entertainers for what can be deemed a pretty limited customer pool. Through my Blog posts, I try to touch on the wider scope of the music business, and not solely to punt my wedding music services. This blog also serves as an extension to point number four in my previous article on singer-songwriter tips.
As a digital marketing professional by day, I have had the opportunity to apply emerging digital trends to my service offering. It’s been a challenging yet fruitful exercise. As a result, I’m putting it out there, that as a performing artist, you are far more likely to generate engagement and bookings by investing in search engines, and not just social media in order to sustain and grow your career. In plain English, here’s why you should be diverting (most, but not all) your resources to Google search results presence and not on accumulating social media likes.
Why do we hear so much about SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (abbreviated to SEO), in my own words, is “improving your website, and any other online material, with relevant and focused content, in such a way that tells Google and other search engines that your brand should appear at, or near the top of organic search results when a user inserts a phrase in the search bar. In essence, you are rewarded with “free, organic” for providing content, or “answers” that is most relevant to its users. It is the opposite of ‘paying for Ads’, and takes some time to yield results.
There are a lot of success factors which determine how to rank highly for your related searches. Put into context, a wedding entertainment professional in South Africa should not just be writing their content to showcase how great they are and how many awards they have won. He or she should be optimizing their websites and directories to answer key questions, such as “best wedding entertainment, “wedding music in XY”, and “hire a band”. In a social media landscape where connections and accepted invitations slowly open doors, artists are missing out on a valuable piece of the pie. Get started today.
How will Search Engines even start recognizing me?
Every new website or Blog has to start somewhere. The starting point to any ranking strategy, is Keyword Research. Having done extensive research on what keywords rank locally, let me cut to the chase. The keyphrase “Wedding Entertainment” generates over 50 searches a month in South Africa alone. “Wedding Music”, is typed into Google by more than 260 South Africans a month. Naturally, as your broaden your keyword, you will attract more inquisitive readers and less “customers with intent”. However, it is ideal that you position your brand and optimize your content going forward, to rank at the top of Google rankings for a potential client looking for a wedding entertainment offering that is exactly, or close to, the service you provide.
To get started with Keyword research, use Google’s free Keyword Planner tool
Measuring Success: Social Media versus Google
It is not my intention to completely dismiss the power of social media. Each has its own merits. A social video post or event share, published at just the right time, may just hit the right audience to connect you to and convert into a booking. However, the distribution or exposure of a Facebook or Instagram post can be limited to days or sometimes even hours. Social media users are bombarded with content in their feeds and are quick to scroll down and ignore your all-important message. Added to this is the threat of fake social media news that can cause devastation to your credibility and reputation. (See this recent BBC article as reference).
Your appearance in search engine results, however, is a much more focused opportunity. When a potential client enters a wedding entertainment related keyphrase into Google, Bing or Amazon, there is instantly a much higher intent by the end user to search out and obtain very specific information. In the search engine field, the user is looking for you, your service, and is much more likely to stick around on your website. What you say, through relevant content and clear ‘calls to action’, may be the defining moment where they are enticed to inquire about and book you.
What is my overall online marketing strategy as wedding entertainment musician?
In 2015, I set up my website, www.daviddelaney.co.za. My only focus, as a wedding violinist, was to showcase my talents, tell my background, and share images, Youtube clips and MP3 files for visitors to browse through. As I begin to understand how SEO impacts on my google ranking, I have devoted time to optimizing my content and regularly writing Blogs just like these. This has had a gradual impact of driving web visitors to my website, key traffic who are searching across Google for the type of service that I offer. Many of the changes I have made have taken weeks and even months to yield results. However, I generate over 15 direct wedding entertainment inquiries a month. These are booking requests that I have neither paid Google for nor have to pay an entertainment agency a commission to. I maintain my Facebook page, but my focus towards social media is now aligned to driving traffic to my website where potential clients can see, hear and contact me directly.
Don’t be digitally homeless!
I am of the view that both social and search engine can work together, and I recommend to any wedding entertainer to invest further in SEO for gradual yet prolonged and cost-effective results.
If you would like to know more about SEO for musicians and artists and may be interested in a workshop, feel free to contact me today. I am always keen to advise a colleague in the industry.