Mobile phones are a permanent part of this modern culture.  They are now so deeply ingrained in our world that we feel lost without them.  If you’ve ever accidentally left your phone in your car or left the house without it, then you have probably experienced that panic of how you’ll get through the day. Mobile phones are much more than just a device for talking to people, in fact, we do less and less talking to each other every day.  They are our personal mobile computers and assist us with everything from communication to directions, to shopping discounts, to discovering the newest song or fashion trend.  We can play games, watch movies and learn songs all on this little device that we hold in our hands.  The mobile phone is your personal assistant throughout your day, so it makes sense to focus a large part of your marketing efforts to the device that people use most often.

Here are a few important things to keep in mind as you’re planning your marketing strategy.

When you are planning your mobile strategy, make sure that your content is the correct size and works on all mobile devices and platforms.  Make sure that your contact information is clear and prominent on the page, and people can reach out to you by just clicking on your number.  Be sure that your load speed is at its peak.  If things take too long to load you can lose potential fans or customers.  Even salty people like me don’t like to wait for things to load, after all, I don’t have all minute! Make sure you’re using your AdWords to give you optimum performance. Are you utilizing the longer description lines, and then creating the catchy title. All of these things can make a difference in the traffic you actually receive on your mobile device, which is where a vast majority of your fans are these days.

Push notifications must be used with caution.  Too many notifications and you’ll become annoying. Not enough notifications and you get lost in the noise.  The trick here, I believe, is having something to say.  Giving people real content they can use, helps them, or interests them in some way is the key to NOT becoming an irritating marketer. Spending actual real face-to-face time with your fans and understanding how to interpret your analytic data are great ways to learn about them and what they like. You will need to integrate qualitative and quantitative data to get a well-rounded picture of your fanbase.  Merging transactional data, or how, where and what your fans spend their money on, with sentiment-based data will show you where and how to carve up your marketing dollars.

Another great tool is to pull fans into your marketing.  Instead of pushing ads to them pull them into your app or site by giving them something that interests them.  Maybe you’re out on tour, and your fans want the behind the scenes access to your life. You could charge them a few dollars for weekly videos and photo’s that no one else can get unless they purchase this access.  You could let them into your studio sessions, your workouts, your performances and you at home.  It really would be an all-access pass to your life.  Remember you should also converse with them directly. Perhaps once a week you get on for 30 minutes, and you talk with them via Facebook live or some other platform where only they are invited.  You’re making money, and they are getting something they value; getting to feel like they know you better.

Another interesting marketing idea for artists is to use location-based marketing. What do I mean? Well, you might ask your fans to check in at your shows with a selfie with you at a location, like a show or PR event.  After checking in online with you at a certain number of shows, or locations, maybe they win some merch.  Perhaps you make a digital game out of it, and they collect badges.  Once they get to a certain number of badges, then they get a prize.  Maybe merch, like a surprise box in the mail that they can film themselves opening of all the cool stuff you’ve sent them. Perhaps it’s a dinner or lunch with you and your team, or if they are really die-hard fans, you play a special show for them and their friends and family and include them in an upcoming video. The idea is for them to integrate your social media presence into their lives.  They need to become part of the conversation about you.  To get this to happen though, your marketing needs to be pretty darn personalized.  I’m not going get the warm and fuzzies about a generic ad that sent out to millions of people; however, a campaign that speaks to me personally and incorporates my interests and preferences will get my attention.  If you know this kind of sentiment-based information about your fans, you can include them in your conversation, and they will include you in theirs.  Now, you are really initiating some word of mouth, grassroots marketing, and these fans will hang with you for life.

The best thing you can do in today’s marketing world is to integrate and incorporate your fans into what it is that you do.  If you are already, you should be thinking about social collaboration.  Ideas like including and enlisting fans in other cities to help your brainstorm and implement marking strategies in their cities. You will never know individual towns and what’s essential to their communities like the people who live in them. This goes back to the idea of personalization.  The folks in those towns will love that you took the time to get to know and understand what was important to them and their community.  Maybe you change the words in one of your songs to reflect something personal about each town you perform in. Another outside the box marketing idea might be to do songwriting and collaboration with fans.  I’m sure there are lots of great songwriters out there and wouldn’t your fans love to be involved in that process in some way. How special would that make them feel if you performed in their town and sang the song you wrote with them.  Music should be about bringing people together and making people feel closer and more connected.  What it shouldn’t be about is you singing songs “AT” people and expecting them to buy your stuff.

Remember also to create both lean-forward and lean-back kinds of content.  Lean-forward content is short bits of information that people can consume quickly.  Lean-back content in more of the deep-dive into the material when people have more time to read and relax. Usually Lean-forward content is best in the morning, and lean-back content is best in the evenings. Life is ridiculously busy for all of us these days, so you have to be conscious of when a short bite of information is best for your fans and how to direct them to a longer more in-depth version of the story for when they have more time.

The big take away here is CX. Customer experience. You want every marketing idea to be focused first on making and developing the best and most convenient experience for your customer. After all, if they aren’t happy navigating your sites, you won’t develop fans because they can leave your site with a click and be on to the next place that is easier for them to navigate.  It may be more pleasing aesthetically, it may have easier navigation, the contact information may be front and center, and if your site doesn’t measure up, you will lose that potential fan.  As an artist, I believe you have to carry this CX mindset with you into every aspect of your life and work.  In everything from your social media life to your live stage performance, your focus should be on making the customer happy first. If you’ve done a good job with your data analysis, and you know who and where your fans are, their lifestyles and likes and dislikes will align with yours.  As long as you have the right fanbase and are being authentic in your delivery, you should be making them happy and making yourself happy at the same time.  It’s a win, win for everyone.  If, on the other hand, you are pretending to be something you’re not, your fans will know and eventually leave. You will never be truly happy pretending to be something you are not.  Find out who you are as an artist and then find your people. They are out there!

In all the hub-bub of mobile-first talk, remember it may be a mobile-first world, but not it is not a mobile-only world.  You will need to create different marketing campaigns for different segments of your audience. Although a large part of your marketing plan might be directed toward mobile technology, you still need to diversify your marketing efforts to other mediums. Different demographics use devices in differing ways.  Local TV and radio might be a way for you to reach out to fans who don’t always go to their phones first.  Mobile devices are only one part of your complete marketing plan. The question for you in today’s world is, how well are you incorporating a mobile strategy into your big picture marketing plan?