The importance of online marketing

marketing_thDid you know that Bluegrass Today publishes a newsletter with marketing tips for bluegrass businesses? Written by Barry Silverstein, an expert in branding for small companies, Sound Marketing For Bluegrass goes out twice each month with useful information for business owners, bands, and event producers who want to stay on top of promotion and marketing online.

There is no charge for the newsletter, and you can sign up to receive it here.

Here’s a copy of a recent newsletter, which also gives us a chance to brag a bit on Bluegrass Today.

Barry SilversteinMost bluegrass marketers are aware that their customers are moving from print magazines to online sources of information about bluegrass music. What you may not realize, though, is how pervasive this shift really is. Magazine print sales and advertising revenue continue to decline year after year, according to the Pew Research Center’s Annual Report on American Journalism, which states: “So far, most magazines are not capturing enough of the growth in digital to make up for what is disappearing from print. … Readers, meanwhile, are migrating fast to digital and mobile, a move that accelerated in 2011 with the explosion of tablets and smartphone ownership.”

The importance of this shift cannot be underestimated, because it is driven directly by the connected consumer. Today, the information consumers need and want must be delivered online, in a form they can consume through their connected devices. Combine this with the manner in which music itself has gravitated toward digital distribution and bluegrass marketers face a whole different challenge today than they did just a few years ago.

Thankfully, Bluegrass Today has been the beneficiary of bluegrass fans’ preferences for digital information. Bluegrass fans and artists alike love Bluegrass Today. Here’s what Rhonda Vincent has to say about it: “Being the bluegrass fan and Internet junkie I am, Bluegrass Today is the place I visit for breaking news in the bluegrass world. Stories, news, and photos – and the perfect place to go when you want to find a show! It’s the only site I need to stay in-the-know!”

The site witnessed incredible growth last year:

  • Bluegrass Today was visited by 628,997 absolute unique visitors
  • During that same period, they visited Bluegrass Today 1,303,919 times
  • These unique individuals generated 2,508,714 pageviews
  • Bluegrass Today had more than 25,000 visits from each of 15 states.

The top 6 states and their number of visits are:

  • North Carolina121,401
  • Tennessee 100,236
  • Virginia 98,572
  • California 60,612
  • Ohio 53,997
  • Kentucky 48,483

Compare these statistics to the leading bluegrass print magazine, which reports a paid circulation of under 23,000 in total.

The broad comparison between print and online media is also very significant. Print magazines are declining in circulation and advertising revenue while online publications are increasing in popularity. Print reaches a small audience while the reach of online is global. Print is delivered in a single format while online is delivered on multiple devices anywhere. Print ads have long lead times while online ads can be accommodated rapidly and changed on the fly.

What does this mean to you? Very simply, being online is a must – because that’s where your customers and prospects are!<

Be sure to request our special report on bluegrass and the Internet to learn more about what you need to do to take advantage of the changing marketing landscape. Just click on the accompanying link to get your free copy.

The free report Barry mentioned can be requested here.

You can sign up for your free subscription to Sound Marketing For Bluegrass here.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.