Just last month, I was on the hunt for a new job and shortlisted for a few online marketing positions. One was with a local music management company and they asked me to do a brief top level online marketing audit for one of their artists called A Fine Frenzy during the interviewing process.
The company was concerned with social media “not really working” for A Fine Frenzy, and particularly Twitter. They questioned if Twitter can really help monetize online (sell) what-so-ever. They were skeptics about Twitter, because the artist (A Fine Frenzy) spent a lot of time on Twitter, gained a huge following (with over a million followers) and they are seeing dismal sales online for music as well as merchandise. Twitter wasn’t helping sales. They asked for my feedback.
“Well, let’s see…this may take a while, I’ll back to you tomorrow” I said.
After reviewing A Fine Frenzy’s online initiatives, I summarized and rolled up two big areas for improvement. I’m positive that Twitter would really help the artist monetize online if these areas were improved on and planned out better. I recommended that the artist shouldn’t spend her time on Twitter, until the main areas were fixed because she was sort of wasting her time. I’m unsure if they liked what I had to say.
Two main areas the online marketing strategy is weak and needs help with:
- Store usability issues
- Integration of online plan (flow) is not thought out well
#1 Store Usability Issues
After reviewing the site, I know for a fact that the sales conversion will be low from this site for a few reasons. Usability issues is the one that stands out first. The site takes the visitors on many paths. Some paths being dead-ends or lesser options and others driving the user back out of site(s) to shop around- which may leave the site visitor very frustrated and leave.
For example, on the main site (www.afinefrenzycom) when a site visitor wants to buy and selects the “click here to buy music and online store” button on the top of every page of the site, it then leaves them to a dead end path (below screenshot).
- The visitor cannot try or buy music taking this path because the reach a dead end.
- The visitor cannot navigate back or around the main site because the store is not integrated within the overall site design and navigation (the skin).
- The real paths to purchasing downloads and CDs are hidden “below the fold” on the left side of the main site pages. These options should be integrated within the online store (where you have all buying options) and present all options in an easy descriptive way (don’t get a site visitor to jump over to a site, to find out they can’t buy or don’t want the particular format – you may loose them). Have items displayed in the store first.
- The site needs to implement a “true ecommerce” store design – following usability and best practices (design, navigation, categorization, cross-sell, ratings and reviews etc) . This can be a blog post on it’s own.
# 2 Integration of Online Plan is Not Thought Out Well
There is not really a cohesive strategy with regards what is the main hub (is it Myspace or www.afinefrenzy.com?). Paths are disjointed across the social media sites and I am lead on a wild goose chase. The main site (www.afinefrenzy.com) should be the main “hub” and attract traffic from the other sites (Twitter, Myspace, Facebook) with streamlined simplified paths. The best strategy is to have the blog within the main site (www.afinefrenzy.com) and really kick butt with a blogging strategy (it can be main source of traffic generation if done right) to attract all traffic to the hub.
Here’s one of the many confusion paths (screenshot below):
Current strategy lacks tweeting to get fans to www.finefrenzy.com site (screenshot below):
- The current Twitter profile is linked to the artists Myspace account. I recommend linking to the hub which should be the main website (www.afinefrenzy.com).
- The artist is not really trying to get Twitter fans to the main site within her tweets (where most sales can happen and should be the main hub).
- The artists can get fans to the main site with contests, new blog posts, sales and promotions. Throw in a contest here and there, post it on the blog, and then tweet about it. But, she needs to tweet the links (shorten and track the URLs, watch and learn which ones the fans are reacting to most.) Make it fun, interactive and can become viral on Twitter to draw more people to the artists main site.
- The Twitter page background needs to be “pimped out” more. Up sell the artist with a better design that matches the brand of the website. (E.g. a pic of her on the left and large like the website). Read my post on “ Pimping out Your Twitter Background”.
The current blog strategy needs refining (screenshot below):
- The blog is currently on Myspace and should actually be hosted on the main site (www.afinefrenzy.com).
- Even though the blog RSS is pulled through to the main site (www.afinefrenzy.com), I don’t think it is a good tactic because when the user clicks on to a blog title within the main site they then bounce on over to Myspace and get lost again.
- Myspace should not be the hub of online marketing. It is too busy and not an effective hub. It should be used to get fans over to the main site though and show off the music.
- The Blog RSS feed (from the main site) should be pulled through to Myspace, Facebook and Twitter. So that all traffic flows to the main site to “buy” merchandise and/or music.
- The blog on Myspace lacks meaty, interesting content and should have a purpose (to attracts people to comment and interact with as well as lead them to buy something). Not only putting up a press release or announcements, you need to add more content and content that share the life of the artist.
- Blogging can help the fan base really “connect” with the artist. The artist or the site manager can be blogging about the tour, contests, about fans they met (maybe a picture and story), about the city and what they like about it, about the process of recording, share and show everything and have full transparency, engage with readers to comment and share etc.
The current Facebook strategy needs refining (screenshot below):
- Current facebook fan page does not encourage fans to go to the main site at all.
- By cross promoting Facebook with contest, blog and email program. The artists needs to get the fans base over to the main website to monetize (buy!), interact and become more loyal.
- Bring in the RSS of the blog (which should be hosted on the main site and not in MySpace) so when they want to read more, they click on and go to main site blog and not Myspace.
Increase user generated content on main site:
- There are no user generated content tactics on main site.
- The main site would benefit fromuser generated content to make the site stikier and attract more visitors that can ultimately convert to sales. How about videos, photos, poems, songs etc? User generated content can also be tied in as a contest.
- Also, if the site had a better e-commerce solution, it can benefit from ratings and reviews of store items.
Consider and offer widgets or embeddable assets to encourage viralocity:
- To increase traffic, strengthen fan loyalty, and increase brand awareness offer widgets that the fan base can take from the main website and embed somewhere on their pages.
- Maybe it is a widget-box of blog or pics, a game that is related to the artist theme/ newest album or even store items with an affiliate program (more advanced). You can also get a developer to create a fun interactive widget that is custom.
Of course, there can be a lot more ways to improve online conversions for this artist! But it would warrant access to website analytics, testing, evaluating and ongoing tweaks. Strategy and having an integrated plan is just the start.
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