The exact checklist I used to update Sarah Jarosz's online platforms for her album announcement
While an album announce might sound like no biggie, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make sure the word gets out! This post will show you exactly what I did to prepare each of Sarah Jarosz's online platforms for the announce of her latest album, Undercurrent!
Since Sarah's last album (Build Me Up From Bones) was released in September of 2013, her website was way overdue for a new look. Instead of waiting for the album release, we decided to do a soft rebrand of the website for her album announce... and I am so glad we did - just look at how much traffic she had on her site that day, almost 2,000 sessions! Here's the breakdown of each update I made to her website for album announce:
• Add a cover page
• Add a slideshow gallery to the homepage
• Update font, button, link, etc. colors
• Add buttons under slideshow gallery (incase anyone missed the options on the cover page)
• Add news item about album announce featuring album artwork
• Update bio & photos
• Add teaser video to media page
• Add CD preorder to shop
• Add Spotify icon to social icons (only because I hadn't done this yet... have you?)
Note: We switched from WordPress to Squarespace
Email can have such powerful marketing results if done correctly! At the time of the announce we sent out a very simple email to Sarah's subscribers with a short album teaser video! Just like the cover page of her website, we kept the content of the email very simple and straight to the point. MyEmma ranked this email a 10/10 which is amazing for an email list of Sarah's size.
• New Sarah Jarosz logo color
• New header accent colors
• Video! People respond SO well to video content in emails. Even though her preorder links had hundreds of clicks, her video click rate was the most successful with 1,861 clicks!
Video also performs well when uploaded directly to Facebook (I recommend only adding short/teaser videos directly to Facebook, but I won't go into why because that's enough for a blog post of it's own). I'll admit that Sarah's Facebook presence isn't as active as it could be... but check out the high organic reach on her announce day (March 1)!
• Upload album teaser video to Facebook
• Update profile photo to album cover
• Add coordinating cover photo to say "Undercurrent Coming June 17"
• Pin video post to top of timeline
• Update app icons with new branding
• Edit call-to-action button to link to her website shop page
Share a video and update branding!! Are you sensing a theme? because you should be.
• Share link to YouTube video
• Update profile photo to album cover
• Add coordinating header photo (I designed one just like Facebook cover photo to fit Twitter)
• Edit profile theme color
• Update bio
Sarah recently changed her Instagram profile from private to public (go follow her)! Her posts usually get several hundred likes, but her post on album announce day has been her most popular all month... and guess what, she uploaded part of her teaser video! We kept Instagram pretty simple...
• Add link to website shop for pre-orders
• Upload video
• Start new album hashtag #SJundercurrent
YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine... so make sure to upload your album teaser video to your channel! Once uploaded, there are a few other things I did to maximize Sarah's video and channel potential:
• Update profile photo
• Set album teaser video as trailer for new and returning visitors on channel homepage
• Add links in the video description to pre-order & other social media
• Add a Card linked to the pre-order (click the i icon in the right corner of the video once it starts playing to see what a Card is)
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Katherine Forbes, Founder of Designing the Row
Designing the Row is a web design and marketing studio based in Nashville, TN. I'm Katherine Forbes, and I love creating websites to help share others' music online. I believe there is more to a website than just pretty graphics and layout. Each website needs to reflect the design and music style of the artist but also have a marketing strategy to help fans navigate easily.