Wednesday, May 26, 2010

SEO Guru Gregory Markel Interview Excerpt

When I was writing the Music 3.0 Internet Music Guidebook, I was lucky enough to interview search engine Marketing guru Gregory Markel. Here's an excerpt from that interview.
One of the pioneers of search engine optimization and marketing, Gregory Markel’s Infuse Creative touts major entertainment clients such as Gibson Musical Instruments, New Line Cinema, The National Geographic Channel, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, the television show 24, and many more. As a recording artist formerly signed to Warner Brothers (and a great singer too), Gregory has a deep empathy for the plight of today’s artist and provides an abundance of good advice in the following interview.

What is Search Engine Optimization exactly?
SEO these days has a broad definition. It means optimizing anything and everything that a search engine is going to return. That means a web page, a video, a newsfeed, a blog, a product, a book, an article; it’s paying attention to all those areas.

We have 3 basic types of clients. The first is a client that wants branding awareness. A good example of that is a theatrical release where they can’t measure the number of people who might have visited the website that later went on to buy tickets, but they feel that it’s something they have to do in order to get the word out.

The second is a client that does e-commerce where they sell a toaster or something with a specific fixed cost. If you can choose and effectively setup the right keywords with the right ads with the right landing pages at the right cost, then if your cost is $15 and you deliver a sale at more than that, it’s a positive outcome.

The next type of client wants lead generation, which can be extremely effective if your product has a moderate to large margin. There are companies like mine helping to generate leads to companies that need them where they can turn that into $20 to 100k per day.

Turning to music, if your music’s good there are so many opportunities with social media, free technologies and methodologies available that you can definitely get a large number of people to find you. Whether you do these things for yourself or have someone who partners with you as your designated on-line communicator and extended member of the band, there’s lots that you can do now without paying for media. Of course there are a lot of paid options which are very powerful and immediate, but they might not be cost effective for someone who has a limited budget or even none at all.

What would you suggest to a new artist that’s trying to break that wants to use SEO to get the word out?
Everybody knows to set up a MySpace page and a Facebook page. Beyond that, regardless if you’re offering your music for free or not, you want to utilize the rest of the web that doesn’t cost you anything, meaning all the Web 2.0 and social media stuff like personal profile pages, bookmarking and tagging, and an official Twitter channel. It’s figuring out a way to broadcast to your fans and affinity groups, which are groups of people that like the type of music that you play. For example, if I sound a lot like John Meyer, then I want to reach out to John Meyer fans. You can do all that simply at no cost by simply putting the time in.

Now the ones that do well with this are either going to have a webmaster as a partner or be a new type of musician. Most musicians are abstract and creative types and don’t really have an entrepreneurial or measurement oriented brain, so a new kind of musician who thinks this way, or has a webmaster, is essential.

For more of the interview, go to this section of my website.

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Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.


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