Tip Jar: Be Smarter with Smart Links

A Guide To The 360-Degree View Marketing Strategy

We are currently in an age of independent music renaissance. Readily available tools and technology are handing power back to the artists making music, not only boosting their creative control but positioning them as the ones in charge of their own journey within the industry.

These tools have given way to a new generation of musical entrepreneurs all over the world. For instance, 80,000 independent artists spanning the entire globe currently use the Amplify.link tool, covering all genres from hip-hop to heavy metal.

For these artists, there is a neverending list of touchpoints between them and their audience. While this range of platforms and channels all provide new ways to release content or engage with fans, they can quickly become a tangled network.

In the digital world that we live in, we each access these channels via links. Directing each visitor to their intended destination, when deployed properly, links allow audiences to discover content relevant to them in just a few clicks.

Having a home for all these various links is where a smart linking strategy comes into play.

So what is a smart link? It is a landing page that includes several links within it. While a normal link routes users to one destination, smart links direct users to several web pages. It massively helps to tidy up bios and descriptions across your various platforms while then showing your full breadth of content when fans reach your page.

However, smart links are so much more than just a collection of other links. They encourage fans to stream your music, buy merch, purchase concert tickets, pre-order your records, and much more. Below are a few tips to really make the most of these cutting-edge tools.

The Digital Business Card

The best link pages are customizable. This means rather than having a bland landing page that takes your fans out of the branded immersive experience, they reach a page unique to you as an artist. Custom artwork, titles, descriptions, social media links, metadata and descriptions, review links, and anything else you can link to makes your page act as your digital business card. Showing off your creative flair to create an eye-catching page will help you stand out from the crowd.

Short and Custom Links

Digital audiences have become more cautious and savy overtime with their online activity. Two factors that set off their spider senses and make them less likely to trust a link are long links with generic domains. Having a short smart link with a custom domain will improve click-through rates, simply by improving the level of trust with a potential fan. They can also greatly improve shareability, as a shorter link will more easily fit, for example, in a Tweet.

Pre-save Campaigns

Running a pre-save campaign allows fans to save tracks to their Spotify, Apple, Pandora and Deezer libraries ahead of a launch, which are then automatically added on release day.

Pre-save campaigns have a proven track record of significantly boosting listens on release day, as well as improving discoverability in the run up. Furthermore, the campaign itself, if eye-catching enough, could get noticed by the editors of these DSPs, meaning your song could be included in the well-listened “New Releases” playlists and reach a whole new set of ears.

Audience Insights

Being an artist today is a fine balance between having your unique creative voice and catering your output towards your audience. To help better understand your audience, smart links often come inbuilt with campaign and audience analysis services that integrate with DSPs, social channels. Keeping track of link clicks in real-time, as well as which platforms fans tend to gravitate towards, not only provides you with insights into your fans’ listening habits, it informs you how best to run your campaigns. This includes when best to release a song if your fans are in a particular region or what content to focus on for each platform.

Where to Put Smart Links

The opportunities for smart link placements are endless, but below are five places that will guarantee results:

•Social media bios and posts: Having a single link in your Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter bios and YouTube about page is an absolute priority. It makes these areas much tidier and makes promoting on these platforms so much easier, simply pointing fans to the one link in your bio. We’ve all seen “Check the link in my bio” before and that’s because it works.

•SoundCloud track descriptions: Due to its artist friendly services, SoundCloud has remained one of the go-to platforms for emerging creators. Track descriptions with smart links can help convert casual listeners to loyal fans.

•Email newsletters: While smart links help new audiences discover you, including them in newsletters helps keep loyal listeners easily up to date with all of your content.

•Press releases: Anyone who has tried to reach out to reviewers or music industry higher-ups will know how difficult it can be. Including smart links in press releases can help give them quick and easy access to your material.

•EPK: Electronic press kits are the resume of the modern artist, so it only makes sense to include smart links to all your previous and ongoing projects.

By following the above tips and tricks, you will be able to create a living landing page, a central hub for all of your content. Doing so shows you care about your audience’s experience while also greatly improving your chances of getting in front of who you want to impress.

SAM BATES has been a passionate music fan for well over 20 years, having been involved in the industry for 16 years as a DJ, promoter, and writer. In 2015 his passion for entrepreneurship led him to found an independent digital creative agency and then Amplify.link in 2018 with the goal of using technology to democratise the marketing of creativity.