Of all the marketing channels utilized by record label companies, online marketing is by far the most cost-effective. With good online marketing techniques and practices, a business can exponentially increase their exposure, brand recognition, online presence, and ultimately help maximize return on marketing investments/expenses. Both Warner Bros. Records and Atlantic Records are major record levels. They both support and promote artists in different genres of music from Hip-Hop to Indie-Rock. Having said that one can assume that both labels’ target market is practically everyone! I mean, there are a few people out there that don’t listen to music, but virtually any demographic of people are liable to listen to pretty much anything. So, how can they reach as many people as possible? I’ll tell you how, through effective comprehensive online marketing! Lets compare these two major record labels in their competency of online marketing and gain a better understanding on what exactly effective marketing entails.
As far as Twitter goes, Atlantic pretty much blows Warner Bros. out of the water. One of the best tools that a company can use in trying to penetrate online social media is Twitter. Twitter currently has over 450 million users, and all are potential music listeners a.k.a. potential clients. Of these millions of users Warner Bros. only has 93,066 followers while Atlantic has acquired 154,020 followers. From these statistics I think it is safe to say that both companies have room to grow their Twitter following. I believe that the activity of each label’s account has a direct effect in how many followers they have. It should be no surprise that Atlantic has more followers, they have posted over 6,000 more updates than Warner Bros. have posted. I mean c’mon, what are the guys in the marketing department thinking over there at Warner Brothers?! What’s so hard about maintaining an active Twitter account?! Marketers have to create a buzz by being as involved and interactive with their target market as possible. A proactive approach must be taken to secure your share in the market whether you are conducting online marketing or any other form of marketing. Atlantic Records Tweets so often that “on average they tweet every 50 minutes” (marketing grader.com). This means that about every 50 minutes or so Atlantic Records is reaching 154,020 followers and counting. Atlantic Records has the right type of approach in mind as far as social media goes. You’ve got to reach as many people in your target market as possible while keeping them updated with the current happenings and promotions of the company.
In this case we can judge this totally based the number of likes that appear on the company. Warner Bros. has more at 293,798 likes where as Atlantic Records only has 122,860. After reviewing both pages, W.B., Atlantic,it looks like both companies are posting into the news feed on average over once a day. Posting on Facebook is an awesome way to share mixed media with all of your friends and clients that follow your page. If they like your page, then they are obviously interested in your product or service. You know that if they are viewing your posts on their feed, then they have some level of interest which means that they might either be potential or actual clients. It’s very beneficial for both companies that they each have Facebook accounts.
Blogging: Winner = Warner Bros.
This was an easy decision. Atlantic records forfeits by default because they don’t even have an RSS feed let alone a blog! I cant believe it. Blogging can be even more effective in informing a target market of company happenings when done right. Now, Warner Bros. may have a blog but it’s far from perfect. However, when judging the content of the posts I’d give them an A. From the blogs I have read Warner Bros. writes about; pre-orders, music festivals, music videos, interviews, charts information, artist information, events, recording news, tours, and awards. This is killer. As an avid music enthusiast I really enjoy having access to all of this information regarding the label. The only problem is that they have not made it easy to share all this information with my friends in social media. They’ve got to get some links up if they want to maximize their blogs exposure!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Winner = Atlantic Records
Companies such as Warner Bros. and Atlantic Records should me using search engine optimization techniques to ultimately maximize the number of hits their website can get. You want to give your website’s content the best chance of being seen by users, or in other words return on content, this is done through SEO. An efficient way of judging how well a site utilizes SEO is by looking at their; a 301 redirect, pages indexed, alt tags for images, and external links to your site. I’ll just say it right now, Warner Bros. fails in SEO. They only have 27 pages indexed by major search engines! To put this in perspective Atlantic Records has 181,000 pages indexed! Compare 27 pages indexed to 181,000, and it’s easy to see how much more exposure Atlantic Records gets in this category over Warner Brothers. Website url’s can be long, hard to remember, and hard to spell. If your website does not have a 301 redirect then if the user is off on the url by one character, then he will not arrive at your website. A 301 redirect is a search engine friendly method of website redirection. Every website needs to use it because if they don’t, most likely they are loosing out on exposure and site hits. Alt tags for images are also an important part of search engine optimization. By using alt tags for images on your website you make the images searchable on search engines and from there users can trace the image back to your site which in tern gets your site more hits. Surprisingly Warner Bros. does not have one picture alt tagged out of the hundreds of pictures that they have on their site. They’re dropping the ball in this category, but Atlantic Records isn’t. Currently Atlantic 38 of 43 pictures on their homepage tagged. They might not have them all tagged, but they have 38 more pictures tagged than Warner Bros. Records. Another way to quantify a website’s SEO is through how many external links that are directed to their site. Atlantic Records crushes his adversary in this. They have 2,724 external sites linking to their homepage where Warner Bros. only has a dismal 2 sites linked. Perhaps they only have 2 sites linked because they are incompetent in the SEO category, I sure think so.
In conclusion after reviewing how well both record labels manage the online marketing aspects of their websites, I’m choosing Warner Bros. Records and Marketing Grader agrees with me as well. They rate Warner Bros. at at 76/100 and Atlantic Records at 71/100. Here the deciding factor was most definitely the blog. Atlantic Records simply does not have one. I my opinion, both of these sites need to re-evaluate how effective they are with their online marketing efforts, both labels have so much more room to improve and it’s quite apparent what areas improvement is needed.
An Important Note:
As I mentioned in the about me section, music piracy is a major problem in the industry. To help combat this record labels need to utilize all techniques mentioned above to try and maximize their site’s exposure and convert potential clients into long term clients! Labels need to actively engage their target market, it’s not going to happen simply by being present!