Thursday, April 17, 2008

Using the New Media – A Personal Case Study

For about three years, now, off and on, I’ve been working on a second CD, a follow up to “One United Generation”. It takes so long for me to get the songs done because I do them in my spare time in the evenings after my kids have gone to bed. But finally, the songs were all done, and I had the graphics designed, and I prepared the website ( for the new product.

The next step was, of course, to begin rolling out the marketing machine. First of all was announcements on my website, on my blogs, and in my email newsletter. Then came a bulletin to all of my myspace friends.

One thing that I did is something that I want to share with you in more detail, as a case study, because there are a number of things that worked well that merit a closer look.

Even before I released the new album, I was considering the three steps of internet marketing. I’ve written about these before, but spelled out very simply they are: identify your audience, find them on the net, then get in front of them. I thought about my audience, and I identified them as members of my church. I thought about where they are, and I thought of a site called Meridian Magazine. It’s basically an online magazine for church members. It draws huge amounts of traffic on a daily basis, looking to read their articles and content. Of course, it’s also advertising-driven, much like a print magazine would be. It’s perfect for me.

I checked, and it was immediately clear that I couldn’t afford their advertising prices. So, that method of “getting in front of them” wasn’t going to work. That turned to my next one, which was to get into their content. To get “written up”, so to speak. Here again, I had a couple of options. One was to write up a press release. Actually, better said, what I would really be doing is to include them in the mailing where I would send every media outlet in Utah and in the church a copy of my press release.

While that’s a good idea, I thought of one even better.

I thought back about my network, my friends, my contacts. It turns out that I have a very good friend, Bruce Forbes, who is not only a great writer, and a fan of my music, but also has had a couple of articles already published in Meridian. Maybe he’d like to do an interview and write it up for the magazine…

So, I sent him an email outlining the idea, and he was on board immediately. At first he asked me to send him some ideas of what questions to ask. I didn’t really feel comfortable with that, as I prefer to just field whatever questions the interviewer cares to throw at me. It seems more real that way. So, he sent me a big list of questions. It took me about a week to get the answers sent back to him, and then we corresponded a time or two to get some follow-up questions answered.

Finally, he sent me a copy of the final article to approve. I was very excited to read it over. The whole process was especially fun for me, because Bruce and I really go pretty far back, and his personality really came out in the writing and in the interviewing. Even though I was the subject, I could see him come out in the interview, too.

And the final result was wonderful. I didn’t make any edits. I did find a few typos, but other than that, it was solid. Bruce submitted it to his contacts/editors there at the magazine, and we waited. In the meantime, I finished the cover art for the CD, and got the duplication and the manufacturing set up. I got the website fully ready, and officially released the CD. Orders started trickling in.

Then, this last week, we got the OK from the editor, and the announcement of the day it would be published. As soon as I booted up my computer that day, I ran to the site to check, and there it was, as promised.

And did it work? That day the traffic to my website was more than five times my average. Newsletter signups and orders have seen proportional jumps as well. I’d say it worked!

Here’s one thing that makes this entire experience so fascinating: The whole thing happened on the net. I contacted Bruce through the web. The interview was conducted via email. The article was submitted via email, and published on the web. It drove traffic to my website, where people signed up for my email newsletter, and placed credit card orders over the web. Isn’t this how it’s supposed to work!?

Mark is the co-director of, the search marketing consulting arm of Clickincome ( Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his MoBoy blog.

1 comment:

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