Marketing and PR for shows used to be pretty straightforward, because everything was printed—so it was finite. Once you copied and mailed your press releases, printed and distributed posters/postcards/coupons/whatever, and bought any advertising you could afford, you were done until the next round.
Now you're never, ever finished. You're not limited by how many reams of paper you can afford to print, or how many stamps you can buy. You can always find another calendar to submit your event to, another web phenom to capitalize on (facebook? myspace? hell, how do you use twitter?), more people to e-mail to...and you could spend the rest of your life creating and maintaining a website.
Because you don't have to decide, it seems like it makes it more important to. Right now, Tantrum uses blogspot to maintain its website. We've bought a domain name, but until we have time to come up with content, UI, wireframes and design, we feed it blog updates. Which for now is fine, because our readership seems to consist primarily of...us. Not surprising. So how much effort should we put into it?
It's amazing how even big companies have a hard time figuring out an online strategy. Pure content or commerce sites have it eaaaaasy. But what if you don't sell anything or offer information—or if you do both? Tantrumkc.com exists primarily because we used to not have a schedule, so we needed somewhere to send people until we figured out when our next show would be. It's purpose hasn't changed dramatically; it's there if people want to know more about us.
The discipline comes in figuring out, bit by bit, how deep people really want to go. As we create our site, we can figure out where visitors spend their time (thank you, google analytics). Do we have stalkers? Then the bios get richer. Are they just checking the show calendar? Great—everything else is bare bones. If we add video, do we get more hits? Terrific—every show means we upload a new clip.
It's tempting to do everything. You could spend your whole life promoting your show online (especially if your house is messy and you don't feel like dealing with that pile of laundry just yet). Ideally, this marketing plan we've come up with will help us prioritize.