The regional touring metal band from Lansing, MI needed a web presence that could establish credibility in the music industry and engage their fans. In our consultation, we came up with very specific goals for the website:
Give fans easy access to important content
We talked about what content fans would need to be able to access quickly. This content included:
- Details about the newest show
- Details about events of interest
- Where to purchase merchandise
The website should be easy to manage
Heartsick expressed the concern about being able to keep the site updated regularly. They wanted to be able to add blog posts, add images, galleries, and video quickly and easily. This meant we needed to choose the correct platform.
Fans should be able to use the website on their phones
Being a band and a business for nearly 15 years, Heartsick was aware of the importance of mobile engagement from their fanbase. This meant that we needed to take responsive design and development into consideration when choosing a platform.
Providing an eCommerce component is critical. As is the user experience of the checkout
DIY bands like Heartsick rely on merchandise sales. It is the one of the few sources of revenue that has a controllable profit margin. Given the importance of merchandise sales, the online checkout experience needed to be as seamless and simple as possible for their customers.
Visitors should be able to see how active and engaging the band is on social media
Social media plays a key role in staying active in the music community. This type of engagement helps to grow their fan base and build a strong network with other industry professionals.
The Squarespace Platform
We decided on Squarespace as the platform of choice based on a number of factors including; project budget, CMS (content management system) specifications, and product price point.
Heartsick was accustomed to managing their tour dates through the "Bandsintown" app. Squarespace provides an API widget that pulls show data from an existing Bandsintown account and gets styled by the template.
To allow the band to promote their next show, we set up an editable region on the home page. This allowed Heartsick to add promotional flyers and customized calls to action.
It was important to highlight important previous and upcoming events.
Squarespace's blog component was a simple solution to displaying a collection of events. The blog component (or "collection" as it is referred to in Squarespace) is designed in a way that is easy to add posts, set post dates, assign featured images (they show up as thumbnails in a grid) and change the way the collection is displayed (you can choose between a carousel, grid, wall, or list view).
Heartsick needed a way to implement multiple photo galleries, and also a way to reuse them on other parts of the site. (E.G. The band would include a photo gallery for a specific event post, but would also want to add it to the photography page) Squarespace's "collection" feature allows the user to create a collection that can be used anywhere on the site. When the user modifies the "collection" to remove or add a photo, the "collection" is updated everywhere.
Squarespace's built in checkout process is designed to get the user to the end of the process as quickly as possible, without adding confusion. The process of getting the band's debit card and checking account linked was very simple and fast.
Displaying social media activity was a breeze using Squarespace's social media widgets. Connecting Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook was a simple process. In addition to social media widgets, they needed a section for press clippings. We simply created a new "collection" which was composed of individual "posts" (press clippings with links to their respective source).
Workflow Automation with IFTTT
In addition to displaying customized widgets for their social media outlets, we also came up with a solution for streamlining Heartsick's social media sharing. Enter: IFTTT!
We set up different "recipes" that will trigger various actions across multiple social media platforms. An example of a "recipe": when Heartsick uploads a video to Instagram, it automatically gets shared on their Twitter and Facebook account. This way, all audiences are able to interact with their content.
Another way we used IFTTT was to automate the social media photography archiving process. We connected a Dropbox account and created a "recipe" that would save any newly tagged photos of Heartsick into a Dropbox folder.