Last month BandMark picked 10 companies making waves in the digital marketing toolkit space that we thought you should know about. For those of you who missed Part I of this blog installation, you can check-out our review of Topspin, Bandcamp, Nimbit, Rockdex, and Mozes by clicking here. Next up, here’s our review of NextBigSound, Rootmusic, FanBridge, Buzzdeck and Artistdata.

http://www.nextbigsound.com/

In 2010, Next Big Sound made Billboard’s Top 10 List of Digital Music Start-ups for the year. Dubbed as being a “statistics and comparison engine à la Alexa or Compete, but for music artists and industry professionals” this platform provides a central location for music professionals to monitor all the behavior and activity happening for artists both on and offline.

What can it do? NBS gets high marks among the competition for tracking more data, for more bands, than most digital companies around the world. NBS allows users to search and compare online music data for thousands of artists in the NBS database in real-time. With this platform, professionals in the music industry can see social media data alongside traditional sales data, radio plays, traffic to an artist’s website, P2P activity, even check-out iTunes sales data … all in one location. NBS also provides free, customized weekly email reports on any artist a user is interested in tracking. NBS also offers a Premier option which is packed with some features including actionable recommendations and advanced geographic data which helps decision makers in the industry better understand how to optimize their available resources.

Why use it? For music fans and industry professionals alike, there are more than enough free options within NBS to make this site worthy of a bookmark. The coolest part, since NBS measures lower friction actions associated with fans checking out bands online, artists actually appear on the NBS radar sooner than traditional measures of success. So whether you’re a fan, or a professional, NBS can help you stay ahead of the curve. Visit NBS regularly and be the first to know what new artist is getting ready to explode onto the scene weeks before anyone else discovers them.

http://www.rootmusic.com/

RootMusic is a San Francisco-based start-up which created an awesome app that helps artists generate customized Facebook Fan Pages which not only look better than default Facebook Fan Pages, but that boast additional features such as streaming music which create much more effective landing pages.

What can it do? Users can easily create an account, by logging into their Facebook account through the RootMusic site and then allowing RootMusic to install its app on their Fan Page. Afterwards, users can make all changes to their Fan Page directly through RootMusic. All changes made on RootMusic are seamlessly pushed to your Facebook Fan page, where fans can then read more about your band, browse your pics and your upcoming tour schedule, all while listening to your music. That’s right – the music doesn’t stop as you browse! It will continue to play as you access any part of your BandPage. All of your tracks play through a special, Facebook-share enabled music player that can pull in tracks from SoundCloud and YouTube. Additionally, BandPage has the ability to link existing Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo videos to your page as well. All your band’s photos are brought in immediately from Facebook. All the features of your Facebook Wall are in BandPage, along side your Twitter feed and blog posts. The feeds are always up-to-date so there is no need for fans to switch applications to see your latest news.

Why use it? Two words: It’s Free. If you’re not promoting on Facebook or Twitter, then you’re losing out on a valuable opportunity to reach and engage with your fans. Jump on the social media bandwagon now and then start using BandPage’s free fan engagement tools to help maximize the impact of your page. Twelve million monthly active BandPage users can’t be wrong!

http://www.fanbridge.com/

FanBridge is a fan relationship-management and marketing platform that integrates email, Facebook, Twitter, even YouTube, with a kit of direct-to-fan engagement tools which allow artists and brands to grow, engage and monetize their consumer fan bases.

What can it do? FanBridge is all about enabling users to create and maintain valuable fan relationships. FanBridge’s three-step formula for artist success is simple. First, FanBridge helps you get fans. FanBridge does this through an automated fan-getting-process which works around the clock to help grow your fan base. Next FanBridge helps you create excitement for your fans through a variety of marketing tools with viral functions including free fan-action microsites and custom Facebook fanpages with bonus features like 1-click email signup, contests/sweepstakes, and download giveaways which make it easier than ever to get new fans. Finally, FanBridge helps you keep fans engaged through fun tools like their Social Digest, a curated email based on all the feeds from your social networks. Want to take the relationship to the next level? Create customizable email campaigns using free, easy-to-use templates complete with FanRank and intelligent tracking analytics to help you see: who’s opening your mail; where they’re clicking; what they’re buying; and so much more!

Why use it? In addition to be extremely affordable, FanBridge has superior client support from real, live reps. What’s more, FanBridge appreciates that you’re an artist, and that when you’re not performing you shouldn’t be stuck analyzing data or toggling between social media hubs to communicate with your fans. So use the FanBridge platform to quickly and effortlessly communicate with all of your fans from a single location and don’t forget to leverage the Fanbridge analysts working to provide you with valuable insight on all your campaigns.

http://www.buzzdeck.com/

BuzzDeck is a powerful analytics tool built to provide artists, managers and labels with real-time analytic tools which offer valuable insights to hone marketing and promotional efforts.

What can it do? This platform works by aggregating data from a variety of websites so as to allow users to track the online buzz building around an act globally, across social networks. The BuzzDeck app starts by automatically importing events from Songkick, MySpace and last.fm and then displaying them below the BuzzDeck chart allowing you to see the direct effect of events on sales and social network activity and online buzz. With the platform, users can track visits, plays and sales all within the BuzzDeck timeline, where daily statistics can be displayed on the same chart for a period of up a year. Additionally, thanks to the BuzzDeck heatmap, users can see exactly where their fans are located based on the coloured regions which not only provide figures on the number of people per area but can also be drilled down by certain core metrics. With the timeline and the easy-to-navigate map (it employs the same controls as Google maps), users can view the whole world at once, allowing a clear understanding of each events impact, and getting a cohesive view of where an artist or brand is gaining traction.

Why use it? BuzzDeck is the ideal solution for someone looking to keep up-to-date with the news, but doesn’t want to deal with an unwieldy assortment of RSS feeds. According to the co-founder, “[BuzzDeck is] currently tracking about 70 or 80 data feeds from probably 20 to 25 different sources.” The coolest part: BuzzDeck not only allows you to see what’s being said about you in the Feed in real-time (it’s updated every 30 seconds), it lets you follow links to original content, and then gives you the ability to respond to Twitter posts without leaving the page.

http://www.artistdata.com/us/

ArtistData is a service which streamlines business operations and promotional activities for performers by giving artists and managers the ability to post show information once and have it automatically updated across many online destinations. In a nutshell, ArtistData helps bands keep their content up to date across the web from one simple, central entry point.

 

What can it do? ArtistDeck users can begin by customizing an ArtistData profile page which gives fans a branded place to visit and interact with. Next, users can easily post information on shows in the ArtistData dashboard, and watch as that info is simultaneously sent to their ArtistData profile page, in addition to a list of online destinations including: Eventful, Facebook, Jambase, MySpace, PureVolume, ShowClix and Twitter to name a few. ArtistData also allows users to syndicate to other artist-services partner sites used for website, email, iPhone app, and more. Not only is this a great tool to give fans one feed to subscribe to, where they can get information on everything from upcoming shows and tour dates, ArtistData can help keep artists organized by displaying all your shows on your site using our customizable, easy to install calendar widget and generating tour books and day sheets to keep you organized even while you’re on the road using your desktop or your mobile phone. In addition to online sites, ArtistData also alerts local newspapers and online concert databases on your scheduled shows. Artists can even print instant tour books, display information on their site, and manage their data in a simple and intuitive dashboard!

 

Why use it? ArtistData’s core belief is simple: Musicians should only enter data once. With well over 25,000 artists using the site to managing their entire data flow, ArtistData has experienced explosive growth over the past few years and has been called one of the most useful websites a band can use by several industry trade magazines.