Posted: Feb 3, 2020
**Guest post written by Rahil Verma of Promoly, a software that helps record labels and publicists keep on track with their promotion.
"As an artist seeking an audience, whether what that means to you is a few online streams or a world stadium tour, it’s not enough just to be an artist. You also have to put some thought into promotion in order to increase the chances of more people listening to your music than just you and your best friend Jimbo. Even though any promo is better than none, it’s undeniable that some music marketing strategies are better and more effective than others. That means that choosing how you’ll promote your music is half the battle. These are the six music approaches we recommend you start out with.
It’s pretty obvious to everybody keeping up with the world that, these days, social media is an absolute must for marketing. That’s where people are spending their time, their money, and their attention. If you want to get your music out there, you probably already know that you need to start marketing on social media.
However, what you might not know is the importance of putting most of your focus on just one social media platform, at least when you’re just starting out and don’t have a team of people to help do your social media marketing for you. It might be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that being on as many platforms as possible is best, but then you’ll spread yourself too thin and fail to give any one platform the amount of effort and attention that is required to start succeeding there.
If instead, you choose one platform that you think is a good fit for your style, music, and intended audience, and really give it your all on said platform, you’re much more likely to get noticed and start building an audience. And once you have a loyal audience on one platform, they’ll follow you over to whichever other social media you decide to focus on in the future.
Along those lines, when you do choose a specific platform to focus your attention on, know that consistency is absolutely key to getting views and engagement on social media. In that sense, quantity should be your focus (though you shouldn’t be skipping quality either!).
Whichever platform you’re on, pick something you’ll be able to pour into consistently. Whether that means tweeting three times a day every day, posting a YouTube video once a week, going live on Instagram every morning, or something else, once you start doing one thing consistently over a long period of time, you’ll find your numbers just growing and growing.
Another type of online marketing strategy that is super effective is email marketing, which is basically when you reach out to people directly over email in order to get the word out about your music. Email marketing is great because it’s so targeted; instead of screaming into the void that is a massive social media platform, you’re choosing exactly who it is that you want to hear your music.
That being said, email marketing can get tricky with things like tracking your email lists and not knowing how many of your emails are actually being opened and read. Using a tool like Promoly, which is made specifically for marketing music, can help you do the email marketing thing smoothly. It’ll take care of the tracking, stats, and analytics and even start you off with a list of contacts who are looking for new music to discover.
Of course, let’s not forget about more traditional media, like news, radio, and TV, which still play a major role in getting new music into people’s ears, even in the internet age. The art of pitching yourself and your music to outlets like newspapers, blogs, and radio stations is what PR is all about. Of course, you can hire a PR expert to do it all for you, but if you can’t afford that just yet, you can also learn some PR tricks for yourself.
You’ll need to join some email lists where you can pitch stories to reporters looking for a new topic to cover, learn how to write a good bio and press release, and make lists of press contacts who might be interested in what you have to say. Then it’s just a matter of chugging out the emails and phone calls that might eventually get you featured in an article or radio story.
Believe it or not, a major part of marketing is tracking, organizing, and interpreting data about things like who is listening to you, where they heard about you, and so on. Understanding this will allow you to continue to put your effort in the right places. For example, if you do the research and find out that most of the people who stream your music are women between the ages of 16 and 30, you can run social media or Google ads specifically aimed toward that demographic.
Or if you gather up your data and discover that half of all of your Soundcloud listeners came to your page from a specific social media post, you’ll know to make more posts similar to that one, and maybe to give that post a paid promotional boost. When it comes to marketing, knowledge is power, so open up Excel and get geeky about your data.
Our last tip might be your favorite because it’s all about playing the music. Sure, it’s a bit of a fantasy that all you need to do to become a star musician is play a few open mics until some big wig from a record label discovers you. That’s been our point this whole article: you also need to put some effort into marketing. But, that doesn’t mean you should stop the actual music playing part.
Don’t forget to get yourself out there and play in front of as many people as possible. Book gigs, no matter where they might be. Play at festivals. Play on sidewalks. Play at open mics. Sing the national anthem at a little league game. The point is that the more people who listen to your music, the more potential fans you have. And even in this time when it seems like almost everybody is walking around with earbuds in all the time, it’s an important part of promoting your music. And, hey, the most fun, too."
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