Posted: Nov 15, 2021
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**Guest post by Kate Polishchuk, expert on the Russian and CIS music market, founder and CEO of Wool Music & steezy.
"Every artist at some point of their career meets a need to expand the geography of their listeners. For some it will be a natural development of an already successful career, and for some it will be a necessity caused by small market opportunities in the terms of a particular genre in the country of their residence. Regardless of what your current situation is, I would like to share my overview on international expansion for musical artists, so as its advantages for your career and some things that you will have to keep in mind while “conquering the world” =).
The process of international expansion itself would significantly differ for the US artists and artists from other countries. It is actually hard to draw the line between the US and so-called international music markets, because they have merged to the highest degree. It happened partly because of the prevalence of English language in the international pop culture and the fact that the US is the main center of modern entertainment industry and economics, so it puts artists from the US into privileged position to their colleagues from other countries.
While most of the US artists can expand their music on the new markets more easily, artists from other countries, especially non-English speaking ones, have to make a decision which markets they want to target and which music style and language suit their goal the best.
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However, getting popular in the US is a hard challenge itself. The US market is extremely competitive and not very friendly to new participants, that’s why new artists with no support can have really hard times making themselves heard in their own country. There are numerous stories of the US artists who gained massive audience in the UK, like White Stripes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, etc. Bloodhound Gang has had a similar story with the German fanbase.
So, as I said before, it does not matter if you are a successful artist discovering new horizons or a newbie fighting the competition, considering expanding your music onto new markets may be a really nice strategy.
Let’s list the pros:
Just a simple math. There is no country which can compete with the US in number of album sales, gigs, etc.
This is a simple logic as well: when you have less competition, you pay less for your ad views, clicks and streams. Especially Southern American and Asian territories may offer you much cheeper ads and higher involvement.
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As I mentioned before, the US culture is popularised in the majority of countries. Besides that, people normally find music, movies and other art products picturing foreign life and mentality to be exotic and intriguing.
For example, I live in a house in the countryside near Moscow, and there is a cheese farm a few miles away owned by an American farmer. After he moved to Russia he shortly became a person mentioned in the news feed, and his story made him more attractive and exotic to the Russian customers.
Things you have to keep in mind while planning your International campaign:
Every country has its own local editorials of streaming platforms, different advertising legislations and unique media systems. So first you need to define which country you are interested in. Afterwards you have to plan a marketing campaign for this certain territory with an advertising strategy, make a list of local media and influencers, provide local streaming services offices with pitching applications that meets their deadlines for applying, etc.
Make sure your artist image is crystal clear to the local audience.
Here is another local example: Lil Peep got popular in Russia at the same time as in the US. Sad melodic vibe that is spread by freaky foreign artists is always very welcomed in Russia. In addition to that, “Benz Truck” official music video was available with Russian sub-titles.
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Imagine you found a country where your advertising campaign works perfectly because there is no competition at all, but you won’t be able to tour over there, or Spotify is not available in there, and the royalties from the other platforms are miserably small. It makes no sense, so any market you choose should meet your career expectations.
If you decide to move on with launching your first international campaign, it’s always better to find a local music marketing agency which has the experience of collaboration with the artists of a particular genre. Feel free to check out their cases and ask for help in understanding the local market.
I hope you enjoyed your reading and wish you the best of luck in expanding your career worldwide!"
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