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The music industry is ever-changing, and it is especially true in this digital age. Before, big labels would sign the artists and then handle their music marketing strategy and promotional activities. That situation is no longer the case.
Of course, there is no damage in hoping that one day a big name in the music industry will discover you, and it will be your way to the top. It happens, sometimes, the same way it happened to Ed Sheeran. He was busking on the streets of LA and trying to join all the open mics he could find. Then, one night he was discovered by Jamie Foxx. Now, his net worth is $110 million.
However, relying only on that possibility would be naive at best. Today, the music industry is extremely competitive and saturated. With the rise of social platforms and opportunities to get noticed, more and more artists and musicians try to get out there and share their art with the world.
In this situation, to get noticed and find success, creating a brand with a well-thought-out and present-day marketing strategy is an absolute necessity. Keep in mind that music marketing changes fast. What worked last year may not work now. That’s why it’s crucial to always keep your hand on the pulse of current marketing trends.
With all of this said, let’s take a look at 15 music marketing strategies to implement in 2020.
Music is your product. You are the creator, and your goal is to sell your product. The first step for this is to create a marketing plan — a report that outlines your music marketing strategy for a period of time. If you are new to the world of marketing, in the beginning, it may be a little overwhelming. However, once you start, you’ll get the grip of what to do and how to do it pretty quickly. Here is how to start:
In your case, the market is the music industry. Identify your “competitors” and what makes you different from them. This will be your unique selling proposition. Studying the market will also come in handy when making your music marketing plan.
These are your potential fans. Depending on the genre of music you are creating, you need to characterize your target audience.
Are you planning to release new music, music videos, or a new album by the end of this year? Write an action plan — a list of your goals and the steps you need to take to reach them.
You will find 15 effective music marketing strategies below. Check them out and pick the ones you think will be more efficient for you.
After you determine your marketing strategies, you need to calculate your budget. How much money are you willing to contribute towards promoting your music?
Try to complete these key points step by step before starting the promotion. You can’t successfully promote your music without creating a marketing plan.
Now, as you already know how to start with your music promotion, go through the first 3 points of the previous section. After completing them, move to the next step - determining your marketing strategy.
Below are 15 effective marketing strategies that have been successfully tested by many famous musicians and celebrities and continue to be effective throughout the years. Let’s see what we have here.
You can consider yourself a professional musician after creating your first music website. Although social media and streaming services may make you feel as though you don't need a website, don't give in to this thought. Your website is an important step in developing your marketing strategy. It’s your online portfolio, where you present and sell your albums, show the dates of your events, and just tell your story.
And the good news is, building a website is neither hard nor time-consuming. Go with website builders with ready-made templates designed by professionals to save you time and money.
While working on your website, consider going for single-page sites, or one-pagers. When it comes to narrowing the focus of the audience on one thing, in this case, your music, they proved to be more effective. Additionally, the visitors don't need to click around to find the information they need. This may seem like a tiny detail. After all, it's just one click, isn't it? However, it does make a difference.
Once your website is ready, you can share it with your audience and your potential fans.
With the rise of digital technologies, it's become easier to reach your target audience. Music streaming platforms are a great example. Some of the most popular ones are Tidal, Apple Music, Soundcloud, Spotify, Deezer, and Amazon Music Unlimited. Here, you can upload your albums, share your songs, and see how people react to them.
But, of course, you need to choose wisely which platform to use. First, think about your target audience, which you've probably successfully defined in your marketing plan. What platforms do they use? For example, Soundcloud is great for electronic music and remixes. So if you produce music in this genre, make sure you are on Soundcloud.
Of course, you don't need to limit yourself to one platform. Research the capabilities and features of each platform, and if you are content with them, go ahead and share your music. The more platforms you are on, the more exposure you will get.
With 49% of the world population being on social networks, they come as one of the most prominent music marketing strategies currently in existence. If used correctly, they can help you promote your art and connect you with a potential fan base. And who knows, your track could even go viral! Imagine thousands of people sharing and leaving comments under your post on Instagram, Twitter, or another social media platform.
But how to create a viral post or video for social media? It all depends on your creativity and luck. People love inspiring and fun content, which they also eagerly share. They especially like video content, which, in your case, is very advantageous. Think about the content first, make a video, and add your song as background music. Make sure to upload the video to social platforms directly, as this will result in higher reach and engagement.
Using social media can help you build your community of loyal fans. Create your social media profiles and engage with your audience, share unique content, and interact with your fans. Embrace all the opportunities social media gives you to connect with your audience.
Again, you need to consider which social media platforms your target audience is active. Then, create your strategy and decide what type of content you want to share. Learn more about Facebook video marketing or making videos for Instagram. Any information can be helpful. Within time, you’ll see how your community grows if you utilize the best social media strategies for your music promotion.
Influencer marketing is a new but rapidly growing branch of marketing that is yet to unfold its true potential. So who is an influencer? An influencer is someone who has a massive number of followers on different social media platforms. They can be bloggers, vloggers, public figures, or YouTubers.
What you need to do is research the relevant influencers in your niche and contact them for collaboration. Trying to get the attention of influencers with large following can be hard at first. Start with smaller influencers, and gradually move to larger ones as your following grows. There are multiple ways to be featured in their posts. They can create videos and add your song to background music by mentioning you or sharing your song or album. This can be a great return on investment for you. You will get access to their audience, which is an excellent opportunity to market your music more authentically.
One of the advantages of having a music website is that you can collect the contacts of your audience. So, when you have your subscribers, you can send out email newsletters and keep your audience updated.
When you have your contact list, you can connect with your contacts when you release a new song or an album, notify about your next live show or send out the details of your upcoming tour. You can share not only news but also tracks, images, and videos through email marketing.
Struggling with organic traffic? You are not alone. In recent years, posts saw a rapid decline in organic reach. To boost your music marketing efforts and have a higher reach, consider using paid advertising. Some of the best tools for you are Google Ads, Facebook Business Manager, and YouTube Ads.
Paid ads are a great way to achieve larger reach, and be seen by potential fans. This can guarantee a short-term success, and can serve like a trampoline for you. However, you must be ready to invest more in paid ads. Thoroughly estimate how much you can budget on advertising.
Go live! Nowadays, you have an opportunity to share live videos right from your garage or even bedroom. Build a highly-engaged fan base by interacting with them in real-time. Discuss with them what they would like to hear from you, or what they would want to talk about.
There are many ways to go live. You can try Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube Live. And if social media platforms don't work for you, there is a large selection of other live streaming platforms like Concert Window, Twitch.tv, YouNow, StageIt, Musical.ly, etc. Live streams are a great way to boost your music marketing efforts and build and create a connection with your audience.
Podcasts are another way of effectively promoting yourself online. Here you have two options: start your own podcast, or try to be featured in someone else's.
Soundcloud is one of the most suitable streaming services for hosting podcasts. Record your episodes, upload them and submit to your feed. You can also embed them on your website and promote on social.
Use social media platforms or other tools to organize online polls to find out what your audience is interested in more. Choose topics based on their suggestions or interests, because if you don’t catch their attention, they won’t stay with you long.
When we think about music video sharing platforms, YouTube immediately comes to our minds. It's considered the second largest search engine after Google. So, you definitely need to have a YouTube channel and optimize it for better results.
What kind of videos can you share on your YouTube channel? There are many fantastic YouTube music video ideas that you can use, including music covers, lyric videos, singing lessons, etc. A creative YouTube video intro will help your audience and fans remember you. Don't forget about music visualizations, which will make your music videos visually attractive and engaging. Adding a beautifully designed thumbnail, and organizing your music videos in playlists can further help in creating an appealing channel, and bring you viewers and new fans.
Check out our article to find stunning music visualizer templates for your tracks.
YouTube is surely an amazing platform for music marketing campaigns, but don't forget about its alternatives, such as Vimeo, Dailymotion, and others. Each of these platforms has a large audience base you can try and reach. Once you create your music video, make sure to make it available on as many video sharing platforms as possible, for wider reach.
Do you need additional income to finance your recordings and shows? Band merchandise can be a great way to get it. First of all, you need to create your brand and establish it among your fans. Then, think about setting up an online store.
What kind of band merch can you offer? Choose between physical and digital ones. This may include signed albums and posters, stickers, vinyl versions of your album, phone cases, music lessons videos, online lyric books, t-shirts, and notebooks.
Before creating your band merch, you need to have an idea of what kind of merch your fans would love to buy. Research other bands to see what sells best and estimate the budget you are ready to dedicate to it. Showcase your products with compelling designs and mockups to see how your fans will react to it.
If you can’t decide whether you need it or not, remember that having band merch allows your fans to support you and your music.
Reaching out to music bloggers will help you get buzz around your new song or album, in case you have something worthy. Many people discover new music from different music blogs. So, you need to contact them and try to get featured in their posts.
You need to have a strategy for your outreach. First, find all the relevant music blogs and bloggers. This might take a long time, but you can get some top music blog lists and categorize them, which will save you some time.
Then, try to build relationships with them. This is the most important part. You need to prepare a stellar pitch for your music. Include some basic information about it, the genre, what makes it unique, and send your music video, if available. Impress music bloggers with your music, branding, and story, to make them want to collaborate with you.
Many musicians have used this strategy for a pretty long time. Among the famous ones are: "Beat It" - Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen, "Walk This Way" - Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" - The Beatles and Eric Clapton, and many more.
While your collaborations don't have to be this grand for now, they still can yield amazing results! When it comes to partnership, you can collaborate with equally famous bands, or try to contact more successful ones. Getting in touch with producers on the same level as you would be easier, especially when you are just building your audience. However, contacting more prominent artists will be a lot more effective in boosting your career.
Another option is to collaborate with DJs. They can create a Remix version of your music and share it with their audience. In any case, this is a proven strategy that helped many musicians stand out from the crowd. So, try to build relationships with other musicians to grow your fan base.
If you’re a professional musician, then recording music tutorials can help you become a valuable source of knowledge for the amateurs. This can be a good starting point for your career: the more value and knowledge you share with your audience, the more eager they will be to support your music later. Besides, why keep such talent hidden from the world?
You already know where to share your tutorials. One of the best options is to put them on your website. You can create a separate section and upload your videos.
Another option is to share them on YouTube.
How to create a tutorial video? Easy, simply record your video and edit it with the help of an online video editor. Once you start creating and uploading your tutorials to YouTube, organize them into playlists. This will not only help to keep your channel neat, but will organize the tutorial by theme and genre. Playlists are also a great way to keep the audience watching, as thematic videos will play after one another.
These platforms help music lovers discover live concerts in their cities, or keep them updated on their favorite artists. So, when you intend to have a live performance, sign up to a similar platform, and share your event with your potential fans.
With the help of these online platforms, you will effectively promote your offline events.
Crowdfunding seems to be an excellent way for musicians to raise funds for their upcoming album, project, or music video. The collected budget solely depends on loyal fans and their willingness to support their favorite music band. Luckily, there are plenty of high-end tools for successful crowdfunding campaigns. Some of them specialize in specific niches, and others can be effective for every goal. Some of the most known crowdfunding platforms are Kickstarter and Indiegogo. These two can be a great choice to find funding for your creative project.
In the case of crowdfunding, it’s crucial to have an active community. So, before starting a campaign, you need to make sure that your efforts won’t be in vain. You have to invest your time and even a small amount of money to promote your campaign.
If you think you need a crowdfunding campaign, then you must consider all the advantages and disadvantages before creating it. You also need to be sure what is the objective of that campaign, and explain it to your audience in a persuasive way. You have all the necessary tools at your hand. It’s up to you to decide which ones to use. Try them all and see which one brings better results.
It’s true that the music industry is very competitive. But this doesn't mean that you cannot succeed. If you have a dream, are ready to put in the hard work into your craft, and are willing to spend time on developing and implementing the right marketing strategy for you, there is no reason why you cannot succeed and find your fair share of dedicated fans.
If you are a talented musician and create good music, your fans will find you and help you shine, even if it takes some time. Using the music marketing strategies mentioned above will help you reach them and share with them what you have to offer. What you need to do now is to create a marketing plan and choose the right marketing strategies.
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