Thanks to social media and free resources like Audacity and GarageBand, achieving success as a musician has never been more attainable.
But if you want it, you’ll have to work for it-and not only in the studio.
Marketing should be as much of a priority as writing new lyrics or practising your instrument. Here are 13 of the best music marketing strategies to help you get started.
Learn More About Your Market
Great music marketing strategies begin with clear answers to several questions. Here’s what you need to ask yourself.
Who are you making music for?
Aside from yourself, that is. Every musician has a key audience. Marketing toward that audience will prove more effective than targeting everyone.
Who is your competition?
Every musician or group has a local rival. They may play the same type of music or take up valuable time at your local venue.
Not every rivalry is heated, by any means, but it is crucial that you learn more about the bands you’re competing against. Audiences only have so much time and money, after all.
Brand Your Band
Your name and logo are so much more than fun monikers and doodles. They tell the story of your group and can be powerful factors in your music marketing.
The Beatles were kings of branding and subsequent rebranding.
The Beatles from “Let It Be” is a different group than “Sgt. Pepper’s” Beatles, despite the band using the same name and lineup. And yet that’s about all those eras had in common.
Chances are your mind conjured colourful images associated with “Sgt. Pepper’s” as soon as you read it. That’s a prime example of branding at its finest.
Branding and rebranding draw interest and shows creativity. Never be afraid to reinvent yourself.
Take Advantage of Social Media
According to Statista, there are over 2.7 billion social media users across the globe. What’s more, it’s estimated that the figure will rise to 3 billion by 2021.
Social media is a wonderful way to find and interact with fans around the globe and should be used to its fullest.
Use your social media accounts to keep track of interest via hashtag, converse with fans, post tour dates, give updates, and more.
At the end of the day, social media is as much a part of networking as shaking hands with industry bigwigs.
…But Don’t Forget About Your Website
While social media is indeed a wonderful tool, it shouldn’t be the only form of online marketing you rely on.
A high-quality website is still every bit as important as it once was, as it has several advantages over social media.
For instance, you can get more in-depth with your biography. You can also sell merchandise and music directly through your site.
Collaborate with Established Musicians
One of the best parts of being a musician is working with people who inspire you.
Some of the coolest-and strangest-projects in recent history have involved collaborations.
Imagine Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” without Kerry King’s signature guitar riff. Or how about Kanye West’s recent collaboration with Paul McCartney on “FourFiveSeconds”?
Together, you and your peers can create some truly revolutionary stuff.
And aside from that, you’ll get introduced to a brand new audience.
Create with Your Fans
Established musicians aren’t the only artists you should collaborate with. There are some great ways you can let your fans get in on the fun, too.
Give your fans the freedom to remix your latest single, then gift the winner some free merch or tickets to your next show.
Or take polls on social media to let fans help you name your next album and choose your next music video.
Keep People Updated
Crowdfunding your musical endeavours through a site like Indiegogo or PledgeMusic is a fantastic way to make the music you want to make without having to worry about funds.
What’s more, they’re proven to work. Indiegogo alone has raised almost $1.5 billion for artists of all types.
But if you choose to go the crowdfunding route, be prepared to hold up your end of the bargain. Fans take a very real-and in this case literal-investment in your project.
Keep them in the know by updating them on the status of your projects on a regular basis.
Understand the Value of Free
You’re trying to make money off of your passion, so why give something away for free?
Though it sounds counter-intuitive, there’s a strong reason why it works so well in music marketing.
Everyone loves getting something for free. And by offering up your latest single or playing a free show, you’ll drum up excitement and paint yourself as a fan-friendly project.
Add Some Mystery
Sometimes, less is more. A good mystery is a fun way to keep fans interested, far beyond the music.
Take the Grammy-winning Swedish rock group Ghost, for instance, who wear masks and robes during performances and interviews.
When the group first gained recognition back in 2011, they gained as much attention for their theatrics as their music, and fans had a blast trying to guess who was behind the project.
When it comes down to it, Ghost’s best marketing wasn’t done by their PR team, but by their fans. It wasn’t long until mainstream publications began running features on the band.
Never underestimate peoples’ love of the unknown, even when it comes to marketing.
Host Your Music on Streaming Sites
From platforms like Spotify to Bandcamp to Soundcloud, there are tons of streaming sites where you can host your music.
If you’re not already taking advantage of these platforms, do so immediately.
It’s clear that streaming is here to stay, so give your fans what they want-access to your music anywhere, at any time.
Consult Music Marketing Experts
A good PR person is an invaluable resource. A quality rep can put you in touch with the right people and get your band the attention it deserves.
Though it’s an investment upfront, to be sure, PR or digital marketing help pays for itself in a matter of time.
Hit The Streets
While digital marketing is great for marketing music, the old method of shaking hands and meeting fans is still effective, too.
Find independent music shops in your area and meet with the owner. Ask about hosting your music or playing a show at the store.
Persistence is key in any art form, especially in an age where everyone has a platform.
If you want to succeed, understand that it’s going to take a great deal of time. You may not see the fruits of your labour for weeks or months. But rest assured that when you do, it’ll be worth it.
Use These Music Marketing Strategies And Become The Next Hit
Your music deserves to be heard, and with these music marketing strategies, you’ll be fast on your way to success.
Remember, keep at it. Music marketing takes time, so keep your chin up.
And don’t forget that Promoly can help. Sign up today to gain access to marketing tools that your band needs.