How do you get noticed in the digital music marketplace? That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? The irony of the internet is that, while it’s never been easier to release music, it’s become harder and harder to get noticed.
Gone are the days when a major label would dump millions into promising young acts. Radio exposure doesn’t carry the same weight it did. And how long has it been since MTV was known for playing music videos?
That doesn’t mean that aren’t ways to stand out. It just means that you have to consider your approach a little more carefully. Keep reading for eight actionable record label marketing tips.
Record Label Promotion:
1. Define Your Brand
While it can be fluid, you should establish what your act is. Using the music as inspiration, build a visual motif that supports your themes. Decide on a logo and a colour scheme that will reinforce the music. Good music branding is vital, so ensure you take the time and consider it carefully.
This can develop as the band or artist does, but it’s helpful to build an identity that goes beyond the music. It’s something that the fans can latch onto. It also lends itself to merchandise and artwork for releases.
2. Know Your Audience
This may seem obvious, but that’s only because it’s so important. The better you understand your audience, the better you can reach them.
If you’re just getting started, it can be difficult if your fanbase is still in its infancy. Instead, look to similar artists and learn who their audience is. As you build an audience, continue to monitor their interests and habits.
As you start to utilize paid advertising, apply the data you’ve gathered about your target audience. The better you can target them, the further you can stretch your ad dollars.
3. Collect Email Addresses
The power of an email list is often overlooked and should be included in your marketing plan. It may seem quaint to some, with direct messages and texts being the preferred way to communicate. However, if you’re in the business of digital marketing, email is king.
There are many different free email list managers that will help you with this. Sign-up for one and put it to use. Collect emails at any point of fan interaction. You can use download gates that require fans to enter their email before downloading your music.
4. Build a Release Schedule
It’s not important that you release music but that you release it consistently.
If you look at it as a curve, any song will attract immediate interest which will then taper off. If you have enough material, post another track a few weeks later, just as interest in the first song wanes.
This helps you ride the momentum your songs build. You want to keep offering new material when you know people are still interested.
5. Free Downloads
This was touched on above, but releasing free music is a great way to garner interest within your music genre. People are always searching for new music, so providing them tracks for free is an excellent opportunity. Placing it behind a download gate makes sure you get something in return. Like an email address.
It’s fine if you have music that you don’t want to give away. Save it for a proper release. Instead, offer demos or cover songs. Not only does this build awareness, but it develops your acts personality in the eyes of the fans.
6. Make Music Videos
Know where most music fans find their music? That’s right: YouTube. The video-sharing platform has become an integral part of many indie label marketing plans.
If you have a phone, you have a video camera. There are many different approaches you can take, from a performance-based video to something more abstract. Lyric videos are another great option.
7. Run Contests
One of the most powerful parts of being in a band is the relationship you develop with your fans. Any time you can include them in a project, you’re deepening this relationship.
Ask your fans to help spread your music. Invite video ideas and t-shirt designs. If you incentivize these projects, you can utilize the collective power of your supporters.
As effective as a marketing campaign can be, nothing matches the power of word of mouth. Having fans that will tell others on your behalf carries a level of credibility that money can’t buy.
Just be sure to properly reward the support you get. This can be access to limited releases or behind the scenes videos. Whatever it is, it should make the fans feel even closer to the acts.
8. Find the Right Partners
Social media offers so many new opportunities. The ability to partner with the right people and businesses is one of it’s greatest.
The most immediate benefit is getting your artists exposed to a new audience. This reason alone makes this a no-brainer.
But there’s more benefit than just that. It allows you to further develop your brand.
If you’re a label with an interest in social justice, find activist organizations that reflect your ideas. If you’re more into sports and athletics, find a team or apparel company that matches what you’re offering.
The important thing is to find the right partners. Not only do you want ones that reflect your interests but ones that have an audience that would be interested in the acts you represent. There’s no point in approaching an energy drink brand if your label releases classical music.
Record Label Marketing Made Easy
The need for a record label isn’t as pronounced as it once was. The ability to record and release music has never been easier.
Instead, what you can offer as a label is the insight into effective marketing practices. Record label marketing incorporates a few key tasks applied correctly. If you can prove that you can practice these effectively, you can offer real value to bands and artists.
This frees the talent to focus on what they do best. Knowing that they have the support of a record label that can get results is incredibly empowering. It’s also to the benefit of both them and you as the label.