9 Tips for Record Labels to Stay Connected with their Audiences

9 Tips for Record Labels to Stay Connected with their Audiences

A lot of businesses have been directly or indirectly affected by the pandemic, and the music industry is no exception. Record labels, now more than ever, have been forced into experimenting with new marketing tactics to keep their artists relevant.

In this article, we’re presenting 9 tips for record labels to stay connected with their audiences during this unprecedented time.

1. Do Live Streams (A lot)

You’ve seen those, right? Well, how can you not with so many video platform algorithms taking every chance to feature them at the top of your feed!

To be honest, no one is complaining. I mean, live streams are as close as you can get to the real deal, only from the comfort of your couch, or bed. Also, doing live streams is one of the major ways EDM artists are coping during covid 19.

Unfortunately, such gigs aren’t exactly money makers (in fact, they are rarely paid), however, they’re fantastic exposure and help so many people stay entertained in these times of distress. 

2. Host Drive-in Concerts

Even in the pandemic, people in the US have figured out a way to party. It was only a matter of time until musicians and promoters saw the potential in the old school concept of drive-in theaters and made something equally awesome – drive-in concerts. 

Some of the names who have joined the automotive part scene so far include Snoop Dogg (aka DJ Snoopadelic) and The Beach Boys. Just remember to check for safe spatial requirements and keep the ticket prices reasonable, fans aren’t making as much money either!

3. Tread with Empathy

As much as they love music, fans are also affected by the pandemic, so purchasing your music may not be their top priority. It’s crucial to keep this in mind when promoting new albums.

While it’s nice to keep selling, your marketing approach needs to show a lot of empathy so that people know you don’t just care about their money. Make sure your messages and narrative across any platform are more relevant and insightful.

4. Be a Part of the Community

Your record label is not the only one out there, so don’t act like it. The last thing you want to be is the ‘one’ brand that only talks about itself. 

Granted, it’s important to be promotional, but it’s just as important to be social. You can toot your own horn across social media, but spend as much effort giving back to the community and engaging with the fans.  Help out aspiring brands, do collabs, give shout outs – it’ll pay off to be kind.

5. Branch Out

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social platforms are excellent for staying connected with the audience, but there’s more to the internet than that. Not all music fanatics are scrolling through their social media all day, some like to play games, get creative on Pinterest, or have discussions on Reddit.

Consider branching out to different areas of the online world. A terrific example is what Travis Scott did when he, along with his team, partnered with Fortnite for an insanely popular concert. 

The event drew around 12 million players into the in-game show and  The concert drew 12 million fans into the in-game show and helped his new single to an explosive launch.

6. Hold a Live Charity Event

Just like a live stream, only with your label donating for charity the more fans are watching and spreading the love. Spreading hope during a pandemic is a remarkable thing to do. Just look at recording artists holding live charity events to raise funds for frontline workers and charitable organizations. Lady Gaga helped raise $128 million for health care workers through the virtual “Together at Home” concert where various artists and celebrities took part. 

Record labels can also organize similar online “quarantine concerts” featuring their artists. Fans will love the opportunity to catch their favorite artist’s performance online while knowing that proceeds will go to a good cause such as COVID-19 relief efforts.  Another option if you can’t organize your own online concerns is to join other online charity concerts that are being organized. Not only will record labels be able to promote their artists, but they will also be able to contribute to the community. I

7. Listen to the Fans

Listen to the fans and followers who take time out of their day to find you online and give feedback. Consider what they have to say, even if it’s not all positive things. In addition to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, internet video platforms such as YouTube, Twitch and even Instagram live sessions are great ways to interact with fans and hear what they have to say. 

For example, Chris Martin sang Coldplay songs during and Instagram Live. DJ Diplo did a series of live streams on Twitch called the Corona World Tour. One added bonus of these video streams is that fans can comment during the sessions and feel connected with their favorite singers. 

8. Be Generous

If possible, offer discounts, promotions, or gifts-on-purchase. It’s a good deed and a great strategy to give the fans a little something extra to be happy about. They’ll remember it.

While holding ticketed online concerts is one way of earning revenue while physical concerts are not allowed, offering virtual concerts for free is an excellent way for record labels and musicians to show not just their generosity but genuine appreciation for loyal fans who have always supported them.  

9. Know Your Audience

Every social media or online platform has its own unique culture. The way you deliver your content needs to match the type of audience in that platform. Delivery is key if you want to be acknowledged.

Should you use TikTok, Instagram Live or YouTube to share content with your fans? Record labels should know the online platforms that their audience use. Once you have selected your social media platform, think about the content that you will share. To truly engage fans, you need to have content that they can connect with. 

You can have artists hold regular mini talk shows via YouTube. They can also perform songs or share their personal hobbies during Instagram Live. Getting on the TikTok trend is a great way to connect with millennials or Gen Z if that’s your main audience. 

Another example of how a record label understands what their audience wants is when Epic Records organized online meet-and-greet sessions for selected fans to meet Meghan Trainor before her online concert. Think of it as the virtual version of backstage concert passes where fans can meet artists!

Although there are many ways to connect with your audience these days, remember that the number of views or subscribers that you get on your online platforms is not the most important thing. What matters is making an authentic and personal connection with your audience.

How to Start Pitching Music and Getting Featured On Big Music Blogs

How to Pitch Music and Get Featured On Big Music Blogs

If you think creating your first album or EP was a challenge, get ready for your next steps into promotion.

Carving out a spot for yourself or your band in the music industry is no small feat. The competition is thick, and standing out from the crowd takes a significant amount of effort.

Thankfully, you have a mighty tool at your fingertips. Digital promotion is huge for pitching music. In fact, streaming has become the industry’s largest source of revenue as it makes up 41.1% of it across a whopping 176 million users.

But how do you tap into that? First, you need to get noticed. Below are some essential steps for pitching music to well-read blogs covering your genre’s niche.

4 Steps To Pitch Music Features to Popular Music Blog

If you’re serious about getting your music covered by influential voices in the blogosphere, here four steps to help you make it happen.

Step One: Research Content Creators

Before submitting music to blogs, you have to do some background research. Look into what blogs are trending in the music industry. There is more out there than just Stereogum and HipHopDX.

Make a point to find online publications relevant to your genre, as well as writers relevant to your genre. Most quality blogs have multiple contributors writing for their website.

Don’t just email them right off the bat. Take the time to follow them and read their work. Get to know the publication or writer you are planning to send your pitch.

Doing this may take more time than you anticipated, but your odds of success will be greater. Establishing a personal connection goes far in increasing your odds and getting future exposure on new projects.

Step Two: Tempt The Publisher with a First Look When Pitching

There is nothing better than an exclusive in the publishing world. Any time you can offer exclusive content, such as a new, unreleased song, do it. Aim for publications with influence and tempt them with the first look.

This will create a sense of urgency as they aim to be first to publish. If you already have a strong audience for your music, this is a great piece of bait for scoring an interview while debuting a new single.

Step Three: Avoid Mentioning the Blog’s Competition

Bringing up a competitor blog is like referencing someone’s ex in the middle of an introduction. Avoid planting bad vibes by leaving out any references to features or content covered by “the other guys”.

Instead, focus on other moments of merit, such as spotlights you’ve had on other forms of media or recent awards. Remember our advice about serving up exclusives that give the blog you’re pitching to a leg-up on their competition.

Step Four: Be Clear About What You Want

Don’t beat around the bush when you pitch music. Make it a point to state what you want early and clearly. Whether that’s an interview, a feature, or a review, make sure you make your request specific.

Simply saying, “Hey, check out this music!” isn’t enough. Remember, this blog or writer probably receives an overwhelming amount of emails and requests. If you wait on them to think of a way to use the content you sent them, you’re losing leads.

Also, don’t be vague. Add whatever information you can to your music pitch, including any press kits or audio that is relevant to your request. They may not have time to schedule an interview, but if you provide everything upfront they may reward you with a quick write-up.

Those who aren’t used to reaching out and asking for press may feel rude using a no-nonsense approach. However, busy writers and blogs love it when you reach out prepared and get to the point. It makes their job easier.

How to Draft a Short and Compelling Pitch

Now that you know how to approach today’s hottest music blogs, you need to craft a compelling pitch. We’ve broken down three main tips below in order to help you put together a strong request.

A Brief Message Gets Read

Time is a commodity in the journalism or blogging industry. You are one of the numerous requests the publication or writer must sort through on a daily basis. The odds are slim they’re going to do more than skim what you have to say.

Keep your message brief. You can attach or link to more information if your pitch hooks them. However, your call-to-action and your pitch should be within the first two sentences.

Think about what it is you’re offering the publication. What’s in it for them? Why would they say “yes” to your request?

Tempt them enough to make them want to know more, then give them the means to get that information.

Be Creative in Your Approach

“Hey, how are you? We are a band with a new album…” is not a unique pitch. New albums release every single week from musicians of all stages of experience and popularity.

What sets you apart? How is your pitch unique? Use creativity to sell it in a way that tells a story worth reading.

It doesn’t have to be paragraphs of poetry, but a few lines resonating the unique flavour of your music can be enough to give the reader pause and consider what you have to say.

Keep Your Quality Top-Knotch

Creativity is great, but don’t forget to apply some good old-fashioned quality control before you hit send. Poor grammar and typos convey the message that whoever you’re emailing wasn’t worth the time to edit and craft an original message.

Check your hyperlinks and make sure nothing is broken and make sure your tone is that of someone doing business. Using slang in your email isn’t going to win you any cool points. Be creative, but keep it professional.

Are You Ready for Your Music to Be Heard?

If you’re serious about pitching music, getting exposure, and hearing what people have to say about it, then it’s time you tap into our digital promotion tools. Here at Promo.ly, we make creating and managing campaigns a breeze.

Take a look at our packages to discover how easy and affordable it is to get your music out there. Sometimes the right move is just an e-mail away.

Promo Cards by Spotify

Spotify Promo Cards – What is there to know?

Spotify has just launched ‘Promo Cards’, which is a postcard shaped promotional image linked to music, designed to be shared on social media. 

To create a card, head to here. Spotify gives you full reign to their catalogue, which is excellent. You need to define your search by ‘Artists’ or ‘Podcasters’ and then choose the appropriate filters. Once done, search for your music. 

Unfortunately, the customisation of the Promo Card is pretty limited right now. Spotify defines a few pre-set colours, which is sufficient for making stand-out images for social media. But if you have a specific brand colour, you will be limited in this aspect. 

Customising your promo cards

Here’s the customisation screen. As you can see, the Promo Card is already made, but you can select the shape from square, landscape and square. You can also change the colours; here I have the choice of pastel shades. 

Different colours are available, but they appear to be defined by your search. For example, if I refresh the page and re-search for Muse, I’m shown the same colours as before. Whereas if I change the artist, I get different colours. 

Sharing on social media

When it comes to sharing your Promo Card, Spotify makes it easy. You can download the image, which is pretty cool if you want a fast way of making visuals. 

A sharing link is available for social media, but there is also a Facebook & Twitter share button available for 1-click sharing. 

What would have been useful is an embeddable clickable image script, which then can be inserted within HTML. You could use the link and wrap it in a script, but you’ll need to be clued up with HTML for that. 

If you’re looking for a quick way of making great looking promotional images for your record label’s artists, Promo Cards are for you. You could achieve the same result using Canva. Still, the advantage of using Spotify is that the link to the artist/album is automatically injected into the post when using directly on social media. 

I hope Spotify continue to develop this microfeature; it would be good to see further customisation, which would help media creators drive engagement to their Spotify profile. 

But at the moment, as it stands, Promo Cards is a great way of grabbing someone’s attention on social media!

DnB Radio in 2020 and Beyond Survival of the Fittest

DnB Radio in 2021 and Beyond: Survival of the Fittest

In the UK during the 1980s, the first instances of what would become DNB (drum and bass) evolved from the Acid House music scene, specifically from a subgenre called Breakbeat Hardcore. From there, heavier bass and distinctive up-tempos would come to define this new underground electronic music. Additional Jamaican dub and reggae sounds from jungle music in addition to some jazz elements would come to bear when dnb took off in the early 1990s.  

Dnb is easily the child of many genres, taking components from mid-century funk stars, layering hip-hop lyrics over sampled beats, or employing reggae-style MCs to complement a DJ spinning dnb at an overnight club.

Because of these varied roots, dnb is still relevant. Its origins are plentiful and deep, and its evolution is because it draws from such an expansive pool of influence. Thanks to pioneering DJs and a diverse audience, dnb continues to change and develop almost 30 years later. 

In Bristol and London, the United Kingdom continues to pride itself on the cultivation of dnb. This is where dnb music was born and where it now continues to thrive. Elements of dnb have migrated through the world, closely following the rise of house and electronic music in North America, Germany, The Netherlands, South Africa, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia, and even China and India, as dnb DJs have emigrated from London due to skyrocketing costs of living. Sambass, in particular, has gained a significant following in Brazil as the mixture of Samba rhythms and dnb tracks has made it one of the more popular subgenres of dnb.

The continued evolution of dnb now relies on an increasingly dedicated community providing new dnb mixes from various creators via online radio. Dnbradio is one of the premier radio channels that continues to stream some of the best drum and bass radio on the internet. 

Where did dnb music come from?

Dnb is a true fusion music style. It’s almost synonymous with Jungle style music. As such, you can trace its primary evolution to the previously mentioned genres: techno, house, hip-hop, jazz and ragga.

Techno music and the rave scene in the UK paved the way for dnb’s creation. They share a fundamentally electronic sound, though dnb accelerates the beat and emphasizes the drum and basslines. Further, this underground techno culture fed into dnb’s similar adoption route that fed into a nightclub and overnight outdoor event culture.

Dnb has also been one of Britain’s more successful answers to hip-hop. Though many have tried, British execution of hip-hop has always been lacking, partly because it’s difficult to fake vital sincerity towards uniquely American situations that many British artists cannot relate to.

The ease and fluidity of American hip-hop have eluded British artists since its popularity in America beginning in the 1970s. Dnb, however, has managed to include the beats and sounds of hip-hop (not so much the lyrics) in a very appealing way. Hip-hop influences also shine through in the attention that dnb DJs pay to the rhythm and texture of the sound that they mix. 

Ragga also contributes significantly to jungle dnb’s musical identity. These Jamaican dub and reggae roots have a strong foothold in the British music scene. With quicker beats and spitfire rap verses, it is the foundation of many dnb tunes.

Fans of jungle music often called junglists, listened at raves and on pirate radio film in Britain from its infancy until it went mainstream in 1994. Some junglists decided to move away from the traditional jungle roots that were increasingly associated with violence and criminal activity.

This move marked a shift towards music like that which is available on jump-up dnb radio. This rave- and dancehall-based Jamaican music culture rose up simultaneously and, most likely, in opposition to these negative associations with jungle music.

Finally, jazz overtones are also consistently present in dnb tracks, with many classic jazz performers cited as an inspiration. This end of the musical spectrum adds an interesting richness and contrasting smoothness to dnb mixes, resulting in an entirely unique sound.

What makes dnb unique?

Like Jungle music, dnb is a uniquely British mixture of sorts. Some even claim that it may be the first British created electronic music and that it only could have developed here.

In fact, a lot of its success comes from dnb’s ability to draw from so many styles of music that cross racial lines. Thanks to the post-colonial climate of a degree of assimilated inclusion, audiences in Britain enjoy more freedom in moving past racial barriers that offer more resistance in other countries. Top DJs spinning dnb music are both black and white, and they’re free to use inspiration from many culturally significant types of music. As a result, dnb music creation is never stagnant, and there is always something new to try. 

Secondly, dnb is a genuinely unifying blend of music. Thanks to the pieces that layer into each track, it appeals to a specific but dynamic audience, one that continues to enjoy the cutting-edge progression and evolution of the dnb mix. That amount of crossover also allows dnb to stay fresh and relevant to its core audience while captivating outside listeners with hooks and tracks appropriated from other familiar genres. 

When you reflect on the timeline of dnb, it’s evident that even with its reliance on sophisticated electronic equipment, this genre was born and cemented pre-internet. The early 90s technology available around the time of dnb’s birth would have required a great deal of dedication, which is likely one of the reasons why dnb continues to thrive. It’s producers and fans have been committed since the beginning.

Just as dnb was born of so many varied influences, it has also spurred the growth of a vast array of sub-genres. Dnb’s evolution has led to darkstep, hardstep, funkstep, breakstep, jump-up liquid funk, neurofunk, techstep, drumstep, technoid, footwork, Sambass and drill’n’ bass to name a few.

They each explore a nuance or blend of dnb characteristics, all punctuated with that signature breakbeat. Thanks again to dnb’s variety of influences, the sounds of the drums and bass show up differently so everyone can find his or her own space of enjoyment within dnb. DJs will spin tunes with strikingly different features and sounds, but all are considered dnb because of the tempo. 

How can record labels and Artists benefit from Dnb radio?

The 2016 sale of RAM (a prominent dnb label) to Sony RMG was viewed with both trepidation and enthusiasm by the dnb community. On the one hand, the sale says a lot about dnb’s continued survival and relevance. On the other, loyalists feared that some of the guiding forces of dnb had sold out. Regardless, it is an essential recognition of the genre and the value that it represents to the community at large. 

Dnb only thrives in the face of constant change and reinvention. Its tunes have a notoriously short half-life, so the importance of sustaining dnb production can’t be emphasized enough. 

Having said that, dnb radio is the best of both worlds. Constant creation is the catalyst for growth, improvement and evolution, practically everything that dnb embodies. Tune-in radio websites provide an affordable means of providing an accessible source of the latest trends and compilations outside of the urban hubs that routinely see fresh DJ productions. Bassdrive, for example, offers live radio drum and bass streams around the world. Koollondon’s resident family of producers and Radio Garden offer several London radio stations which are both excellent dnb listening choices.

Sites like DNB Radio offer options to ensure the fidelity and integrity of dnb tracks remains high and state-of-the-art. Other options like Jungletrain stream jungle and reggae radio make up hundreds of online opportunities to listen to the newest dnb around the clock. 

Supporting these stations by tuning in is the way for dnb enthusiasts, particularly those outside of London and the European hubs, to immerse themselves in the current scene. As dnb listeners absorb these brand-new sounds and combinations, we ensure that dnb continues to keep pace in this modern age. 

Artists benefit primarily from making their content quickly and cheaply accessible to a targeted audience. They can stay abreast of trends and gain inspiration from what has worked well or poorly in other tracks posted to the web. Labels can see how listeners respond to new music so that they can stay ahead of the curve. Dedicated pools of music that represent the advancement of a movement, of culture and of a sound. 

Regardless of your role in the dnb community-creator—promoter or consumer—streaming internet radio services with fresh creative content are a vital part of the collaborative spirit that propels dnb as a genre. This medium effectively supports dnb’s continued growth in the face of a scattered, niche demographic that requires this base level of interaction for inspiration and adaptation. Fundamentally, internet dnb radio creatively ensures the survival of the fittest. 

Want to promote music to your mailing list? Take a look at Promoly and sign up for a free trial.

How to Promote Music 10 Different Ways

How to Promote Music 10 Different Ways

From the outside, it might seem like the music industry is all about creating music: being inspired, writing songs, recording singles, making albums. And, of course, all of this creative stuff is a huge part of it. But music industry insiders, especially record labels, know the real truth: the music industry is all about promotion.

Because it doesn’t matter how earth-shatteringly, groundbreakingly life-changing an artist’s music is if nobody ever hears it. That’s why promotion is so important. For music to achieve everything we love about it, like awakening emotions and telling stories and creating community and making people feel understood, somebody (or more likely a team of somebodies) first has to put lots of very intentional effort into promotion.

To give you a head start in the music promotion game, here are ten different strategies you can use to promote music, whether that be your own or of artists on your record label. 

Keep reading to learn how to promote music, 10 different ways!

1. Go Viral on TikTok

It’s 2020 and we would be absolutely remiss not to mention the major impact TikTok is having on the music industry right now. (For those of you who don’t have any Gen Z-ers in your life, TikTok is a video-based social media platform in which users can make videos up to 1 minute long, and it is huge right now.)

As one of the fastest-growing apps around and a central focus on music as part of its culture, TikTok has a massive ability to give songs a major boost – and that’s not theoretical. TikTok is at least partially (if not mostly) responsible for the chart-topping success of songs such as Doja Cat’s “Say So”, The Weeknd’s: “Blinding Lights”, and Roddy Rich’s “The Box.” It’s so impactful that artists as big as Justin Bieber are creating music with TikTok in mind, hoping to leverage the platform for promotion.

If you want to give it a shot yourself (which you should), you can help increase the chances of a song doing well on TikTok by creating a challenge or dance that go along with the song, encouraging users to create their own videos using your song. If you do it right, you might just get a Billboard number one. But, actually.

2. Send out Emails

Okay, enough with all of that new-fangled stuff. Let’s pivot to a classic digital marketing strategy: email lists. See, email marketing is incredibly common and that’s because it’s effective. Building up an email list of music industry contacts like DJs, journalists, and media outlets allows you to reach exactly the right people when you’re seeking reviews, features, and airtime as part of your music promotional campaign.

With a tool like Promoly, you can easily deliver music to your email list, giving each email recipient the option to directly download your new music to their computer or Dropbox account in whatever file format they prefer, making it easy for them to listen to and promote your new songs.

3. Use Spotify Pre-Saves

Remember when Spotify was once as much a revelation for the music industry as TikTok is now? Today, utilizing music streaming platforms like Spotify as part of music promotion is a must. One great way to do so is to use the pre-save, which helps you build up excitement and hype about your new music among your listener community before its release. This is a great way to ensure that when your music drops, there will immediately be people who listen to it.

Spotify pre-saves are exactly what they sound like: users who opt in will have your song, EP, or album saved and waiting for them the moment it’s released. It’s streaming’s answer to pre-ordering an album. To incentivize users to pre-save your upcoming music, you can run competitions, do giveaways, and offer exclusive content in exchange.

4. Get on Spotify Playlists

Another way to promote your music on Spotify is to get your songs included on the featured playlists that Spotify makes available to all of its nearly 300 million users. As you can imagine, this is a great opportunity for exposure to a new audience.

The best way to do this is to use Spotify for Artists, which allows you to directly submit your unreleased music for consideration for inclusion in Spotify’s playlists. To increase your chances of being chosen, provide as much information as possible about the songs you are submitting, including instruments used, genre, mood, cultures the song or the artist belong to, whether or not it’s a cover, and so on. If your song gets chosen, it will also receive the added benefit of being included in your followers’ weekly Release Radar playlists.

You can also get songs that have already been released added to Spotify playlists, though this isn’t as straightforward a process and requires a lot more promoting your music on social media platforms (see number 10) and maybe even hiring a Spotify promotion company. You can also create your own playlists which, if they are made well, with a good cover image, a compelling title, and quality song choices and order, may be organically found by Spotify users. As long as you include your own music in the playlist, it’ll get heard that way.

5. Take Advantage of Influencer Marketing

Another modern classic of digital marketing is influencer marketing, where you work with people who have large followings on social media to help you promote your music. Influencer marketing is most effective when you do it within certain niches and communities.

Do your research and find influencers who are already making content about music or, even better, your genre of music. That way, them promoting your content will feel natural and not like a forced advertisement, and you’ll know that their audience is already interested in the kind of music you have to offer.

You can do a lot of different types of influencer marketing campaigns, from asking somebody to post a screenshot of them listening to your new song on Spotify on their Snapchat or Instagram story to having somebody create a YouTube video of them reacting as they listen to your song or album for the first time to having a blogger or YouTuber review your new music to asking a dancer to post choreography to your song. The options are endless.

6. Make Videos

Though videos have always been a part of the music industry, they are even more powerful a tool now than ever as video slowly grows to become 82% of all internet traffic. While the decreased popularity of previous cultural juggernauts like MTV and TRL may have changed the landscape of music videos, it certainly hasn’t killed them; a good music video will still get millions and even billions of views online.

In addition to music videos, online video viewers are interested in other types of content from their favorite artists, too, and this is where you can really have fun and be innovative. From tour video diaries to backstage vlogs to workout videos set to your new song, there are a lot of ways that you can promote an artist’s new music – or the artist themselves – through online video.

7. Play at Festivals

Among all this talk of digital marketing, let’s not forget the mainstay of music promotion: playing concerts and touring. Because in order to post backstage videos online, you have to actually get out there and play music first. While every new artist may dream of going on a headlining tour, a good place to start is actually to play music festivals.

Now, obviously we’re not talking about headlining Coachella here, unless your artist is Beyonce or Ariana Grande, in which case – I am honored (and confused) that you are reading this article. But if you’re promoting a newer or smaller artist, a good direction to go is to look into smaller, more genre-based music festivals like the Newport Folk Festival (folk) and Warped Tour (rock) and the Movement Music Festival (electronic). Not only are these easier to get into, but they also give you access to an audience that is already interested in the type of music you’re releasing.

8. Open for a Bigger Artist

Another way to get a smaller or newer artist on the road touring music is to have them open up for a bigger artist. If you can pull this off, you are really hitting the promotional gold, as it exposes you to an audience of music lovers who are in a good mood and primed to enjoy what they’re listening to. You also benefit from the explicit or tacit endorsement of the bigger artist and a lasting association with them.

There is, of course, a caveat here. It’s crucial that there is a good match between you and the artist you’re opening for. If the kind of people who love their music and are willing to buy tickets to their show is not also the kind of people who will love your music, you’re setting yourself up for everything from awkwardness and disappointment to heckling and ruining the vibe of the whole show. Not pretty.

9. Get Reviewed

While news publications may seem kind of old-school, getting a solid review in the press can still be fantastic promotion for an artist. Just think about the reaction to Fiona Apple’s new album Fetch the Bolt Cutters getting Pitchfork’s first 10 rating in nearly ten years; it was huge. So it’s definitely worth your time to try and get music journalists to review your new music.

To pull this off, you have to do some research and find journalists who are reviewing artists like you, whether that’s artists of your size, your genre, your location, or something else. Compile a list of these journalists and their contact information. You can then use Promoly to easily send all of them your new music at once.

10. Use Social Media

Though we could dedicate an entire guide just to ‘how to promote music’ on social media alone, here are some quick tips because, let’s be honest, if you’re not promoting your music on social media in 2020, what are you even doing?

Use hashtags. Hashtagsare a must for social media posts, as they are a free and easy way to get new people to see your post. Make smart choices about which hashtags you use, choosing both popular ones with large audiences and more niche ones where you won’t get lost in the fold. Don’t use too many hashtags per post so as not to seem annoying.

Post outside the box. If you haven’t learned anything from our first tip about TikTok, the most unexpected social media platforms can blow up out of nowhere and make a major impact. So don’t just post on the obvious platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Give other ones like YouTube, Reddit, Snapchat, TikTok, Tumblr, and Pinterest some love, too.

Be consistent. When it comes to social media platforms, the more you give, the more you get. Audiences want to see consistent content posted frequently. You’ll be rewarded for posting often, as much as multiple times a day for certain platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

Engage with fans. It’s not enough just to post on social media and leave it at that. Audiences want you to be a part of their community. So follow people, post comments, ask questions, create new hashtags, and so on. Engagement goes both ways.

Be real. Authenticity is key on social media. Social media users are not interested in content that feels corporate or tryhard or overtly promotional. Instead, they want a sense of real connection. So be jokey, use your voice, and build an authentic brand.

So, there you have it. Ten relevant, effective ‘how to promote music’ strategies for music that you can use to grow as an artist or to help an artist on your label grow. Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and promote.

How Record Labels Can Leverage Facebook Messenger Bots

How Record Labels Can Leverage Facebook Messenger Bots

As a record label, one of your main goals is to promote the musicians on your roster. And throughout the history of the music industry, there have been lots of ways to achieve this goal.

There are the classic “oldie but goodie” options, like getting their music played on the radio. There are the somewhat outdated strategies that aren’t so en vogue anymore, such as the mall concert tour that was so popular in the 80s.

But what we’re here to talk about today is the really cutting edge stuff: the strategies and techniques that take into account how to reach music fans and listeners in the specific era we live in today. That’s right, we’re talking about online. A savvy record label employee knows that digital marketing is a must in today’s market, and has probably been working the social media angle for a while.

But, for some reason, not so many record labels are taking advantage of one of the most effective forms of social media marketing available today: Facebook messenger bots.

In this article, we’ll walk you through what a messenger bot is, why you want to be using them, and how you can get started with marketing with them. Let’s get into it.

What is Messenger?

A lot of focus and attention gets put on the content side of social media: YouTube videos, Instagram stories, Facebook posts, and so on. But what you might be looking over is the part of social media that people are spending a huge portion of their time on: messaging apps.

From WhatsApp to WeChat to Facebook Messenger, 2.5 billion people around the world use messenger applications every day. Just Facebook messenger alone accounts for 1.3 billion of those users.

While Messenger was developed by and integrates with Facebook, it’s actually become a thing of its own, with a separate mobile application. The platform allows users to send and exchange messages in the form of text, photos, videos, stickers, emojis, audio, and files. It also allows voice and video calling, but most users stick to the chatting feature.

If you’ve been around the internet for a while, you can think of Messenger as a modern version of AIM or ICQ.

Why Record Labels Should Be Using Messenger

Facebook Messenger is a powerful tool for connecting to an audience, both for marketing and customer service purposes. We’ve already covered the main reason: Messenger is being widely used. Internet users spend a lot of time on Facebook Messenger. Why not meet them there?

But it also goes beyond that. Using Facebook Messenger can lend your company a sense of trustworthiness. According to a survey, the majority of Americans feel more confident about a brand if they can message with them. This is probably because Facebook Messenger is so easy and user-friendly.

Because, let’s face it, nobody wants to talk on the phone anymore. A lot of people, especially Gen Z, don’t even want to deal with emails. They’re already spending time throughout the day chatting with their friends on Facebook Messenger. If they can receive communication from record labels within that very same app they’re already using, users are way more likely to engage.

If you’re still not convinced, let me give you some more numbers. Traditional email marketing has an open rate of 20%. Facebook Messenger’s open rate? 88%. The numbers don’t lie.

Messenger Marketing Made Easy

Another major advantage of using Facebook Messenger to communicate with your audience is that it’s so easy to automate. Messenger chatbots are a tool specifically created for this purpose. Essentially, they’re little robots that you can teach to communicate with users. You can program the chatbot to know about your record label, answer questions, and chat with Facebook users.

Chatbots can serve a lot of different purposes. The best Facebook messenger bots can be used for customer service, conducting surveys, executing purchases, sharing content with users, and scheduling appointments. That’s the beauty of chatbots: they fulfill a lot of different purposes, and they do so effectively.

How Record Labels Can Utilize Messenger Bots

While every industry is finding creative ways to use Facebook Messenger bots (or at least the savvy ones are), there are some unique opportunities that record labels can take advantage of with this technology.

One option is helping users access new music from their clients. For example, if an artist on your label is releasing a new song or album soon, you can have a Messenger bot send out a Spotify pre save to a list of your current and potential listeners, creating engagement and directing people to stream your music.

The options for Facebook Messenger bot templates are really limitless. Just to list a few: you can send out free songs, tease information about a possible drop date for a new single, send out a tracklist for a new album one song at a time, and so on. The best part is that as you’re engaging with your audience on Messenger, you can build your email list, get your audience to find you on streaming services, and create a funnel to increase sales.

How to Get Started with Bots

Okay, so you’re convinced. Facebook Messenger is a valuable tool and you want to try out a bot for your own record label. How do you do that?

First, don’t be intimidated. Sure, we’re talking about robots here, but it’s not as techy as it sounds. In fact, you don’t even have to build them on your own. Unless, of course, you have some talented developers on your team, in which case, go for it.

But if you don’t want to deal with all of that, you have the option of utilizing one of many different existing chatbot tools. For example, automation agencies like Weighted.io create chatbots that you can customize for your company’s needs with little to no technical skills needed. Best of all, Weighted.io’s chatbots are specifically created for record labels, meaning they know how to meet your particular needs.

Tips for Messenger Bot Success

Of course, you probably know that just using a powerful tool doesn’t guarantee you’ll succeed. You have to do your research and be smart about how you use the tool. After all, trying to hit a nail with the wrong side of a hammer isn’t going to get you very far.

So here are some expert tips you should keep in mind when getting started with using Facebook Messenger chatbots for your record label.

Keep it Human

Yes, chatbots are robots, and your audience is aware of that fact, so there’s no point in trying to hide it. But their experience will still be much better if the conversation feels natural and personal. So don’t be boring. Use humor. Inject in a bit of personality. Make it feel like you actually care. Your Facebook Messenger bot might be a robot, but it doesn’t have to be robotic.

Keep it Easy

One of the main reasons Facebook Messenger marketing is so effective is that it’s convenient. So don’t make your bot interactions more complicated than they have to be. Keep things short and sweet. If you’re doing a survey, stick to simple, yes or no questions as much as you can. Multiple choice and rating things on a scale of 0 to 10 are also decent options, but try to use them sparingly. Do your best to identify and get rid of any unnecessary steps in your chatbot flow, especially when it comes to making sales.

Be Generous

Like we’ve covered above, one of the best ways for a record label to use Facebook Messenger bots is to send users content, like free music or Spotify pre save links. This is a super effective form of marketing, so lean into it. Consider creating a weekly digest of artist updates or even sending exclusive content only to your Facebook Messenger audience. You’ll be able to increase engagement and maybe even acquire new customers.

Know When Enough is Enough

As great as they are, not everything can be done using Facebook Messenger chatbots. To that point, be discerning and smart about when you do – and when you don’t – use your Messenger bot. There are some experiences and certain types of content that aren’t best suited for the messaging format. It’s up to you to do the thoughtful trial-and-error to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Once you do, you’ll be making use of a tremendously powerful and effective online marketing tool. Awesome job.

How to Share a Spotify Song on Your Instagram Story

How to Share a Spotify Song on Your Instagram Story

So you’ve found the perfect song on Spotify and you want to share it with all your Instagram followers as soon as possible.

Thanks to a convenient new synergy between these two social apps, you can share a song, album, or playlist to your Instagram story in a few seconds with just a couple of taps.

Gone are the days where you needed to screenshot what you wanted to share and upload it. This streamlined process allows you to post what you want to share easily, quickly, and with a few extra features to boot.

No need to take screenshots that take up space and clutter your phone’s memory. You no longer have to go through the tedious process of sharing links via text, WhatsApp, Messenger or Twitter anymore, either. Just share directly from Spotify to your story for your mates to enjoy links to the music without all the fuss.

Dub a mixtape and share it with your friends, or use the features to soundtrack your life with an astonishing level of convenience. Whatever you decide to do, take a moment to reflect on the fact that just a few short years ago, we were all sharing songs burned on discs or synced onto iPods. Look at how far we’ve come.

Go ahead—be the DJ to your life story and whip up a fire playlist that fits your mood. Spice up the instant videos and images of your life that you post on your stories with a song.

If you stumble across a gem of an artist, spread the word. Have you listened to a great podcast that you need everyone else to listen to as well? With the way that Spotify cooperates with Instagram now, you can share, share away.

How does it work?

In case you aren’t yet convinced that this is the greatest development of all time, wait until you see how easy it is.

It’s virtually foolproof and anyone can figure it out in a few minutes. Since this update from Spotify is all about convenience and saving time, we’ll spare you the trial and error. We doubt it takes even ten seconds to share a story with the new sharing features.

Just follow these five steps and you’ll have Spotify in your stories right away.

Open the Spotify app. Browse through your music. When you’ve found a song, playlist, artist, podcast, or album, or anything at all that you want to share, do the following:

1. Open the menu by tapping the three dots on the top right-hand corner.

2. On that menu, select ‘Share.’

3. In addition to the option to copy links or send messages through WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, choose ‘Instagram Stories.’

4. Once you select that option, Spotify will open up the Instagram Stories editor of your Instagram app. Add stickers, tags, or text to introduce your latest find to your online community.

5. Then share your Story just like you’d share anything else to your Instagram Story.

That’s it. Literally three taps will get something off of Spotify and onto your story. From there, sit back and watch the compliments for your excellent taste in music pour in. Rest easy knowing that you’ve done your duty to share these sweet melodies with your people. If the mood strikes again, feel free to rinse and repeat to your heart’s desire.

According to Instagram, sharing directly from Spotify has some additional benefits, too. When you go through the steps above, Spotify will unlock custom cover art that’s optimized for Instagram for each song, album, playlist or artist that you choose to share. Not only are these new features easy to use, but they’re easy on the eyes, too.

These unique album or song covers will show up in your stories with an embedded link so that people who view your stories can click right through and listen right away. When someone views your story and taps ‘Play on Spotify’ under your Instagram handle, a bubble that says ‘Open Spotify’ will appear, taking them into the Spotify app once they tap it.

Once in the app, they’ll immediately begin listening to whatever you’ve shared in your stories. Thankfully, this saves us the effort of screenshotting recommendations from others to listen to later when we get a chance, if we remember.

Learning how to share Spotify songs to your Instagram stories is virtually idiot-proof thanks to the user-friendly design of this new set of features. With this update, you can also share Spotify selections directly to your feed or via direct message to any of your Instagram friends. Similar process, just share to a place other than your story.

So share your mood with a song or celebrate a night of debauchery with a themed playlist and post it up in your stories so that everyone knows what you’re up to and can revel in trendsetting, taste-making sounds without any real effort. Happy, sad, mellow, or lively, it doesn’t matter—throw a song from Spotify to your story to let everyone know what’s up. There are now more ways than ever to tell a story.

Conclusion

Ditch the screenshots and save the phone space. Move on and level up. Thanks to this update, we’ve made it to the future. Life here is simple and it’s good—well, at least it sounds good.

Excellent job, Spotify. Well done, Instagram. Way to work together to simplify your users’ lives and give us access to intuitive tools that connect us in more efficient ways than ever. If anything, this cooperative move has us feeling inspired and ready to share a tune or two.

Go through these simple steps (it won’t even take 10 seconds to share a song) and let Spotify do the heavy lifting so that you can share what you’re listening to as you’re listening to it. Be creative and let the music speak to your followers.

After all, isn’t that what music does best?

Liked this article? Check out, How Using SoundCloud Tags Increases Song Exposure.

3 Tips for Maintaining Sanity as a Musician Under Quarantine - Our Guide

3 Tips for Maintaining Sanity as a Musician Under Quarantine – Our Guide

The community quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic has forced a lot of lifestyle changes for people. Although the strict implementation of the quarantine is to protect the welfare of everyone, it takes a toll on the mental health of people, especially those who rely on social interaction daily.

It sucks you can’t go to your favourite restaurant for your usual order. It’s a bother that you can’t find solace in your usual routine outside your home. However, the quarantine helps ensure you don’t acquire the virus, so it is best to stay indoors.

As a musician, it might be the best time to focus on your music marketing strategies to use your extra time productively. It’s nice to do some de-stressing activities, but filing your whole quarantine schedule with nothing productive is lost time.

Here are some things you can do to maintain your sanity productively during the quarantine.

1) Focus on your music

The best part about the quarantine period is you get plenty of time to hone and polish your craft. Aside from playing your usual instruments, you can practice on your songwriting skills or learn other musical tools. Having diversity and flexibility in the music industry is a huge plus point since you no longer have to rely on others for help. You can surprise your fans with new songs or proudly display the efforts of practising a new instrument.

2) Learn the marketing side of music

Producing music is only a part of the entire journey as an artist. So, it is best to immerse yourself in excellent music marketing strategies so that your music can have a wider audience reach. The business side of the music industry is crucial in ensuring a successful career. However, start slow, and at a pace that you can comfortably consume content. Otherwise, you risk overwhelming yourself with too much information you might give up from the get-go.

Learn music promotions for one marketing platform every two or three days. With this strategy and pacing, you can give yourself the chance to digest and fully understand what you’ve learned. Once you’ve mastered one, you can confidently jump to the other one. Remember to take it slow since there’s no need to learn all of these during the quarantine period. You still have time after the quarantine, after all.

3) Exercise to get your brain moving

If you have an established exercise routine before the coronavirus attack, it is best to continue it at your home. Although at-home workouts may not feel the same as going to the gym, you still reap the same mental and physical benefits.

You can even try exercises you haven’t tried before. Try yoga by watching yoga videos. There are also some fun dance videos you can do to burn some calories while having a ton of fun. Exercising helps provide your brain extra supply of oxygen to make it work better and faster.

Conclusion

The way you handle the quarantine period helps influence your life after the whole chaotic situation. If you decide to invest in your well-being and growth instead of being a couch potato, you will see enormous growth in your career and skills. Learning the dos and don’ts in music promotions can help you in your industry endeavours too.

Are you in need of help with your music PR strategies? Check us out today to learn more about how we can help.