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8 Genius Record Label Marketing Tips for Smaller Labels

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.

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.

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 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. 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 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. 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.

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 labels’ 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.

For more ideas on how to market your label, visit our other blog posts.

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Attention Indie Artists: Here’s How to Get More Plays On SoundCloud

Music is like a Horcrux: you put a large part of your soul into it. That’s doubly true for indie artists who don’t have an agent. They’re raw, exposed.

SoundCloud lets indie artists reach a pool of 76 million monthly users. But when you’re an indie artist, you take on many of the burdens of promotion yourself.

The internet is a fantastic platform for exposure, but the tricky part is discoverability. How can you stand out from the (literal) noise?

If we could have your attention for a moment, we’ll explain how to get more plays on SoundCloud.

Squeaky Clean Sound

To put this in a simple way: Let fans see your art, not your workshop.

It’s easy to jump the gun as a creator and leave loose ends undone in the name of getting your song out there sooner.

But people do judge the book by the cover. If your presentation is sloppy and unprofessional, you’ll draw fewer listeners.

Clean up your track names, scrub out the typos, and make sure your tracks are free of technical errors.

The book/cover situation doesn’t end there. Even when it comes to music, cover art draws people in.

Dress your tracks up with cover art before you put them out there. It gives a personality to set them apart from the millions of blanks on SoundCloud.

Selling In

“I’m an artist, not a sell-out!”

Time to drop that attitude now. Anyone you’ve ever heard of “sold out” in some fashion by marketing themselves. It’s what artists do if they want anyone to ever experience their art.

If you don’t have marketing and self-promotion skills, now’s the time to fix that. You don’t have to go on an expert-level marketing course, but read up on the subject and how to get noticed on SoundCloud.

Most of all, shake the self-promotion embarrassment. Bigging yourself up is weird in day-to-day life, but for an artist, it’s the only way for people to discover and hear about you. If even a small pool of fans discover you, then it justifies the act of self-promotion.

Social It Up

The easiest way to get marketing is also free.

Making friends (“networking”, in fancy business speak) is the fastest way to get heard. Forging links with the community means you can create feedback loops between you and other artists as you promo each other and reach a wider combined fanbase.

Making friends can also make you aware of exciting opportunities, like events where you can reach more fans.

How to get plays on SoundCloud? It’s all in the follows, the likes, and the shares.

When you take it outside SoundCloud, the same applies. Hit social media to drum up more fans and make friends in the community. Social media is the largest promotional tool ever created — and it’s completely free.

If you want to go deeper, you can spend a little cash. Most social media platforms offer paid promotion through ads that they’ll show to relevant people. This can be a great way to expand your reach, but it can get costly for an indie artist.

Tag Your Tracks

Remember when we said discoverability was the root of the problem? Metadata provides part of the answer.

Effective use of tags is all that separates some big names from the artists wallowing in obscurity. It’s not an instant path to success, but the artist who uses tags in the right way will beat the one who doesn’t, all else being equal.

Don’t spam tags, but hit the major features of your sound: the genre, a sub-genre, the mood it creates, instrumentation. Think what you expect people to be looking for when they come to find your music.

Tools for the Job

What’s the best way to speed up a laborious job? Use the right tools.

It’s no different for promoting your music. There are tools out there to help you automate your social media or keep your marketing organised. If there’s something about promoting your tracks you’d rather skip, there’s probably a tool out there to help you out.

Tools won’t take the hard work out of promotion, but they can help you do more faster. Getting known will always be an uphill struggle, but climbing equipment will make it easier.

Big Data for Big Sounds

Don’t let the word “analytics” send you to sleep. Boring data might seem like the opposite of creating art, but it would amaze you to know how often they go hand in hand.

SoundCloud features its own analytics panel that you can access by signing up for SoundCloud Pro. It’ll cost you, but it’ll also give you insight into who’s listening and how your marketing efforts shape your audience over time.

Use the analytics provided by your social media accounts for similar data. You don’t have to do a deep dive on the statistics, but you can get a sense for what’s working and what’s not.

Get Someone in Your Corner

So, you’re not making enough progress on your own and you’re happy to pay a little more. Perhaps it’s time to work with a promo firm.

There’s a huge number of companies out there who will help you with marketing and PR for your art. This isn’t like working with a traditional label. They won’t own the rights to your music or anything like that.

Instead, you’ll pay them a fee and they’ll take on some of the things we’ve already discussed — and more. They’ll make it their mission to get you out there.

With a promo firm, you’ll probably achieve results you couldn’t have alone. The trade-off is the cost. You’ll need deep pockets to make the most of this kind of service.

How to Get More Plays on SoundCloud the Easy Way

If you’ve been wondering how to get more plays on SoundCloud, these tips will help bring some new ears to your music.

The best part is that this becomes easier over time. As you develop fans, they’ll become ambassadors for your music and the whole thing will snowball.

Looking for more info on how to promote your music? Make sure to follow our blog.

What You Should Know about Email Marketing for Musicians

What You Should Know about Email Marketing for Musicians

Musicians choose their career because they have a passion for music and they want to share it with the world. Then they find out just how difficult that sharing can be.

One of the greatest promotional strategies for musicians is email marketing. After all, what better way to make your music heard than to deliver it right to someone’s inbox?

The key to successful email marketing for musicians is in the execution. These tips can help you launch a great strategy.

Tips for Email Marketing for Musicians

To make the most of your emails in your music marketing strategy, use these tips.

1. Don’t Underestimate Piracy Protection

Email marketing is a great way to announce your latest tracks or pursue record deals. The problem, though, is that it’s easy for someone to steal your music that way.

Make sure you use an email service that provides piracy protection. This is especially important if you’re sending unreleased music.

As much as you may trust the people on your contact list, it’s not a good idea to gamble your career on it.

2. Manage Multiple Email Lists

You should use marketing emails for different purposes. Maintaining a few different email lists for those purposes will make your communications more productive.

For example, if you’re seeking a record deal, have one email list for people in the industry you want to pitch. Have another list for fans in the general public so you can promote your music independently as well.

3. Always Plan Your Next Step

The key to great email marketing is driving people to the next step of the process. To do that, you need a clear and compelling call-to-action.

For every email, determine the next step you want the readers to take. It could be purchasing a download or calling you to schedule a meeting. Whatever it may be, guide readers to it and make it as convenient as possible for them.

4. Give People a Reason to Scroll

There’s a common myth that people rarely scroll on websites and emails. You might think all the pertinent information needs to be “above the fold,” or on the part of the screen they see right away.

That may have been true in the Internet’s early days, but today people are willing to explore more. You just have to give them a reason to scroll by telling them what type of compelling content awaits.

5. Put Serious Thought into Your Subject Line

The subject line may be the most underrated part of a marketing email. After all, the only information your viewer has to determine if they want to open an email is the subject line and your name.

Overall, the average open rate for email newsletters is just under 23 percent. If you want to make the cut, your subject line needs to be unique and inviting.

Building Your Music Career with Email Marketing

Email marketing for musicians is a great way to start spreading the word about your music career. It’s also a powerful tool for successful musicians who are trying to keep the momentum they’ve built.

No matter where you are in your career, the tips above will help.

To get started on your email marketing campaign today, find out more about promo.ly!

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5 Ways You Can Carry out Music Promotion Through Social Media

Ever wonder how music videos go viral? Any undiscovered artist can go big if they use the internet the right way.

The rise of social media means that there are more and more ways for promoting your music to a large audience. You no longer need an agency or PR company to get the exposure your music deserves–you can be in complete control over your own music promotion.

But what can you post besides your music? How do you build your music brand online? Here are 5 ways you can use online music promotion to change your career path for the better.

1. Instagram

Instagram is a platform that isn’t slowing down. It’s an easy way to build an audience with hashtags–and getting discovered is easier than ever.

Not only can you give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your life and your music making process, but you can also link to your videos through posts or stories.

Building an audience on Instagram is all about posting content that flows well together–and maximising your use of hashtags.

2. Facebook

It’s diversity and advertising functionality makes it a powerful platform–and one that’s great for when you’re just starting out. You can post videos, images, text posts, or even live videos.

This allows you to directly link to all of your content, no matter what form its in. Facebook also has an advertising system, which allows you to pay to direct your content to a more targeted audience.

3. Twitter

For building communication with your audience and having a conversation with your soon to be fans, Twitter is the perfect platform.

Unlike Instagram or Facebook, Twitter is a bit more fast-paced. With short bursts of activity and engagement, you can stay up to date with the latest trends and let your followers know what’s on your mind.

You can build an audience by interacting with others–through likes and retweets–and creating great content.

4. Youtube

When you think of the latest trending music video, Youtube probably comes to mind. This is the platform where you’ll be uploading your music. You can build a subscriber base to alert your fans of new music–and the more views you get, the higher up your video will go on the search algorithm.

The key to getting seen on Youtube is by having strong, visually appealing content. The longer your viewers watch your videos, the more likely you are to rank higher.

5. Snapchat

In the fast-paced digital era, Snapchat is a great way to get people’s attention. When people use it, they’re 100% focused on your content with little distractions. This means that just having 1 follower on Snapchat is worth a lot more than on other platforms.

It doesn’t have a discovery feature, so getting noticed on Snapchat isn’t easy. It might be hard to build an audience, but you can funnel your fans to Snapchat through other social media platforms. From there you can keep them updated on your day to day life–and promote the release of new music.

Using Social Media for Music Promotion

With social media marketing for music promotion, you can let your personality shine through and add something special to push you above and beyond the quality of your music.

This lets you reach an audience to share your work–your music and much more.

Looking for more tips to take your music career to the next level? Check out our blog for more!

10 music marketing strategies you can implement before getting signed

10 music marketing strategies you can implement before getting signed

1. Create a strong social media presence

Although its the 21st century devil, its essential in this day and age that you have a strong online presence. Show people your music, how hard youre grafting, your studio sessions, your personality. People love a behind the scenes insight into the life of an active artist. Showcase what youre cooking up, get interesting with your content and make sure all of your socials look tidy and themed.

How you present yourself online is critical when promoting yourself as a new artist. It’s important to be positive, and a good contributor to the your “scene” rather than simply hard selling what YOU do as an individual all the time. Your online persona / presence is key to developing relationships and, over time, showing your value and skill set. Your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed!J Fresh (International DJ and artist)

2. Network, Network, Network!

Go to events and socialise with artists, ravers, everyone! Its not as snaky as it sounds. Not only is it good to meet people in a networking sense, engaging with like minded people may spark new ideas and give you the energy you need to work hard in what can be a tiring industry. Its also a great way to remind yourself why you became an artist in the first place, because you love the music! Its an added bonus that the people you meet may also like the music youre making.

3. Word…

Talk about what youre doing with people, post your music on your personal Facebook page, make it known that youre an artist. You never know, your mothers, bosss, sons girlfriend might work in the office of the label youve always dreamt of being signed to, so be vocal, but be humble.

4. Attend industry music conferences

These are great environments to mingle with some of the key industry players. Get yourself a pass and try connecting with a few labels, managers and agencies, or, dont get a pass and get the intel as to where the best industry parties are being held and hope you end up waiting in the queue for the toilet next to London Elektricity with your favourite Hospital Records T-shirt on.

Here are a list of conferences useful to attend as a new artist:

– ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event)
– IMS (International Music Summit)
– Winter Music Conference
– Brighton Music Conference
– BEC (Beats Evolution Conference)

IMS and ADE are two conferences which can help newcomer artists gain a greater insight into the music industry. Not only can it put you in touch with people face to face, who can help progress your career and give you invaluable advice, but these conferences can also teach you just how important it is to get a better perspective on the inner workings of the industry, as well as how to stay on top of its changes especially within the digital age.Hannah Helbert, (Freelance PR agent for Ram Records, Hatched Music, Sofa Sound, Cygnus Music)

5. Familiarise yourself with software like Adobe Photoshop/Audition so that you can create your own content

Start producing professional looking online content without spending your own money paying a graphic designer. This is a perfect sorcery in leading people to believe your music career is poppinoff enough to make you enough money to afford a designer, when really youre a behind the scenes wiz when it comes to creating content.

6. Get on the radio!

Get yourself a show on an internet or community radio station. This is a great way of promoting what youre about and platforming yourself as a personality. People will connect with you as a person, leaving them feeling warm and familiar about connecting with your music.

Becoming a presenter on a radio station, no matter the size of the station is a great way to build yourself as a presenter as well as a DJ. Its worth mentioning at this stage that being a DJ and a presenter are individual skills to develop. Yet Ive found that the most beneficial style is somewhere in between. Use your radio show as a way to convey your unique personality and engage with an entirely new audience. Pride yourself on your curation and show your passion to the scene. Not only will the promotion of new (and established) artists help build direct relationships, but by associating yourself with some of the larger artists you play on your show, this will help you to get noticed by potential promoters, managers and labels.Gully B (Reprezent Radio Presenter)

7. Remix, remix, remix!

Be daring and smash out a monster bootleg of a well known track to draw attention to your style. Or, if you know other up and coming artists starting out in a different genre, you could suggest remixing each others tracks for maximum exposure. Everyone’s a winner in this situation as your sound is exposed to a totally new audience. When your name becomes more established, youll be paid to remix another artists track. Using the technique of having your tracks remixed by artists from different genres is an industry favourite, even with the bigger artists, so its good to get some practice under your belt.

8. Support other artists by tagging them online when you rate/play their tracks.

As the old saying goes, what goes around comes back around and if youre seen to be supporting other artists on their mission to get their music heard, not only does it make you a solid person, the good eggs will acknowledge and may even return the favour when the time is right. There are a lot of people grafting as hard as you are, so make good connections and be known to support the scene you work in, it wont hinder your progression.

Make genuine connections, support others, share their stuff online, post a few positive words etc. because you want to, not because you expect anything back directly in return. If you like something or appreciate someones work, no matter how big or small, why not let them know?–  Nausika (signed to Blu Mar Ten/Subtitles)

9. Get a job in music

Having a job in music can open up endless opportunities for a new artist. Its a great way of learning about the industry, and a great way to show professional bodies, who may be up for checking out your artistic side, how passionate you are.


A warning with this, be careful you dont go in on your first day with I WANT TO BE A WORLD FAMOUS DJ, written on your forehead. If a professional establishment suss out you only had one motive when applying to work in that office, and your work starts to slack, youll lose their respect which may hinder your reputation. Only apply for jobs you want and know youd be good at. Be smart but be genuine, itll help you stand out.

10. Make sure you have your best mixes, full of your best tracks, available online

If you have good DJ mixes on your Soundcloud, make them downloadable. People are more likely to stick them on repeat and then watch out for your next upload. Electronic music listeners are attracted to accessible content, especially mixes, so if you have a good mix thats circulating online, it will attract people to you as an artist and encourage fans to see you play live.


When your following starts to grow, this would be when youd tone down online mixes to introduce exclusivity, but for up and coming artists, the more people can hear what youre about, the better. Besides, who doesnt like smashing out a good mix and sharing with the nation. Go wild and have fun!