How to promote your music online efficiently

How To Promote Your Music Online Efficiently

Online music promotion has never been more comfortable but having such a vast network of possibilities it can be overwhelming. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are the go-to networks, but what other options are there and how do we utilise them to full potential?

Keep reading to find out how to promote your music online efficiently.

The no. 1 secret: create a website

One day you may wake up to find Facebook has gone bankrupt overnight and you no longer have an artist page with 500,000 followers. The chances of this happening are slim but are you prepared if Zuckerberg can no longer pay his bills?

Creating a website should be the first thing you should build. It’s your central hub. All traffic should point at your domain. Every post on social media should link back to your website. If you started doing this, you would put your self in a very safe position. Here’s why.

You own your website. You don’t own social media.

The problem with social media is that you don’t own or control the traffic. Facebook, Twitter & Instagram can change the algorithm without warning, and suddenly all your posts no longer get views. You lose your traffic. You lose sales. You suddenly don’t have an audience.

Instead of posting directly onto social media I recommend you start writing posts on your website blog. Why?

For starters, Google will find your posts and start ranking them on the search engine. This means people browsing Google will stumble upon your blog, and your website will have traffic. Secondly, your site will grow and if you continue with this approach your traffic in a year will be sky high! Also, that traffic is YOURS! Not Facebooks. Not Twitters. Yours.

Once your blog posts are written its time to start posting snippets of them across social media. Every post you write must link back to your original blog post. See where I’m going with this?

“But writing blog posts and sharing will take me ages!”

Guess what, it probably will if you continue the way you’ve always known. Think about this though. How many times have you Googled ‘how to promote music online’ and ended up just writing a short, aimless post on social media. Then you did another on Twitter. Then again on Instagram. Add that time up. Did all of that procrastinating, Google searching and social media writing pay off? I doubt it.

You’re probably thinking, “I came here to learn how to promote music online efficiently, and all you’ve told me about is building a website. “

Here are some tips to help speed up the process

Find something to write about. Do you have a new release that’s coming out on Beatport or Digital Tunes? Write about it. Write your own press release and post it on your blog. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, but get it published. Promo.ly uses WordPress, it’s very convenient and posting only takes a few minutes. Create your post, use a proofreading tool, like Grammarly to ensure your grammar is correct. You don’t need the grammar police on your back.

Creating artwork

Creating artwork can be long-winded. But you don’t have to pay a graphic designer or be a pro at Photoshop. There are tools like Canva and Stencil that can help you along the way. Canva comes with pre-set templates for social media, blogs and everything in between. All you need to do is edit the information and change some colours. This page banner on the top of the page was created in Canva. It’s a stock, royalty free image that took no more than 60 seconds to create and publish. It’s nothing fancy, but it fulfilled its purpose.

Distributing your posts on social media

Stop spending your entire day on social media posting stuff. Scheduling posts are straightforward and should take no more than ten minutes.

When distributing music online, you need a secret weapon.

Buffer is a social media management platform. Their free account is excellent and at the time of writing allows three social media accounts and ten scheduled posts. Create yourself an account and set up Facebook, Twitter and Instagram inside Buffer. Get your blog post URL and create a social media post in Buffer. Buffer can take your post and post to all three social media networks at different times. Think about how much time you can save if you scheduled a week’s worth of posts. Buffer even shows you the best performing posts. Unless you need to engage with comments, there isn’t a need to keep checking social media.

Traffic building

If you use this process, you will gain traffic over time. It may take some tweaking, adjusting and editing but you will get there. Remember to install Google Analytics code on your site. This will help you keep track of the pages that are performing well.

Use this traffic to your advantage. Start collecting email addresses and send a monthly newsletter. Ask people to share your content and offer them something in return. See this articles for more details about email list building.

The outcome

You have just created yourself a streamlined process for promoting your music online efficiently. As I mentioned earlier, your website is your central hub. Your social media is the distribution channels. Stop pouring away hard earned traffic and start bringing this traffic to your site.

If you take these tips on board, you will have a solid structure within a few months. Starting is the problematic part. You’ll need a domain name, website and hosting. Then you’ll need website content, images topics to write about. But once this is in place, it will be like a well-oiled machine, and you’ll suddenly have an efficient way of promoting music online.

Need more help with marketing your music? Check our blog to increase your knowledge. 

A Musical Web of Success_ Tips for How to Network In the Music Industry

A Musical Web of Success: Tips for How to Network In the Music Industry

Working on building your music career?

Trying to improve your networking skills?

Whether you’re trying to build a career as a songwriter or you’re attempting to market a small record label, being a great networker is often the key to succeeding in the music industry.

Meeting others in the industry, making strong connections, and getting your music in front of the right people can all help you build a long-lasting and sustainable career. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Successful music industry networking requires the perfect combination of perseverance and tact to get right.

Luckily, we’re to help. Below we’ll give you our top tips learning how to network in the music industry.

1. Show Up

It may seem really simple, but half of the networking battle of networking is won by simply showing up.

You can sit in your bedroom making great music or dreaming about joining the ranks of successful music industry professionals, but nothing is going to happen if you don’t get out of the house every once in a while. Make sure that you’re regularly going out to events where you have the chance of meeting people in the industry.

The type of events you attend and the places you go will vary depending on what your personal goals are. Music industry mixers, conferences, open mic nights, concerts, festivals, or songwriting group meetings can all be great places to rub elbows with other people in the industry. 

2. Have a Pitch Ready

If you’re serious about networking in the music business you need to write an elevator pitch and have it rehearsed and ready at all times. When you happen to meet a potentially important music contact or industry leader, you won’t always get a chance to sit down for a coffee and tell them your whole life story.

Sometimes you’ll only get a few seconds to shake someone’s hand and tell them exactly what you’re all about. Make sure you craft a pitch that quickly tells someone what you do, what you’re working on, and why they should care.

3. Assemble Your Promotional Materials

In addition to a spoken pitch, you also need to have the promotional materials to back your words up.

Make sure to get a business card that has your contact information on it and that you can easily hand off to someone who you want to keep in touch with. If you’re a musician, you’ll also want to have a demo and a press kit as well.

Even in the modern age, business cards and other promo materials are still essential. These things can help show others that you’re a professional and that you’re serious about what you do. 

Remember to bring a business card or other promotional materials with you whenever you go out whether you’re heading to a networking event or you’re just going to the laundromat. You never know when an opportunity will come up.

4. Do Your Homework

When you’re planning on attending an event or networking function where you think you may meet some industry professionals, it’s a good idea to do your homework before you arrive.

If there are any speakers, performers, managers, record label executives, or other professionals that you know will be there, then take the time beforehand to look them up. Do your research online and find out a little bit about them. See if you can find out who they have worked with, what their biggest accomplishments are, and what their plans are for the future.

Doing this will give you a bit of conversational ammo and if you do get the chance to speak with them, they may be flattered when you ask them about something they’re working on.

5. Have the Right Attitude

When networking in the music industry, it can be hard to find a good balance between being persistent and being annoying.

Music industry professionals do a lot of networking and meet people constantly. They are often bombarded with people who want to “be discovered” or who want to work with them.

While persistence can be a good thing, you need to have the right balance and you need to know when what behaviour is appropriate. If you spot a famous record executive on a date at a quiet restaurant, for example, that’s probably not the best time to pass out your demo.

Remember that there is a time and a place for everything. Be persistent and motivated, but make sure you know where to draw the line.

6. Become a Giver

Too many people who are aspiring to be successful in the music industry make the mistake of focusing on their own needs first. However, if you want to survive in the music industry you need to learn how to be a giver.

Giving to other people you meet without an agenda or without it seeming like you just want them to give you something in return is incredibly refreshing. It’s also the opposite of what a lot of people in the industry are doing.

Always look for ways you can authentically help others, whether that means making an introduction or offering someone help on a project. By being the kind of person who gives before receiving, you’ll win the trust of others and will be more likely to succeed in the long run.

7. Master the Follow-Up

The final thing you need to remember when networking in the music industry is that a big part of your success will depend on how great your follow-up is.

Remember to get contact information when you meet other industry professionals. Then, reach out to them within a couple days to let them know you enjoyed meeting them. Have a plan for staying in touch with them, and don’t forget to contact them later on down the road.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to the people you meet later on. Looking for ways to be giving towards them and offer value can serve as a great excuse to reach out and follow up later on.

Understanding How to Network in the Music Industry

If you’re trying to figure out how to network in the music business, the tips above should give you a great place to start. While there’s a lot more to know about surviving the music industry, you’ll have a much better chance of succeeding by learning the art of networking.

Looking for a powerful music promotion tool? Ready to cut through the noise? Check out some of our powerful features of Promo.ly and to learn more about what we can do for you.

Go Viral With These Awesome Tips for YouTube Musicians

Go Viral With These Awesome Tips for YouTube Musicians

You’ve finally gotten the courage to upload your songs to YouTube, but you’re not getting the views you hope for. As you probably know, YouTube is one of the best platforms to share your music. With a whopping 1.58 billion users around the world, you can’t go wrong with YouTube.

A massive amount of users means that there’s a whole lot of competition. How can you stand out among the thousands of other YouTube musicians? Take a look at these helpful tips that’ll make your music go viral:

How To Make Your Music Go Viral

1. Have Professional Videos

You already know how to create a YouTube video, but is it presentable enough? A well-polished video allows users to pay more attention to your music. Here are some ways you can change your videos for the better:

Choose the Right Background

Avoid filming in a distracting location at all costs. That means changing the location of your video from your messy bedroom to an environment that has a neutral or trendy look. Your music should be the main focus of the video.

Get a Better Microphone

Right now, you’re probably using your laptop or phone to record your videos. Your video quality will be decent, but the audio might not be as good as other musicians. It’s totally worth it to purchase a professional microphone instead.

Record Audio Separately

Several YouTube musicians choose to record their music first and later lipsync to their song. This handy technique can help you save time and create a better video.

2. Hold a Concert

You don’t need to rent out a venue to hold a concert for your fans. All you need is the internet and your camera to take advantage of YouTube Live. If you’re not sure how to do YouTube Live, it’s easy to get the hang of.

Livestreaming is just like making a typical video, except you’ll have a live audience. Choose the best setlist, practice your music, and set up the proper background. That way, your music will bound to be heard.

3. Make Your Videos Share-Friendly

You’ve probably always wondered “How can I promote my YouTube channel and make my videos go viral?” Well, if you make videos on certain topics at just the right time, you might be in luck. Having videos that are relatable, topical, and helpful can make people want to share your video with their friends.

These are some examples of shareable subjects:

Relatable Videos

Who is your main audience? Gearing your videos towards a specific audience allows them to identify with it, making them feel more connected to your channel.

Topical Videos

Making a topical video means that it’s relevant to current events. In other words, some of your videos should pertain to a popular news story, a political problem, latest trend, or most recent meme.

Helpful Videos

Why not use your skills to help others online? For example, creating a video tutorial on how to play the guitar or how to sing can make inquisitive users want to click on your video.

4. Work With Other Musicians

Many YouTube musicians are discovered by collaborating with other YouTubers. This allows you and your fellow YouTuber to gain more subscribers–you’ll be able to access your friend’s fans, while your friend will gain publicity among your fans as well.

Choose to partner with other YouTubers who have a channel that’s similar to yours. Collaborating with a YouTuber specializing in the same genre of music is the most logical, as your partner’s fanbase will be more likely to enjoy your music too.

It also might be worth looking into teaming up with a veteran YouTube musician. If they like your music enough, they might offer to feature you on their channel, and can even give you helpful advice.

Learning how to make a music video for YouTube with another artist can be challenging. You can’t just expect to instantly come up with a music video and song. You and another YouTuber will have to brainstorm ideas, compare audio programs, and work together to create a song before you film the actual video.

5. Get to Know Your Fans

If you don’t know what your fans want, your channel won’t be able to grow. That’s why the comment section of videos exist. Responding to your viewers’ comments will make the relationship between you and your fans stronger.

You can even make an entire video responding to a concern that your viewers’ have expressed. Don’t forget to ask your viewers what kind of video that they’d like to see you do next.

Engaging your fans doesn’t stop with videos and comment responses–you can even incorporate a fan’s music into your videos. Challenge your viewers to create a sample that you’ll add to your next music video.

6. Master the Basics

You may not put any thought into your videos’ thumbnails, titles, or descriptions. However, these are some of the most important aspects of video-making. This is the initial impression that you’ll give potential viewers–if they don’t like what they see, they won’t click on your video.

Having the right title and description can also help your videos appear in search results as well. No one can find your music when it’s not included in their search.

7. Do Some Self-Advertising

Don’t make a huge music PR mistake by avoiding self-advertisement. If viewers are interested in your music, they’ll actually want to find ways to purchase your music or find out more information about you. Adding some annotations to your videos can increase your amount of subscribers as well.

8. Cover Trendy Songs

It’s better to create covers of the latest music. For example, if you made a cover of an Elvis Presley song, you’d be competing against thousands if not millions of other videos. However, if you make a cover of the latest chart-topper, you won’t have as much competition because the song is more recent.

What’s the latest song that’s topping the charts today? Hop on the bandwagon as soon as possible and create a cover for that song. You may not like the song itself, but you can always create a remix that matches your style.

Help for YouTube Musicians

As long as you follow these steps, you’ll be on your way to becoming one of the most popular YouTube musicians. It’ll take a lot of time and patience, but you can’t give up right away.

Need some extra help? Check out some other ways that you can promote your music through social media.

Career Cheer 7 Cool Ideas to Promote Your Music Over the Holiday Season

Career Cheer: 7 Cool Ideas to Promote Your Music Over the Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to be jolly. The holiday season is also a great time to promote your music. People are hustling and bustling to get presents and you want to be on their shopping list.

But how do you make sure they know everything you have to offer.

Keep reading for 7 cool ideas to promote your music over the holiday season.

The Holiday Season on Your Website and Social Media

One great way to promote your music is on your website and social media. Sure you do that all the time but it’s time to add a little cheer.

Adding blog posts that are search engine optimized for holiday subjects or about holiday events will help you rank in results in a better position for more searches.

This will help you get more traffic to your site searching for the perfect gift but don’t yet know that you’re it.

Once they’re on your website you can dazzle them with your talent and make the sale.

It’s important that your site is user-friendly, convenient and easy to use and that you offer various products and methods of payment. A slow loading or confusing website with few choices could chase potential customers away.

Social Media Promotion

Social media is the perfect place to attract more visitors to your site and help you promote your music. Don’t forget to make your posts there festive and enticing.

One thing to remember about social media is that not everyone on one social media site is on the others. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have devoted users who don’t use the others.

To make the most of social media, reach out to followers on various platforms and at different times. If you post at 7 am every time, the individuals who only use social media at night may not even see your posts.

Get in the Holiday Spirit and Sing Some Holiday Songs

You may not be Bing Crosby or Michael Buble releasing a Christmas album every year but you can attract a whole new audience and impress the fans you do have with holiday music.

A lot of stores, radio stations, and DJs are only playing Christmas music in December. They get sick of playing the same ten songs 24 hours a day. Youtube and other online venues also have visitors that want something new to listen to that still has a holiday feel.

No matter what genre of music you’re passionate about, doing a holiday song can help promote your other music. Whether it’s Hanukkah, Christmas, Kawanza or New Years songs you could get some air time and great exposure.

Live and Virtual Holiday Specials

Book some time at a local mall, create YouTube specials or use other physical and virtual venues to play some holiday music. You could even have guests like a local comedian or have Santa show up to add to the festivities.

You get a chance to showcase your music and get exposure while adding to the holiday season entertainment for visitors and fans. It’s a great way to direct people to where they can find your other music.

It gives the audience a chance to share and promote your music special and spread the word even more with just the click of a button. You can be seen by more music lovers and gain some loyal fans.

Offer deals they can’t refuse and throw in a free song to entice them to listen and share your music over the holiday season. This is also a good way to get them to click through to your site after watching your special.

If you’re doing a live event in a physical venue have cards or t-shirts with your website and details on it so that you get free advertising and you’re easy to find long after the event is over.

Networking and Guest Spots

With over a billion websites and millions of people with youtube channels and blogs promoting their own songs, it can seem nearly impossible to actually get the exposure you want.

Networking and guest posts are an excellent way to increase the number of people who see you and to build relationships with others in the same niche as you.

Write a music blog post for a top music site, including a link to your site and even an audio of some of your music. Blog owners are often looking for contributions to their blog. They also cross-promote which means anyone who follows them on social media will be invited to read your post or see the video you contribute.

The holiday season is a great time to do this because everyone is busy and it’s hard to come up with enough unique material for blogs and channels.

Email and Holiday Cards

Email and subscriber lists are an effective and efficient way to keep in touch with fans. Don’t forget to show them some love for the holidays.

A holiday card with a sample of your music, a promotion or deal on your latest project and links to your site can help you remind them you’re there.

This saves your fans having to even go in search of the perfect gift or music options because it comes right to their inbox.

Everyone loves to know they’re appreciated so make sure you take time to thank your followers, email subscribers and fans over the holiday season for their interest in your work with wishes for a Happy New Year ahead.

If you have any promotions such as Patreon projects or are planning a Music Release event coming up be sure to include information for that as well. While people are in the giving spirit you might just find they are willing to support you in more ways than one.

Don’t Be A Grinch and Enjoy the Holiday Season

The holiday season is the perfect time of year to promote your music and video projects. Don’t be a grinch thinking it’s not really your thing.

You could be getting greater success and tons of fans from Santa this year if you promote your music this holiday season.

For more tips or help in promoting your music or planning a release check out our awesome features today.

Music Marketing - Proactive Ways To Increase Your Reach

Music Marketing – Proactive Ways To Increase Your Reach

Music marketing is how record labels and artists promote music to their target audience. Music marketing consists of multiple factors, for example, social media, press campaigns, online advertising, radio play and film placements. These combined make the ultimate marketing machine. But what some ways to achieve it?

Twitter this twitter that

Twitter is a vast network, consisting of millions of users, retweets and hashtags. It is a powerhouse for music marketing. To gain exposure over Twitter, you need to be consistent and should he check with your posting. Set up a posting schedule; for example, you could post promotional tweets in the morning and more lighthearted tweets in the afternoon. If you do this for a solid week and have a look at the analytics, you will be able to see which tweets are the most effective. Once you establish useful tweets, do more of them and reevaluate in a few weeks.

Remember to use #hashtags when posting content. If you did not know a hashtag is a form of metadata used on social networks and is away the uses to find particular material which is relatable to the hashtag. Again, use the analytic’s built into Twitter to establish which are most active.

Facebook it

Facebook is a funny one for music marketing. You can have thousands of followers on your page however only a handful will see the post. Here’s a top tip. Head to your page’s admin settings and have a look at the engagement analytics; Facebook kindly show you which days and times people engage with your content. Once you have established this, create a posting schedule and start lining up your content. Review this in a week and see if you will reach an engagement has increased. If not, reevaluate and try again. The key to successful Facebook posts is consistency and a lot of trial and error. Try out different images and wording. Your audience may like communicating in memes. They could like long-form style posts. Try a few and reports back to us with your findings.

Fan promos

If you are in the music industry, sending DJ promos is not uncommon. However what is unusual is to send your fans a promo before the official release. Madness? No, not at all. You could put your top fans to work in exchange for your music via promo.

Set up a landing page showcasing your music but also include an email input form. Ask your fans to subscribe to your mailing list and have an automatic response email asking your fans to share the landing page to their friends. However, set criteria; in the initial auto-reply email ask your fans to screenshot them posting the landing page and for them to email it to you. Tell them you will choose 5 lucky people to receive an early release via promo email. This will help create buzz and traffic to the music.

Get featured on Podcasts

Podcasts have been around a while and are becoming increasingly popular. This could be used to your advantage. For example, if you wish to promote drum and bass, we recommend you start searching for drum and bass podcasts. Shows like Hospital Podcast allow music to be submitted for feature consideration. Take a look at their websites and grab the relevant email addresses. Often they’ll have a public submission email address. Use promo software, like Promo.ly to send them your latest track.

We hope these brief, informative ideas help when promoting your next hit. There is no secret sauce with music marketing. Grab an idea and go with it. If it fails, try again until it succeeds. For more information on music marketing, Promo.ly have an extensive blog especially for you!

Should You Upload Music to Spotify_ The Pros and Cons for Musicians

How to Upload Your Music to Spotify? The Pros and Cons for Musicians

Think back to when you were a kid, dreaming of making music for the rest of your life.

Dreams like this were more elusive before the rise of YouTube and online music streaming apps. Now, artists can get their music in front of millions of people without a record deal.

And this digital music revolution isn’t slowing down.

Easily, the most popular music streaming app of the bunch is Spotify. Boasting an impressive 180 million users, it’s even credited with launching the career of Grammy Award-winning artist, Lorde.

Could you be an upload away from turning your dream into a reality? Is Spotify the right platform for you and your music?

How to upload music to Spotify, the pros and cons of Spotify, and how to get the most from this platform:

Create Your Artist Page

Before your Spotify upload, you need to create your artist page first. Spotify can be a powerful marketing tool, so this is a great opportunity to flex those branding muscles.

Is your current band photo looking a little dated? This would be a good time to update everything from your photos to your official bio.

Spotify gives you 1500 characters to tell your story. You can also include links to your website, music magazine features, and your merch store. Don’t hesitate to talk about the artists, events, and stories that inspire your music.

These little details can help people connect with your music. Keep building that connection by including your own Spotify playlist. This is a great way to show love to fellow artists and give fans another way to get to know you better.

Syncing Up with Spotify

Once you’ve registered for Spotify and set up your artist page, take a look at partnerships that Spotify has with other digital services.

These Digital Services include:

  • CD Baby
  • Songkick
  • Ticketmaster
  • AXS
  • Eventbrite
  • Merchbar
  • Distrokid
  • Emo Bands

If you sell music, concert tickets, and merchandise through any of these services, connect your accounts to make them appear in your Spotify page. This is a quick and easy form of cross-promotion.

Syncing your CD Baby, Emo Bands, and Distrokid accounts will also verify your Spotify page, making you a verified artist on Spotify (blue check and all!).

How to Upload Your Music to Spotify

Spotify had an attempt at making it easy for artists to quickly upload their music. The idea was you didn’t have to go through music distributors, like Label Grid, and instead you could upload to Spotify directly. Unfortunately, as of July 2019, Spotify discontinued direct access. 

Spotify stated: 

Almost a year ago, we started to beta test a feature that lets independent artists upload their music directly to Spotify. Today, we notified participating artists about our decision to close the beta program, along with how we can help them migrate their music to other distributors over the next month.

> Please refer to this link for the full press release.

Regardless, there’s plenty of distributors that allow direct upload to Spotify, so you are not out of luck. 

If you want to submit a playlist directly to Spotify, it must be unreleased music and done via Spotify for Artists. Plan accordingly and make sure your release date is no less than a week away before submitting.

Is Spotify Free for Artists?

One of the first questions artists ask is whether or not Spotify is free.

The good news is, yes! Spotify does not charge artists to upload music. However, keep in mind that the music distributor you use will likely charge a fee or commission.

Spotify also allows artists to promote merchandise without a fee.

How Much Can You Earn Through Spotify?

This is where Spotify receives its biggest criticism. In recent years, the streaming service has received significant scrutiny over their revenue model for artists.

Despite nearly a million streams per minute, Spotify only pays out $0.006 to $0.0084 per every stream. Worse, this revenue is paid directly to the music holder. This means the revenue is often split between artists, writers, music producers, and their record labels.

This makes it much harder for new artists to earn a living from Spotify.

While Taylor Swift may be one of the biggest artists in the world, she too took up the cause against Spotify when she pulled nearly all her music from the platform in 2014. Swift called out the platform for directly cutting into paid album sales.

Despite Spotify claims that working musicians can make up to $425,000 in monthly royalties, Swift’s own claims further shed light on potential problems with the service.

Top Takeaways

Is Spotify the right platform for you?

Here’s a recap of the top takeaways of Spotify:

  • 180 million users and almost a million streams per minute
  • Create your own branded artist page
  • Tell your story, sell your albums, and promote your merch
  • Get your music on Spotify through your music distributor of choice
  • Direct uploading for Indie artists is by invitation only
  • See which music trends best with built-in analytics
  • Spotify is free but your music distributors will charge a fee
  • Artists can only earn $0.006 to $0.0084 per stream

Spotify is part of a special club of digital streaming services for both fans and artists. Other services include Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon Prime Music, SoundCloud, and Pandora.

Start Making a Name for Yourself

Feel music stardom within your grasp?

If you’re ready to try your luck and upload music to Spotify, bookmark this guide right now and get to work on your Spotify presence!

But remember, Spotify is just one piece of the promotion puzzle. If you really want to get your music out there, start building your powerful list of industry contacts now or talk to an expert who can help.

What Music Promotion Companies SHOULD DO FOR YOU!

What Music Promotion Companies SHOULD DO FOR YOU!

Now, this is the ultimate question. What should music promotion companies do for you? Should they promote your music? Should they get you interviews with top magazines? Do they write the press release details? Do they tell you what is going on? Confused..?

Promo.ly have worked with a good deal of PR companies over the years and each of them work in their own unique way.

Let’s explore further into the world of music promo companies

This topic is subjective and depends on the company you are working with. It also depends on your budget; music promotion isn’t cheap and if it is, you may need to question who you’re working with. Promotion & marketing is a skill, normally comprising a lot of trial and error. What works for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you? Aphex Twin’s team likes to spray paint his logo and launch blimps into the sky to announce albums. Others like a more traditional approach, such as email campaigns and promo mail-outs to gain features. Would this work for you? Maybe, but I bet there’s a better solution which suits your record label. 

Promotion companies should explain how they work and what they intend to do with your music. This process should be collaborative. Remember, you’re paying them to work on your behalf. The music PR team should have a good track record. They should be approachable and want to work with you. They should also keep you informed about what’s going on, and what is working and not working so well. The PR company should extend your record label or company. It’s no use the PR company doing their own thing and keeping you out of the loop. Think about the PR company being the boat and you’re the navigator. You then have the crew who will get you to your destination. Think about what music PR companies should do for YOU. You’re in control. 

Good promos companies

A good company should say no to working with you. Your music may not suit their tastes or style. They might just dislike it altogether. A good PR company should tell you straight what they think about your music. If they only seem concerned about their invoice and not the music, perhaps they are not the company for you. There are plenty of music PR companies available if the first choice doesn’t work out.

All PR companies work very differently. Some do everything you can imagine and others will only email to DJs on your behalf. Some may take your money and you’ll never hear from them again. Let’s hope it’s not the latter. Doing research about the company will save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

Sourcing a music PR company

When sourcing a music promotion company you need to decide on what you need them to do. In the electronic music industry, most want someone to send their music to DJs, Blogs and Magazines. They want features they can boast about on their social media. This may sound easy but music promotion is a long game and results take time; your PR company should explain this to you. If you want blog articles written about your music, you need to appreciate this takes a while to organise. Don’t get annoyed with your publicist when it the feature isn’t online within a day. Your PR company have to create a press release, collate music, embed images, write an email, email the recipient, chase the email, organise a feature, chase the email again, confirm the details and eventually send the published article back to you. This process can take anything between a week and several months. All of this process is for only 1 recipient. Imagine if the goal is 10 blog articles written by 10 different publications; yep, this is where a lot of your budget goes.

Ask questions

When contacting a PR company you should ask them which publications they work with. You’ll probably find different companies have their favourite ’secret weapon’ contacts which they like to show-boat about. “We have close contacts at Thump, Mixmag & Billboard” are often the lines used during the sales pitch. This is cool, but find out about the smaller niche contacts too. The niche blogs audiences may love your music. Who knows, these niche blogs one day may be the new Mixmag?

Hopefully, you now have an idea what music promotion companies should do for you.

To Summarise

What type of promotion do you need? How big is your budget? Once you have the answers start your research and due diligence. Ask lots of questions and ensure the PR company is the right choice for you. Remember, your promotion is in their hands. It needs to be correct.

If you would like to learn about music marketing, this article on pitching music will point you in the right direction. 

Promote your new music_ 4 different ways

Promote Your New Music: 4 Different Ways 

Music marketing is a huge topic. It often overwhelms people, but there’s no need to panic. Here’s 4 different ways to get your tracks heard.

Use Reddit

Reddit has a huge user base and is the perfect place to promote your music across. At current it has 33 million uses, 852,000 subreddits and 140,000 active communities. Remember subreddits have certain rules which have to be abided to but I am sure out of the 852,000 it will not be difficult to find a couple to post new music across regularly. Reddit has a unique up scoring system and if scored high enough, your new tracks might reach the front page. Out of the 3.3 million user base a few of them will like your music.

Post music on Instagram

Instagram is another must for music promotion. At current posts with the location attached of 79% more engagement. You could post clip if you are new music track but also tag the location of your next show. This will help build and awareness about your brand. Remember to utilise stories to increase awareness and to keep your fans interested. Do not forget select your music on Spotify and add it to your story to help promote your brand, record label or music.

Start an email list

Email lists are just as important. You may think it’s an outdated method however this is a direct way of reaching your audience without having to pay or rely on another network. To build a successful list you all need mailing list software and a landing page where your recipient will input that email address.  There’s plenty of cost effective solutions to start sending music. Get creative with subject lines to get people get a high open rate. If the recipient has already gave permission to email them you have passed the initial hurdle.

Burn a CD

Sending a CD. Yes one of a those round plastic things we used to burn music to. These days most music promotion is done by sending digital files out of convenience. If you want to make an impact, send somebody something they cannot miss. If you try to get hold of an important influencer, you may have to think outside the box. I am sure if you received a mysterious CD for the post you would most likely check its contents. Remember branding, artwork and appearance is equally important as to the music.

Conclusion

Come up with a consistent social media posting strategy. Have a look at your Facebook page and check out the statistics. Will display the busiest days when off and engage more with your content. Use these days to post the most valuable content as you will reach more people. Use the less busy days to post evergreen content and keep the consistency high. Use a social media application to help you keep on top of your post and schedule. Set a date every week and schedule your posts for the remaining days. This will boost productivity and means you do not have to lock into Facebook every day. Win.

The Trend of Surprise Music Releases: What Every Musician Must Know

The Trend of Surprise Music Releases: What Every Musician Must Know

Are you still rocking out to Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next”?

You probably know by now that although Ari teased her fan base with a few lyrics from the new song, the single itself was a surprise.

The star’s surprise music dropped on November 3, 2018, earning millions of listens and downloads. It even had a star-studded music video featuring Kris Jenner and some of the former cast of the 2004 film Mean Girls.

Releasing surprise tracks and albums can be a huge PR move, especially in today’s instant gratification world. You can release a song and have millions of your fans hear it just a few hours later thanks to the magic of the Internet.

But what do you need to know before you drop a surprise hit? And why is it a good idea?

Let’s explore.

When Did Surprise Albums and Songs Become a Thing?

Not surprisingly, music without an announcement wasn’t really a thing until the internet became intricately interwoven into our lives.

In the past, if an artist dropped a new song, they would advertise it on the radio and drop hints. Then, the song might debut on the radio before going for sale in music stores.

The grandfather of the surprise release is Radiohead, who experimented with our instant satisfaction cravings by releasing the album In Rainbows just 10 days after it was announced.

Of course, the tactic was massively successful, and musicians like Kanye West and Beyonce have followed suit.

Now, dropping surprise music on your unsuspecting audience is standard practice.

So let’s take a look at why that is.

Dropping Surprise Music Saves You Time on PR

If you drop a surprise album, you don’t have to do PR and promotion of it before the album. Instead, you rely on word of mouth and the internet’s ability to retweet you until you’re on top.

Many artists spend weeks or months teasing their fans about their new albums by dropping hints and doing promo videos and shoots. Instead, you can skip all of that and go right to the branding and promotions phase.

Bigger artists will have everyone’s tongues wagging, and media outlets will be clamoring for performances and interviews.

But, even if you’re a smaller artist with a dedicated fan base, it can still save you some time on PR, as you don’t have to do as much of a run-up to the release.

Don’t Attempt It If You Don’t Have a Dedicated Fan Base

You don’t have to be Ariana Grande or Beyonce to drop a surprise song or album. But you do have to have a fan base who is going to care that you just dropped music.

One thing this trend relies on is hashtags, retweets and all of the buzz that comes from social media. Not long after, the press will get wind of it and pick it up, earning the musician even more publicity.

But if you don’t have fans who regularly use your hashtags, follow your social media or are in groups dedicated to you or your band, the surprise hit will just totally flop.

Instead, wait until you have at least a core base to try it.

Don’t Do It Habitually

If you release surprise music all of the time, it will become something that your fans expect. In the future, it might be the way everyone releases music, but at the moment, it’s still a bit of a novelty.

So, rely on the old trappings of PR and advertising your music for most of your music. But, once you’ve been around the block a few times, try your hand at releasing some music without any announcements.

Releasing a Surprise Album or Song Can Be a Test of Your Team

Truthfully, it takes a lot of work to release a surprise album. And it takes a lot of people keeping their mouths shut. From the sound guy to the studio mixer to the interns getting coffee, everyone needs to stay tight-lipped.

And for artists as big as Beyonce or Ariana Grande or Ed Sheeran, all of which have released surprise albums, it takes a village.

A couple of artists have had their surprise albums accidentally leaked, which likely led to someone losing their job for causing it.

You can’t really release surprise music unless you make adequate preparations. And although to your fans it seems like it’s last minute, you’ll need to be getting things ready for months before you even step into a recording studio.

You’ll have to draft and sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to keep everyone legally bound to keeping mum. If you have a dedicated fan base, you’ll have to ensure people don’t see you trudging to the studio each day to get ready for your big moment.

But on the bright side, it can help you figure out who on your team really needs to go. If they can’t keep a secret like that, they need to be pulled from your team immediately. And it’ll be time for a replacement.

Doing It Right

Since releasing surprise music is still a relatively new concept, it’ll take a delicate balance to do it right. But, if your team is on board and you know to plan it for months in advance, you’ll be golden.

Ready to have some help promoting your next surprise album, or planning for it? Sign up for our services now. It only takes a few minutes!

Email marketing list - why and how you should build one

Email marketing list – why and how you should build one

Building an email marketing list is so, so important.

It’s a powerful marketing tool and is often overlooked. Your email marketing list is your essential weapon of promotion; it can make you money and it can be used a service.

Get this picture in your head: You own a record label. Your goal is selling music. Now imagine you have an email marketing list containing 5000 people that love your record label and the music you release. Now envision sending 5000 people an email with a link to your own online store where they can directly purchase your music.

We’re talking about completely cutting out the distributor here.

Let’s say your single costs £2 to buy directly from your store and 20% of your email marketing list buys it.

That’s right, you’ve just made £2000 from sending a single email. #Winning.

If you are anything like me; your cogs are probably whirring, the light bulb has lit up and you are probably thinking, ‘hang on, I could do something like this too’. You’re goddamn right you can.

Here are the basics…

First thing’s first, you need to collect the email addresses and to do this you will need a landing page (a landing page is a specific web page advertising a specific product, the product in this instance is your music).

There are many landing page builders available, some cost a lot, some don’t.

On various projects I use Thrive’s landing page builder that is hosted on WordPress, it’s a one-off purchase and fully customisable, I really like it. Thrive is one of those “everything in one box” apps that plugs into WordPress. It comes with stacks of landing page templates that are easy to manage, it’s pretty much plug and play. It’s great if you’re strapped for time. It also doesn’t cost a lot. It was around £60.

Without being aware you have already been part of this workflow pipeline during your time on the internet. You’ve landed on a page; found something appealing, submitted your email address and in return, you‘ve received an email.

See how this works now? The landing page is where your customers will end up when searching Google, clicking on a Facebook ad or clicking a Tweet, etc. Essentially it doesn’t matter where the traffic comes from at this stage, but what matters is collecting their email address and keeping it for future use.

On the landing page you need to display your promotion or product, perhaps an embedded SoundCloud player featuring your latest release or mix, an email sign-up box and a call-to-action (CTA) AKA a reason why the person should hand over their precious email address in the first place.

The CTA

In a nerdy kind of way, CTAs are really interesting. I enjoy psychology and how people perceive words and actions. What’s even more interesting to me is how those people act on those words and actions.

A CTA is an instruction, which is carefully written, designed for a purpose, normally to get someone to take action. However, people have started to abuse CTA techniques, by combining them with subject lines.

You’re probably aware of a little guy called ‘clickbait’; he is the worse kind of example of CTA abuse. He’s very deceptive and has normally been put together by a scheming journalist. We’ve all clicked on link laced with ‘clickbait’ and thought “well, this has nothing to do with the reason I clicked or signed up”. This is precisely the point, it’s designed for one aim only and that is to gain traffic.

All I can advise is to not go down that route as it won’t benefit in the long run.

The best kind of CTA is a different beast; it’s still a clever piece of writing tailored for your audience, but without the deceptive attributes. You’ll normally find it right before a sign-up box on a landing page or website.

It can give the customer a sense of reassurance that signing up is the right move to take. The CTA can be persuasive, thought provoking, clever, funny and even inspiring.

A well-worded example; Netflix’s landing page features a sign up box which says ‘See what’s next. Watch anywhere. Cancel anytime’ and on the button underneath it states ‘Join free for a month’.

This is both a strategic play on words and a reassurance of intent. ‘See what’s next’ could mean see what film is next, or see what happens next after signing up. ‘Watch anywhere’ tells you that Netflix can be taken and viewed anywhere, suggesting that it’s available on all portable platforms. ‘Cancel anytime’ tells the consumer that it’s not a contract and can leave without giving notice. So, in a mere 7 words this CTA explains and codifies Netflix’s business model in your head.

Landing pages

Make your landing page interesting, think carefully about the colours, your wording and the branding. Try to keep a coherent look and feel throughout your page. It’s very important.

Regarding colours; here’s something for you to Google, or Bing if you’re that way inclined. Why are oranges in the supermarket placed on blue packaging?

Once you’ve got your answer think how it could apply to your landing page.

Going back to the landing page; for a prime (pun intended) example, look at Amazon’s front page. The balance of space between elements, the slick navigation and the clear intent. There’s something compelling about a well-crafted landing page; it draws you in.

The professionalism of the presentation is like an imaginary force that makes you click that ‘add to basket’ button, and once you take that first step it presents you with even more products you can buy.

So you (if you’re like me) add a little more to your basket. Once you’ve purchased a product (or 12), Amazon email you with another offer you can buy (upselling).

Amazon has spent millions perfecting this loop, both in the psychology and technology and they are the ultimate selling machine.

Think about it, they now have you by your balls (ladies, your metaphorical balls) You now need to get your customers by the balls.

What I’m saying is, dangle your music in front of the customer, get them interested, caress them a little (intellectually), get them warm (with more tailored content) and then reel them in like a whopping fish. I appreciate this is a terrible mixed metaphor; but such is the music Industry; always changing.

Here’s an example of this workflow from the customer’s view:

 

Your fan is browsing Facebook or social media of choice.

⬇️

They find a song/ad you posted about – The ‘dangling’ part
⬇️

The fan clicks the link ⬅️ The getting ‘interested’ part

⬇️

Fan lands on your landing page and sees the product ⬅️ The ‘caressing’ part

⬇️

Fan thinks, “cool, it’s only £2 direct from the label page” ⬅️ The ‘getting them warm’ part

⬇️

Clicks the CTA or purchase button ⬅️ The ‘reeling them in’ part

⬇️

Email them right after offering another product. ⬅️ The ‘upselling’ part

 

Collecting emails

To collect a person’s email address you will normally need an email marketing platform running in the background, let’s use MailChimp as an example.

In Mailchimp you need to create an empty list which connects to your landing page sign-up form. When a person inputs and submits their email address on your landing page, it will appear in the Mailchimp email marketing list. Mailchimp has sweet automation too, you can tell it to email to every new address collected without you having to intervene.

Hopefully, you now understand the basic process of collecting customer email addresses from a landing page and are already thinking of ways to use this technique.

This email marketing list tactic can be used in many instances. For example; free releases, competitions, mixes, vinyl giveaway or anything else that tickles your pickle (or floats your fish; whichever metaphor you prefer).

To learn more about music marketing & promotion take a look at the articles on our blog