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.

4 Common Mistakes Independent Artists Must Avoid When Doing Self-Promotion

4 Common Mistakes Independent Artists Must Avoid When Doing Self-Promotion

If you’re an independent artist and want to promote your music all on your own, then it’s important to know that the job comes with plenty of responsibilities—not all of which will be enjoyable. Doing self-promotion as an independent artist isn’t impossible, but you have to be prepared. In today’s digital age, self-promotion is easier online, which means that you need to be tech-savvy and develop strong social media skills for good results.

Aside from acquiring marketing skills, one thing that would help you a lot is to know the common mistakes independent artists make with self-promotion.

1) Waiting too long for opportunities

Many incredibly talented independent artists miss out on catching their big break because they wait too long for the perfect opportunity to come knocking. One thing to remember when doing self-promotion is that it only works when you chase opportunities instead of waiting for them to chase you. Don’t wait for a one-in-a-million chance to be “discovered” at a festival or called back to a bar you’ve played in; instead, keep on looking for other opportunities until you land yourself the right one.

2) Trying to do everything all on your own

While hiring a promotional team can certainly be pricey and the average independent artist usually doesn’t have money to spare, it’s hard to go it alone. If you want to build a solid personal brand, you’ll need to hire the right people. There are times when it may be best to promote yourself, but at a certain point, you’ll need help. Don’t look at this as an expense, but as an investment—a great PR team can bring in a lot more money than they’ll cost!

3) Focusing too much on social media promotion

Given the efficacy of social media, it isn’t surprising that many independent artists spend most of their time promoting on online platforms. While this isn’t necessarily bad, it can be a limiting factor when you neglect other marketing avenues. As an independent artist, the first thing that you need to break into is your local scene, which means that you have to be out there. People need to see you physically—not just on their Instagram ads. Therefore, if you’re doing self-promotion, make sure prioritise your presence. From there, the world is at your fingertips!

4) Paying for low-quality content automation

One of the most effective aspects of marketing that is crucial for self-promotion is content. Blog posts, press releases, and articles written about you and your work can help you establish a name in the industry. It’s tempting to pay for automated content creation just so you have something to release every week. However, modern consumers regard quality to be over quantity. You don’t want to be putting out low-quality content that could compromise your reputation. As a rising independent artist, you have to ensure that every piece of marketing material you put out is of high-quality. Doing so will help you become known as a professional!

Dong self-promotion as an independent artist isn’t a walk in the park. As mentioned, it requires a lot of time, effort, discipline, patience, and money to see the fruits of your hard work. Want to see results? You’ll have to do it right. Fortunately, being aware of the common mistakes you should avoid will help you adjust your plans and set clearer goals to guarantee success in promoting yourself and your work.

Struggling to do all the work yourself? That’s what we’re here for! If you need help communicating your music updates to your followers, give Promoly a try! We are a music promo delivery system for artists, labels, and PR agencies, helping you maximize your current mailing list. We’re a music PR service that delivers music to your mailing list, get in touch to see how we can help today.

3 Tips to Help You Promote Your Music on SoundCloud - Our Guide

3 Tips to Help You Promote Your Music on SoundCloud – Our Guide

If you’ve been following the internet music scene for a while now, you’ve probably become quite acquainted with the idea of using SoundCloud to get your music out in the open. With all the years and effort that you’ve put into pursuing your craft and refining your talent so that you can make it a lifelong passion to pay the bills and live comfortably, it makes perfect sense to use SoundCloud. Now, the question is: Are you really making the most out of SoundCloud?

It’s worth knowing that SoundCloud can be used for so much more than simply uploading your music and hoping for the best. You see, SoundCloud yields so much potential for any musician-businessperson to turn their talent into a well-paying profession if they use the platform properly.

You can use Soundcloud to get both your name and music out in the open for everyone to enjoy, follow, and look forward to with the right promotional strategy. Thanks to the platform’s easy-to-use interface and simplistic algorithm, the extent to which your promotional chops take effect is entirely up to your control.

Whether you have a new track or EP coming out or have been aiming to gain some much-needed traction in the industry, here are a few SoundCloud promotion tips that you can put into play right away:

1. Put a marketing plan together—and stick to it

One of the most effective techniques that you can use to your advantage when promoting your SoundCloud is to build a marketing plan that can help set every promotional effort in the right direction. While it may not necessarily be as exciting as playing a concert for 10,000 people, creating a marketing plan and following it step by step is the best approach to make your way there much faster.

When putting your marketing plan together, it’s important to understand your target market on a much deeper level in terms of what they do, what works best to their preferences, and how they enjoy their music. Doing so is a great way to understand how you can promote your SoundCloud music in a manner that’s easy for them to consume.

2. Check who your fans follow

If you already have an ideal fan in mind, knowing who they follow on SoundCloud will help with figuring out how you can be what they look for. Once you pooled a test group of similar potential fans or profiles together, go ahead and check for any common artists that they might be following. Finding the common denominator among those in your ideal fanbase will show how you can represent yourself on SoundCloud so that you can promote better and attract like-minded followers as well.

3. Keep an eye out for data by going pro

SoundCloud also provides its users with valuable data. However, accessing data analytics on SoundCloud requires going pro. As soon as you get SoundCloud pro subscription, you’ll be able to access traffic data and listener data to understand what tweaks you’ll need to make with your promotional efforts. Additionally, upgrading your account to SoundCloud Pro is also a great way to ensure what upcoming trends on the platform are drawing attention and are about to become the next best opportunity for further growth.

Promoting your music on SoundCloud is a step in the right direction towards becoming a full-fledged professional musician. Properly doing it will make a huge difference in how successful you can get. By following the three tips mentioned in this article, you can ensure that your promotional efforts can fast-track you and your music towards success easily.

If you’re looking to learn more about getting more plays on SoundCloud, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

3 Effective Ways to Make Music Your Promotion's Focal Point

3 Effective Ways to Make Music Your Promotion’s Focal Point

A quick look at the Internet will reveal multiple ways to share your music and promote your identity. Putting much thought on how you market your image and your music gives you a better chance of getting discovered and heard in a competitive industry. However, promotion and image must not take the bulk of the artist's time. Instead, developing great music must still be the priority.

That said, here are three ways to use music as your promotion’s focal point.

1. Define who you are

If you still see yourself as a musician or songwriter, then you must put in mind this persona from the way you dress to your posts on social media. Creating great music is challenging even for experienced musicians, and that's why artists compensate by building their brand and boosting their image as motivation to create great music.

However, nothing is as sleek and more thoughtful as a marketing campaign than promoting their music itself. If you put yourself in the listener's position, an artist that is all hype but creates no great music is not worth following or listening. After all, it's still the music that separates the good and the bad artists.

2. Music comes first

Musicians often choose to concentrate on their music instead of their image. This is because building an online presence nowadays is imperative, given the social media-driven culture. It's not enough to be a great musician anymore. Instead, they must build their image to connect to their fans or gain new followers.

While it's vital to update your followers about a portion of your daily whereabouts, take some time to feel the essence of your music and promote that instead of yourself. Find a way to connect with your audience using that message for them to appreciate your music on a personal level.

That way, they will appreciate your music more than the memes and the goofy videos that you post online. Posts of that type are useful in gaining short term attention. Unfortunately, they do not align with your overall strategy, especially in pushing your music further.

3. Limit your options for the best

The options are limited but in the right way. An artist who knows what their music is all about limits the means to present themselves and their message. It makes promotions and branding easier when compared to musicians who do not understand what their music means and why are they creating it beyond monetary reasons.

Don't worry if you can relate to this because it takes years for a great musician to form a solid musical identity. You cannot force or rush it because it is a significant decision that you must start to think as soon as possible. Defining your music sets the tone for your image, which makes promoting and finding a fan base easier.

Leverage technology's power

Aside from social media, you can also use other platforms to promote your music or your shows. Email messaging is still an effective medium despite its limited reach. Learn more about how you can harness this platform to promote your music effectively.

If you are looking for a music promotion company to help you promote your music effectively, get in touch with us to see how we can help.

2 Ways to Effectively Promote Your Show When Performing in a New City

2 Ways to Effectively Promote Your Show When Performing in a New City

Regardless of whether you’re a beginner that’s been tapped to play a few gigs out of town or a well-known act taking the national stage, there’s always the struggle of performing your music in a new city.

Performing in a city that you’ve never had a show before comes with an understandable amount of overthinking, self-doubt, and an overall fear of what’s ahead of you. Out of all the different aspects that you have to worry about when playing a show in a new city, the promotion will be at the top of your priority list. While it may be true that it’s very much possible to gain momentum and a set of new fans to your following by performing in a new city, ensuring that people actually know you’re performing can be more difficult than expected.

Two sure-fire promotional strategies

Fortunately, promoting in a show in an unfamiliar city doesn’t always have to be as hard as people say it is— especially when you know the right tips and tricks for effective promotion. To ensure that your set is a big hit in a place that you’ve been to before, here are two promotion tips that most of the industry’s biggest players abide by:

1. Pitch your show to local press and radio outlets

If you play your cards right, being the newcomer in an unfamiliar town can work to your advantage with the help of the area’s local press and radio outlets. Pitching your show through a simple meeting or conference call can go a long way in making sure that everyone in town has a reason to go to your show.

Presenting your upcoming show as a “debut performance in the city” to a local press or radio outlet will undoubtedly get the attention of the locals. Bringing local press and radio outlets into the mix will speak for itself in terms of answering the question, “why should we promote and cover your show?” Blogs, online news outlets, and radio outlets look for certain stories to generate interest in the area that you’ll be performing in, which makes it much easier for your debut show to come off as a hot topic.

2. Run a targeted ad campaign for your upcoming show over social media and local blogs

Should you find yourself with a comfortable budget that can be used on various promotional expenses for your upcoming show, then its best to go all-out on social media through targeted campaigns.

With the help of a targeted social media ad, you can get the word of your show spreading like wildfire, especially in locations that thrive on discovering talented acts. Selecting the right location, age, and music preference when setting up your social media targeting can be particularly impactful, even more so when you have a flexible budget.

With the right promotion strategies in place, you can easily overcome the pre-performance jitters of performing in an entirely-new territory to a crowd that you’ve never performed in front of before.

If you’re looking for a music promotion company to help you promote your show, get in touch with us to see how we can help.

How Overpromoting Your Music Can Push Your Fans Away - What to Know

How Overpromoting Your Music Can Push Your Fans Away – What to Know

Technology has now made it easy for artists to update their fans about their latest musical productions or personal ventures. Social media allows you to connect to a wide audience by sharing what you had for breakfast or lyrics to a new song you are producing.

Even an image of the backstage at a concert helps you forge deeper connections with your followers. However, the ease of sharing updates does not mean that you must share every minute of your life.

Don’t bombard them with information

If you put yourself into your fan’s situation for a while, you’ll feel overwhelmed with the amount of information you feed them daily. Instead of seeing essential updates about your music, you bombard them with an endless news cycle about your pet, new places you visited, and dating app notifications.

Posting everything on social to see which updates get the most interaction is a negative strategy because you combine exciting updates with random posts. As a result, your social media engagement decreases because of the oversharing dilutes a fan’s attention. Shrinking attention spans and the reduction of reach for organic posts makes oversharing a bad idea as well.

Refine your social media strategy

Most of your social media followers care about your music. Because of this, you should only post about new music, gig schedules, and future collaborations to get the utmost priority. Posting an image of the pizza that you will share with your band does not add value to your social media strategy.

Don’t abuse your freedom to post anything on social media. While there’s nothing wrong about engaging your audience in a conversation, sharing more updates than needed takes away your promotional power. Your fans will pay less attention if you provide mundane updates that are irrelevant to your music.

Prioritizing what’s important will help you get the most of each post. However, this doesn’t mean that you must discard sharing about the lighter side of your life. Instead, you can do one post of that nature for every two or three music-related updates. If you’re releasing a new album soon, focus your messaging to promote that and stay away from posts that are unrelated to the album.

Combining different types of posts will surely deliver stronger messages as well. A one-liner about your new single combined with a short video of the recording process will draw more visitors to your social media assets. The same approach will also work if you want to share funny or poignant updates.

Upgrade the promotional campaign for your music

Regardless of post types, you must earn your audience’s attention by initiating an effective distribution campaign. You can send the music through their email and track whether or not they opened the message and listened to the song.

Using Mail Merge will make it easier to share your music with a broader audience. Their software must provide stats and analytics about the recipient’s tendencies. Finally, their fans must have a platform to address their feedback. Contact a company that offers email music promotion and ask for a free trial of their platform if possible.

If you are looking for a music promotion company to help you promote your music effectively, get in touch with us to see how we can help.

How To Effectively Promote Your Music - What to Know

How To Effectively Promote Your Music – What to Know

It’s frustrating to get a cold response from audiences when you reach out about your music. Your tracks did not create a ripple even if you’ve put in the effort and the sleepless nights to complete them. You’re lucky to hear from a non-mainstream reporter who will promote your music because he digs your sound so much. But as for the hundreds of people you’ve sent your songs to? Nothing.

Getting attention is not easy, especially in the crowded music industry. Aside from sounding like two or three other artists, it’s the media who will help propel your identity to interested listeners. There are ways to beat the odds of emerging from a populated pool. However, remember that there are people who will not like your sound as you go mainstream. On the flip side, there is an increase in listeners that love your music as well.

What’s the story, morning glory?

We’re not talking about the Oasis album here. Rather, you must learn how to convey your story compellingly. If you are developing a bio, treat it as a sales piece that will entice journalists to listen. You can find angles from your origins, musical influences, and song lyrics. Include information, such as the number of albums released and notable live performances as well. Connecting your songs to current events is good for maintaining your relevance.

Match your image with your sound

First impressions count. Landing your publicity photo or cover art can make a journalist listen to your music. Make sure that the image you submit represents your music accurately. You need not use illustrations reserved for rock bands if you are a rhythm and blues artist. Hiring a professional photographer with an impressive portfolio of published material can help you capture that picture-perfect shot.

Don’t know where to start? Look at similar artists and see how their photos convey their music. You can also ask musicians in your area for referrals on the best photographers within your location. Landing this hire will set the vision for your brand and produce photos that you will be proud to share.

Reach out to music blogs

Now that your story and your pictures are ready, it’s time to make a pitch to people who will promote your music. Blogs can be that avenue as long as you follow their submission guidelines. They may not even pay attention to your message if you don’t follow their rules. Follow them by heart, and you are starting in a good rhythm.

While submitting to hundreds of music blogs can be stressful because of varying guidelines, some of their requirements do overlap. Therefore, you can make a list of their guidelines and look for patterns that will make the process more efficient. You will have to bear with the small changes on the pitch for each blog. It’s a small sacrifice that can pay huge dividends.

Do not forget to include a compelling reason why they must cover you. Tell these writers what makes you different and what creating music means to you. You can dig previous write-ups of these music bloggers to find declarations that may lead them to like your sound. It’s not advisable to reach out if you can’t persuade them to pay attention.

Introduce yourself via Spotify and social media

You cannot underestimate the power of music streaming websites like Spotify in propelling your songs. Therefore, you must upload your songs and complete your profile by sharing a cover image, updated bio, and social media links. Increase the chances of getting discovered by creating an Artist’s Pick playlist containing music by artists that may sound like you. Share the link to the playlist on social media to funnel traffic to your Spotify profile.

Include a link to your Spotify profile on your newsletter and request for follows on your account. With more clicks to your page, Spotify will take note of your increasing popularity and include you on their Discover Weekly playlists. Running Facebook ads can help promote your music, but it will be worthless if you don’t target the right market.

Your hard work does not end after releasing your music. Promoting it the right way will help you ensure that your music is heard, and your hard work and talent pay off. Follow the tips mentioned above, and you’re on your way to reaching your music goals.

Struggling to do all the work yourself? That’s what we’re here for! If you need help communicating your music updates to your followers, give Promo.ly a try! We are a music promo delivery system for artists, labels, and PR agencies, helping you maximize your current mailing list. We’re a music PR service that delivers music to your mailing list, get in touch to see how we can help today.