Getting people to know your music is all a matter of having great music marketing strategies.
Thinking about how music used to be marketed decades ago makes you realize how hard it was for talented musicians to get even the tiniest bit of recognition or even a play on the local radio.
Even though music is a form of art, an expression of the artist’s soul, music is still a business. A huge business for that matter.
Having a solid career, and most importantly, making a living out of your music is perhaps every artist’s perennial dream.
Nowadays, the internet is such a vast tool that emerging music artists from all over the world have found all kinds of online resources and platforms to make that dream come true.
However, this concept is relatively new for many people. Some of today’s most famous artists wouldn’t have the fan base they have if they were promoting their music like musicians used to do 20 years ago.
See, a couple of decades ago, if an artist wanted to be someone in the music industry, they needed a contract and a deal with a record label. Period. There were no social media platforms, no YouTube channels, and of course, no Spotify either. Artists had to perform all sorts of tricks to be noticed by agents, and with a stroke of good luck, land their coveted deal with an established label.
Furthermore, the musicians were not active players in terms of how their music was being sold. All of the music marketing strategies were handled by people from the record labels, typically A&R’s which was great because they were music marketing professionals, but still, it all depended on whether or not those artists got that record deal.
Nowadays, record labels are still crucial to the game as always, of course. But, the path to reach them is far simpler than before.
Danny Ocean is a Venezuelan musician, who used to write, sing and produce his songs all by himself. Not in a professional studio, but in his bedroom using his laptop.
His biggest hit, “Me Rehúso” went insanely viral during 2016-2017. Immediately after the release, a famous TV host and influencer uploaded an Instagram video dancing to the song.
The rest? The official music video of “Me Rehúso” has more than a BILLION views on his YouTube channel, a growing fan base and he also has a record deal with Atlantic Records.
What can you learn from this story? As a musician, you now have the power to market your music. Facebook and social media channels such as YouTube make it easy for you to be an active player in your digital marketing strategy, using the tools that artists before you could only have dreamed of having.
The base of music marketing strategies
Are you looking for new ways to promote your music? Now is the best time to learn how to make the most out of all the marketing strategies available for your music to reach thousands of people!
First things first, what are music marketing strategies?
As established before, music is a product. Like with every product, it has to be sold to make profits and so it can continue to be produced.
Marketing is the process in which businesses promote and attract customers to a product. So, logically, music marketing refers to all the specific processes in which music gets promoted to a new potential audience.
A music marketing strategy is a well-structured plan for promoting music, in which the main objective is to attract followers, and of course, end up selling them the music, merchandise, concert tickets, etc.
So, as musicians are now becoming active players in their music marketing, it’s crucial that they learn how music marketing works, and what is the baseline to every good marketing strategy.
The 4 Ps in Music Marketing:
Marketing has its own Fantastic Four. Four key elements that every single campaign should have well-established ever since the beginning of the planning process. These four key elements are also known as “The marketing mix”, and they can be applied to music marketing as well.
The four key aspects are:
- Product: In this case, as said before, the product is music. But, the product is also the artist, as the way fans see the artists has changed alongside many other changes in the industry. Nowadays, artists need to be very aware of how unique they are presenting themselves, how unique is their music, and of course, how much quality they are offering to a very competitive market.
- Place: A place doesn’t have to be a physical establishment, nowadays music is consumed online, even though there are still some people who prefer the physical form (CDs). In this case, the place refers to where your music will be available; the more streaming services and music streaming platforms your music covers; the best.
- Promotion: Promotion refers to all of the processes involving advertising. Putting the music out for the world to listen to, but also letting people know that that music and that artist exist in the first place and that they need to listen to it. The promotion also involves public relations, something that will be explained more later.
- Price: of course, after talking about a product and sales; artists also need to consider prices. Price is quite a sensitive topic since wrong pricing can take apart all efforts made before. It’s expensive to create, and because of that, it’s crucial to know the artist’s audience through a market study.
Now, let’s talk about some fun stuff. Let’s see how music marketing strategies are evolving for 2023
In order to kick off with music marketing, artists must know that there are some basic steps they need to follow if they want to start taking their music and its promotion to the next level.
Nowadays, the vast majority of emerging artists are taking advantage of the digital world and the audience that it brings, especially those looking to successfully start a music career. Now they can create videos, live streams, virtual concerts, streaming services, websites… You name it, social media has it covered.
For musicians to be discovered, they need to keep up with all these tools available in order to grow their audience. An artist simply can’t develop any marketing strategy without taking care of these three basic aspects:
- A digital presence: Long gone are the days where musicians were impossible to know. Fans had to wait for their favorite artist to be on TV or appear in a magazine to see them, but now, fans discover new artists through the internet, and the audience is closer to the musicians, more than ever before. Also, there is no need for fans to wait for a song to play on the radio; they can tune into online radio stations, music platforms or go directly to your website to find a song.
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
That’s why you have to master your digital presence and learn how to create engagement that is both natural and interactive for your followers. With this, you cannot be appearing on social media only when you have something to sell, or not have a website. Remember that you are the brand, just like any other business.
You should be positioning yourself in every platform you get your eyes on, as you never know who is watching and listening to your music. Most platforms are entirely free to use or inexpensive, so feel free to dig in. Record labels are scouting social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and even TikTok, so you should be active on all of those sites, even if just to build engagement with new fans.
- Spotify for artists: Spotify is the biggest and most well-known of all the music streaming platforms, and it is amazing for emerging artists. Spotify’s algorithm makes it easy to promote your music, as it works by suggesting similar music to what you’ve been listening to and showing interest towards. Spotify for artists not only allows you to promote your music in the world’s most important music platform but also guides you on how to upload music to Spotify as an artist, amping up your chances of reaching the music industry and growing your audience.
- An electronic press kit: Having all the necessary media elements together is what an electronic press kit does; it’s the perfect pitching tool for musicians to share online. Your electronic press kit should contain a short biography, press articles, facts about you, contact information, your music, and your music videos.
After you have all of that, it’s time to move ahead and promote your music.
How to digitally market your music:
Let’s get into the good stuff, these are the best ways in which you can digitally market your music nowadays:
- Start by defining your target audience: As much as you dream about all the people in the world enjoying your art, the truth is that not everyone will be interested in what you create. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that different people have different music tastes. Your goal is not only to reach the people whose music taste aligns with yours but also to reach the audience that is interested in the type of music you are creating. Start by defining the genres you’ll be exploring, what type of music you’re creating, what people will enjoy that music, and even think about at which moment a person may want to listen to your music. Defining your audience will help you create a customized strategy for that specific niche, which automatically makes those strategies more effective.
- Share quality content: One thing is to focus on the quality of your music, but you also need to focus on the quality of the content you will be sharing. Yes, content. You cannot share pieces of a song here and there and wait for people to magically find you. Digital marketing is all about creating content for audiences to consume, that content is the hook that grabs people’s attention. For example, musicians nowadays not only share their music through Instagram, but they also share their songwriting process, their experiences, their studio sessions, their behind-the-scenes, etc. Music fans are interested in every single aspect of the album creation process, and artists take advantage of that by sharing interesting bits of their everyday life and creative process.
Many artists also take advantage of social media platforms to create and brand themselves according to their music, for example, the Colombian singer Camilo, who has branded himself as a simple guy who enjoys the simple things in life, like having a small house and living his love story with his wife. He’s a reflection of his songs, something that has made his fans connect even more with him, thanks to the many photos, videos, and vlogs he makes on social media about his artistic process and everyday life.
- Playlists, playlists, playlists!: For true music lovers, playlists are not only a way in which they can gather all of their favorite songs from their favorite artists. Playlists are a tool in which songs and new music can be promoted without a ton of effort, and the possibility of reaching a massive number of followers, as in thousands of people, is very high. Spotify playlists can help emerging artists to release their music to larger audiences, audiences that will be finding their music based on their own taste, so the possibilities of those people liking that new music is also very high.
SoundCampaign, your golden pass to Spotify Playlists:
SoundCampaign is the #1 pitching platform for your music to make it into the top Spotify playlists. The power of playlists is immense, and SoundCampaign understands that.
Through its innovative Spotify pitching platform, SoundCampaign helps music creators like you, to connect with playlist curators; people who are passionate about music, have a lot of experience and understanding of music, and of course, know how to put together successful playlists in which your music can be featured for the world to listen.
One unique way how SoundCampaign works is by creating a 14-day campaign in which, every day, we are sending your song to playlist curators. The playlist curators then listen to it, give you detailed feedback, and then, if they liked it, end up promoting your music by adding your song to their meticulously created playlists.
Every campaign is different, and SoundCampaign focuses on channeling your campaign according to the genre of your music. It’s a great way to guarantee those playlist curators who are interested in that genre will be listening to it. Moreover, SoundCampaign also lets you have multiple campaigns for different songs going on simultaneously, making your chances of getting featured on different playlists even higher.
If you’re interested in having your music featured on several playlists, making your way up to the music industry, SoundCampaign is one of the best pitching platforms for helping you beat the Spotify algorithm.
- Engage with your followers: Fan engagement is the magic ingredient that keeps us musicians alive on social media. You want organic interactions, you want your fans commenting and giving you feedback, you want people to open up to you on different platforms, commenting about how much they like your songs. All of that is cultivated by engaging your audience. For music fans, social media is how they can connect with their favorite artists, so cultivating that connection is one of the most valuable things you can do. See the example of what many music experts call “The music industry”, Taylor Swift. Taylor has built a relationship with her fan base over social media, in which she not only listens to their suggestions (like starting singing old songs in concert because her audience asked her to do so), she visibly makes an effort to stay connected to her fans, by answering comments, reposting their pictures, and most recently, by interacting with them on TikTok. The result? Swifties are creating more fan-made content for Taylor to see, something that ends up being a marketing campaign entirely fan-powered.
- Email marketing: Email marketing campaigns are still a powerful way to offer retributions to your fans, as well as promote new music. By creating a campaign, or even a weekly newsletter, musicians can promote new songs, release videos, offer exclusive online content, sell merch, announce tour dates, pre-sale your album, etc. The most powerful aspect of this kind of marketing is how you can offer exclusivity to your followers, something that fans enjoy because it makes them feel special, such as limited-edition merch for loyal fans.
- Paid ads: Once again, the wonderful world of options the internet offers you new ways to reach your target audience. This time, in the form of paid advertising, including videos, over Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Google, Apple Music, you name the platform; all of them allow you to pay ads, something that ends up showing yours to more people than you could ever imagine, all ending in organic traffic to your website, YouTube channel, and platforms in general. Furthermore, you can choose specific demographic data for your ads, which makes sure your music is reaching the niche and the fans you want. The best thing about paid ads is that they can be very affordable, as these platforms are relevant for almost every budget, you can start as little as you wish.
- Contact with music content creators: These days you can find people who make content about anything, from anywhere and have tons of followers. Music content creation doesn’t stop at people making music; there are thousands of fans, teachers, producers, collections, bloggers, podcasters, even historians, who create and frequently post content on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. Getting in contact with that kind of content creator who enjoys and promotes good music can open the door to a huge following who, very importantly, trust the opinion of that creator, so they will be discovering you and ultimately, listening to your music. Collaborating with podcasters and music bloggers, two of the content creators that are succeeding the most nowadays, is one of the best strategies you can perform.
- Create music with social media in mind: Hear this out, people nowadays are creating music with something quite special in mind, it has to become viral. Specifically, music that becomes viral in short-video format. Music producers are aiming to post those 15-20 seconds that can become the next TikTok trend, as the “sounds” that have become trendy on the platform all break records of views and streams on other platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram. You can add thousands of new fans to your following by having 20 seconds of a song trending on TikTok, which is a great way to promote your music for free!