Musician, Singer, Songwriter
Will from Ships Have Sailed
Music marketing, when done right, is an essential promotional tool for artists to get their music heard. It can lead to increased sales and revenue via streaming, digital downloads, physical sales, higher-paying live performances, sync opportunities and other modes of income.
With Spotify reporting over 60k uploads a day every single day – almost one every second – it’s clear that now more than ever, artists must focus on which markets target and how to get maximum results. As a music producer or artist, it is vital to have a good idea of your marketing goals, and this starts with a music marketing plan.
The first step in DIY music marketing is to create a simple plan of action. Identifying who you want to listen to your music or who you are aiming at is vital. From there you can develop a simple social media music marketing plan to target that demographic and see how best to direct them to your online music. Hip-hop artists will want to lean more towards hip-hop promotion tailored to their fan base and so on. Independent music marketing can be very successful if planned correctly.
Marketing your music is the only way to get it heard, and creating a specialised marketing campaign will enable thousands, if not millions of listeners to access your music. For organic music marketing, you can increase your following and engagement by building a network and regularly posting on social media about your music and taking fans on your journey. This brings us to the first step in our 8-step guide to marketing your own music.
It is important to work on building a strong social media following and networking email list as an artist. If you want your music to be heard, it will need to be shared – so that means fans, networking and a healthy following.
Playing at gigs in your local area and networking with other artists will also raise your profile and get you heard.
Start thinking about your social media profiles as a professional platform to promote yourself – so post wisely. Create a Facebook page for your brand and start to build your artist persona steadily – with interesting posts about your music, performances, gigs, releases and your journey in general.
Think about people who you can connect with in the industry and start to build a newtork that you can share your news and approach with PR and news. Make a database – even just a notebook will do – of all your contacts and contact details – ready to use as you need – but make sure you create a professional email address for any industry correspondence.
Once you know who your fans are and where and how they will be hearing your music, you can use digital music marketing techniques for each platform to generate interest.
You need to spend time focusing on what is the best music marketing strategy based on your current fanbase, location, music style and audience type – as well as the kind of platforms they spend time on socially and to listen to music. Are your fans streaming on platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music or are they TikTok and Instagram fans?
A curated social media campaign may ensure more income in the long run. When you release a new song, this should be distributed to your fans in the best way possible to ensure the greatest reach and engagement.
Once you have built up your fanbase and established a presence, you can think about approaching record labels to help you further promote your music.
If you are serious about your music career, having an EPK – or electronic press kit – is critical when contacting promotion companies. Your EPK should be short and to the point and contain a brief but well-written artist bio that sells you as an artist or band. It must include press shots that are of a professional standard and represent you well. Include any magazine or blog reviews if you have any, and all your links to your social media and music streaming and video services.
Always include any major shows, artist photos, details about the release and any relevant music videos. Keep it brief, polite and to the point – but make sure it sells you and your brand.
A website is something that can be overlooked by musicians but they really do help in terms of professionality. An artist website will be unique to you and can be as simple as a single-page brochure-style site.
You can include your EPK, tour/event details, newsletters, music videos, and even a blog – as well as links to all your socials so you can engage more with your fans.
There are an abundance of templates you can use to create a custom-based site curated for you and your fans alone.
Most musicians will have a list of different income streams that offer differing levels of financial viability.
You need to establish which one will secure you the most income and if you want to capitalise further on one of your existing income streams. You will need different marketing for each income stream, so it is helpful to have distinct goals for each marketing campaign and specific activities tied to each ambition. For example, a TikTok campaign will be very different from a Twitter campaign, and an Instagram ad series will be very different from a YouTube campaign. Planning is key here.
Marketing as a music producer takes thought. While there are many music marketing strategies out there, there are ultimately two ways of marketing your music – digital and traditional marketing – but ideally, both should be used together for maximum effect. Modern music marketing leans heavily towards digital, but more traditional methods still pack a punch when marketing for music artists.
In terms of promoting your music digital marketing can be almost as important as your music production. If you don’t shout about it, how will it get heard? If you want to get your music making a stir on Spotify and Apple Music marketing is the key.
You could use media outlets such as radio and magazines but also PR which incorporates blogs and websites as well. This would incorporate as many physical sales as possible. There are a number of ways to approach this kind of marketing:
Reviews and radio play can be hard to track in terms of how effective each activity is. Of course, you can monitor your Apple Music, Amazon Music and Spotify stats and you can monitor website sales, but it is difficult to ascertain which review or radio spin led to which sale or stream. Even so, the importance of this kind of marketing can’t be understated.
Not only do you get the benefit of the readers or listeners that follow the outlet where you are being covered, but you also get the added bonus of being able to share any reviews or plays on your social media channels. This drives engagement and also highlights to your followers the successes you are seeing, as well as being a good way of thanking the people who wrote the review or played the track. But you can also use those quotes and logos in your future press releases.
You can do a lot of free music marketing music yourself by placing adverts on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok or you can partner with top music marketing companies like Music Gateway which can coordinate your direct-to-fan campaigns.
Having clear goals is really important as your campaigns are much more targeted – landing directly on potential fans’ news feeds. So whilst you can post ads yourself, it can be useful to work with a content marketing agency so you don’t fall into some of the traps that many artists fall into when delving into the world of digital advertising.
For example, music videos tend to be shot in very high quality, include titles and are usually in widescreen. This means that they occupy very little of the usable space when a potential new fan scrolls through their news feed, so it’s immediately obvious to any potential viewers that they are looking at an advert.
You can pay for promotional ads on social media about your singles, albums, concert tickets, merchandise etc. Marketing music online with targeted ads will help you increase your following and income on your marketing journey.
Similarly, many artists choose to have their adverts linking straight to their Spotify or their online webstore. However, the success rate of fans clicking through to your online webstore is not as high as you may think.
A good strategy can be for people to click your ad to join your mailing list, with the carrot that 10 people who sign up to the mailing list will receive a free copy of your latest CD. Then after your promotion has ended, you can send all the people who signed up to your mailing list a discount code they can use on your webstore. This strategy can be hugely valuable as you can start to build a relationship with your fans and customers.
Music marketing services are there to help promote your song and create an engaging music marketing campaign tailored to your needs. These reach over social media, Spotify streams (or similar), the press, and of course radio play. Innovative marketing techniques used in synergy with these campaigns can maximise your results and can take some of the pressure from you as an artist.
Managing marketing and music promotion as a music producer is not for everyone, as it can feel overwhelming trying to manage your brand AND create music, but with a clear plan, you can promote your music independently. The best music marketing companies will be able to pick up the slack for you while being able to advise you on how to market your music effectively – or even take the reigns completely.
The music industry is growing and you want to be part of that, and as one of the best music marketing firms, here is what Music Gateway can do for you.
Music Gateway has a really strong offering in terms of marketing in music. We pride ourselves on offering one of the best music marketing platforms in the content marketing music industry and have a range of services from which artists can cherry-pick to suit their individual needs. These include:
What makes Music Gateway’s offering so strong is that we are an official trusted partner of the companies we are pitching to. This means Music Gateway’s experienced marketing team will pitch tracks to Spotify editorial and indie curators to get your music playlisted.
Music Gateway is interested in working with artists over the long term so they can achieve consistency and a better-planned approach. This service is aimed at helping musicians spread the cost of music promotion services via affordable monthly payments for use as and when music is released, rather than forcing artists to try to find larger marketing budgets in one go, per campaign.
Collaboration is key to people hearing your music. You have to have a marketing strategy which promotes your work to high standards and once you have achieved this, your fanbase will continue to grow. Choosing the right promoter is tricky, especially if you are on a budget, but no matter your style, from rock to hip hop music marketing companies can really help boost your reach.
For playlist pitching services, it is better to work with companies like Music Gateway which will pitch songs to playlist curators – both within and outside of Spotify – leading to organic streams from real listeners who are listening to your songs.
In terms of PR companies, try to work with partners that have an established reputation or who come to you as a recommendation from another artist.
Remember once you have found your audience and have grown your fanbase, all the hard work will have been worth it. The authentic connection you have with your audience is truly unbeatable.
Now all that’s left is to go and promote your new release!
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