If I want to add money to my ad spend, will I be charged extra for my campaign?
No! Our rates are fixed. So you can spend as much or as little as you’d like.
Can I promote my music to get them into tv and film?
Absolutely. Our Sync Promotion team will present your videos to music supervisors/ labels and A&R teams.
I don’t have any followers on social media, is Music Promotion for me?
Everybody has to start somewhere! It doesn’t matter what size your following is already, we work equally as hard for every client to grow the reach but also exposing your music to our followings of over 80,000 industry professionals and fans.
Will my music definitely get played on the radio?
Nothing in the music industry is guaranteed however, we certainly try our best and our experienced team work directly with some of the biggest radio stations in the world!
Do you buy followers as a tactic for promotion?
Absolutely not. Our growth comes organically or from specially created, well thought-out ads.
How will I know how my campaign is going?
Our talented team will regularly update you with how your campaign is going, any placements you’ve landed or plans to try a different strategy. Of course our team is always around if you want to get in touch to talk about your campaign.
Could I just do my own Music Promotion?
Whilst there are aspects of Music Promotion that artists are capable of doing themselves. Benefits to working with an established Music Promotion company are wides scopes for reach, huge industry connections plus it frees up more of your time to do what you do best, make music!
Music Promotion & Music Marketing
It’s difficult to get your music heard in today’s industry; everyone has the ability to make and upload music to streaming sites from their bedroom. But, placing your music on sites like Spotify, SoundCloud and iTunes is only half the battle… Now comes the hard part…getting people to actually listen to it. Now that’s where music promotion and music marketing come in!
Music Promotion & Music Marketing: How To Get Your Music Heard
This is the age of digital marketing strategies. With the general public spending more time on social media, platforms like Facebook, Instagram and streaming services like Spotify are becoming more and more important to reach new fans base. You’ve probably noticed that these online platforms have become full of ads. People are selling their products all the time.
So the question is… How do you cut through all this noise? The answer… music promotion & music marketing.
Why Is Music Promotion Important?
Strong music promotion is key to an artists success, especially focused on your album release and supporting single release normally six weeks prior to the album launch. Music marketing allows an artist to reach new music fans which in turn leads to more streams, likes, views, shares and sales pushing your music career forward.
But what is music promotion? And, how do you promote your music?
What Is Music Promotion?
Music promotion comes in many forms; not all of them cost money. Free music promotion can come from friends and family sharing your music to reach a larger audience. Although a fantastic way to spread the word of your latest single, it’s not as effective as paid promotion like ads on Spotify, Facebook or Soundcloud – All of which will increase your streams, allowing your music to reach a wider audience.
Creating your own music video is now a key promotional tool to showcase your talent and single release. There are various platforms to distribute your music video, of course, YouTube, but many others and we here at Music Gateway can promote your video to TV (television) and record labels and their respective A&R teams.
Music promotion companies and online music promotion services can be a great way for artists to expand their audience. Paying for a professional service opens artists to a network of people previously unreachable. Of course, everything a promotion company will offer is achievable on your own; but it can take months of research and emailing before you see even the slightest return.
How To Promote Your Music…
- Friends and Family: Every artist needs a strong team around them to help them succeed. Your closest friends and family are an invaluable asset to both your music and your brand. Asking those around you to support your music marketing efforts by for example sharing your latest Facebook post or talking about your music to others is a great way to slowly but surely get the word out about your music.
- Social Media Campaigns: Social media has become a place to digest information, so why wouldn’t you promote your music here? Post updates as you progress through your carrier, offer behind the scenes footage on your Instagram, host give-away competitions to boost fan engagement – all whilst soft selling your brand and your music. Read how to optimise your Social Media reach here.
- Soft Sell: Soft selling is a skill and is often overlooked when promoting music, or all products for that matter. How often have you actually bought something after seeing an advert telling you ‘buy it here’. Only the other day I was in a candle shop with my girlfriend.
A guy working the shop floor saw we were smelling different candles and suggested we smell this particular scent. By doing that alone, we gave that one candle more attention than all of the others and ended up buying it… Whilst smelling, we were also told that it was the last one in stock because it had been so popular, of course, indirectly making my girlfriend want it more. There was more than likely a whole crate of those candles in the back of the store.
As soon as we left, that ‘last candle in stock’ would’ve been refilled on the shelf for another potential customer. OK, I’ll admit, I’ve gone a little off topic but you see my point right? Learn to soft sell your music to people so they become more willing to ‘try your product’.
- Radio Airplay: Radio promotion is possibly the most obvious answer to most artists. There’s no telling who or how many people will hear your track every time its spun on the air. It’s also free to get your music out onto the airwaves, all it takes is a well-structured email to your local radio promotor.
Do your research first. There’s no sense emailing a pop station to play a death metal track. Offer something in return. Most local stations and radio pluggers love to play upcoming artists, especially if the artist promises to share details of the station to their audience. You get airplay, the radio get free promotion to your fanbase. Everyone is happy.
- Collaborate with other artists: Music is all about collaborating with different people; there’s a reason you see so many singles released by big artists featuring other big artists. Collaborating allows you to sell your music and your brand to someone else’s loyal audience; reaching fans you may have never reached through your usual promotional efforts. Collaborating can come in many forms: performing a duet on stage, writing a song with another artist or working with a producer to remix your latest track (Think when Ed Sheehan releases a single, there’s the original and a load of remixes that you hear on different radio stations). Sites like Music Gateway are a great place to meet others who also want to collaborate. See the importance of remixing here.
- Music Marketing Companies (Music PR Companies): There are many companies that offer promotion for artists. The best music promotion services offer an affordable service with recognisable outcomes. We’ve all seen the fake Instagram accounts promising followers for cash, only to find the followers you receive are bots and false accounts. Legitimate companies provide artists will real engagement from real people through the use of ad campaigns, DSP playlisting and clever digital promo targeting.
- Playlists: We all know about the popularity of playlists. Artists have been known to make a living purely from the royalties collected when their track lands in a big Spotify playlist. But how do you land one of those sought after playlist spots? The answer: DIY or via a music promotions company. Working independently to land your latest single in a big playlist takes a lot of time. First, you need to find a suitable playlist that your single would fit well with. You then need to spend potentially hours tracking down the playlist curator before finding a suitable contact. Even then, that doesn’t land you a spot. Alternatively, you could invest in your carrier through hiring a music promoter. Said promotor will already have a phone book full of strong contacts, all ready to receive your track in a fraction of the time it took you to even find the curators real name and contact details.
DIY Or Hired Help?
There’s nothing wrong with following the DIY route, making connections for yourself to build a strong network for your brand. Whether this method is successful all depends on your effort input and your patience. I won’t lie, spending hours a day to promote your music is a long, and let’s be honest, boring task. However, the potential is unlimited and the rewards are much more satisfying when your single begins to gain traction. Learn the best ways to build your network by reading our ‘get connected’ blog here.
If however, you don’t have the time to promote your music for hours on end or come up with music marketing tactics, then music promotion companies like Music Gateway can do it for you in half the time; giving you more time to focus on what really matters – the music.
Check out Music Gateway’s music promotion services above! We can also help you promote your SoundCloud tracks, boosting your Soundcloud plays.
Music Marketing For Musicians
If you have a tight budget or in fact zero to spend there are lots of ways you can promote your song. Create a social media marketing plan on Google Docs (which is free) and spend time focusing on what is the best music marketing strategy based on your current fanbase, location, music style and audience type.
For example, are you fans engaging with you more on Instagram or Twitter compared to Facebook, do you have greater following on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music?
The music business is flooded with music each and every day, so to have an effective music campaign, you need to focus your time and efforts on what will achieve the best results.
Your time costs nothing (unless it’s taking you away from paid work) so use it wisely and build relationships with key players that can help promote your music. We recommend that you also acquire a team of people, friends and family that can help spread the word and bring different skills to the party.
Contacting Music Promotors
It’s always important to have an EPK (Electronic press kit) ready to send when contacting promotion companies. People in the music industry live busy lives; they don’t have time to send countless emails back and forth before they understand your vision. Having an EPK is a great way to share your artistic goals and your brand in one neat, easy to read package. Don’t know what an EPK should look like? Google EPK examples or ask friends in other bands to send you theirs.
Your EPK should be short and to the point. Have a brief artist bio that sells you as an artist or band. Include a press shot, magazine or blog reviews (if you have any) and links to your social media; including a place to stream your music (no one has time to download your MP3s from Dropbox). It’s a good idea to save press kit templates for easy editing – You may want to edit your EPK templates in order to tailor them to different promotional needs!
If you’re struggling to write your artist biography, have a read of our blog, ‘How to write the best artist bio’.
What Does Success Mean To You?
Whether you choose to explore the world of promotion yourself or partner with a marketing company, it’s always important to know what success means to you. Having a clear end goal is important to set small achievable milestones that will break down the workload and show progression as you progress along this path. Clear goals allow for well structured and efficient work time that will see you hitting your targets in no time.
When it comes to music, we all know that any recipe for success typically involves a healthy dollop of marketing. After all, no matter how amazing your music is, it’s no secret that any release is going out into a saturated marketplace – in fact it’s so saturated that 60,000 new songs are uploaded to Spotify every single day, almost one every second. Therefore, a modern artist’s role is actually two-fold – the creation of the music itself and then the marketing of the music in order that you can find your audience.
In this blog we’ll look at how to market your music independently and share tips and advice for online music marketing. We’ll also talk about where you might want to partner with other players to build your marketing team to create a marketing plan, email marketing and more for music and things to consider if you are thinking of working with any of the music marketing companies operating in the market.
What is Music Marketing?
First thing’s first – when we talk about music marketing, we are referring to activities you can do to generate interest in your music, which in turn will hopefully lead to increased sales and revenue (either via streaming, digital downloads, physical sales, higher-paying live performances, sync opportunities or other income streams).
As Jon Hamm’s character in Mad Men stated, it’s often very difficult to tangibly track what marketing output works and what falls flat. With digital marketing there are a lot more opportunities to understand which of your marketing activities are successful so we’re also going to look at on- and offline strategies you can employ that might lead to greater exposure for your music.
What’s Your Business Model?
This might seem like an odd place to start but it’s a good idea because the truth is that marketing takes up a lot of time and can also take a lot of money so you want to make sure that you’re marketing with purpose so your investment isn’t wasted. The reason for asking what is your business model is that it naturally leads to a second (and ultimately more fundamental) question – what are your marketing goals? But let’s take these one at a time.
So, what is your business model?
Most musicians will have a list of different income streams that offer differing levels of financial viability – these may include (in no particular order):
- Live Performance
- Physical Record Sales
- Merch Sales
- Digital Record Sales/Streams
- Royalites (from gigs, record sales, radio performance, sync, etc.)
Some artists may not do everything on this list, some might also have other income streams. In either case, think about which of these revenue streams are the most lucrative to you right now. Also consider which are potentially lucrative but that are under-realised or dependent on other factors.
As an example, live performance, physical records and merch might be the cornerstones of your business with streaming, royalties and other income streams featuring lower on the list. Now you’ve established your business model, it’s time to specifically think about marketing and what your specific marketing goals are. Do you want to capitalise further on one of your existing income streams or are you looking to grow another income stream? Or do want a more generalised goal of raising your online stats such as Facebook likes (side note – be careful with marketing geared towards these kinds of goals as it’s very easy to lose sight of what you are trying to achieve with your music in lieu of having an ego boost from online likes). You can, of course, hope to do it all – but you will need different marketing for each ambition so it is helpful to have distinct goals for each marketing campaign and specific activities tied to each ambition.
Whichever goal you are looking to achieve, try to set some specific measurables against it so you can evaluate whether or not the activity was successful. With traditional media this can be a little trickier, but the advantage of digital marketing is the stats that surround it and make it much easier to evaluate.
How to Market Your Music
How to Market Music is a huge question, there are tons of new ideas for marketing emerging every day and in the modern world you also have the distinction between digital music marketing and more traditional music marketing, both of which have their place in the overall picture of what you are trying to achieve.
When we talk about traditional marketing, we are really talking about traditional media outlets such as radio and magazines but also about PR which incorporates blogs and websites as well.
There are a number of ways to approach this kind of marketing:
- Put together your own press releases, Google the appropriate contacts and send it out.
- Put together your own press releases and use supplementary resources such as The Unsigned Guide (a directory full of handy music industry contacts including for Media and Radio) or use companies such as MusoSoup. MusoSoup has an interesting platform where you pay for credits to upload your song to be considered by blogs, radio and playlist curators – the curators then receive a small payment once they have listened to your track and provided feedback so you are guaranteed that your track will be listened to.
- You can utilise promotional services from a music marketing agency such as Music Gateway. This might be an agency that handles everything for you in one swoop, or you might choose to go down a Pay-As-You-Go route, cherry picking select services such as Radio Plugging, Blog submissions, playlist submissions, etc.
With all of the above there are a few different things to consider. Number one is the equation of time verses cost savings. If you choose to do everything yourself, it can be a very heavy investment in terms of your time, you could spend hours looking to send your music to blogs and magazines with varying levels success.
On the other hand, by going through an established music promotion company, you have a higher monetary investment but you reduce your time spent on admin and trawling the internet and there is also something to be said for working with a company that has established and proven contacts and relationships within the media outlet you are targeting. For example – an press release sent to the general NME inbox might have less chance of success than a press release from a known source to a known entity within the NME operation.
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 – however, 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, you also get the added bonuses of being able to share any reviews or plays on your social media channels (which 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.
Digital Music Promotion
In addition to traditional marketing models, you also have digital music marketing which is slightly different but can be even more valuable if done properly. Again, you can do a lot of digital marketing yourself by placing adverts on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok or you can partner with a company like Music Gateway who can coordinate your direct-to-fan campaigns.
When it comes to digital marketing, 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 an agency so you don’t fall into some of the traps that many artists fall into when delving into the world of digital advertising and wasting precious marketing dollars.
For example, many artists choose to base their social media ads on their main promotional material like gig posters or official music videos. This is totally understandable, however, this kind of content tends to perform quite badly when it comes to adverts. Music videos tend to be shot in very high quality, they have titles and they are usually widescreen – this means that they occupy very little of the usable space when a potential new fan scrolls through their news feed and it’s immediately obvious to any potential viewers that they are looking at an advert and our brains have become very sophisticated and actually filter out content which is obviously an advert. So for adverts, it’s best for your content to look as much as possible like all other content on the platform such as that created by a user’s friends and family.
Similarly, many artists choose to have their adverts linking straight to their Spotify or their online webstore. Whilst you might get lucky with the odd person that clicks through on these links – in most cases this is the marketing equivalent of going on a date and proposing marriage before you’ve finished your starters. 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 mailing list can 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.
In any case, checking the stats of any ad you are running online is super important and it helps you understand who responds best to your adverts and your content.
Music Gateway Music Promotion
Music Gateway has a really strong offering in terms of music marketing. We have a range of services from which artists can cherry pick to suit their individual needs. These include:
- Spotify Playlist Promotion – targeted campaigns towards some of the biggest independent playlist curators
- Global Radio Plugging
- YouTube promotion to increase views
- Music PR – targeted outreach to physical press and digital blogs
- Facebook/Instagram Advertising campaigns (managed directly through your accounts so you get the benefit of seeing all of the data your campaigns generate)
- TikTok influencer campaigns
- Sync Promotion – promoting music towards sync opportunities.
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, for example, that rather than utilising bots to drive up streaming numbers with no real meaning, Music Gateway’s experienced marketing team for music pitch tracks to Spotify editorial and indie curators to get music playlisted.
The company is interested in working with artists over the long term so they can achieve consistency and a better-planned approach. With this in mind they have developed a really interesting Pay-As-You-Grow service which 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.
That was our Guide to Music Marketing!
Music marketing is a really complex and difficult landscape to traverse. There are benefits to managing your marketing yourself and making a marketing strategy to ultimately grow your fan base, especially if you are on a tight budget, however it can also be hugely beneficial to work with established music promotion companies who can help you ensure your marketing budget is well spent.
Whatever you choose to do in terms of marketing – it certainly pays to be engaged in how music is marketed and to work hard to understand what the stats mean so you can make educated decisions about how your music should be marketed in the future. As with all things, knowledge is power!