Music Promotion: How To Get Your Music Heard
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…
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.
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.
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 share your latest Facebook post or talk 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. Have a look at our recommendations for the best collaborating sites here, or 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. That 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 Facebook page.
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, 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.