It isn’t a secret that an unbelievable amount of new music gets uploaded to streaming platforms each and every day. Much of the time, what determines whether new songs will be discovered or not depends on how they’re marketed. Whether you attempt to do it yourself or through the guidance of a professional company, there are plenty of benefits to be reaped from promoting your music to the masses in an efficient way.
Seeing as how we have a location here in Nashville, we like to think that we know a thing or two about music marketing- and we’d like to impart some of our wisdom on to you.
So let’s get into it!
The Top 10 Music Marketing Strategies for Artists
Firstly, it’s important to note that the phrase “music marketing” can be applied in two different kinds of situations.
- It can be about using music in a general marketing campaign for a brand.
- It can be about artists marketing the music they create.
Today we will be discussing the latter – the top strategies for music marketing for artists.
A Website is Key
This should go without saying, but of course we here at Dalex Design have to talk about it. If you’re going to market yourself online, having a website is absolutely crucial. Essentially a website is the one-stop-shop for everything about your music. If fans want to check out your tour dates, read your bio, book you for a show, or buy your merch, they will be going to your website.
But what should your artist website include? At a minimum, it should have:
- A News Hub: A space for you to announce things like tour dates, new releases, and media appearances.
- Merch Store: You’d like to make some money as a music artist, right? In this case you’ll definitely want an online store to sell things like clothing, CDs, vinyl, or posters.
- Tour Dates: People want to see you perform live now more than ever, and you want an audience at your shows. So tell them when and where they can see your shows (and provide them with information on how to get tickets.)
- Social Links: If you have social media channels (as you should) make it easy for people to find your profiles on your website. It’s usually best to put the social media icons in a header, footer, and/or contact page.
- Contact Information: Speaking of a contact page, whether it’s a fan wanting to contact you, or a talent buyer who wants to book you, make sure you share an email address, contact form, or another way for people to get in touch.
- Music Player: Make it easy for people to hear your music without having to leave your website. If your website doesn’t come with a built in media player an embeddable player like HearNow or SoundCloud are also good options.
- Newsletter Signup: Provide a way to sign up for a newsletter, which can help you build an engaged fan base.
- Your Biography: Your fans want to learn more about you! Give them some detail about your background, accomplishments, influences, and let them learn more about who you are as an artist.
Create an Electronic Press Kit (EPK)
It’s no secret that you don’t need a record deal to make it as an artist, but you DO need the media on your side. This is a critical step to raising your brand as a whole.
This is the exact reason why you should have an electronic press kit (EPK). You can send your EPK out to radio stations, publications and bloggers. playlist curators, talent buyers and venue owners, record labels, festivals, and many more. This will all make it easier in securing your bookings and generating buzz around your act.
A lot of artists will incorporate an EPK on their website. This is an excellent way to share your press kit with one simple link. Rather than sending someone a bunch of links and attachments, you can point them in the direction of one single landing page.
However, it’s important to note that your EPK should be more than just an abridged version of your website. It should include:
- Your bio: Unlike the one on your website, this bio should be short. Consider it your elevator pitch. It really should be no more than two or three sentences.
- Promo photos: Firstly, eye-catching imagery could make the difference between your EPK being looked at or ignored. Secondly, media publications or promoters might need visuals in a hurry, so ensure they’re high quality and include a range of formats (vertical and horizontal; color and black-and-white).
- Your music: These people may never have heard your sound before, so include links to your most popular tracks, or embed a music player within your EPK.
- Your Videos: Concerts, live performances, interviews, oh my! If you have video content, make sure to add this to your EPK. However, you’ll want to be slightly selective. Make sure that you include only your best videos in your press kit.
- Press Clippings: Have you already generated some press attention? Good for you! Make sure to add links and quotes from reviews and articles within your EPK to show off the buzz.
- Social Links: Add links to your most active profiles, preferably the ones with engaged and growing followings.
- Contact Details: Once again, gather all of your contact info in one place, and make it easy for people to reach you.
Create Social Media Accounts for Your Music
Having a strong (and growing) social media following on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can make a big difference for an artist. These days artists can generate buzz without the mainstream media with just their social channels alone.
You should use your social media outlets to directly speak to fans, announce gigs, promote your music, and build a community around what you do.
Also, make sure that you don’t overlook opportunities to cross-promote across multiple platforms. For example, when you share your latest video to YouTube, remember to then share the link on Facebook, etc.
Build A Network to Market Your Music
We all know that making the right connections can go a long way in your career. It’s important to note, however, that you can’t just wait for opportunities to come to you. You need to be putting yourself out there and networking – and in more ways than one.
Here are some different ways that you can network effectively:
- Reach Out via Social: Social media is an incredible tool that allows you to connect with all kinds of people all over the world. But are you really using it for your music career? Take the social media platforms that you’re on, find people who work in the right parts of the music business, and connect with them on social media. It’s important to note that once you do make a connection, form a relationship first before asking for any deals or favors. Flattery gets you everywhere. Tell them you love their work, their venue, etc.
- Get Face Time: This one may sound especially obvious, but you should get out in your local community as possible and show your face. Play all the shows and open mics you can, attend workshops and conferences, and hang out at venues that book many local artists. Remember – every conversation can be an opportunity to network.
Email Marketing Campaigns for Musicians
If you think that email marketing is obsolete, think again. Email marketing can be extremely effective for building a community and making money from your music. It’s a great way to announce tour dates, new music releases, sell merch, and much more. Also, don’t just assume that your emails aren’t getting read. If you send emails to your fans, there’s an above-average chance they’ll open them and go to the links you share with them.
Factor in the Following When Working on Your Email Marketing
- Incentivize Fans to Sign Up: If you’re looking to get email sign ups, try offering a free music download or a discount on merch.
- Follow up Effectively: Once someone signs up you should immediately send a thank-you follow up email- plus any freebies you may have used to reel them in.
- Monetize It: Be sure to add an impactful CTA that will drive readers to your merch or ticket stores.
- Stay with a Schedule: Don’t bombard or spam your subscribers. Unless you have big news to announce like a music release or a new tour, sending an email every couple of weeks will do the job.
Pitch Your Music to Media Outlets
The main goal of music marketing is to get in front of new audiences, right? That said, it makes sense to reach out to those who already have engaged audiences of their own.
It’s worth noting that the types of brands you pitch to will likely vary depending on the type of music you make.Generally speaking though, you should always try reaching out to:
- music and lifestyle bloggers
- music industry press
- local press
- playlist curator
- local radio
- national radio
It’s also worth noting that it’s unlikely you’ll break into one of Spotify’s in-house lists straight away. This is because they are heavily influenced by user analytics.
Instead, shoot for smaller more curated playlists- your chances of getting on these lists for starters are much better.
Create Merch to Market Your Music
Without question, you should definitely consider designing and selling your merchandise as part of your music marketing strategy. It might seem like an old school approach, but it works!
In addition to it being a way to bring in revenue, it can be an excellent marketing tool. Think about it. When folks see a hoodie or a hat with a band on it, it’s basically a walking billboard.
In the big scheme of things, this is a low amount of money to spend for what you potentially earn.
Budgeting for Your Music Career
As the old adage goes, “It takes money to make money.” If you’re serious about your music career, then it’s likely that you’re going to have to spend some money.
We know that this may sound like a lot, but believe us – it’s all worth doing. The good news is that you don’t have to do it all at once. You can start by building your website, then working on your social media, and networking with people in your community.
The other piece of good news is that you don’t have to do this alone. We here at Dalex Design would love to support you on your music marketing journey.
Visit www.dalexdesigngroup.com to learn more about our artist development services.