It isn’t a secret that the digital music landscape is over-saturated. While this can seem overwhelming and even discouraging to up-and-coming artists, the proliferation of music platforms has had a democratizing effect. The music industry, which was once guarded by labels and distributors, is now open to everyone!
In the 21st century, the music promotion challenge now is to develop a marketing strategy that reaches all audiences and platforms and connects with every potential opportunity. The possibilities are endless for artists out there- it’s just a matter of using the right tools to get yourself discovered. The good news is, every music marketing tool serves a purpose.
There are wonderful tools that are built for helping artists in creating, organizing, and distributing content so that it reaches the right people at the right time. All of this to say, let’s take a look at our top 8 marketing tools for musicians.
Music Distribution Services
Musicians went through some tough and uncertain times in 2020. Countless gigs and tours were cancelled, which meant that artists had to get clever and depend on digital music activity more than ever. One way that musicians managed to earn income last year was through streams.
It’s true when they say that streaming is king. Nowadays you’re a lot less likely to see CDs or vinyl for sale at shows. You’ll see it on occasion, but it’s a rarity. The fact of the matter is that most households now don’t have a way to play CDs or records. Instead, listeners stream their favorite music on their favorite apps.
So, how do you get your music on these apps? Well, it’s quite easy. As we mentioned earlier, record labels were once the gatekeepers of the entire music industry, and previously did the legwork to secure deals with distribution companies. Now artists can manage this all themselves using distributors of their choice.
The distribution services will automatically populate links to your music on digital platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon, Pandora, and more.
Some Music Distribution Services include:
Spotify for Artists
Once your music has been distributed, you will want to set up an account on Spotify for Artists. This tool gives you the ability to optimize and improve your performance on the Spotify platform itself. It starts with customizing your profile and accessing data on playlist additions, number of followers/listeners, and number of streams.
Playlist additions are now the heartbeat of Spotify performance, and Spotify for Artists gives you direct access to pitch your own music to Spotify’s editorial team. This levels out the playing field for independent musicians out there.
Some may argue that ReverbNation is a bit older, but it is still one of the largest online communities of music professionals in the world. It is an excellent hub for music marketing tools across multiple channels. Some of the benefits include:
- Targeted advertisements on social media and streaming platforms
- Email newsletters
- Crowd Reviews where users can rate your music
- Electronic, trackable press-releases
- Viral marketing widgets
With all of the platforms that are out there, your fans are scattered across dozens of channels. Giving your audience just the link to your Spotify is probably not the best move. You’re limiting your outreach and potential by doing this.
Content sharing is the heart of digital music marketing, and a link shortener such as Amplify streamlines it in several ways, including:
- Customize your links with artwork, metadata, or videos
- Track how many people view the links you share
- Livestream of performances
- Create landing pages and smart links
- Pre saves of music releases
- Pixel tracking
- Mailing list sign up
- And much more!
The Different Kinds of Marketing Platforms
At the end of the day, the music marketing platforms are streaming services, radio, and social media. These are all different spaces where musicians can promote their music and connect with their audiences.
Marketing tools, on the other hand, are meant to help you analyze your performance and amplify your success on all of these said platforms.
The good news is that marketing platforms and tools work hand in hand. You can’t reach an audience without a presence on the major digital platforms, but breaking through the noise and creating a successful marketing strategy requires the right tools and the right insights.
Social Media Marketing Tools for Musicians
To build a healthy following on social media, you need to understand the demographics of your target audience. Then, you should have a clear understanding of what platforms are appropriate for you. While we can’t help you figure out your target audience exactly, we can certainly point you in the right direction of which channels to use.
Best Music Platforms
According to a recent study, almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day. So, it’s a popular platform to say the least. It’s also ground zero for music marketing, and the first place you should post your content. Music is by far the most viewed category of video (27%), and 95% of the most-watched videos on YouTube are music videos.
Whether it’s for sharing music videos, live performances, tour videos, or just documenting and sharing your music career, being on YouTube is an absolute must.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
This trio of social media platforms are the all stars of the digital marketing world. Your presence on each is crucial to maximizing your reach.
Let’s take a look at some of the stats to see how many people are on each platform:
Facebook: 2.85 monthly active users in the first quarter of 2021. Facebook is still the reigning champion and the biggest social network worldwide.
Instagram: Nearly 1 billion monthly active users. No big deal. Instagram is easily a close runner-up.
Twitter: 186 million daily active users and 38 million users in the United States alone. That ain’t too shabby for a social platform where you can only share 140 characters.
Each platform serves a tremendous purpose to musicians in their own ways.
For example, Facebook is great for sharing photos and videos, as well as show dates and Facebook live performances.
Instagram presents an opportunity to showcase your work in a unique way aesthetically. Similar to Facebook, it’s wonderful for sharing photos and videos, and doing live performances and live talks for Q&As. It’s also a great platform for networking with fellow industry professionals.
Twitter is small but mighty. Don’t count it out as an artist. It is a fantastic playground for engaging with influencers, fellow musicians, like-minded industry folk, and even music journalists. It is a tremendous resource for you.
Keep in mind that each platform requires a tailored approach. Every channel has its own demographics, niche, and content format. If you’re wondering which platforms you should be on, the answer is easy – it’s all of them! At least try it. If you find out that you don’t like one particular platform after testing the waters, you can always close the account.
TikTok is the latest object of fixation in the music marketing world. On the surface, it may look slightly chaotic, but if you look a bit further you will discover the many different ways that it could benefit you.
For one, the platform lets users repurpose music- and this can go a long way. Some even think that this is the new frontier of music marketing: making your music available to users so they can generate their own content and create word-of-mouth. TikTok is the pioneer when it comes to this.
At the end of the day, TikTok is a reminder that your fans are your biggest supporters and your most important source of media. They share your content, engage with it, and amplify it across mediums like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and now TikTok.
Does it seem like we’ve talked a lot about Spotify in this blog? It’s because we have. But, that should be an indication of how huge and important it is. Think of Spotify as the Netflix or Hulu of the music industry. It’s very important that your music is on here.
Spotify is the world’s most popular music streaming platform. It controls 36% of the global streaming market with its 217 million monthly active users.
Depending on your marketing strategy, your goal with Spotify can be to get a placement on the editorial or label-owned playlists, or it can simply be to get featured by 3rd-party influencers. You really can’t go wrong with whatever approach you choose.
The bottom line is that 54% of people say that digital playlists are replacing albums for them, and platforms like Spotify have led this transformation. Now just a single song that’s featured on prominent playlists on Spotify can be a game-changer for artists- not to mention an entire album.
At the end of the day, all of these platforms and tools have the potential to play a big role in finding you new listeners. There’s nothing wrong with throwing different irons in the fire to see what works best for you. You just need to make sure that you’re constantly reviewing the results, refining, and improving your strategy.
The possibilities are endless, and we would love to be a part of your journey and marketing your music to new audiences. Learn more about our artist brand and development services HERE.