Music Marketing Strategies That Work

Once your music is ready to go out into the world, the real hard work starts. After putting your heart and soul into making your music, you want to do it justice by creating a marketing strategy that will get your song in front of your ideal audience...
Whether you’re a one-person band or have a team behind you, the same marketing strategies will apply. Don’t overlook the power of social media and take advantage of as many platforms and media types as possible. Online marketing is the future of advertising. Whatever your budget is for marketing, you want to be taking advantage of the tools that are on your smartphone.

If you’re an independent artist, you want to take as much advantage as possible of free digital platforms. We’re sharing some of the best music marketing strategies that actually work.

Spotify for Artists

Spotify is one streaming service that your music has to be on. Make sure you sign up to ‘Spotify for Artists’. It’ll give you insights into the people who are listening to your music and where your traffic is coming from. You can view how many people are listening in real-time, along with how long people listen to your music. This data also shows you how many organic listeners you have and how many listeners find your music through playlists.

While data might seem boring, it’ll form the backbone of your marketing strategy and give you insights into who your audience is and how they listen to your music.

Don’t Release All Your Music at Once

If you want to get the maximum exposure for your music, you want to drip feed it to your audience. Instead of releasing six songs in one drop, spread them out to one every three weeks. This time frame gives bloggers and publications more time to incorporate your music into their articles and content.

With more independent artists joining the industry every month, these bloggers often struggle to stay on top of it all. You want to give bloggers and journalists a heads up about your new music releases so that they can plan when to write about your music.

Develop a Marketing Grid

Be organized. It might sound like basic advice, but it will make or break your marketing strategy. It’s a good idea to create a marketing grid where you can plan out all your content. This grid will keep you on track and allow you to plan out specific content. You want to make sure you incorporate important dates like music releases and social events so that you can create specific content for.

When you have a marketing grid, you’ll never be short of ideas for your content. You want to try and schedule content at least two weeks ahead of time, allowing you an opportunity to create the content without feeling rushed. If you’re able to get ahead of your schedule with content creation, you can schedule your content to post automatically.

Collaborate with Other Artists

You want to grow your social media following as much as possible. One of the best ways of finding engaged followers is to collaborate with artists in your genre. If they create similar music to you, likely, their fans will also enjoy your music. It’s usually a good idea to collaborate with artists with a similar social following as you, although you can always reach out to more prominent creators.

You don’t have to promote each other’s music directly, but you can take photos together or host joint virtual events like Q&A sessions or Instagram lives. Creating a network of fellow creators can open doors for you and make it easier for you to tap into these other audiences and grow your following. It’s a tactic that mainstream celebrities have been using for years, with a proven track record of delivering results.

Engage with Your Fans

As an independent artist, you want to take the time to engage with your fans as much as possible. If someone comments on your Instagram post, take the time to reply and say thank you. If a follower tags you in an Instagram story showing your music, make sure to repost it. When your followers are actively engaged with your content, the algorithm on every platform will push your content out to more potential followers.

Whether you have 1k or 100k followers, you want to take the time to engage with as many fans as possible. When fans feel like they have a personal relationship with you, they’ll become your greatest marketing tool. If your followers are creating organic content, like sharing your music videos, it will help raise awareness of your work. You want to make sure that you engage with them in a meaningful way, whether writing a personal response back to their direct messages or taking the time to check out their profiles.

Launch Your Website

You want to get as much of your content out there as possible. With so many different social media platforms, it’s easy for some of your content to get lost. You want one central place where fans can find everything about you. A website can double as a news platform and portfolio for your work. It’s easy to embed your social media profiles onto your website so that they automatically show your latest posts.

Other features you can consider adding to your website include a ‘contact us page,’ a page dedicated to your media features, and a newsletter sign-up option. Your website is the one platform that is entirely within your control. Unlike Instagram or TikTok, there isn’t the risk of it disappearing tomorrow, causing you to lose all your followers.

When your website is up and running, make sure to link it on all your social media platforms and incorporate your URL into your content to direct traffic there. You can also access analytics that gives you more insight into your audience, including their countries of origin and how they’ve come across your website.

Create Interactive Content

You want to keep your followers engaged by creating interactive content across your social media platforms. Instead of talking at your audience, make it a two-way conversation and get them involved as much as possible. There are different ways you can create interactive content on each social media platform.

  • On TikTok, you can create a challenge with your music, asking your followers to come up with creative videos. You can post the best videos directly onto your feed, which will make your most engaged fans even more eager to create high-quality organic content. Don’t forget to upload your music as audio clips on TikTok to allow other users to utilize your sounds on their videos. 
  • On Instagram, you can use the stories functions to host polls and Q+As. It’s easy to open a question box for your followers to submit questions, which you can respond to with short video clips. Instagram also allows you to host a live stream on the platform, with your followers receiving push notifications that you’ve just gone live on Instagram. You can make these interactive sessions a regular part of your marketing strategy.
  • On Twitter, you can create memes or hold caption contests with your followers, even offering free prizes for the best response. You want to create interactive content that allows your followers to produce organic content in response. If you look at mainstream artists like Taylor Swift, you’ll see that her fans create the majority of content online about her music and events. 

Incorporate Your Album Artwork 

You want to add as much of your branding into your marketing strategy as possible – including your artwork. It’s an element that digital content managers often overlook. Your album artwork should be instantly recognizable, as it’s a reflection of your music aesthetic and branding.

Your artwork should be visible across all your social media platforms, as well as your website. You want people to be able to see your artwork and instantly know it’s yours. Some of the most iconic images of artists are their album artwork.

If you’re creating marketing material for live events, don’t forget to add your artwork to that.

Tell Your Story

Your overall marketing strategy should revolve around what your story is. As an independent artist, you are your most significant selling point. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to your audience and give them an insight into who you are and what drives you as an artist. Tell the story of your music and the inspiration behind it. The more personal you can make your digital content and marketing material, the more engaged your audience will be.

As part of this strategy, you can write blog posts and articles that tell your story. The more your audience hears directly from you, the stronger the bond will become between your audience and yourself.

Put Your Music on Every Platform

Your music should be on as many platforms as possible. If you don’t have it up there, you can guarantee someone else will upload it. You want to have a verified account on as many platforms as possible. Besides uploading your music on Apple Music and Spotify, don’t forget about other platforms like YouTube.

You can utilize other platforms like SoundCloud to preview snippets of your music before its release. You want to create as many opportunities as possible for new followers to find you. Platforms like YouTube can offer you another chance to monetize your content, as well as helping you grow your online following.

Invest in Paid Advertising

Digital advertising is getting smarter by the day. You can target your audience by segmentations such as age, location, and interests. You can start your paid advertising with a small budget and run a few test ads to see the response. Paid advertising can be trial and error, but it will have a place in your marketing strategy.

You don’t have to break the bank to start running paid digital advertising. You can utilize it to push a social media post out or promote a link to your streaming platforms.

Organize Live Stream Events

If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that live streaming has a role in your marketing campaign. You can interact with followers all over the world in real-time. Don’t forget to market these live stream events, just like you would with a physical event. You can add these to your marketing grid to coordinate with the release of new music and even host a listening party so that your followers can be the first to hear your new music.

Live streams are also an opportunity to collaborate with other creatives and independent artists by inviting them to share your platform with you. Instagram allows for joint live streams between accounts, allowing you to tap into the other person’s social following.

Offer Merchandise

If there is one thing that fans like, it’s merchandise. Creating merchandise is not only a marketing strategy; it’s also a way for you to get revenue into your music business. You can choose to work with a third party to create unique merchandise and offer it through your website or other companies that will print and distribute your merchandise.

When you release your merchandise, encourage your fans to share their purchases on social media. Don’t forget to make a hashtag and give your fans an initiative to order as soon as your merchandise is released. You might offer a promo code or include a signed photograph in the first 100 orders.

Along with paid merchandise, you can offer free digital content like phone wallpapers and social media headers. Sometimes free content can be as successful as paid content, as it allows your audience to push the content out on your behalf. It’s free marketing, with your audience posting the content on your behalf.

Which of these marketing strategies will you be trying out? Do you have a favorite way of marketing your music? Let us know in the comments below.


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