Marketing yourself on digital platforms is becoming a must-do and unskippable step for any independent artist. So what are the best music marketing strategies for musicians and songwriters?
Being a musician or songwriter can often mean taking on numerous new roles. With creating and performing your original music remaining on the top of your to-do list, creating a digital marketing strategy is one of the most important steps to getting your music heard by the listeners or target audience, that it is intended for.
With new music being released every minute, determining how your music will connect with your audience will depend on how it is marketed. If you are marketing your music independently, more than likely, you are your team.
Who is your fanbase or target market?
Whether you’ve been making music for years or just starting, knowing your audience or potential audience can be a game-changer. You are going to want to know where your audience is based, how old are they, and how they spend their time online.
By creating social accounts and paying attention to your insights, this information is readily available. Look and see when the people who interact with your content are the most active and try to create a schedule that follows their habits.
Depending on the stage of your music career, this next one may be a little premature, but you can’t go wrong with creating a website. By having a website, you can monitor your site visits and have a central hub for everything you create. Unlike social media platforms, you create the atmosphere and functionally of a website. By seeing where people visit your website from, you can get a clear picture of where to focus your marketing.
Create a sense of community
Having a loyal fan base or community around yourself as an artist is widely overlooked. Two hundred dedicated fans are worth a lot more than 10,000 followers who rarely engage with your social media accounts.
Don’t forget to Interact with your followers, it’s that simple. If you put a video up of yourself playing, or a photo from last night’s gig and people reply, you should be replying to every comment.
Being hands-on with fans and even newcomers to your social accounts will set you ahead of the pack. Engage with what they post and build relationships organically. When individuals are engaged, they listen and follow through on the narrative at play.
More often, you see artists and writers selling subscriptions to their private websites offering sneak peeks of what’s upcoming and even unreleased material. This is something to think about after acquiring a loyal fanbase that wants to see more of what it is you have to offer as an artist
Who’s talking about you?
As an artist, you want people talking about you, in a positive way. You need to focus on submitting your music to Playlists, Streaming Services, Press Outlets, and Blogs that cater to your genre of music.
With a quick google search of blogs or streaming platforms’ playlists for your specific genre, you will see endless outlets that you can submit your music to for free. Try to submit your music roughly 2-4 weeks before release to allow any media outlets enough time to review the submission and create any response needed on their platform. The last thing you want to do is create and song and instantly release it.
Having a plan and placing it in front of outlets early can tremendously help the performance down the line. Make sure to not rush this step. If your music is picked up by a blog or press outlet, make sure to incorporate that in a website as it will help your website’s overall SEO.
Finally, you’ll want to create an electronic press kit (EPK) for yourself. This is a resume for yourself as an artist. You want to make sure your electronic press kit has: a bio, photos, recent music, contact information, and usually a video. The easiest way to do this is to add it to a previously created website. However, if you don’t have a website, you could use Wix or another site builder to create a single-page website holding all the information needed for an EPK.
Use Social Media Influencers!
I know social media influencers get a bad rap sometimes but hear me out on this one. Social media is here and it’s never going away. They control data and advertising and if you want to succeed you need to use the tools they’re giving you.
TikTok was the fastest growing app to one billion monthly users, yes, I said billion with a B. In almost any TikTok there’s always music in the background. If you’re an artist you should investigate using influencers within your budget to create a TikTok using your song, the reach and growth can be rapid. If you’re a songwriter, look at how many aspiring artists are on the platform, reach out to them and pitch your songs!
Collaborating with others and even paying for them to use your music is a strategy that’s no longer looked down upon.
When you think of watching videos online, what do you think of? If you’re like the rest of us, probably YouTube. This is a phenomenal platform not only for artists but writers as well. Set up a camera and record yourself playing a new song you wrote and post it to your YouTube channel.
Building a fanbase from a raw and organic performance of original material may be the best way to grow into an artist or become a prominent writer. It only takes one video before you could become a household name or an industry-leading writer. YouTube gives millions of people a stage of their own, what will you do on yours.
Tie It All Together
With all that being said, it’s important that you keep writing and creating the music you fell in love with. Over time your taste and skill will change but the passion will always be there. Remember why you started making music in the first place, it’s fun and something you enjoy doing.
If you are serious about taking your career as an artist to the next phase, try putting some of these steps into action, you may surprise yourself.
If you are interested in a career in the Music Industry, Dark Horse Institute’s Composition and Songwriting, Audio Engineering, or Music Business Programs are a great way to take things to the next level!