As an advocate of well executed social media/blog-focused music marketing, I think it’s crucial to understand not only why you should be marketing your music, but how you should be marketing your music. Taking the step to becoming a proactive, marketing-savvy, social musician can mean the difference between success and failure. Yes, it is that cut and dry, and yes, it is that simple.
However, before you dive right in and just start marketing your music to anyone and everyone you can, there are a few different things that you’ll want to consider and have prepped and ready to go. Having a grasp on the following will ensure that you are ready to start marketing your music, and that your efforts are worth the time and effort, even from day one.
1. Original Concept So obvious and yet so overlooked, making sure that your music is good and your concept is original is the absolute first step to ensuring your are ready to market your music. No matter how much time and effort you spend on networking, blogging, tweeting, and engaging with your fans, if your music sucks or is flat out unoriginal, people will go elsewhere.
2. Identifiable Brand This is a simple mistake that almost everyone makes… hell, I even made it when I first started marketing my own music. Your image, your sound, your personality, your mission; all of these things make up your brand. It is crucial that your brand is instantly recognizable by anyone and everyone, especially if you are going to be seeking out blog features and are hoping that the publicity will lead to retaining new fans. Long story short, no matter how good your promo is on blogs and other online publications… if people can’t EASILY find you, you’re wasting your time. The two most important ways to ensure that your brand is ready to be instantly identifiably online are:
1) Consistent URLS (i.e. YourBand.com, Twitter.com/Yourband, Facebook.com/YourBand)
2) Same profile pic on all social networking accounts
3. Understanding of your Fans and Niche Marketing without understanding exactly who your fans are, and whom within your market can actually help you to grow your fan base is like opening the phone book, picking a name completely at random, calling them and telling them to listen to your music.
If this sounds laughable… it’s because it is.
Just like any product or service, properly marketing your music requires that you understand your target market (your fans and your scene) as well as the major promotional players within that market (local, regional and national blogs, online magazines, etc.).
4. Content Strategy Probably the most important part of marketing yourself online is having a proper content strategy in place. Not only should you consider the style of content (remixed music, covers, blog posts, etc.), but the format (youtube,soundcloud, etc.) and even the frequency (once a day, once a week) should be fully fleshed out before you begin to execute your strategy.
Doing this before you begin you execute your strategy will help your fans familiarize themselves with your brand and presence as early as possible, ultimately helping you to increase the dedication of your fans as quickly as possible.
5. Fan Retention Strategy Ultimately you are marketing your music and your brand through social media for the sole purpose of retaining new long-term fans. So, you must have a strategy in place to do so before you dive into your marketing campaign.
The most obvious way to retain fans is to create a mailing list and use a pre-built widget to collect the email addresses of your fans through Facebook, your blog, your website and/ or any other place you can think of.
However, just asking fans for a email address many not be as simple as you’d think. With so many artists asking for email addresses, fans begin to choose carefully and become less interested in giving their email address away. So, you need to create a strong call to action in the form of a FREE giveaway (i.e. an unreleased song, access to an exclusive cover video, etc.) that is desirable enough that your fans will want to join.
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