Music promotion is taking a huge drive in 2020, one of the keys to a successful campaign is to try to promote strategically & learn from the promotions you run. As a musical artist, it might seem like a huge deal to get your music out there in competitive music industry but hey; the internet has opened up limitless possibilities to promote your music with ease. And, while it may seem daunting, it really allows you to explore and let your creativity run wild! Like products or services, music also should be aggressively pushed so that its audience notices it quickly. Remember, similar to businesses, there is a tough competition in promoting your music too. There are plenty of other musicians out there and their songs are competing with each other for the attention of the music-loving audience.
Like I said before, the key to successfully promoting your music in today’s music industry is to try new things, promote strategically, and learn from the promotions you run, make changes, and then fine-tune them to your unique career.
Let’s take a look at some basic strategies you could be using to promote your music right now.
Make sure your Brand stands out – One of the effective promotional strategies is to project your brand as an authority in your field. Take a look at Burna Boy “African Giant”. When people believe in what you are saying, they want to buy things that you make or recommend. An easier way to convince that you do quality music is to post quality contents regularly on your social media & website/blog, air your opinion on the music industry via interviews & press releases, review other musical albums, and so on. Now you’ll be wondering why bring this up when it’s not a direct marketing strategy? Let’s assume you’re marketing a product which is been sold in a horrible looking store, does it speak well of the product no matter how good it tastes? Same way for your music and your brand image, make sure your social media accounts are well arranged, bio set up with nice pics, hire a photographer to have good pictures of you taken which should be posted on your Instagram, your website ready with your music sold there (I’ll discuss further on this), great press releases prior to the music release date, a wiki page and knowledge panel etc. This ensures that the brand likeability is increased which directly links to brand worth and this is one way to milk off your brand via endorsements, ambassadorships and co.
Ensure Your Music Gets on Major Digital Platform Playlists and DJ Mixes – Using the Nigerian Music Industry as a case study which is Africa’s biggest entertainment industry and most populous black nation, The number of smartphone users is forecast to grow to more than 100 million by 2020. Currently, the exact number of users is hard to pin down – however, estimates from different sources put the number of smartphone users in Nigeria at roughly 50 and 80 million. iPhone users steadily taking a huge chunk of these statistics stated above with Apple Music as their default music app and playlists been replaced with the traditional DJ mixes randomly downloaded off the internet and songs on blogs, with the growing emergence of local distribution platform Boomplay, international Audiomack and SoundCloud putting the android market in check as well; these are the next best places to promote your music strategically. Getting your music on these platforms playlists is key to a healthy music campaign (Hint: Hire a PR or A&R).
Utilize Social Media Properly – Everyone uses social media. If you’re not on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter these days, then you’ll be on LinkedIn, Snapchat or WhatsApp, well if you’re not on these platforms it’s almost like you don’t exist. However, you might have your music fully distributed on these platforms yet you may not be using them to its full potential to promote your music. Remember, Social media is NOT a straight-up marketing platform. It’s more of a catalyst for conversation and word-of-mouth marketing. About 80% of your posts should be funny, conversational, and interesting, leaving about 20% for promotional material. Here are some examples and checklists that you can use. That’s not to say that conversational posts can’t be promotional! You just need to learn how to frame the content in interesting ways. For example, if you’re in the studio recording a new song, try sprinkling little updates on social media. Tell a story about your studio experience that day, share a photo of the mix, or post a short teaser video of a song, go live and interact with your fans, ask them questions and request for their feedbacks. If you’re out on a show, take photos at the venues or share short videos or photos of the audiences. These things aren’t obviously promotional, but they still let fans know what’s going on and clearly states you’re active in your profession. When you release a song, spend money in paid advertisements and influencer marketing; Remember, social media isn’t the end-all-be-all when it comes to promoting your music. It can easily become a huge time suck that takes you away from your music if you don’t manage your time properly (Hint: Hire a social media manager).
Create more Video Contents (Music Videos, Animations) – According to statistics, 63% of brands have started using video content marketing. Video content marketing is progressing rapidly and will reach new heights sooner than we think. Aside from the fact that search engine and social networks love videos because it improves their platform usage time, it also encourages engagement so the algorithm is set to reward people who create amazing video content with more visibility. YouTube is an amazing platform to market your video content and it’s more cost-effective than you actually think, so if you’re used to publishing your video on YouTube with minimal awareness or cross-platform promotion strategy; then you should stop and have a proper promotion plan to follow suit. There are also amazing apps where you can promote your music using videos such as “Thriller” & “Tik-Tok”. As a musical artist with an audio track, while awaiting your music video make sure you have a lyric or animation video in your promotional strategy. Its 2020, don’t be left behind by promoting your music with outdated promotional campaign strategies.
Promote Your Music and Sell it on Your Website – As a music artist, I expect you to have a website; Google loves when you have original contents from your website been picked up by their crawlers and with proper SEO and schema data setup you could get a knowledge panel automatically setup for you courtesy of Google. If you have a website already then it shouldn’t be a static thing. It should be ever adapting and changing to reflect new events in your career. Basically, you want your fans stopping by your website as often as possible. The more often they’re on your site, the more they’re exposed to your songs, albums, merchandise, and events happening in your career. If you’re just starting out, you probably don’t have a lot of big updates other than the occasional album release and tour. Starting a blog is a great solution. It’s fairly easy to set up a blog on the homepage of your website. Most website tools like Blogger, and WordPress, have blog capabilities. Plan out blog posts at regular intervals like once or twice a week and share anything you think your fans would find interesting. This could be the inspirations behind certain songs, new lyrical ideas you’re working on, a funny story from the last studio session, or even a run-down of the gadgets you use. Another idea is to create landing pages on your website. Landing pages can be used to collect email addresses, to raise awareness, to give your fans more information, or to make a sale.
Utilize Email Marketing – Your email list is an extremely valuable tool to promote your music. Unlike collaboration and blogs, your email list is marketing to your current fan base. If someone signed up for your email list, they want to hear from you, so take advantage of it! Remember, your emails should be driving your fans to your website, so you want to include links. So what do you send to your email list? The obvious use of an email list is to let your fans know when you have a song coming out or an event. BUT you can also use your email list to send fans to your blog when you have new content. (Remember, you want to get your fans on your website as often as possible.) Of course, you need to get fans to actually signup for your emails before you can start using it as a music promotion tool, right? An easy option is to trade something of value for an email address. Keep in mind this doesn’t have to be a free song (in fact there are a TON of more effective ways to grow your email list) Collect as many email addresses as you can from your town using your links with friends, neighbours, offices, and even family members.
Conclusion: Your music promotion strategy is going to be something that you refine over time, so don’t get frustrated if things take some time to come together. Some tips stated above is tailored down to the Nigerian Music industry but it can be applied to any country and I just gave some tips which we know can’t cover all knowledge needed to promote properly but hey, this is just a post… stay tuned for my next articles I’ll give more hints. Remember; the important thing is that you should be taking advantage of all the different music promotional strategies you have right at your fingertips instead of relying on just one thing.