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top 10 music promotion strategies

Top 10 Music Promotion Strategies

music promotion strategies Feb 21, 2024

New Music Promotion Strategies 2024

In a world where content is everything, how does it affect independent musicians trying to get the reach their music deserves? The extreme digitization of almost anything and everything has heavily changed how marketing works, even for musicians. The music industry stands similar to the waves of trends that determine the genre of music in demand. How could independent musicians like you, make a lasting impact and stand out in the crowd?

 

In this post, we’ve covered 10 effective online music promotion strategies that could help you get the audience that you deserve in this fast-paced industry.

  1. Music = Content

  2. Create or Follow Trends

  3. Targeted Ads

  4. Newsletter

  5. Music Blogs

  6. Contests and Giveaways

  7. Workshops and Masterclasses

  8. Niche Communities

  9. Visual Storytelling

  10. Music Influencers

 

Music = Content

We understand that for any musician, his or her music would be a part of themselves, a story, a form of art. And to think of it as a piece of content would be disheartening. But you could always try and make that content YOURS. It doesn’t necessarily have to be ripped apart, molded, and packaged for Instagram or TikTok specifically. It just has to be consistent and it has to be unique. That originality and uniqueness should come from you and that will take conscious effort in making content that you genuinely like and would also work with the algorithm. 

 

You could make a video of your friends reacting to your brand-new track and put that up on your TikTok. This is completely natural and raw, the emotion and reaction could attest to the sincerity and honesty in your craft. Such short-form visual content could change your game because it leaves someone wanting more. If you have a YouTube channel, then you could post a snippet on TikTok or Instagram and redirect the viewer to the channel to watch the full reaction and review the video or stream your track on Spotify or Apple Music

 

This doesn’t necessarily have to be just visual content. You could also post Instagram stories of your audio notes, or some raw work you’ve done. In an interview, Conan Grey expressed that he used his audio notes so much that at one point, he opened his phone camera and recorded the floor while he sang his verse or tried something new. His fans later demanded one of those videos to be posted on TikTok! Yes, people actively want to watch a random recording of the floor while their favorite musician sings in the background. This is pure music content at the end of the day. 

 

Pssst…come here: The world of content is vast. You could make literary anything with your music, post teasers of your music videos on your social media, post behind-the-scenes of your music-making process and you could also post music covers of other artists’ songs. UMI, the famous R&B artist, posted a cover of ‘Slow Dancing’ by V of BTS. The cover became a huge hit on the internet. Just a few months later, they released a collab track called ‘wherever u r.’ You just never know!

Turning your music into content involves thinking of how best to get the masses of netizens to stream your music actively. This means learning the lingo of the internet and adding that lens before your music. For example, the artist duo called Sundial promoted her song 24 on TikTok and Instagram by weaponizing their song lyrics. The song talks about turning 24 and feeling a certain sense of quarter-life crisis. The vocalist made videos of herself lipsyncing to the song and captioned it as “pov: you’re in your 20s.” This video has over 16 million views on Instagram alone because of the way it was premised to the viewer - it instantly became relatable to the masses. 

 

Create or Follow Trends

Trends are what determine how the netizens are looking at content and what kind of music is getting more reach, how could you get the reach for your music even though it is a completely different genre? So, when we say, create or follow trends, we mean it because it will help you change your game and give you the possibility to go viral within a month. 

 

Zimmer90, an artist duo promoted their track called What Love Is in November on Instagram. They set a trend and let UGC (user-generated content) take over. They made a reel which was an edit of how their 2023 has been in months. Their music sat very well with the concept and the edit was visually satisfying. They posted another reel that urged their followers and fans to make their own yearly wrapped edits to this song. December was filled with different people on the internet making their own little edits to the track and posting it on Instagram, making their song trending and viral. They timed the promotion with the concept beautifully and the song itself was such a hit that the concept and music went hand in hand. 

User-generated content could help promote your music. All you need is a great demo or sample to create a trend. If you don’t have enough ideas, you can follow an already existing trend and add your twist to it. 

 

Dance challenges aren’t new, especially for TikTok. You could make a dance challenge if your music is an Afrobeat or a great pop track. The production label of Jungkook of BTS, called BIGHIT Entertainment, posted a video of Jungkook dancing to a particular dance break section of his new release called Standing Next To You. Within a week, fans, followers, and just passionate dancers who weren’t necessarily fans of the artist took to the internet to post their covers of the dance break section. User-generated content did just the right job of all the music promotion the artist needed. 

You could also urge people to make covers of your songs and actively react to those covers, encouraging more user-generated content and showcasing that you are genuinely invested in how your fans and followers are receiving and reproducing your music. Take Golden Hour by JVKE. He promoted his track on different social media platforms and urged passionate singers, fans, and followers to make covers of his song. When people did, he made reaction videos on TikTok which was an incentive for more UGC. 

 

Targeted Ads

Understanding your audience and curating a specific advertisement for your music that would reach those viewers who are 80% likely to engage and listen to your music is the premise of any targeted ad. Begin by analyzing data and your target audience and developing a profile of who you want to reach. You can utilize social media platforms like Facebook Ads and Google Ads to construct targeted campaigns that reach your target demographic. Make sure you are maximizing your advertising efforts by experimenting with different content, picture, and targeting settings. You need to make sure that your advertisements are viewed by the right audience. 

If you are a little lost when it comes to understanding who listens to you more and where you may want to check out the ‘Spotify For Artists’ tab. You can get all the information about your streaming stats, where your music is streamed a lot, and which country or region. You could also check Instagram and see your insights, check where your content is reaching the most, and actively target that area. If you are planning on starting a pre-save campaign for your music, then targeted ads are just the tool you need to effectively promote your music online. 

 

Newsletter

The digitization of the press has given print media a backfoot at the moment. There is an online version of almost any newspaper now and news apps seem to be doing much better than any print newspaper. So an online newsletter for your fans could be a great medium through which you could not only promote your music but also promote your artist persona, and your music brand image and showcase the human side of you.

First, you need an email list. As an independent musician, you’d already have emails of your friends, family, relatives, existing fans and followers, people from your local scene, and so on. But with enough networking, you’d eventually build your email list that would contain contacts of music A&Rs, record label representatives, music PR, industry professionals, content creators, music promotors, your contemporaries, and so on. So start by compiling a list of email addresses for people who you believe would be drawn to your music.

Next, write a compelling subject line for your email that will entice readers to open it. When creating the email content, ensure that it contains details on any future shows, music releases, or other pertinent news that your audience will find interesting. Your email content could be anything. You could talk about a song you’ve been writing, explain the theory behind one of your already popular tracks, give them any hint of your new track, announce a music collaboration, and so on. Also, provide links to the music you release on music streaming services, your website, and any other places from which individuals can download it. Do not forget to add a call to action - to stream your music, pre-save it or anything else. 

Pssst…come here: Keep an eye on your click-through rate. This is an estimate of how many people actually open your email and engage with the content you’ve given them. Your subject line usually determines this, so make sure that you have a solid subject line that your viewers won’t resist. 

 

Music Blogs

Music blogs that are actively curated and updated are a great source of views for your music. You could collaborate with the music bloggers and squeeze in an interview or a plug for your music in one or more of their articles. 

Music blogs usually have a very niche following and those that also do news pieces have an even larger audience. Hypebot, Groover Music Blog, and the like cater to musicians and music industry news that music lovers and other people would actively follow and engage with. Due to the dedicated readership, getting the space of an excerpt or a full-fledged interview or review of your music could really help make a difference in your online promotion efforts. 

There are music blogs that also write about artists, as a feature story. The Skadoosh, Stereofox and so on. You could contact the blogger and email them about your profile. Such music blogs and spaces help kickstart building press coverage because these pieces that are written about artists would later become a source of verification for bigger and more authorized web spaces and PR. 

Some music blogs accept entries via an online form or email. When you plan on sending songs to blogs, you should ideally study and select blogs that are relevant to your genre of music or niche, in addition to those with a large readership and active following. Tailoring your entry and including significant details regarding your music, such as a short artist bio, a news release, and links to your tracks and social networking profiles, might improve your chances of being featured. 

 

Contests and Giveaways

A short but effective method of promoting your music online is holding contests and hosting giveaway events. Who doesn’t enjoy participating in quiz contests, and taking home prices? 

 

Announcing a contest along with prices, maybe tickets to your new show, or brand new merch line you have recently launched, would guarantee an increased engagement. Honestly, offering anything for free for your audience and followers is a great way to get attention. 

There is a fair chance for expanded reach as well because anyone who wins your contests and gets your giveaways would talk about it or post about it on their social media. Word of mouth matters. Contests and prizes may motivate particular activities that help you achieve your advertising goals. For example, to join the contest, users may be required to stream your music, follow you on social media, or promote your work. This helps to elicit the actions you want from your target audience. You could hold your contests via social media platforms. Go live when announcing the results! 

 

Workshops and Masterclasses

If there is anything you are particularly good at, you could monetize on that skill of yours and conduct online workshops and masterclasses. You plug in your music while teaching how to write a song, or you could show your music video in a class you’d take on video editing! It depends on how best you could incorporate and promote your music without seemingly making it obvious. 

Create compelling and useful material for your workshop or masterclass. Use a variety of decks, lectures, Q&A sessions, and interactive elements to keep attendees engaged and interested throughout the session. Provide participants with practical suggestions, insights, and concrete assistance for their musical projects. The idea is to impart some amount of knowledge you’d have along with promoting your music. 

 

Niche Communities

Collect comments from attendees after the workshop or masterclass to assess its efficacy and find areas for improvement. Urge participants to offer feedback or testimonials that you can utilize in future promotions. Positive reviews and testimonials will help you establish a reputation and attract more attendees to your future events. 

This means identifying communities - online forums, discussion platforms, groups, and societies that actively engage in the particular music you make, to increase viewers and potential followers that would come from these forums. For example, if you make experimental music, then you’d want to connect with online forums, maybe even on Discord, Reddit, and so on, that follow experimental music and talk about it. 

Present yourself, join discussions, contribute your music, and provide helpful information or content relevant to the community's interests. Refrain from merely advertising the music you compose and alternatively strive to become an active and valued part of the community. Only if you can be one of their own, would you be able to make a loyal fanbase as an independent musician. 

Members can gain value by receiving exclusive content, behind-the-scenes insights, or exclusive incentives. For instance, you could share a draft of an unreleased track, exclusive glimpses, or merchandise discounts to members of the community. By providing anything of worth, you can gain interest, earn trust, and prove yourself as an important member of the community.

 

Pssst…come here: Exclusive content doesn’t necessarily have to be music that people haven’t listened to at all. It could be information that people don’t know about you as an artist. You could share what your favorite experimental music artist is, and how he or she has inspired you. By sharing something that others usually don’t know you’d be trusting them with that information and they’d in turn actively engage with what you bring to the table because of that exclusivity. 

 

Visual Storytelling

The importance of making your own musical universe is more important now than ever. But with promoting that online, you must think of a visual universe too. How do you visualise your music? What are the chapters of your songs? How have you made your album or a longplay a great story and how do you plan on telling it visually?

This is where a great set of music videos comes into play. Take UMI for instance. Her EP called Love Language was excellently promoted through a great storytelling method through her music videos. The films are wonderfully made with great production values and animation, it is visually and audibly satisfying. The 4 tracks were considered as 4 episodes and each of them has more than a million views. It is a great way to engage with the viewer and keep them invested enough for the next track because of the visual storytelling. 

 

Music Influencers

These people actively listen to music, follow the industry, have contacts with different working professionals, and have an active following. Music influencers, especially on YouTube, are a great target to promote your music online, as an independent musician. 

One such music influencer is Anthony Fantano, who is also known as ‘The Needle Drop.’ Anthony Fantano is a renowned music critic and YouTuber who provides album critiques, music feedback, and cultural assessment. He has a significant YouTube following, with millions of subscribers, and his musical judgments are widely acknowledged in the music industry. If you can reach out to him and bag a positive review of your track in one of his YouTube videos, you’ve won. 

A little bit of researching and compiling a list of such influencers you could collaborate with could really help build your fanbase as well as cross promote your music online, effectively. A combination of these strategies could help you expand your music’s reach and get your music the engagement and growth it needs. 

 

We at GreaseRelease, have a bunch of curators on our network who are looking for new & exciting music to push on their massive playlists. If you make music and want to reach a wider audience, check out our submission platform and get a chance to reach millions of listeners! Submit your tracks now!

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