5 tips to create a music marketing strategy

With the term music marketing we refer to all those strategies aimed at promoting our music. In this article we explain why it is important and we provide 5 tips to create a music marketing strategy to launch your music, your personal brand and create a fanbase.

The world of music has always relied on traditional promotional channels. Just think of posters, concert playbills, CDs, cassettes, vinyls and merchandising in general – all items that often become cult, gaining sentimental and sometimes even economic value.

However, with the crisis of traditional listening media and the prevalent diffusion first of mp3 formats then of streaming services, the music sector had to update its marketing and promotion techniques by combining digital channels such as website, social media and streaming platforms with the more traditional formats.

Furthermore, the advent of streaming platforms has also made it easier to make and share music. Just think that Spotify acquired Soundtrap in 2017, a platform to make music. The ease with which we share content, however, has a downside for musicians and singers: it generates an even stronger competition and an even greater difficulty in emerging and making a name for ourselves in a sector that has always been extremely competitive and in which it’s very difficult to remain relevant over the years.

So, having talent is not enough if there is no marketing strategy suitable to promote our style, our music and ourselves.

In this article you will find 5 tips to create a music marketing strategy to make a name for yourself in the music industry, launch your own personal brand and create your own community of fans.

1. Create a personal brand

Creating a personal brand means defining and communicating our strengths and what sets us apart from the competition.

In the music field, having a personal brand means not only distinguishing ourselves thanks to our music but also combining our talent with a very specific image, style and values. In short, to communicate our identity.

Knowing how to effectively communicate our identity and what makes us unique can help us attract the attention of our target, generate new contacts, as well as a sense of trust and familiarity in those who follow us, thus strengthening the sense of community.

What matters when creating a personal brand is to be transparent and honest: creating a personal brand does not mean building a fictitious image of oneself, but rather bringing out our personality, our values and what we believe in in the best possible way.

2. Know your audience

Each business requires in-depth knowledge of its target audience, its needs and expectations. The music business is no exception.

On our blog and on our social networks we have already talked extensively about Buyer Personas and how these invented but plausible identikits can help us defining our audience. When it come to the music sector, in order to define and therefore reach our audience effectively we must ask ourselves who our potential fans are, what interests they have, why they like our music and through which platforms they listen to it; what types of content they consume, which blogs, books or magazines they read to get information, especially on news and musical events, and on which social networks they are most active.

Answering these questions is a very useful exercise to get a more precise idea of our potential audience and therefore devise communication and promotion strategies capable of meeting their needs in a targeted manner.

3. Define the goals

Once we have established how to best communicate our identity and to which audience, the time has come to set concrete objectives, which will guide our marketing choices.

For example, we can set ourselves the goal of building a fanbase, that is, a community of a certain number of fans. We can decide to focus on increasing the engagement of our audience or on generating new contacts, perhaps through word of mouth among active fans. Or we can set ourselves the goal of being included in a particular Spotify playlist, increasing the sales of our merchandising or the number of streams of our album or song; the increase of traffic on our site or of the number of subscriptions to our newsletter; the sale of tickets for an event.

The potential objectives are countless. The important thing is to set specific, measurable, relevant, achievable and time-bound goals. We can start doing this by observing other artists, researching and learning about industry trends.

4. Choose the channels and create content

Having defined our target and goals, we should now be able to understand which channels will be the most effective to reach our audience.

We don’t have to be on every digital tool there is. However, a cross-media approach is recommended.

Website, eCommerce and Newsletter

The website has always been one of the most authoritative digital channels that communicates professionalism and reliability. Not surprisingly, when we search for a brand or want reliable information, one of the first sources we consult is the website.

The website not only helps us to offer our fans a reliable and up-to-date source of information but also to promote our personal brand through the sale of merchandise. So, let’s create a section dedicated to the eCommerce but also pages on which people can find the latest news and info on live shows. Let’s not forget to provide contact information and, of course, to link back to our social channels.

Through the site we can also do lead generation, offering the possibility to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on live shows, new releases, various kinds of initiatives or new merchandising.

The website of emerging alternative rock band The Mysterines features a merch store, a page where you can listen to their music or watch their videos, a list of upcoming concerts, contact info, social media info and an option to subscribe to their newsletter.

Streaming platforms

It goes without saying but being present on the major streaming platforms such as Spotify, Amazon Music, iTunes but also YouTube is essential for anyone who wants to make music.

In fact, it is very likely that our audience does not use a single platform to listen to music and find new artists. Therefore, having a profile on the most used platforms is important to have maximum exposure.

YouTube, which is halfway between a social network and a streaming platform, can also be useful for publishing “behind the scenes” content, unplugged versions of our songs, interviews, lyric videos and much more. Content that can be useful also for our other social channels.

Social channels

And here we are – social networks. In addition to music, we need to think about what other content might be of interest to our audience. If we want to create an authentic bond with our audience and promote our personal brand, sharing moments that go beyond music is always an excellent starting point.

But let’s also think about how to take advantage of our music and related videos on social media, especially given the importance of user-generated content. The major social platforms, in particular TikTok and Instagram Reels, allow us to duet with our fans, promote trends and re-share the contents of our community.

Music tracks actually play a very important role in the creation of content and have led niche or old bands and artists to break new records precisely because their song was used for the trend of the moment. Think of songs like Beggin’ by Maneskin, a cover recorded in 2017 that went viral on TikTok in 2021, or Bongo Cha Cha Cha, a song from the sixties by Caterina Valente.

Through social media we can also collaborate with other brands, as long as they are in line with our values and personal brand.

5. Do promotion on sector and local media

Industry media are a great way to make yourself known. Therefore, let’s not hesitate to send our music to the press, to specialized blogs, to managers and staff of record labels but also to the editorial teams of the streaming platforms, perhaps asking to be included in a certain playlist.

Let’s not underestimate also the potential of promoting ourselves locally with local radio stations or newspapers, giving interviews and participating in events in the area. Especially for those taking their first steps in the world of music, local promotional activities are a great place to start.

Summing up

Music marketing is a set of strategies to promote our music and our personal brand. It is inspired by what lies at the basis of the promotion of every type of brand, regardless of the sector: having in mind who we are and what our goals are and getting to know our audience in order to communicate effectively with it, with the right message and tools.

Our music, then, is inextricably linked to our person and our image. So, it is important to remember to also take care of all the other aspects that go beyond the musical content but which are equally important to make our audience understand who we are. In this case, honesty, consistency and transparency are pivotal.

Contact us to find out how we can help you create the right music marketing strategy.

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After graduating in Languages at the Università degli Studi di Milano, my interest and curiosity towards the digital world led me to pursue a career in this field and to get a Specializing Master in Digital Marketing. Today, I am responsible for the definition and application of marketing and communication strategies for both EOS and the ipcm® magazines. In my free time I travel, I read a lot and I binge-watch TV series. A place to visit at least once in your life: Oman. Must read: Lehman Trilogy by Stefano Massini. What you should binge-watch next: Mr. Robot.

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