Photo courtesy of Wes Hicks.
Are you planning your next music release? Whether it is a single, album, or music video, it can take time to learn where to begin and how to launch the release successfully. The digital age can feel unforgiving to new and upcoming artists looking to launch their projects. Not only is it an artist's job to write, produce, and practice constantly, but also to understand how the music business works—so that your work can be appreciated by the world around you. Music marketing can be tedious and frustrating, but this article will give you a framework to work through your music marketing campaign in 2023.
The music you are making needs to be tailored to the audience you’re trying to reach or sympathize with. As a musician, not only will you become an expert in writing and producing music, but you will also become an expert in selling your music. Where do you begin when you want to get the ball rolling on promoting and marketing your music? This article will help you create a foundation for your next marketing campaign.
To get started, try answering the five basic questions:
These questions will narrow down what you want to get out of your music, and this will lead to pinpointing the most important aspects of what your music can offer the public. Your public projection will become more personalized when you follow this method.
Mapping out your goals will be crucial to help you jumpstart your marketing campaign. It’s been long proven that setting small goals will make it easier for you to achieve your larger goals in the end. There are three major steps that will help you intentionally choose your goals.
Some of the areas you might want to focus on are
Once you have all of the desired goals you want to achieve from the list above, it’s time to start writing these goals down! Plan to have a dedicated journal or electronic document that will be used during the goal-setting process. There are also a few other alternative platforms that you can use like mood boards, online presentations, and interactive note-taking.
Setting goals is more productive when there’s a timeline or exact date for completion. The goals should be reachable and something that you yourself can complete without relying on outside resources, because those outside resources can always change. Settings smart goals and tangible goals will make for a smoother experience for yourself, and it’ll avoid major burnout in the end.
Starting off with small goals and achieving them faster will motivate you to work toward the bigger goals you have for your marketing campaign. Reward yourself once you reach a goal!
The last step lasts through the entirety of the process, but checking on your goals and reflecting on them will keep you on track. There may be changes throughout your marketing campaign so it’s important to be flexible. Seeing the progress you have made is another motivator, and it’ll be more likely that you’ll meet the goal you have set for yourself.
In the world of marketing, your online presence and persona are very important, especially in the music industry. There are lots of platforms out there that you can use, but one of the most important ones is your website. Your website will be the soul of your marketing campaign and somewhere you can always go back to. And remember, the design of the site is just as important as the physical content.
Your brand as an artist will really be showcased on your website, so it’s important to have that in mind when first beginning the design process. There are many platforms you can use to make this vision possible. Begin with your artist bio and choose the information that really showcases your artistry and music. It can be challenging to write about yourself, so there is always the option to hire a writer to brainstorm and draft. Remember to ensure that it ultimately lines up with what you want your fans to know about you, and what will benefit them as listeners as well.
Budgeting is an important part of any project and it’ll be vital to help you keep your costs low. There are many apps that can assist you with your budgeting and financing for a project, as well as plenty of videos by experts in the field of budgeting. It’s always a good idea to try and do most things for free or for little cost. The budgeting process will be easier to break down when you take a look at other artists and see how they conduct their marketing campaigns.
Here are a few examples of important steps of your marketing campaign, along with the cost:
Something else to be aware of is when you are booking shows and selling tickets. The ticket prices and merchandise that is sold should be enough to cover the costs you made. A good budgeting plan will take all of these factors into consideration.
The effectiveness of how well you market your music will heavily rely on streaming services like Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Bandcamp. These are some of the big platforms for musicians and artists and you will most likely showcase your music on one or more of these platforms.
As an artist, you can claim a Spotify for Artists account. There are a lot of resources that can help with your Spotify account. The positives of using Spotify is that you are able to look at the analytics of your music and it’ll give you a gauge for what your fans are listening to.
Soundcloud is a platform where many upcoming artists release their music, and where they connect to fans one on one. Uploading music on Soundcloud can be more personalized, and you are able to choose what you want to say about your music.
There is a large draw to uploading music to Apple Music because of their one cent per stream offer, which is more than other platforms. It’s also a really important place to put your music because Apple Music is an app that already is included in iPhones. Many users will have access to this app just because they are Apple users.
Amazon Music is a little different than other platforms because of its Voice Tab. The platform is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa. Your music can be pulled up directly by Alexa’s voice controls by the user saying your artist name or song, or the genre that your music is categorized into. It will most likely be played when a user requests a certain type of genre of music.
Bandcamp is known for its support toward independent artists. They have an entire guide on their website on how the artist navigates Bandcamp. Bandcamp markets itself as a community and marketplace that offers positive outcomes to both the artist and the audience.
This step becomes an integral part of connecting with your fans and creating a more intimate experience with them. Newsletters are key to creating a more loyal fanbase, and it’ll be your direct window to the market. The newsletter can be created through different platforms online, and they will definitely be more interactive and less boring than a plain text newsletter. Something to keep in mind is making sure that your newsletter is mobile user friendly. Many fans are using their phones to look at their emails. There are a lot of creative routes you can use to create an amazing newsletter!
Planning the timeline for your release is important and will become one of the most revisited documents that you will have in your journal or electronic folders. This can be a team project with those who are working with you during your marketing campaign. The timeline will affect your goals directly, so complete your goals with your timeline in mind.
At the end of your timeline, you should have a date chosen for your initial release. After the release date has passed, your timeline should extend so you are able to set up live shows and network locally.
Your immediate community is also something to take into consideration when you’re trying to market your work to the public. This includes live shows, interviews with media, and local networking events around your community. This will create not only a loyal fanbase, but a local one too. Your willingness to directly interact with your fans can help you stand out when marketing yourself globally on social media platforms.
Something that is often overlooked in fast paced careers like this, is your personal well-being. The Dear Self campaign gives artists and those working within the public eye many resources and research on why being able to care for yourself is essential. Why is self care so important? There has been a lot of research done that shows that when you are taking care of yourself, your productivity rises and your goals are done in a qualitative manner. It also creates a healthy relationship between you and your job. Many people become frustrated and burnt out when working on marketing campaigns for their art, so there are a lot of benefits of being able to pamper yourself during the process.
Overall, these are just a few resources that can help your marketing campaign become successful in the year 2023. Of course, your journey is your own so there will always be opportunities to tailor these steps to fit your own needs. What type of strategies has helped you break out into the music industry and what is some advice you can give upcoming artists?