Regardless of where you are in your music promotions campaign, public relations is just as important in your promotional strategy as digital music promotions is. While digital music promotions is how you market and expose the music digitally, public relations is ultimately how you create a following. PR is the difference between being heard by the masses or being heard by a few, and the right PR muscle to successfully intensify exposure for your project will eventually lead to more sales.
Of course, the intensity of PR strategies that you implement in your campaign would depend on what phase of the campaign you’re in. If you are in the beginning phases of pushing a particular project and have yet to create a buzz or secure the support of DJs, then there is no way that the project would merit having national publicity unless you have an absolutely unique angle or story or a great track record. On the other hand, if you’ve been consistently building your fanbase and have the numbers to back it up and the support of DJs to show for it, then regional or even national publicity could go a long way in your campaign.
Despite where you are with your project and how it is progressing along, you still need PR whether it is just online publicity, exposure within the DJ community, or even regional or national publicity, your project still needs exposure in a major way. With just four simple tips to follow, you can generate positive publicity for your music promotions campaign regardless of how much buzz or credibility you have.
1. Press Releases. You need them. Get familiar with them. Besides being a natural way to distribute news for your campaign, press releases give you instant visibility in the search engines. With a well written press release, not only can you secure write-ups and reviews, you will also notice how Google and other search engines improve your searchability. The key to digital music promotions is all about optimizing online visibility.
2. Social Media Press Releases. You don’t just need a press release, you need one that is optimized for social media. If you don’t know what that is, then get to know it. Let’s face it. Media is no longer what it used to be and is now replaced by social media and citizen journalism (i.e. blogs).
3. Social Media. Don’t just create a profile page on social media networks- strategically use them to create conversation. In addition, create conversation with the right type of people in your social networks. If you’re an artist or record label and your ultimate goal is to increase your exposure, then people in your social networks should be journalists and writers, DJs, and other record labels and artists. Word of advice- Myspace is no longer the king of social media- it has been replaced by the new kings- Twitter and Facebook.
4. Email Lists. Build an extensive email database of people who would be interested in what you have to say and that includes media, DJs, industry tastemakers, and potential fans. Don’t have enough emails? Well, that’s where email blasts services come into play, but make sure they are credible and are able to generate positive results. Word of advice- organize your database into relevant groups. Although an email blast is one way to increase exposure, it’s also the easiest way to kill your exposure. You don’t want to make the mistake of sending a press release meant for media to your fanbase who would have no use for it. Likewise, you don’t need to send your mp3 to journalists if it’s meant to get DJs to break your single.
Online music promotion is becoming more and more important these days. It has helped the likes of Lady Gaga reach millions around the world and it is no coincidence that her YouTube videos have millions of views. So, how can you promote yourself online? In this article, I’ll share with you 5 great tips for promoting your music online.
Every band and artist needs a MySpace page. Yes, those pages look a bit goofy and cobbled together but it suits the music industry because it is full of people who do not conform. So this is a good thing!
Create a new account at MySpace and make sure to register as an “artist”. Upload four of your MP3s and get them to autoplay when people visit your site. Add a logo too (get it outsourced for 5 bucks at fiverr.com if you don’t already have one). Add some photos (take some if you don’t have any already!).
Before a gig, make sure you blast a message to your friends when you first fix a date and also two days before.
Only in the last few months have bands and businesses really started to take advantage of Facebook. The great thing about this platform is that when someone clicks the “Like” button, it appears on their news feed and most of their friends will see it. Your band can “go viral” on Facebook and you should take full advantage of it.
Every artist or band needs a YouTube channel. Upload all of your footage there. Get someone to take a video camera and record every single gig. Even take videos of your jamming or practice sessions – people the world over will be interested and it will help to build the brand.
Journalists the world over scan the press releases to find something to write about. You should definitely issue regular press releases whenever you have anything new to say e.g. new gigs, new songs you’re working on, other projects etc.
You should have a mailing list that people can sign up to from your all your online channels. You can periodically send people news and also offers and promotions for merchandise etc. This can help you make money quite early on that you can reinvest back for more and more promotions.
Online music promotion is an essential part of any artist’s successful marketing campaign in the “new music” business model.
The music business has been forced to change its business model as a result of the internet. This in the long term is good for musician’s bands and artists as they have more control of promoting themselves online using the various platforms of web 2.0 and are not as beholden to record companies as they were.
So how do we market music online?
Well it’s the same 3 step plot that’s always been there.
People hear music – People like the music – People buy the music
It’s almost as simple as that!
1. People Hear Music
Radio has traditionally been a very successful driver of album and single sales. People want and need to hear the entire song and need to hear it several times until it gets into their subconscious.
So do not bother with 30 second samples and streaming. Let the fans download specific music tracks for free and allow them to integrate your music into their daily lives.
2. People like Music
Having heard a song a few times people may decide they love the song and become fans and they will pay some money later once you have got them into your marketing funnel.
As opposed to letting them hear 30 – 40 seconds of the track and then they just move onto the next thing that’s on offer.
3. People buy Music
Once you have established a relationship with that fan and they have received free music from you or your artist you can start to think about building an economic relationship with the fan.
Giving music away is part of your online music promotion and so is selling music. I am not just saying give all your music away and make money on the live concerts and gigs. This goes much deeper into the psychology of selling.
Fans will buy music and associated products like Concert tickets and Merchandise.
You cannot convert a music browser into a purchasing fan in a few minutes. They need to hear the song around 7 times and feel a rapport with the artist.
Once the fan has downloaded free songs and you have established that relationship with them. You are now able to connect with them via Twitter, Facebook or YouTube and send them marketing messages.
Hear music – Like Music – Buy Music
ABC – It’s that simple and obvious. It has always been true and it still only happens like that. Make sure your online music strategy follows this well trodden path.
While the music industry is teeming with rags-to-riches story, anybody worth his salt will tell you that landing a record deal is difficult as hell. Talent is the easiest commodity to trade and discard under the kleig lights so if you think you can coast through your skills again, you’re in for a hard reality check. The Grammy Award winners and the top sellers all went through a period of hard work and even hunger pangs before they enjoyed the position they’re in now. Apart from the very lucky few, they all share a common experience: indie music promotion.
What does that mean? Basically, you sell yourself. Some artists might be picked up by a record label before they earn their reputation in the streets, that’s more the exception rather than the rule. The reality is, recording artists like Nelly Furtado (who first toured the local bars singing covers), rapper 50 Cent who did his bit as a mix-tape artist in the streets of New York and even the Beatles, who started in the indie music scene and honed their musical talents playing 12 hours a day in Germany, just to name a few.
Other musicians have joined indie music promotion bandwagon in busy streets through live performances, or bringing along a CD player and inviting random strangers to listen in and give their assessment. Of course, one or two instant fans may fork over the money to buy your CD. It’s a hard way to make a name for yourself and promote your music.
There’s no accounting the traditional way of touring the circuit– small bars, dingy diners and even honky-tonks to sell your tracks or CDs.
With the advent of the Internet, particularly video sharing sites like YouTube, the indie music scene has never been stronger. It’s a direct way to gauge public reaction and music reception by the number of hits your video gets.
You might be surprised to find out that there are websites dedicated to helping you earn money by uploading your songs or CD and allowing them to help you. Immediately after registration, they assign a crack team to give you all the edge you need. They also train you and provide you the necessary skills in the whole music-making process to increase your chances of success. Every successful CD, for instance, will be submitted to Neilson Soundscan, which is a software that tracks each music sold.
Now you know that record producers always follow the rabbit through the hole, where the trail of money is. Maybe a record label will notice but the main concept is to provide you leverage in the negotiation process. Instead of you begging for their affirmation, you get to dictate the terms especially if you are already thousands of CDs on the website, and that means you already have a captive audience.
Like all things in life, there’s no guarantee of success a record producer will take notice but the bottomline is you’re already earning money from your original compositions and also a share from the CDs sold by others on your team. Indie music promotion is empowerment to the highest degree and a much better route than toiling on the streets, begging for the attention of pedestrians too busy to care.
A music promotion plan can be broken down into one simple phrase.
“Find out what the fans want, then give it to them”. If you can do that you will have no trouble building a great music career.
The key thing is not to totally change your image and style to fit a brand. The best thing is to massage what you already do to fit a market.
So if you write a lot of rap songs look at what the top rappers are doing and ask yourself what they are giving to their fans, and how you could offer the same thing in your own style.
While it’s true that the Internet is changing the way music marketing is done, it’s not enough to assume that everything done the online way works. For instance, the easiest way to market your music may be through your website or the social networks that you’re a part of, but remember that because doing something is a breeze, it doesn’t mean it’s effective. You see, online marketing is not just about the ease…it has to bring in results too, and you must track the results over time so that you can keep the winners and trash the losers.
I like the phrase “Great quality fast!”
Try to incorporate the following tips into your music marketing plan for 2011.
1. Know your target. How can you sell something if you don’t even know who’s going to buy your stuff? You may have hundreds of emails in your fan mailing list but how many of them really belong to the market that you fit?
Do some delving and survey your audience. Are they really the type who will come to your show or buy your albums?
If you want to be a popstar, is it right to send marketing emails to metal rock die-hards? I guess the answer is too obvious here but a lot of people think that their music is so good it will convert people and although that is true in some cases, it’s much harder than finding a bunch of people who you are 90% sure will like what you do.
2. Know your marketing options. Now, what’s the best way to market your music online? Are you going to send emails that will bait potential customers in though your discounted record and merchandise offers? If yes, the next question is, do you have the funds to do this? Do the math, because freebies cost you money. Apart from budget, you must also take into consideration the efficiency of the methods you will employ. Are you willing to spend hours on a computer to promote your stuff. Even free music promotion costs your time, and for me that is even more valuable than money because everybody has limited time.
3. Know what matters. The best way to communicate is not just to talk but to listen as well. Okay, you’re very consistent in sending your fans promotional and informational emails or in updating your status on Facebook and Twitter. They know what’s up with you. They hear you….but how about them? Do you even care about the feedback they leave on your website and social networking sites? Spend some time trying to hear what people are saying. Encourage them to comment on your posts or emails. And from there, analyze where they’re coming from. Try to see the value of their suggestions and adapt to them if you can.
Set up a Google alert on your band name and contact form on your website. Whenever a fan takes the time to make a comment you should be there with a reply.
I hope you found these tips helpful, I’d love to hear your thoughts below.
Are you part of an indie band, and have you been anxious about finding the best ways there are today to promote your music? As any member of an indie band with any experience will tell you, about the most important thing you can do to put your band on the map when starting out is to somehow get the word-of-mouth going. At the very early stages of what is undoubtedly to become a great musical career for you, you’ll find that spreading the word and getting the buzz going is about the best thing you can do to ensure that your band gains a foothold. There’s just one problem to all of this of course – music promotion does not usually come easily to those who have a small advertising budget or none at all.
How creative you get with your music promotion is just as important as how creative you get with your music. Without the one, the other just would not get anywhere. The first thing that independent musicians do with their music is course, to head straight for MySpace. Which isn’t a bad idea; but considering that MySpace is kind of overcrowded, you’ll need to find other sites on the Internet to showcase your music. As luck would have it, there are all kinds of MySpace competitors on the Internet, many of whom more dedicated to promoting music than MySpace is right now. All of these websites have their own fan base, and you could easily expand your appeal parading your music in front of visitors to these new websites.
Is it improbably hard to get your music played on the FM stations in your town? Stop competing for the same airwaves. Go to Internet radio instead, where there are thousands of radio stations streaming music every minute of the day in every genre you could imagine. Each one of them has its own dedicated fan following, getting your music played on them isn’t as hard as with the regular FM stations, of which there are only a few. The DJs on Internet radio stations, unlike the corporate-owned FM radio stations, are completely independent – they aren’t puppets promoting music that their corporate bosses want them to. You’ll get a much better welcome at the Internet radio stations.
Engaging your music in favor of a cause is a great way to get known. If you place your music on a compilation CD meant to support a cause, or if you sign up to play at a charity event, you could really associate your act with a popular idea out there. The more you music is heard, but more you will develop a few dedicated listeners who will be willing to be your ambassadors. With the kind of opportunities that are on offer now, almost any independent musician can make a wonderful go of their music promotion.
SoundCloud is the ultimate platform for musicians around the world to gain recognition for their tracks. There are well over a million users on this platform, which has helped the music industry by allowing all these people to share, upload and download music tracks from artists around the world. Promotion of new music used to be a hassle a decade ago, but with the emergence of social networks and music platforms that has become relatively easy.
The great way to promote your music on SoundCloud is by gaining as many SoundCloud followers as you can, since this will allow you to gain more exposure for yourself and your music or band as well. Set up a profile and allow your followers to share your tracks and make free downloads available since it will increase your music’s SoundCloud downloads and also enable more SoundCloud plays for your tracks.
These premium tips and tricks for music promotion on SoundCloud are sure to make it a whole lot easier for you to gain the maximum exposure for your music.
Put Up Premium Quality Music that You Are Happy with
People are very fickle on the internet these days, and nobody has the patience today it seems, which is why you have to make sure that your music is exceptional and you are happy with the track before putting it up on SoundCloud. You don’t want your first track to get a negative reaction, so listen to it and see if you are happy with it, getting some feedback on the track from a close friend can also give you an unbiased opinion about your music. Once you are happy with the quality of music you are uploading, you will instantly start building more SoundCloud followers.
Choose the Best Time to Upload
SoundCloud is an international community and people from around the world come to the platform to listen to music or the latest tracks by new artists. Ensure that you upload your music at the optimum time so that you can acquire as many SoundCloud plays for your music as you can. More exposure will mean more chances of success and feedback on your music.
Be Active on the Community
SoundCloud is not your average music platform, it is a whole community of music lovers who gather together to share their music and their experiences. Be interactive with your followers and have intelligent debates with them, and watch your community grow. Also allow them to have free SoundCloud downloads to help spread your music.
If you are trying diligently to break into that unknown realm of music promotion, you may find it’s a little more difficult than you might have expected. As with any industry, music promotion comes down to whom you know. There are ways to get your foot in the door; however, you must be willing to work at it. For those who want to become a part of this wonderfully exciting, calculating critical world of the musician, here are some tips to help you:
1. Connect With Your Connections: In the music industry, it’s all about who you know. You have to stay in touch with other musicians, promoters, advertisers, clients, and even your friends and family. Keep the lines of communication open. Drop them an email or give them a call every now and then. Keep your name in the forefront of their mind.
2. Look for Unorthodox Means of Marketing: One of the best things you can do to market your music is to make it stand out. This does not necessarily mean your music must be completely different from anything else that is available. It only means that you must use music marketing ideas that are not the norm. Use daily blogs and social networks to promote your website. Promote a local charity. Give away something strange with a CD order, such as a trash can for the rest of the music someone listens to. Give away a CD of jokes with your music. Anything you can do that is different will get you noticed.
3. Overhaul Your Band’s Image: Are you rock and roll band? Create a perpetual rolling rock for part of your stage show. Is hip-hop more your style? Find a huge stuffed rabbit and dress it in the latest hip-hop clothes. These may sound completely absurd and more than a little gimmicky, but someone’s going to remember you. Use your creative side to create a unique look that people will remember.
4. Build Your Fan Base: Bonuses are always good – free is outstanding. While not every musician can afford to give away t-shirts or CD’s, create something with your bands name on it that people will use. The key to music promotion is to stand out. Obviously, if your fan base grows, so will the interest in your music.
5. Talk to People: Take a moment to talk to everyone you can. Standing in line at the market? Speak to someone in front of you. While this doesn’t mean the little Grandma in front of you, it does mean to talk to someone who might listen to your genre of music.
6. Take the Time with Your Fans: Don’t ever get such a big head that you don’t take the time to spend a few moments with your fans. No matter what business you are in, these people will determine your success. Whether it’s having a beer at the bar or signing a few autographs, your fans will remember that they were important enough for your time.
7. Pick the Positive People: If you find you are surrounded by negative people all the time, it’s time for a change. You need to be upbeat when you meet and deal with people. You need confidence in yourself and your music. You must keep the end results of your music promotion campaign in mind at all times.
If you are an independent musician, then I know that coming up with great music promotion ideas is one of your main goals. Gone are the days where rappers, musicians and artists have to rely solely on record deals to make the big bucks, in fact who the heck wants to right? With the rise of “The New Music Industry” the possibilities of success are literally limitless.
One of the most effective ways to market yourself and your music is through social networking sites as well as having your own website. But, the trick is driving traffic to those sites and social network profile pages. Fortunately, through the use of search engine optimization, this is not an impossible music task. Using strategically placed words, phrases and title tags throughout your site will definitely help you to achieve these results. Get your link out there. Post it on your MySpace page, your Twitter profile pages, your friend’s pages and exchange it with others.
Another way to achieve this is by placing your music for sale on sites that cater to independent artists trying to maximize their online exposure. For example sites like CDBaby, TuneCore and Even Amazon are great for this. These sites list your CDs for sale and end up giving you a pretty fat chunk of the profits. This is a relatively new music promotion idea but quite a few artists are reaping the benefits. Remember, this is in addition to offering your music for sale on your own site.
When making your CDs, include a barcode on the package. This way, you can offer local music stores the opportunity to sell your album. Local music stores tend to be particularly favorable to Indie musicians from their area. In addition to music stores, contact non music stores and retail outlets as well. I know one band in our area that has their music for sale in Starbucks and they sell a good amount of music ever day. So be creative with this stuff, independent music promotion doesn’t have to be difficult, you just need creativity and the drive to succeed.
You should also look into getting a MySpace page if you don’t already have one. MySpace music is a powerful tool for unsigned artists and independent music promotion. You gain maximum exposure and it will cost you absolutely nothing at all. You can’t beat that!
Another crucial thing to do is to simply include your web address on every piece of material that goes out. This will ensure people get the word out about your site. Your website will be your connection to the world around you. Keep it current and up to date, no matter what. Keep it interesting and constantly changing. No one wants to constantly visit a boring site that always has the same images, info and music on it.
I made light of it at the beginning of this article, but if your ultimate goal is to get signed then with hard work and dedication it will happen, but you have to show the labels that you are serious. Implement the above techniques into your online music promotion routine and you will be on the track to raking in profits and hopefully fame and fortune! Keep in mind that you are always learning. Don’t be afraid to seek help for problem areas but most importantly, stay extremely positive!