Being in the music industry leaves you no choice but to market your music.
Marketing is not an option here. It’s a must. So if you are not up for the marketing part of your dreams as a successful musician, then you have to leave it behind.
But if you’re here to stay, then you gotta learn the ropes.
To help you along, we’ve listed 7 things you have to consider when you are marketing your music in 2022.
#1. MAKE REALLY GOOD MUSIC
Before you start marketing your music, your main goal is to, well, make good music that you can be proud of.
If you think that the songs you’re planning to release are not in their best versions yet, then you have to enhance them no matter what.
You can also leave them out for this release though, or maybe replace them with another better song.
It is best to market your best music than marketing those that you yourself know are not yet ready to be heard by the world.
Just remember that you can follow numerous pieces of advice to promote your music, but if the songs are not great in the first place then you will surely fail.
No matter how perfectly you executed the advice given, no matter the effort you exerted, if the songs released are meh, then there’s nothing you can do but learn from it.
#2. BRAND AND IDENTITY
This is the next thing you need to consider and definitely need to have.
This is an important element that will help you and your people decide on the different aspects of how you will be promoting your music.
To have a brand and identity is like knowing yourself outside of music.
Know yourself as a musician—as a person. This will help yourself bring that brand and identity into something that the five senses can comprehend.
Remember that your brand is something that people will associate you with so it should have a strong foundation.
You can start building this brand by listing the things you stand for or the beliefs you have. These can help you shape that brand and identity you want.
Take for example the brand that the American heavy metal band, GWAR, has made for themselves.
They have become a distinct group in the heavy metal scene thanks to their monstrous costumes which portray the members as barbaric warriors from another planet.
This narrative does not stop with their clothes though as they also incorporated it in their albums, videos, live shows, and other media.
And that is how they have been promoting their music which keeps their fans engaged with their sci-fi mythology.
With a well-established brand, other aspects of your music will follow through.
The image you show, the photos, the music, the clothes, the tone of your voice, and even the color that could represent you; all of these will follow through.
#3. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
When we say audience, we’re not just talking about your fans. We’re talking about your fans plus your target listeners.
Just like in business, you also need to have target customers.
Never forget that you cannot please everyone, so it is best to just target a group of people.
When you go and market your music you would want to gain organic traction and the best way to do that is to know who your target audience is.
Knowing why they love your music and knowing what social media platforms or music streaming sites they use will help you create a plan or strategy for your marketing.
In addition to this, you have to know your audience’s demographic because this will also help you decide on a lot of things.
Another thing is you’ll have a better time choosing the merch items you’ll be releasing if you are ever planning on having one.
Before we move on to the next, let us just remind you to not only focus on the potential fans you have.
You also need to look after your current fans or they might just leave.
If you already had an Instagram account before the new release but your target is on TikTok, you gotta post there too. We’re pretty sure your old fans have been waiting for updates there.
#4. INVEST IN SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Social media platforms are essential tools you need to equip yourself when marketing your music in this digital age.
The above graph shows 17 different social media platforms and their monthly active users as of January 2022.
If we’re just talking about monthly active users, then the 3 best platforms to promote would be Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
But that’s not how it works, because it depends on where the bulk of your fans and target listeners are.
You don’t have to create an account for all the popular social media platforms, just study your target audience and decide on at least one. We say one because we suggest you have a YouTube and TikTok account.
YouTube, because this is the most unique video-sharing platform and people go here to look for music videos and lyric videos to your songs.
You also need to have one for TikTok because this is the most popular platform right now, even senior citizens have their own accounts. Also, this is where most songs and musicians go viral.
For those that already have accounts from other platforms, there’s no need to delete those. This is where most of your old fans would be waiting for updates, that is if they didn’t leave the platform.
Anyway, just to make sure, you have to post updates there too.
#5. BUILD A BADASS WEBSITE
An album or a single surely has a story of its own which you will be displaying through album covers, photos, colors, and typography.
To help in marketing your music it would be best to consider revamping your social media profiles, website, as well as your online store if you have one.
This is a must because your followers (including those that are not avid fans) will surely see the changes.
When they see that you changed your display profile, most of them will be clicking on your profile to check out what’s up. Fans would also love this new change because it signifies a new era for you and them.
#6. CHOOSE GOOD DIGITAL SERVICE PROVIDERS
With DSPs, the best ones to have your songs on would be Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music.
These three are the most popular streaming sites. Spotify and YouTube Music because they have freemium while Apple Music is mostly used by iPhone users.
Another thing to note about Spotify is that it has an estimated 422 million active users just for this year’s first quarter.
Additionally, it comes first in terms of subscribers with Apple Music following in second.
What’s even better is that they have their playlists where you can pitch your songs to be added to. This is a good opportunity to reach people that have never heard of you before or those that love your tracks’ genre.
#7. YOU GOTTA SPEND
Last but not the least, you have to consider the money you have and can spend on your career.
When you market your music, the most effective ways are those that feed on money.
You have to buy ads, have your website (if you don’t have one yet), order physical albums and merchandise, and more.
The above-mentioned things are not all of it but money sure is part of the marketing formula if you want it to be a success.
And we have come to the end of this article. I hope this has helped you learn more about how things are done here.
You can do this!
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD, custom vinyl records and merch company in LA.