The current state of the music industry means a lot of doing it yourself everything: booking, recording, promoting, posting and anything else related to being a musician. This can leave a musician overwhelmed and making a critical mistake – not having an overarching strategic marketing plan.
Musicians used to have a manager, label marketer team, publishers and booking agents to work this out together, but that is rarely the case anymore. This leaves a musician in the position of taking care of what needs doing now, and never taking the time to step back and develop an overall plan.
It’s understandable, musicians want to concentrate on creating the music and once it's finished, they want to get it out there. But getting that music ready for release has been an expensive endeavor combined with lots of hard work and time invested. To move forward without a strategic marketing plan to make it successful is a mistake.
Let’s discuss 5 basic parts of a marketing to prepare for the release of a new album.
If you are planning to have hard copies for a release party or a performance, get them ordered with plenty of lead time. For the rest of your distribution, you are going to be using digital mediums, and you should pick a distributor such as Reverbnation, Tunecore or CD Baby. However, don’t forget to search out additional ways to distribute your music like Pandora and Soundcloud.
You need to have a professional looking website, preferably one that you can update yourself. Besides a landing page, concentrate on a few important pages such as latest news section, newsletter signup, and a listening page where fans can buy your music.
You must build a social media presence across several platforms. This is how most people are going to look you up and see how real you are and get updates to know what’s going on with your music or band. Social media is also the place where you can get conversations going that can be shared and build your exposure.
Social media is where you build your brand. Use artwork and photos that consistently represent your brand across your social media platforms. There are 4 social media platforms to concentrate your efforts on:
The original social media platform is still an important place to have a presence. You need to keep the page updated with uploads and posts as often as you can. An active page builds credibility and shows you are real. You should plan to spend some money promoting the page or most of your fans who have liked it won’t see your posts. Also, install apps like MailChimp for the newsletter signup, your main digital distribution channel, and apps for selling merchandise.
Besides the home of funny pet videos, YouTube is also the place fans search for music. A professional channel is a necessity and you should have videos categorized such as “Concerts”, “Official Videos” etc. Fans should also be able to link to your other social media pages.
The descriptors and tags are important places for inserting musician’s names and keywords. Do not ignore the importance of this; it is how search engines find and classify you, provides important information for the viewers and is a place for links to your other social media content.
This one is the place to build users and have conversations. Add everyone you deal with, and musicians in your genre – their followers will probably like your music too. There are apps you can use to plan ahead what tweets you will put out over a week, and if needed you can toss in more tweets when things come to you. Since you are building relationships and engagement, don’t just tweet about your music career, add in other things like politics and news you care about.
The number of photos shared a day on Instagram is staggering, currently about 80 million. Posted photos should include a couple of different hashtags to help find your photos. Captions can also be added to your photos to help communicate with fans. Be sure you mix it up a little so your Instagram isn’t just a clone of your Facebook uploads.
Don’t let all the talk about the importance of social media cause you to neglect to have a newsletter to email out. Social media is how you connect with fans, but the newsletter is where they become customers.
You should send out your email newsletter once or twice a month. Use an email service that can provide you with analytics on which messages are working and other advanced analytics about effectiveness and revenue generation.
Yes, you need to generate press, but not by blindly sending out press releases to as many music sites as you can Google. You need to do a little research and be a little savvy about getting placements.
Find blogs, podcasts and radio stations that appropriate for your music and where placement will help you move forward. Just undertaking this process will help you learn more about the market for your genre and make you a better marketer.
Then, don’t just blindly send them a press release and hope they read it. Instead, connect with them on their social media platforms first, and share their content when appropriate. Engage with them if the chance presents itself, but keep it about what interests them, which probably isn’t your music yet.
Perhaps they will discover your music on their own, in which case you just got very lucky. Barring that unlikelihood, at least now when you send them that press release, they may recognize you as a follower or someone they have communicated with, which could help get your email opened and read.
The previous 5 tips are critical things that a musician must undertake before an album release. It is a lot of work, but these steps are the fundamental foundation for a successful release.
Date: August 21, 2018 / Categories: Marketing, / Author: Rich Drees
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