The world of music marketing changes fast. What worked in 2017 did not necessarily work in 2018 and it probably won’t work in 2022 or beyond.
Already this year, there have been changes. Spotify allows artists to submit their songs to playlists themselves. Facebook’s way of managing ads is ever-changing.
Finding ways to connect with your audience takes a lot of trial and error and a fair bit of creative thinking.
Here are a few music marketing strategies to try out in 2021.
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Strategy 1. Get On Spotify For Artists
If you’re not already on Spotify for Artists, go fix that.
For one thing, it’s very interesting.
You can see how many people are listening at any given time. You can see where they are listening. You can see how people are listening over a period of time.
You can see where the listens come from – are they organic listeners or are most of your listens coming from curated playlists?
Spotify is sharing more and more data with artists. Many artists and their teams are basing tour schedules around where the most people are listening on Spotify.
As this phenomenon becomes more widespread, expect other streaming services to also make their data more transparent, and thus more useful to the artists they make their money off of.
Strategy 2. Hire Someone To Help
No matter how good you are at marketing your music, you’re still only one person. Because of this, musicians often find themselves looking for outside help when it comes to raising awareness of their music. And for good reason.
If you have 5 knowledgeable people working on promoting you, you’ll get your music out there a lot faster than if it was just you.
Think about it, what is a big part of what record labels do? They work on creating strategies to market your music and then putting those strategies into practice.
As record labels have bigger teams, they can push out campaigns often 10 times or more faster than an independent artist can.
So what’s the solution to get some of that speed on your side? Easy, get others to help you!
One option is to spam your friends and family trying to guilt them into helping, even though they’ve got their own lives and things going on… Yer, not the best option.
A better alternative is to hire someone to help promote your music.
A company many of my readers have seen good results with is OmariMC Promotion. They provide genuine Spotify playlist placement, Facebook and Youtube ads, and more. You can get started even if you’re on a budget, and only scale up when you’re ready.
Another service you may want to look into is Tunedly and their music discovery service.
Strategy 3. Submit To Spotify Curation Teams Directly
Another reason to get on Spotify for Artists is to submit your songs directly to their playlists.
To do this, go to the catalog section and click on Upcoming.
Here, you should find any releases that are coming out soon.
From there, you can submit your music to Spotify editors for playlist consideration.
When you do this, provide accurate descriptors of your song. Your job is to make it easy for editors to place your song within playlists. You don’t want to confuse them by putting too many tags on your song or by tagging inaccurately.
Make it a good, accurate, concise pitch and then hope for the best!
Music Marketing Strategy 4. Use A Slower Release Strategy
If you are releasing a lot of work this year, I would recommend stretching it out.
It takes about two weeks for Spotify to get to your song and consider it for placement.
It's also taking bloggers longer and longer to get to new releases. Not surprising when you consider the sheer volume of music that's now being released each year.
Many publicists I’ve talked to say they are having more luck with “Monthly Roundups” or articles like “7 releases to watch this Fall” – stuff like that.
There is just so much music out there – it’s hard for bloggers to keep up.
Allowing your release time to filter through to these publications will give you a better chance of landing a good placement.
I think you should aim for per song a month at the most. Even a song every six weeks or so is good.
Strategy 5. Budget For Social Media Ads & Boosts
A couple years ago, I was annoyed that you have to pay to get your posts out to your fans. Now, I’ve accepted it.
Reach costs money and that makes sense. There is too much content to organically break through the noise.
It’s time to embrace the fact that social media platforms give you a way to reach targeted fans and people that don’t follow you, collect data, etc.
The truth is, ads on social media reach a huge amount of people for a reasonable fee.
It costs a lot more to take out a radio ad, pay for publicity, or take out a print ad. Not that you would necessarily want to take out a print ad. The point is – it’s not that bad.
This should be the year you dive into some Facebook ad music marketing strategies and make some campaigns that work for you!
Strategy 6. Get Out & Play
If your act can play live, you should play live.
Playing live is still one of the best ways to build buzz, build an organic following and showcase your music to industry.
Try to book a good show every month. Work at it.
Try to improve the bills, level up venues, do a good job of advertising and most importantly: play outside your hometown.
I do not recommend playing every month in your hometown.
But if there are neighboring cities, get out and play. Start making connections with other bands and artists. Start making fans in a new place! It’s nothing but good for you to play live often to different crowds.
Strategy 7. Release Quality Content Consistently
You don’t need to release everything at once.
Release things slowly, release them well and release quality content.
It is worse to release something bad than nothing at all.
There is just too much good content for people to care about mediocre content.
Save your budget for great ideas and marketing the completed idea.
Strategy 8. Spread Out Your Budget
I recently got some good advice. I’m in the process of releasing a bunch of new music and I had set my marketing budget too high for the first couple of singles.
You should take whatever your marketing budget is and spread it out over the whole campaign, with most of the money being focused at the end.
A brand-new release has the advantage of being new and exciting.
When you’re approaching the final release – or the major release of your whole album – you need to give it a big push.
Ramping up your budget near the end of the campaign means you are capitalizing on the momentum that the rest of your campaign built. You’re just doing yourself a favor!
Music Marketing Strategy 9. Partner With Brands & Artists
In today’s online world, you have the unique opportunity to access a bunch of fans that otherwise wouldn’t hear about you.
You can do this by collaborating with brands or artists.
These collaborations can be creatively satisfying and they are good for everyone involved.
You’re basically trying to crossover your fans with the other artist’s fans, and vice versa.
If you’re doing this, make sure to make something great, and then split up your music marketing budget, give it a good push and support each other.
You need to be genuinely excited about giving this other artist a push, and vice versa. If all goes well, you’ll have created some cool new content, and earned yourself some new fans!