Free sources of traffic, such as social media, email, or blog posts are all great ways to get exposure for your music.
The problem is that these platforms tend to be saturated, and because anyone can set up a basic online presence, it doesn't give you much of an advantage.
If you want to step up your game, it may be necessary to buy exposure for your music.
But this doesn't mean that you should always spend money for exposure. Some methods are more effective than others, and it's easy to lose money on bad opportunities, so you need to use some discretion. Set aside a budget for paid exposure and experimentation, and you will never feel like you've lost anything. Be strategic and cautious.
With that in mind, here are eight ways to buy exposure for your music.
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1. Pay For Publicity Campaigns As A Musician
Publicity campaigns can really boost your presence in media and can lead to additional opportunities like interviews and write-ups.
But if you want your campaign to go off without a hitch, is necessary to know when you should hire a publicist, and to be in constant communication with them.
A publicist might have their own ideas about how to promote you, and while that is their job, that doesn't mean they know how to represent you in a way that is congruent with the image and brand you've built up. You might be leery of speaking up if you're being misrepresented, but the best policy is honesty.
2. Facebook Ads In The Music Business
I know several artists that have had some success with Facebook ads, and I've experimented a little bit with them myself.
Since you can set your budget and target specific audiences, getting exposure for your music is quite simple if you're willing to pay to play.
Just know that ad campaigns do require some practice and experimentation, and it is unlikely that you will strike gold on your first try.
3. Google Ads Is Other Promotion You Can Buy
Google ads are similar to Facebook ads except that they don't allow for as much customization. You can also tell that the engineers made the Google AdWords platform, as it isn't the easiest to navigate, understand or use.
But if you want to show up highly in search results for certain keywords without writing long-form articles, the sure bet way is to use Google ads.
As with Facebook ads, you can set your own daily budget.
4. YouTube Paid Ads For Musicians Is Good For Exposure
YouTube ads are also similar to Facebook and Google ads. The main difference is that you can use video content to engage your target audience.
Keep in mind that a lot of people find video ads annoying, which means you have to capture viewing audiences and hold their attention or you won't have any hope of turning them onto your music.
As with the other platforms, it is also possible to set a budget with YouTube ads, and that means more control.
5. Banner Ads, By Them For More Visibility In The Music Industry
There are many independent bloggers and publications that sell ad space on their website, and in some cases you can have your banners placed on their site for a low monthly fee (or whatever their agreement entails).
If you want to advertise on rented ground, you will need to evaluate and determine:
- The volume of traffic the site is getting.
- The quality of traffic the site is getting.
- Whether or not the cost is worth it.
Even highly trafficked sites sometimes have low quality visitors and may not get you the kind of exposure you're looking for. Ideally, look for a site or company you personally and philosophically align with.
6. Write-Ups & Reviews
There are many bloggers, reviews, and entertainment publications out there, and by paying for a review, you can either prioritize the write-up for your music over others, or get placed in a high visibility location on their site.
Articles are worth paying for if the blogger, writer or journalist is honest and has a history of creating high-quality reviews. If they have no interest in your particular genre, or if their archive of content isn't very good, you'll want to start looking elsewhere.
7. Native Advertising
Still mostly underutilized in the music industry, native advertising is where you pay to have content – such as an article or a video – placed on someone else's website.
Typically, this content will take the form of “news”, and will appear naturally alongside the other content on the site. It will be formatted to look exactly like any other post on the site.
We'll say, for example, that you wanted to appear on a popular site like Mashable. You would create a remarkable and noteworthy piece of content and have it placed on the site in exchange for a fee. The content would fit right in with the esthetics of the site and be perceived as news by readers. You gain exposure for your music without seeming too salesy.
Native advertising, however, can be expensive, and isn't for everyone – especially if you don't have the resources to create a really great piece of content.
8. Various Fiverr Service Providers
Fiverr, shall we say, is a low-risk, low-return opportunity. There are many service providers that will review your product, mention your release on their radio show or podcast, or send you a bunch of traffic in exchange for $5 (sometimes more if you want them to throw in add-ons).
This isn't to say that there aren't some legitimate, high-return opportunities on Fiverr. It's just that they are rare. I have yet to use a service provider that didn't actually deliver on their promise, but I have worked with those that left me with a low quality product or result.
But hey, it's $5, so it's not like you're going to go broke using the platform. Experiment if you want – just don't bet on future stardom using the services that are available.
These are just some of the many ways you can buy exposure. You can also create your own partnerships and business relationships as you see fit, and negotiate your own deals.
But again, you'll want to use some discretion when it comes to spending money on the offers that are available. Carefully evaluate each opportunity and determine whether or not it's worthwhile before proceeding with it.