One of the biggest problems many musicians face is actually getting people to listen to their music. If you've tried to release EP, mixtape or album before, you'll know that getting people to give it a real try is a uphill struggle. Even if you give it out for free, you'll still get the majority of people not giving it a download unless they already know or like your music. If you're selling your release, things are even harder.
While there is no one method to ensuring everyone you present your music to gives it a try, there are a few things you can do to increase the amount of people who actually stop and give you music a listen. One of the things that works well is adding some ‘hype' to your marketing. This is what we're going to look at today.
Here's what's you'll learn by reading the following guide:
- Why using hype in the right way can get more people to give your music a chance, and help build your career in the long run.
- What using hype does and doesn't involve.
- How to use hype on your website to encourage more search engine traffic over time (Creating pages that will continue to bring potential fans to your site on autopilot).
- How to use hype in online promotions to encourage more clicks on your messages.
- How to use hype when Facebook advertising to grab the attention of more relevant and eager to listen people.
- Additional ideas for how you can applying a bit of hype within your music marketing efforts.
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Why Should You Be Using Hype?
So why should you be hyping when promoting your music? Simple, because people take more notice of things with hype and excitement around them. In the same way people naturally smile when they see others smiling, by you hyping things up and seeming excited about it, it makes it a lot more likely they will get excited too.
This is the same as when people see others having fun. They want to get involved too.
In short, using hype will lead to an increased number of people giving your music a try. This will lead to more fans for you in the long run.
What Being Using Hype Involves
Ok, so what do I mean when I advise you to use hype? Well there are a few things I'm broadly talking about here:
1. Getting Excited And Using Certain Words To Make People Want To Listen To You More
People follow people. As a musician, you need to give people something to buy into. While your songs and audio is a big part of getting people to become your fans, your overall personality is just as important with the way the music industry currently is. Fans get to see and interact with you on many different levels, so you need to be someone that's interesting and likeable in a context which your genre finds acceptable.
During your promotions, you want to give the impression you're excited about what you've got in store for fans. The excited vibe is one that's easily spread; If one of your friends are excited about something, aren't you going to be curious about what's going to happen and perhaps excited yourself?
This is the vibe you need to give off to fans. While you don't want to go too over the top and make it seem fake, you do want some genuine emotions in your promotions.
If you're doing a video based promotion, this is easy to portray as people can see your actions and hear the excitement in your voice. If you're doing text / online based promotions however, you'll need to make sure your wording gives off the impression of something exciting.
One of the best ways to do this is by using hype words. Words such as ‘best', ‘excited', ‘really cool', ‘amazing' and the like are all words that will grab people's attention and make them more likely to look into what you're talking about. I'll look at some specific examples on how to use these words later in the ‘Using Hype In Tweets And Other Online Promotions' section.
2. Building Up Anticipation For Certain Events
As well as promoting your music and brand in a certain sort of way, hype can be used to get people excited about an event or release. For example, let's say you're going to be performing a show in an area where you have a decent fan base. Instead of sending out emails and social shares to fans saying:
“I'm performing at ‘XYZ' next week, if you live around there make sure you come and see me. You can get tickets from ‘XYZ', I hope to see you there.”
Why not add a bit of hype to make it sound more exciting? For example:
“I'm performing at ‘XYZ' next week. Considering that's where many of you are from, I'm sure it's going to be one of my best shows ever! I'll be recording on the night, so come along looking good if you want to be in my next video. :)”
In the second pitch not only was there added hype (Letting them know it's going to be a really good show due to the community all getting together) but you also gave them something other then the show to look forward to (The chance they could be in one of your future videos). If you weren't going to record a video, you could instead let them know you'd be giving out free merch on the night to a few people, just something additional to make the anticipation to the show that bit bigger.
The smiley face is optional, but it does add a human feel to things.
You should also follow up with other social messages showing pictures of the venue, mentioning previous big shows that have happened there, adding pictures of you doing well at a previous show and the like. Just generally build up excitement about the show before it happens, so when it's time to buy tickets or show up, people already know about it and are more interested in getting involved. This tactic can and should also be applied to other things happening in the future too. Got a album coming up? Give people knowledge about it but in an interesting way. If you sound excited about it, other people will naturally become excited about it too.
Mention certain tracks, how they're very special to you and that you can wait for people to hear them too. Maybe it's like “showing a side to myself that people don't generally get to see”. Or “this is probably my favorite song I've ever recorded, I can wait to share it with you”.
All of this stuff builds up anticipation, and you're creating your own hype without sounding big headed. You're just genuinely excited about what you're doing, and you're giving people something to look forward to.
3. Using Other People's Names
While this isn't something you should be using a lot, name dropping can be part of adding hype to your marketing plan. I'll look more into this as the guide goes on, specifically in the section ‘Using Hype In Facebook Adverts'.
What Being Hype Isn't
It's important for me to note what I don't mean by ‘using hype,' as getting it wrong can lead to a negative effect on your music career. With that in mind, here are three things which you shouldn't be doing when using hype:
1. Coming Across As Big Headed
As you may have noticed in the last section, I mentioned that hype should be used without making it sound like you're being big headed or arrogant. The aim is to get people excited about something, not to show them you're overly in love with yourself.
You want to come across as you're genuinely happy about providing a great service for music fans, rather then you think you're the ‘best thing since sliced bread'.
Appearing arrogant or big headed is a major turn off for a lot of people, and something you'll want to largely avoid while employing hype as one of your tactics.
That said, there is one instance that calling yourself ‘the best' will work to your favor however, and I'll look at when that is below (In the ‘Hype And Search Engine Optimization (SEO) section). Other then that though, be sure not to make your hype too hypey.
2. Telling Mis-Truths
Another thing hype isn't are lies. Don't lie just to get people to notice what you're doing, this will lead to disappointment when it comes to delivering what it is you've been hyping about.
Let's say for example you've told people your new single is better then the Beatles' best song. Now, chances are when people hear your song they aren't going to agree with that. You might, but that doesn't make it fact.
What will happen when you tell people something that isn't true, is they'll be disappointed when they finally hear what it is you've been hyping about. If you say one thing will happen but something completely different happens, fans will stop believing what you tell them.
So make sure all your hype is based on truths, and is something you can live up to.
You may have heard the saying “Under promise, over deliver.” When promoting your music, I'd say always at least deliver the level of things you promise during promotions, but over deliver on your promises to create more loyal long-term fans.
3. Saying You're Better Then Other People
One final thing you'll want to avoid is bringing other people down in order for you to get a leg up. This isn't a good strategy to use in any area of life, simply because it isn't a nice thing to do. That said, in the music industry even more so this can have negative effects on the way people see you. It'll also make people want to work with you less. Avoid at all costs.
Using Hype In Tweets And Other Online Promotions
Ok, so let's look at some ways in which you can actually use hype in your promotions. While what I'm about to mention can be used when promoting online in general, I'm going to look at using hype in Tweets specifically.
So this is the general kind of hype you'll be using in your regular social updates. It's a small level of hype as you don't want to overdo it and have people think you're coming across as fake.
It involves the use of the above mentioned hype words (Mentioned in the section ‘Getting Excited And Using Certain Words To Make People Want To Listen To You More') to increase the likeliness people will pay attention to what you're saying.
With that in mind, here are some examples of tweets with hype already applied:
- “Just had a great jamming session with Martin, he really is one of the best guitarists I know! Check the footage here: *Link*”
- That gig was amazing! A big thank you to all those who came down, you made it a night to remember! Footage coming soon.
- I've just finished recording my next single & can say now it's one that's very special to me. Those on my list will get the first look 🙂
- I'm so excited, the new video to *Your Songs* has just been released! Possibly my best video yet? Let me know *Link*
As you can see I've highlighted the words which create minor hype and will increase the chances people click through / get involved. These will get much higher click through percentages then Tweets such as:
- My new single's out now! You can get it on iTunes here: *Link* Support the cause. 🙂
- My new video for the song *Your Song* has just been released. You can see it here: *Link*
While these Tweets will be enough for die hard fans of your to click on, they aren't exciting enough to maximize clicks from your Twitter following. Furthermore, they don't really encourage engagement with the fans other then the ‘do what I want' kind. People respond best when they get to give their opinion or join in on a real conversation.
As I mentioned, the above mentioned hype tactics which work shouldn't be limited to your Twitter promotions. They can also be used on any updates your do. On Facebook, on your website, in your videos and the like. Literally anywhere you're going to be promoting your music.
They will increase your click through rate and get more people to pay attention, so be sure to use them.
Using Hype In Facebook Adverts
If you've a some money to spend on obtaining new eyes in front of your music, one way to spend it is through Facebook advertising.
Now I know there are a lot of mixed feelings about using Facebook ads to obtain potential fans, but I'll tell you this:
They can be useful as part of a bigger strategy when used right!
While I wouldn't recommend you go and spend your whole marketing budget on buying ads from Facebook, dedicating a percentage to it can definitely help things move faster then if you didn't have a Facebook advertising campaign set up.
As you may have guessed by now, using a certain type of hype within these adds can get you much better results then if you didn't use them. What kind of hype am I talking about? Well, other people's hype!
Think about it. You're browsing Facebook, and you see a advert with a musician saying they've got a new single out. Chances are, a lot of people wouldn't go on to click that advert. Some would, but it'll be a lot less then would be desired (The more clicks you get, the less Facebook charges you for each click).
A Better Way
A better advert (But not the optimum) would be to include some hype related words. For example:
- ‘The new Southern rapper on everyone's lips, hear *Your Name* for yourself now', and
- ‘“*Your Name* has vocals to make ears smile” said one listener, hear for yourself now'
Both of these are good in terms of using hype words and things to grab your attention (You're saying that other people have already approved these people which is always a good thing). That said, there's something you can do to further get more people to give you a chance and click on your advert:
The Best Way
One of the best ways to get people's attention through Facebook adverts is by mentioning other successful musicians who you have a similar style to.
When you set up your Facebook adverts, you're already going to be targeting fans of other people as you know their fans will have a chance of liking you too. If this is the case, then why not make this obvious to those people who you're targeting?
So let's say for example the people you're targeting are into Nicki Minaj. In your advert you could say:
“Is this the next Nicki Minaj? Find out why critics have been comparing *Your Name* to the urban pop princess!”
Chances are, a decent percentage of Nicki Minaj fans who see this advert will be interested in clicking. Again, this is better then a boring advert saying
“New urban rapper ready to take the world by storm! Check her new songs here.”
So They're Ready To Click… Now What?
So what should happen after you've got people to click your Facebook advert? Well while you could direct them to like your Facebook page, the better option is probably to send them to a page on your website which includes a video of yours and has a opt in form. With this opt in form, you should let people know they can hear more of your songs and have a chance to win free tickets (Or something along those lines) by entering their details. You could even implement this strategy.
The reason this is better then getting people on your Facebook fan page is because you can direct them to your Facebook page after they're on your list. That's easier then sending Facebook fans to your list.
Hype And Search Engine Optimization
Now I know I said you shouldn't be big headed when using hype, but there's one time where being a bit big headed can draw you in new potential fans on autopilot: When ranking for certain terms in search engines!
Music lovers often use search engines to search for terms such as ‘worlds best rapper', ‘best songs in new york', or ‘West London singers'. As many of the area specific search terms people search for aren't that difficult to rank for, they could end up bringing you traffic if you manage to rank pages on your website for a number of them.
Let's say for example you're from Long Island in New York. You also rap. Doing a quick Google search, I've found that people search for ‘best long island rappers'. I found this as I started typing it in, and a suggestion with this term came up. If there's a suggestion for it, it means it's been searched a few times before. Chances are it's going to continue to be searched for, so it's worth making a page on it about your website and having your music on that page.
If you haven't made a website yet, check these instructions for making a professional one quickly and easily. Having a website is important for this part of the strategy as you need somewhere to put these pages you're going to create.
So what you need to do first is draw up a list of terms which relate to you. Include the city town and country you live in, what your talent is (If you have multiple list them all), and a list of hype words such as best, top, fast, up and coming, and the like.
Next, add some of these words together to form a search string. For example, ‘popular country singers in Texas'. Or ‘Famous Memphis rock bands'.
Once you've got a few of these terms drawn up, do a Google search for each of them and see what related terms come up. For example, when I start to search ‘powerful si', the term ‘powerful singers' comes up. Going further, after ‘powerful singers' I press space and the term ‘powerful singers of all time' comes up. This is a term that's searched for, and one you should try to rank for if you're a powerful singer.
Once you have your terms, the next step is to create a page on your website about the subject. Let's say for example I'm going for the term ‘powerful singers of all time'. You chould create a page with the title:
‘Is *Your Name* one of the most powerful singers of all time?'
As you can see, you're not lying in this title, but you've managed to include a hype term that people search for. Further more, you're asking a question, so people are going to want to click the search result to see the answer.
If you promote your guide, there's a chance that it'll end up ranking on the first page in search engines for that term. If it does, there's a chance you'll get people seeing and visiting your site when they search that terms and related ones.
So what should you put on the pages you write for such terms? Well, first of all you should address the issue you've brought up. In the above example, you'd mention that you have a very powerful voice, and let them know where they can hear it (Adding a video to this page is probably best as they are looking for powerful singers after all). As well as this, you should have a opt in form on that page, letting them know they can hear more free songs and get hear more examples of your powerful singing by signing up to your mailing list.
So in essence, you've given people what they're looking for, and you're also given them the opportunity to hear more of your music and become a fan of yours.
While using this strategy with just one keyword and one page will only bring you small results, by finding a good amount of terms people search for then ranking yourself for a number of them, you'll start bringing in significant targeted traffic on autopilot in the long run (It can sometimes take a while for these pages to rank but not always).
This is a great way of making people find you even though they've never heard of you before.
So To Recap
Using hype in your promotions can increase the likeliness people pay attention to your messages, increase click through rates, and generally get people more involved in your music career. It's because of this that it should be used regularly in your marketing campaigns.
What To Do Now
- Look at the previous messages and status updates from your website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and anywhere else you communicate with fans. Have you been using enough hype in your messages? If you've statistics available, have a look and see which of your messages have had the most interaction. See if there was any hype involved in that message.
- Determine where you could be using more hype, and write out your first few ‘hype' messages. Get used to using minor hype in the majority of your messages.
- Find keywords which you can use to base posts on your website about, E.G. ‘powerful singer of all time' (More details in the ‘Hype And Search Engine Optimization' section). Make your first post, publish and market it. Rinse and repeat over time.
- If you're going to invest in Facebook adverts, set up the landing page on your website which people will get sent to. Set up your Facebook advert using the necessary hype (Using other established musician's names to gain attention) and start driving traffic to your landing page.