Let’s be honest – countless new artists in the music industry are trying to get noticed.
But that shouldn’t discourage you.
With an effective and fresh marketing strategy, you can find a way to build momentum and grow your audience.
To help you focus on the most effective ways to promote your music, we will take you through the best music marketing strategies.
We will cover the basics as well as new ideas for music marketing that really works.
Before Starting Your Music Marketing Campaign
With numerous digital marketing tools and opportunities, promoting music has never been easier.
But music marketing can also be quite challenging for independent artists.
And that’s why you need to discover how to start an effective marketing campaign.
But before digging into the specifics of each music marketing strategy, let’s clarify what music marketing actually means.
Understanding Music Marketing
Every marketing campaign is related to promoting a certain product.
Now, music marketing and music promotion are often used interchangeably.
However, music marketing considers the bigger picture (the what, the why, and the where), while a promotion is generally all about creating public awareness about the product or, in this case, your music.
And when it comes to music marketing, there are many elements to take into account.
Music marketing involves building a brand, planning and creating a social media presence, advertising, public relations, and so much more.
And in this digital age of streaming platforms and social media, there are countless strategies you can use to promote your music.
However, there are several things you need to think about before launching your music marketing campaign.
First of all, you need to know who you are as an artist.
If this sounds too abstract or confusing, try to ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the essence of my music?
- What is my ‘voice’?
- What is my message?
If you know what your music is all about, you’ll create a more effective music marketing campaign.
That way, you’ll also know more about your target audience, which is also important for choosing music marketing strategies.
Moreover, knowing who you are as an artist will also help you find your voice, a unique way of communicating everything in your campaign.
And with that specific voice, you’ll also communicate your message – and that could be anything from an underlying theme to what you’re literally trying to say with your campaign (“listen to my new album”, for example.)
So, every marketing campaign should have a message and a voice; and that’s one of the things that differentiates marketing from promotion.
If you understand music marketing, you’ll be able to approach the promotion of your music in a thoughtful and efficient way.
Before going through the top marketing strategies for musicians, there’s one more thing you should do before doing anything else.
Creating a Music EPK
One of the most important things you can do before launching your music marketing campaign is to create an electronic press kit or EPK.
EPK is a pre-packaged digital resume that helps music industry professionals (managers, booking agents, venues, journalists, promoters, etc) to access and review your work.
In other words, an EPK is a digital set of promotional materials and your digital business card.
Your EPK should include your bio, photos, videos, press releases, contact information, and any upcoming shows or tours.
Once you have your EPK in order, you can start with specific promotion activities.
Best Music Marketing Strategies
Understanding your music as well as your goals and preferences is crucial in music marketing.
Of course, it’s not easy to find a voice and valuable message you want to get across before even starting your music career.
All of these things will be much clearer to you once you get started.
And most of it will probably come to you naturally and even change and evolve over the years.
However, determining what you and your music are all about is a part of branding.
The essence of your music, your message, and your artistic identity should affect your approach to music marketing.
You should be honest and authentic with everything you do – that’s the only way to reach out to people and truly make an impact on them.
And needless to say, you need to make great music.
So even though you should focus on your music marketing solutions, don’t forget about the reason you’re doing this in the first place.
If you believe in the quality and the importance of your music, everything else will be easier.
1. Create an Email List and Newsletter
The first thing you should do as a new artist trying to distribute and promote music is to build an email list.
Generally speaking, email marketing is hands down one of the most important and widely used marketing strategies.
That being said, you should always use email to inform relevant individuals from the media and the music industry about any new releases, tour dates, and so on.
You can also start an email newsletter, so anyone who is interested in your music can subscribe and easily get all the updates.
There are many email newsletter platforms and tools you can use, such as Mailchimp, Moosend, and MailerLite.
When it comes to sending emails to your fans, you need to do it occasionally, and you need to keep it simple.
Sending information via email and newsletter shouldn’t be your only way of sharing important news, but you should do it nevertheless.
2. Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Whether you like it or not, social media has become a part of our lives and one of the main sources of information.
Regardless of their age and interests, people find out about new things on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, including new music.
And that’s why social media became the most effective digital marketing channel for musicians.
Therefore, if you want people across the globe to hear your music, creating a good social media marketing strategy is a must.
Besides putting your name and music out there, you also need to think about specific ways of building a powerful social media presence.
Think about the platforms you feel comfortable with and that you use regularly.
Simple platforms like Facebook and Instagram are the best way to start, but if you think your target audience includes younger people, you should also become active on TikTok.
Generally, top social media platforms for music marketing include:
Short-form content has been dominating the Internet for a while now; so if you want to reach a large number of people, you should include short, engaging videos in your marketing plan as well.
Building an online presence will also help you create a visual brand.
That’s why you should make sure you have good photos at your disposal.
Also, think about the themes and the message you want to get across.
Many people will get a first impression of you and your music based on your social media profile, and that’s why you need to shape it carefully.
On the other hand, don’t overthink it – people also like natural content they can relate to.
3. Start a YouTube Channel
Every aspiring musician needs to start a YouTube channel.
After all, most people still discover music via YouTube.
That said, creating a YouTube account, choosing a nice profile picture, and uploading your music should be your next step.
If you like doing cover songs, it might be a bad idea to record a cover version of a popular song.
You can also record a song by a well-known artist with a similar style to yours.
Either way, with a couple of cover songs, there’s a higher chance someone will come across your channel.
With time, you will get more subscribers, especially after you build your fan base and people start to share your music.
4. Create a Website
Creating a website is another basic element of online music marketing.
Websites are, in fact, a great way to showcase your work and all the necessary information in the way you want.
Your website will reflect your musical identity, and it will be a stable place for your general online presence.
Your website should include links to your music, bio, photos, tour dates, and a merch shop.
It should be simple and easy to navigate, but its design and aesthetics should also represent your brand.
It’s easy to create a website by yourself nowadays, but you can also find an experienced web designer who will help you create a perfect artist website that has everything you need.
5. Get Radio Promotion
Radio is traditional media, but it’s a staple of every music marketing strategy.
Getting your music on the radio is essential if you want to get noticed.
And there are several ways to do it:
- To be a guest on a radio show
- Radio hosts mentioning your new release or gig
- To get radio airplay
You should approach a local radio station by sending them an email or reaching out to a specific radio DJ or radio host. Send them your EPK and a couple of your best tracks.
If they like your music, or they already know who you are, they will probably invite you to their radio show to announce your new album or show, or they’ll mention your news in their program.
If your music grabs the attention of their music editor, they might also include it in their playlist.
Getting your songs played on the radio is arguably the best way to gain exposure.
But you should also be patient and let that happen organically.
For starters, reach out to radio stations that fit your musical style and introduce your music to their listeners.
6. Send Your Music to Blogs
Besides radio stations, you should also reach out to music bloggers.
Music bloggers are an important part of digital music promotion and marketing.
They can review your tracks or interview you for their blog.
And this could help you reach very active and enthusiastic listeners since many people who read music blogs go there to discover new music.
Plus, if you reach out to a genre-specific blog, there’s an even bigger chance you’ll find new listeners.
7. Reach Out to Playlist Curators
Playlist curators also have an important role in music marketing.
Playlist curators are individuals who build playlists. And Spotify even employs playlist curators; therefore, they can be quite influential.
Pitching your song to a playlist curator will give you a chance to gain exposure.
Many people search for music based on a specific mood (easy listening, evening music, happy songs, and so on), and others seek playlists that feature songs similar to their taste.
So, find playlists that are a good fit and send their curators your EPK.
8. Play Gigs
When diving into digital music marketing, don’t forget about the real world.
Your music should be your priority.
And apart from making new music, you should play gigs and perform live as much as you can.
In the beginning, you’ll probably play at the local cafe or small local festival.
And as you grow your audience and become more popular, you will start playing at bigger venues and music festivals.
And playing live is arguably the best way to reach new audiences, especially if you pick the right festival or venue.
Therefore, you should plan your live shows carefully, and you should always keep an eye out for open calls, contests, and so on.
9. Build a Community
Building a community around your music is another effective and viable music marketing strategy.
Cultivating a music community involves engaging your followers on social media, creating fresh content, and generally building a relationship with your listeners.
You can also use Discord or other similar platforms to create an online community.
And when you expand your fan base, you can also start selling fan subscriptions.
All in all, there are many ways to build a community around your music, and there are many music marketing tools that can help you out.
10. Reach Out to Your Fans
It’s true – building a relationship with your fans is a part of every new music marketing strategy.
And although the best way to connect with people and find new audiences is to perform live, you should also think about communicating with your fans online.
The thing is, musicians could afford to be secretive in the 70s or the 80s.
Playing gigs and making powerful, authentic music was almost enough to become popular, and you could choose how to conduct TV or radio interviews.
And some of the big names in the music industry still don’t like to be exposed or connect with fans on social media and other platforms.
However, times are a bit different now.
And reaching out to your fans has actually never been easier.
This doesn’t mean you should organize live streams and post question boxes on Instagram stories every day.
But finding small, personal ways of reaching out would help you keep your fans happy and interested.
11. Create Unique Content
Another way to engage your followers is to create unique content.
If you’ve already played some live shows or filmed a music video, you have great material to share.
And you choose the format that suits you best – photos, reels, GIFs, texts, and so on.
Also, choose a channel that you feel the most comfortable with.
Creating unique content is all about being honest, both with your fans and yourself.
You can also try to think about what you as a listener like to see on artists’ profiles and incorporate a similar method in your marketing strategy.
12. Run Paid Promotions
Platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram offer paid ads, so you can easily promote your posts.
Running paid promotions is important if you want to reach a wider audience.
Also, promote a post that best represents your channel/profile or a post with important information about your upcoming concert or new release.
13. Organize Live Streams
Live streaming is another great music marketing tool you can easily utilize.
Organizing live streams will help you connect with your fans, but it will also allow you to boost your confidence and strengthen your musical identity.
Hearing your track or watching your music video on YouTube and watching you perform in real time are completely different things.
During your live-streaming sessions, allow your fans to see your talent, expression, and emotion.
And don’t be afraid to make a mistake.
Be spontaneous and simply enjoy your time with the people who are supporting your music.
14. Meet Other Artists
Another music marketing idea that will help you at the beginning of your career (and later on) is networking.
Meeting other artists will help you gather valuable knowledge and information, but it will also connect you to many people.
Networking brings opportunities.
And it will also help you familiarize yourself with other industry types.
Besides meeting fellow musicians and even collaborating with them, meeting other people from the music industry is also important as it will help you understand how things really work.
15. Consider Doing a PR Stunt
Our next suggestion might not be for everyone, but it’s definitely worth considering, especially if you want to get a lot of attention right away.
Doing a publicity stunt is an old trick, but it’s a very effective one.
However, doing something cool that will give you a large amount of coverage is not easy.
But it’s also not impossible – you just need to find a creative and unusual way to promote your music, like doing a live show at an unpredictable place.
For instance, The Beatles’ gig on the roof of Apple Corps is considered to be one of the most audacious PR stunts in history.
16. Get in Touch With Creators
Sometimes you also need to use subtle and intricate music marketing strategies.
Of course, getting your music on popular streaming platforms and on the radio is essential.
But if you get in touch with creators and influencers, you can ask them to use your music in different ways.
For instance, they can use your track to make a YouTube tutorial or a TikTok video.
Content creators are always in need of royalty-free music, so they might very well be interested in your offer.
You probably won’t get any compensation, but you will get your music out there.
Some YouTubers and TikTok influencers have tens of thousands of followers, and you can be sure to find new listeners the moment they post something with your name on it.
And the more people hear your music the better.
So, find a creator or influencer you can resonate with and pitch them your idea.
17. Utilize Offline Marketing Strategies
With so many digital promotion tools and innovative music marketing strategies, it’s easy to forget about offline marketing.
But you should definitely think about offline marketing strategies too.
So, print some good old flyers or print a poster for your upcoming gig.
Cards are another standard way of advertising yourself.
You can visit a local music shop or a bar and ask the owner if you can leave them your promo materials.
If you live in a small town, this will be fairly easy; simply talk to the people you know and visit the places you usually go to.
Another popular offline music marketing strategy is busking.
If you’re just starting out, performing on the street is a great way to get your music out there.
Of course, you will only perform to passers-by, but you never know – videos of street performances sometimes go viral.
Also, don’t forget to put out cards, flyers, and/or CDs for curious passers-by.
Either way, you can try it out and see how it feels.
Many musicians spent time busking on the street before they rose to fame.
18. Additional Strategies
As you can see, there are many offline and online music marketing strategies you can opt for as a new artist in the music industry.
For best results, you should combine all of these strategies and prioritize the ones you resonate with the most.
Building a brand, finding new listeners, and cultivating a community are not easy.
Music marketing generally takes a lot of time and effort, especially if you’re not sharing the load with your bandmates.
But if you’re on your own and you want to make things easier for yourself, you can check out music distribution and promotion services.
There are many companies that help artists to distribute as well as promote their music.
Some of these services are ideal for newcomers who want to release their music on streaming platforms, and others offer professional online marketing services.
Most of them will also provide you with basic analytics.
Whether you contact a music promotion company or advertise your music by yourself, it’s important to become familiar with the basics of analytics.
This is a more data-based part of music marketing, but it’s definitely helpful as it will tell you if a specific marketing strategy actually works for you.
And when you find out what’s working and what isn’t, it will be easier to continue with your marketing campaign.
Music Marketing Strategies – Final Thoughts
We hope our list of the best music marketing strategies helped you come up with your own music marketing plan.
If you’re new to the music scene, you’ll have to invest a lot of time and effort into promoting your music.
You’ll have to create a powerful online presence, play gigs, and find a way to connect with your listeners.
But if you do it in a clever, efficient way, everything will make more sense, especially when you start noticing the results.
And with a lot of persistence and a little luck, you’ll build a fanbase before you know it!
You may also like: 15 Ways to Promote Your Music