The 21st Century has brought with it a promotion tool that has by far surpassed any in the previous past – social media. If you are reading this, you definitely are in some sort of social media; whether it’s Instagram, Facebook or even communication channels such as WhatsApp. As a matter of fact, we have a generation that spends more time on the phone than it actually spends time doing some actual talking. In as much as this can be detrimental to social cues and societal development, it still comes with its fair share of advantages. The biggest benefit is that it has made the world a global village making it possible to reach all your fans from the comfort of your room!
It’s not that easy, however – you just don’t go online, post some pictures or a video of you recording something in a studio and then expect to gain your popularity. Music promotion is somewhat similar to promoting a product for marketers – the music is your product while you are your best marketer. You’ll thus need to put in the extra sweat and toil if you are to experience a breakthrough in your industry. That said, one should also not assume it’s a hard task. As a matter of fact, since we have quite the experience in teaching music from our music school, you’ll be lucky today since we will guide through marketing your music online – a complete essential for the 21st-Century musician.
Being Strategic is Key
As already said, you just don’t go into it blindly and still claim to be promoting your music. It’s almost similar to diving into the deep end of a pool with blindfolds on – how fun is that going to be for you?
Having a strategy begins with clearly outlining your objectives. What content are you going to post and what do you intend to achieve? Note: you don’t always have to post links leading to your music downloads. You can integrate this with documentaries, videos, pictures, blogs and so much more. More on this to be discussed as we continue…
Your objectives while promoting your music could be anything from building your brand and having fans recognize your brand/name, especially for starters, attracting new fans through driving traffic to your site or simply engagement with your audience. Your objectives will be your guiding factor even as you record and post.
Nurture Your Brand
It’s not the music that does so much of the talking! Actually, your image might even gain more popularity than your music. How you position yourself and present your music across the different platforms really matters a lot. Music promotion is so much about creating the desired impression to make the biggest impact other than it’s about plainly singing. So, how do you present and nurture your own brand?
Professionalize Your Images
Some musicians opt to promote their music solo due to charges of going to a studio among other expenses. One of these charges that musicians really fear is the photography charges! It’s really awesome that you have decided to create your own content; nonetheless, when it comes to branding and imagery, you really need to consider approaching this professionally. You should keep in mind that a photo will speak a thousand words – what will a bad photo speak about you?
Paying attention to the small things actually pays in the long run. Don’t go for a professional photographer then shoot from a background that has half your audience struggling to keep their eyes open! This won’t really work well when promoting your content since not a lot of people will be willing to go through that misery. Therefore, you need to give focus to the location, the lighting, and even the clothing should be able to communicate.
Consistency across Social Media
The content you decide to post on Twitter should be almost, if not similar to what you post on Facebook and Instagram. This especially applies for photos and it helps fans easily recognize you across different platforms. This way, you can at least be assured of a fair distribution of subscribers and fans on the different platforms. This also makes it easier for fans of Instagram and those of Facebook to both remain aware of what’s going on in your music career.
Deciding On Content
The different social media platforms offer varied options for promoters. For instance, you cannot post a 10-minute video on Twitter and expect people to watch that! It’s Twitter for crying out loud! Twitter has been used for ‘keeping up with the Kardashians’ – that is, keeping up with all the latest trends and happenings across different industries and sectors. This could be political, economic, the entertainment industry or even in sports – Twitter remains your go-to for all the latest updates. A key feature observed amongst Twitter users is the use of short bursts and short wordings to pass on information.
Instagram, on the other hand, will be most beneficial if you maximize on images and videos. Use short stories to describe whatever you have posted, but maximize on the images in this platform. Here, you can also keep your audience engaged and entertained through the live videos feature which has also found its way to Facebook.
We already said that you cannot keep on posting the same stuff time and time again. The different content could include documenting where you tell stories. This could be your journey as an emerging musician, backstage and behind the scenes, successes and setbacks, and even the many festivals you’ll attend or are planning to. This should be quite easy since you are basically updating people on what’s happening around you 24/7.
Another content form could be the ones you post for educational purposes. Remember you have a skill; will you mind teaching that to your audience? It’s not more so about what your audience will give you other than what you’re willing to offer. You can also rebrand your content by occasionally posting purely entertaining content. This could even be other funny relatable videos that don’t even have to feature you.
The point is, once you decide on the content to be posted, you will then decide on the platform to do so. Make sure you maximize on the features that each platform has to offer such as meaningful hashtags for Instagram lovers.
The Channel Matters
Have you realized who your ideal fans are? Do you use analytics to know when they are mostly online? Where exactly do you find like-minded artists engaging with their fan base? What content type do you want to fixate on and which ones are you really good at? I have seen musicians with an undebated talent in freelancing and blogging but will be most shy in front of a camera!
The means what you use to promote your music could be broadly categorized into four:
Channels You Own
You may have 10,000+ followers on Instagram; what happens, however, when Instagram decide to close down? You obviously lose all your following and have to start from scratch. Don’t for a single minute make the assumption that this is not possible – so long as you don’t have ownership rights to the company; you cannot be certain of anything. This is why you need to prioritize on establishing and growing your own channels.
This goes out to anyone doing business online with the intent of consistently promoting their content – you need to have a website as early as YESTERDAY! Your official website should be the one place where one can find anything and everything about you. It doesn’t matter the social media platform you are on as long as they all lead back to your site. At least you can be sure you don’t intend to close down in the near future!
Here you are allowed to take your music promotion a notch higher. You can take the opportunity to vary between long posts and short updates as you give your audience a closer peek into your little world. A blog allows you to get deep, intimate, and emotional and to just let go without being criticized – it’s your public journal after all. Remember, the key is to get personal with your audience by giving them a genuine touch of your everyday life. Do so at least twice a week and you’ll be good to go.
Businesses make huge conversions whenever random people subscribe to their newsletters. This form assures you that whatever content you send will reach their inbox unlike the probabilities involved in social media – you’re not really sure whether your post will appear on everyone’s newsfeed on Instagram for instance. Coming to think of it, you are a business, aren’t you? What are you waiting for?
Now we can expand on all we’ve been talking about from the start. These are just a few mentions and the most popular; nevertheless, there are a plethora of other choices you could decide to go for:
It goes without saying; Facebook has been and still is the largest social network by any standards. It could offer the best opportunities for your music promotion at quite affordable costs or even for free. That notwithstanding, Facebook recently implemented new algorithms which determine the content accessed by fans; this has been detrimental for a big number of people especially those who lack an understanding about the changes. The very smart, on the other hand, have found new ways to outsmart this algorithm and successfully make it on this platform.
When considering parents and babies, I’d say Instagram is Facebook’s healthiest baby. In some places where the younger generation outnumbers the older, you’ll find Instagram is more popular than Facebook. This platform will offer the best photo sharing experience with the ability to incorporate filters to your advantage. You can also link Instagram with other platforms to enable one-time posting across multiple channels. The major drawback here seems to be that one cannot link away from Instagram itself. That is, assuming one wants to post a link of your latest music video, one cannot do so without running an ad which can be frustrating. Nonetheless, way to go Instagram!
This has also been around for quite some time and has helped millions of users in their music promotion. It basically helps one create, share and discover short music videos. Different users have used the app to engage in singing, dancing, lip-syncing trials and even comedy. There have been talks of Musical.ly shutting down due to its union with Tik Tok. This merger is only expected to bring about a better app with far much better services – fingers crossed!
Meet the newest kid on the block who has gained the attribute “King of short filtered videos/photos”. The platform is all about expressing yourself in a fun manner through short videos. Grab this opportunity and show your audience the fun side of you.
These sources won’t require much active engagement but can still offer you credible opportunities to promote your music. These include the online sources that offer you live streaming options such as YouTube. All you have to do is focus on getting the best content here.
You could opt to go for online radios such as Pandora which allows you a chance to get a new audience as well as fans from your particular genre. Since album sales are meeting a slow death, live streaming should be at the back of your mind. Platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube Red among others could get you off your way. If you are up to it, you can invade other people’s blogs as you seek opportunities to popularize yourself. Start with blogs that match up to your level before going for the high stakes!
Fan Conversion in UAE
Your fans will only remain your fans if you don’t take the next step to have them convert into loyal fans who actually promote your content and purchase your art. Start this by leading them to your emails for chances to buy tickets for your events, albums and even other merchandise you’ll have to offer. Platforms such as NoiseTrade and Bandcamp allow you to trade an album for an email address.
The journey is as easy or as hard as you make it. In all your endeavors, make sure you always value your audience even the ones who only have criticism for you. The manner in which an artist treats their fans speaks a lot about the kind of person they are. You don’t want to be the kind of person who receives bad publicity for returning words to angry comments.
All the best in your musical social media journey!