Promotion seems to be what every indie artist struggles with the most, but it’s also one of the most important aspects of any artist’s career. Even if you are paying for PR or some type of promotion, there are things that you should know BEFORE starting your campaign.
1.) Find your NICHE and your Target Audience.
Know who you are and your audience. What makes you special? What do you want to be known for? Who could you be compared to? Who does your music appeal to most? Then cover your grounds. Where do potential fans go to find new music? Where do they hang out? Think of all of your options – indie record stores, the mall, corner stores and small businesses in your neighborhood, restaurants, etc. Think outside the box. By answering all of these questions you will have a much better idea at who you are, which allows you to understand who you should be promoting to. It’s not about getting your music in front of just any audience, you have to get your music in front of an audience that would be interested.
A target audience is the demographic of people most likely to be interested in your product or service. If you own a plumbing company, your target audience is property owners, both commercial and residential. If you own a toy store, your target audience is parents, grandparents, and anyone else with children in their lives.
Other examples of target audiences include single men in their 20s, tweens, working mothers, retired seniors, and dog owners. In some cases, the target audience becomes very narrow-focused. For instance, if the product is a pricey Italian men's business suit appropriate for up-and-coming Wall Streeters, then the market audience is single men in their 20s who live in New York City and earn over $200,000 per year. It's very important to have perspective and identify who your product is intended for.
2.) Social Media is EVERYTHING!
We all use social media. If you’re not on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter these days, it’s almost like you don’t exist. The question is... Are you using social media to it’s full potential to promote your music? Social media is the great equalizer and allows you to connect DIRECTLY to your fanbase... However, Don’t spam people or constantly self-promote, even to friends. It gets tired. This is annoying and will lead to a fast click of the unfollow button, It's about finding a happy balance and the rhythm of your followers. Gauge your insights through social media analytics to find out when the best times to post are, and what content of yours is most engaging.
Here's a few Social Media Keys:
a.) Create a Facebook Fan Page, Twitter and Instagram Artist Profile - Use your official Artist or Group name so your fans will be able to easily find you on each platform.
b.) Use Instagram/Facebook Stories and Live Streams - Analytics show that your engagement will increase the more you use FB/IG Stories and the Live Stream options.
Give your fans some new and unique content. It could be behind the scenes of your rehearsals, studio time or even personal life experiences. Update your fans on a regular basis. Post short videos and use the right hashtags – you can use up to 30.
3.) Paid Advertisement -
a.) Use Facebook/Instagram Ads - Mark Zuckerberg owns both applications - Facebook and Instagram... So you can advertise under to both platforms from your ad campaigns. The key is to know who your audience is and where they are.. No need to reach out to people one by one. When you know what type of people might be interested in your music, think where to find them all. Those can be online or offline spaces. Which sites and places do they visit? It depends on your type of music of course.You can perform target marketing and set up your campaign based on genre and demographic. Also, with Facebook's Pixel technology you will be able to engage with your audience consistently over time.
b.) Google Adwords - If you have any music videos on Youtube... Google Adwords is an excellent choice to promote your video and get your visuals in front of your intended audience
4.) Branding -
This means, you must look the part! You should have an official website in place and updated with professional photos, bio, current shows, social media info, mailing list, and blog. You need this for a few reasons: for one it makes you look like the professional artist that you are. There are way too many “artists” out there with no website (only a Facebook page and/or Twitter or YouTube account) and it doesn’t make their brand look very good. Those that are successful all have official websites, so should you! Plus, you’re fans need a place to filter the traffic back to. You don’t want to get in XXL mag, the Source and a bunch of other sites if you don’t have an official website. Your results will be mediocre at best.
5. Create a Website -
You need somewhere your fanbase can flock to and find everything in one location. Your website is the only online property you truly own. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and all those social media channels are great because they provide access to potentially millions of fans but at the end of the day, you don’t own that platform.
One of the reasons why having a website is so important is because it’s a marketing platform that you own and manage completely. You can do whatever you want to do on it – sell merchandise, collect email addresses, provide daily updates, post up touring videos, interact with fans using discussion boards, etc.
In this day and age, your website and social media channels should form the bulk of your marketing strategy, no doubt about it... But you should funnel ALL of your traffic from your social media accounts to your official website.
6.) Create a Mailing List -
A mailing list of your own is an amazing tool – And I don’t mean finding random email addresses and spamming them with your music, I mean collecting emails of those who are interested in hearing from you combined with utilizing the emails of those who you have already been in contact with via an opt-in list from your website. You should treat your list as VIP, send them special offers, let them be the first to preview your new releases, give them personal access into your brand.
7.) Distribution & Retail Strategy
Distribution and retail strategy basically means how you get your product or service through various distribution channels to your fan. What’s your distribution strategy for your music? How about for your merchandise? You don't need a Record Label to relase music on platforms like Spotify or Apple Music. You can create you own label and release music today on your imprint.
Is your only distribution method via your website and mixtape hosting sites like DatPiff? Do you plan on partnering up with distribution companies to get your music into retail stores and in front of more people?
If you are intent on distributing via retail stores, research and identify distribution companies who tend to work with independent rappers, then figure out a way to approach and build a relationship with them.
Here's some companies you should check out for music distribution:
DistroKid - www.distrokid.com
CD Baby - www.cdbaby.com
TuneCore - www.tunecore.com
Ditto Music - www.dittomusic.com
Record Union - www.recordunion.com
8.) Have Great Product!
Word of mouth is the BEST promotion... You are competing with a ton of others, including the major artists; which means that your music must be mixed and mastered. Think about it... Potential fans (that aren’t in the music industry), are used to hearing music on the radio, at clubs, festivals, stores etc. – which means they are used to hearing top quality records, so you must deliver! Sonically you have to make sure you have the best product on the market. That's why we offer independent artist the best quality in music production to give you a head start in making great records for your career. Make sure you browse through our Individual Beat Folders and grab what you need! - www.trackpros.net/catalog