So you have a piece of music that you’re ready to share with the world, earn a million bucks from royalties and go on a world tour. That’s awesome and absolutely possible, but to get there you’ll have to overcome the biggest hurdle for all music artists of the 21st century- marketing. The internet is a highly competitive space for artists and simply making a few social media posts isn’t enough. So below I’ve compiled a short list of 5 creative promo/marketing ideas to help get your song out there, based on my own experience.
1. Create highly accessible assets
It shocks me how many people “promote” their music by simply posting an image of their album art on social media. Listeners want to be able to hear your music right away and the further you make them have to go to hear it, the less likely they actually will. There are tons of great online software that help artists create dynamic content for their social media, so don’t feel like you have to put together a professional music video or anything. SongRender for example allows artists to create short audio visualizers that respond to their music in real time. Each video is formatted for different social media, so you know it’ll look good. You can make a video for free on their website but if you want to remove watermarks, use our code MM19 for 20% off.
2. Build a list of promotional agency contacts
With the surplus of artists/labels/managers in the music industry comes a lot of opportunity to network and collaborate. Almost every day I come across a new record label, collective, or agency that is trying to make a name for themselves and become the next Cash Money Records or Circle Talent. What many of these emerging label owners realize is that in order for them to grow, they’ll need to take some artists on for free- to expand their portfolios. That’s where you as an artist have opportunity to get your music shared by other people. Even if their label doesn’t succeed, your name will be out there in a different part of the world and someone may eventually stumble upon it and discover you. If their label/collective does succeed, your name will grow along with their success.
Here’s what I recommend doing: find 10x artists that have around the same following as you, scroll through their social media and find labels they’ve mentioned/released on. If you can’t find that many, find the artists they’ve worked with/tagged in their posts and look through their posts for labels. Build a list of 20x labels total and reach out to all of them about your upcoming release. Here’s one to start your list- StoryTime. We run highly unique marketing campaigns that get artists exposure in places they weren’t previously. Contact us on our website and we’ll help you create a unique marketing plan.
3. Engage in physical promotion
The internet is both an eye and ear sore for the music industry, running rampant with shamelessly annoying promotion posts in the form of spam, YouTube comments, unsolicited DMs, and more. As we’ve shifted into the digital realm, we’ve also left the physical realm in a state of opportunity. Artists today who are able to successfully promote their music in person are finding long lasting, high quality engagement from fans. Business cards, flyers on car windows, stickers in bathrooms, the list goes on and the more creative you are, the more fruitful this form of promotion will be. Some of the ongoing promotions that we do for artists at StoryTime include physical marketing, and we’re adopting a variety of new strategies for artists who want to work with us.
4. Partner with unrelated affiliates
You’re browsing the Oakley sunglasses Instagram, shopping for a slick pair of shades for your upcoming vacation to Maui. Then you come across a post of a famous artist wearing Oakley sunglasses, with a caption that is clearly unrelated to the artist. You’re familiar with this artist but never heard their music, yet you’re inclined to click on their profile and listen to their latest song (which is a music video snippet post). That click-through is something all major artists measure and work hard to engage in, because it’s an ingenious way to get discovered by audiences that previously would not have sought you out on their own.
As a beginning artist, you can approach this in the same way you approach the label contacts from point #2- look for smaller partners. If you vape, why not reach out to your local vape shop and send them a picture of you vaping, asking them to post it on their social media to advertise both you and their brand? It’s unconventional but effective, especially if you personally identify with the affiliate brand.
5. Send your music to DJs
I make this a point because it’s not as common as it should be- DJs are the criers of the music production industry. As a DJ myself, I’m always looking for the latest tunes to play out, no matter who produces them. Even if you don’t make “dance” music, sending your music to DJs gives them creative freedom to sample your song, remix it, etc. Unless you’re already a well established artist, I suggest losing the ego of “I don’t want to give my songs away for free”. The truth is you need to have your music heard and played out, so give it to the people that actually put it in front of crowds and if it’s received well, chances are the DJ will let you know they liked it. This could lead to bookings, getting on a talent agency, etc- I’ve seen this happen first hand. Feel free to send me any tunes and if it’s a vibe, I’ll play it out at my shows.
These are just five of the many types of promotion that you as an artist can engage in. If you haven’t tried all of these, I highly suggest doing so. End of the day, we’re all climbing the same mountain. If you’re interested in getting high quality marketing support from StoryTime, send us a message on our website.