The internet can be a jungle, so how is an artist to cut a path to a real a fanbase? Any musical project needs good digital marketing. Gone are the days of the DIY flyer handed out to people leaving concerts. No no, we’ve got to go deeper.
Making your music known has always been the #1 goal of every indie artist. Thankfully, the internet offers a lot of tools to speed up the process, or at least facilitate it. Now, as before, musical artists of all kinds must make themselves known to hope to be listened to.
1. Promoting Your Music on Instagram
Is Instagram still the best online stage? For now, yes, even if it is on the decline. Social media is one of the most interesting possibilities available today because of its various features and the number of users. When an artist puts music content on a streaming platform, they can communicate on Instagram and reach different target audiences: the general public, but also the entire music industry that watches the site carefully.
It’s the perfect place for free (or cheap) communication. This is the place to centralize all your communications: launch of new merch on your website, the next album cover, quality content, and sometimes even a collaboration with a brand à la influencer… in short, Instagram is a great place to show your stuff and communicate with fans.
2. Make a Name for Yourself on TikTok
Everyone listens to songs that have made it big on TikTok. It’s impossible to miss these days. TikTok is an ultra-efficient springboard to gain visibility, but how can you harness it? As a musician , it is obvious that you need to put your music on the Internet, such as on YouTube for example. For TikTok, it’s the same. Choose a paid distributor that posts on the social network (they almost all do today, but check anyway).
Be careful, though, being visible does not mean sacrificing your art for the benefit of efficient communication. In the long run, that’s not going to be sustainable.
3. Making your Music Known on Reddit
All musicians who seek to build creative communication have at their disposal an ultra popular, yet less often cited network: Reddit. How do you share my music there? Identify the right subreddits: r/PromoteYourMusic, r/indieheads, r/listentothis… analyze the habits of listeners in each of these spaces, and share your music.
It may sound simple, but climbing to the top of a subreddit isn’t necessarily so. It takes a bit of luck, but also rewards being very active. All the music posted on Reddit is not necessarily going to take off; but you might as well throw in a little of your own. The most relevant posts are those that will generate interaction. This is really the basis of the site. So to promote your music, start by going to comment on the posts of other artists. This will make all your musical and sound experiments will be more likely to get feedback.
⎮Also read: How to use Reddit to Promote your Music
4. Make Waves in the Media
To promote your music, it is important to make your musical project known to the relevant media. To find out which ones they are, you need to research the musical genres you are exploring: electro, folk, pop, rap, hip-hop, soul, etc… See which media outlets put these genres at the center of their editorial line and contact them.
The advantages are many: for example, referencing your music on search engines via the right keywords, because their websites are generally well-placed on Google. It’s perfect for targeting new listeners, because their readers are curious and open to discovery. People from labels may also have a listen to your stuff if you appear in the media! So if your goal is to find a label, having your singles, EPs, albums highlighted in the media—and we’re even talking about niche bloggers—will send a very good message.
You can even appear in the media’s newsletter and/or on its social networks, which is a significant highlight for an independent artist.
Last point, it can generate word of mouth: “Hey, did you read the last article in so-and-so…I found something cool!” … you know the drill.
5. Getting Listens on the Radio
When a composer chooses to distribute their music on streaming platforms, they almost forget the possibility of one day being played on the radio. It seems unattainable, yet millions of titles are broadcast, and not always hits, so why not you? Listening to the radio and discovering new music go hand in hand.
Not everyone is a pop star (yet), so it’s not necessarily easy to get the attention of radio stations. Still, send in your tracks, the notoriety you can get is too significant to pass up. Especially when you consider that there are tools as powerful as Groover to contact radio programmers directly. Also, think of the web
‑based radio stations broadcasting free music. This can be a good introduction. Especially since major stations like Universal monitor all these platforms, it’s a very positive signal to get on the radio, and it will have an impact on your streams. A future fan listening to music on the radio may Shazam your song and follow your musical journey for the long term.
6. Streaming Platforms – the #1 Path to Notoriety
Artists looking for their big break are going to have to make their music available for streaming. In 2023, there is no other way. All listeners are becoming increasingly concentrated. A streaming platform like Spotify, Deezer, or Apple music for example, is an indispensable vector of success.
Available tracks have a change to land in influential playlists and reach a wide audience. People don’t even necessarily need subscriptions—on Spotify for example, you can listen for free, so it’s an essential tool to make yourself known, in addition to making some money through streams that could allow you to finance all or part of your project.
To make your music available on the Internet, simply upload your mp3 or wav files via an aggregator such as Tunecore, DistroKid or CDBaby.
7. Websites to Know for Music Promotion
Groover: As an independent artist, you don’t always have the reach to get through to media, playlists, record labels, or other players in the musical sector. That’s where Groover comes in! Getting your music listened to by people who matter in the music game can change everything. Plus, you’ll save yourself the ultra-long, unsuccessful emailing sessions.
Soundcloud: In any list of free, efficient streaming services dedicated to indie music and discovering new artists, Soundcloud holds the top spot.
Last.fm: This is the webradio /community music related platform par excellence. We’ve already talked about SEO. Well, with its millions of users, Last.fm is a great way to get a higher rank on Google.
Jamendo is a free streaming platform. The site will especially attract the deepest diggers, which is good for you! Plus, you can choose to put your music in royalty-free mode, allowing users to use your music for commercial purposes.
– Translated by Kole Wright –