Being an independent artist and promoting your music online by yourself is quite a challenge. In order to avoid using expensive agencies or an equally unaffordable freelancer, we’ve decided to put together a guide for emerging musicians who want to start out on a smaller budget, but still hope to capture the attention of the entire music industry.
To build your notoriety, you need to create relevant digital content and share it using the right communication channels. You can identify these channels by imagining your future fans and understanding their online habits. A digital consultant would refer to this as a persona, which defines the profile of your target. It allows you to build the foundations of your strategy and each action you take should be implemented according to this. To do so, you need to define your digital marketing strategy correctly, and that’s what we will cover in this article.
To build your strategy, you have at your disposal physical tools – a.k.a in the real world – and digital tools across the Internet. Here are 4 digital tools to help you promote your music online and how to use them.
Today, when you distribute your music on streaming platforms, you have to be visible on social networks in order to stand out from the millions of tracks available online. Whether your tracks are played on different radios or on Soundcloud only, marketing on the Internet is essential. From Facebook to Instagram, Youtube to TikTok, artists get people to listen to their music through all of these communication channels. It’s easier said than done and community management can’t be improvised.
Instead of trying to master all the social media platforms at once, focus on just one and find an audience that listens to music similar to yours. Share all your available tracks, not only the hits, but above all, be sincere in your approach. Take the opportunity to explain your artistic project. The artists who are starting out have a significant advantage with these platforms: they know them well, unlike previous generations. So use this to your advantage and become a great community manager.
To grow your following, use intermediaries, like a rap media influencer if you are in hip-hop for example, and try to contact the community managers of the different accounts. No matter which genre you are in- electro, rock, classical music– there are influencers. Yes, even in classical music! However they are not all good or suited for your project, so make sure to find relevant ones. Multiply the possibilities for your future fans to meet the musician you are. Share every interesting event, like if your song lands in a Spotify playlist for example, or even an influencer playlist.
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2. Promote your music online successfully with SEO
SEO is optimizing the natural referencing on search engines and can be used so that your musical project gains visibility. You ideally want to be the one who lands at the top of the search results in your music genre. Unlike social media, it is not the most common tool used to promote your music online. But that’s why it’s interesting. When your communication strategy is atypical, you will be able to differentiate yourself from the others thanks to this unique way of promoting your music.
Set up a website, create a blog, write articles about your creative process or about your music. Don’t just play music- you are capable of so much more. Choose keywords that match your image, your style, your artistic direction, and insert them in your text. To help you, the SEO modules of WordPress are a good start, but in the long run you may have to use more advanced tools like 1.FR for example.
When my music doesn’t reach the people it should, I ask myself, couldn’t the SEO of my site be improved? Open a private web browser window, type in your keywords in quotes, and you’ll have your answer. When you have optimized your SEO for your musical project, you will generate traffic like never before.
Is your visibility at a standstill? Do you feel that the algorithms of social networks are not working for you? Know that your potential fans all have a mailbox- incredible, isn’t it? Create a newsletter to reach them. Sending personalized newsletters is a good way for a composer to spread their music on the Internet.
To succeed in this strategy, you have to make your listeners loyal. In other words, you have to turn your listeners into devoted fans. With this newsletter strategy, you will seriously engage your audience by keeping in touch with them regularly. This is one of the bases of internet marketing.
Newsletters are a good place to put links to your website especially if you are selling merchandise. If you aren’t, know that e-commerce is available to everyone! You could also let your listeners know when you have new music online on a streaming platform.
Platforms like Sendinblue, Mail Chimp or Revue are at your disposal to create and send your newsletter. All streaming music is at the listener’s fingertips, and with the newsletter, you will be able to stand out from the crowd and get your music heard.
4. Using data analysis to promote your music online
To make your music known, it is important to set up a relevant digital strategy and to basically become your own media. Making a plan and sticking to it is important. All along the way, you will make mistakes that you will have to learn from. That’s what data analysis is for. Figure out what data is relevant to monitor, such as the reach of a post, a story, or a reel on Instagram. Relevant data to monitor also includes the opening rate of a newsletter, the percentage of reading, and finally, the number of visitors to your website, the retention rate, the conversion rate, and your place in Google search results.
In short, all these numbers will help you understand if your actions are working or not. When it is not the case, you can adjust them as you go along. When you can’t adjust, keep these numbers anyway: they will be useful for the strategy you set up for your next albums. You can also show this data analysis to record companies like Universal, or to labels who will approach you to show that you take communication seriously.
Data analysis is how you calculate your return on investment so you’ll know if all that money or time has gone to good use. Your digital presence leaves traces that you can take advantage of and even correlate with streaming services. By being diligent enough, you may just be able to achieve the same numbers as Céline Dion’s Sacem one day.
Now that you have all the tools to set up your strategy, get started and increase your notoriety!