When you're sitting on a pre-launched album, odds are you're chomping at the bit to get it out to your fans. Taking a deep breath to plan a strategic launch instead of social media Hail Mary can pay off exponentially if executed with care.
Straddling the line of art and business in our industry is tough. This is doubly true when you're ready to release an album. For many, an album is the apex of their creativity; they wrote songs, recorded them, and had them mixed and mastered. It's become a vessel for artistic expression, and after months – or in some cases, years – of putting this work together, it's finally time to release it to the world.
While it would be easiest to just unleash it onto the world by slapping it on Facebook and Twitter, your album deserves to be released with the same finesse and creativity you harnessed when creating it. Your social media outlets are likely your largest marketing channels, so here's a quick guide on prepping your album for release through those platforms.
Four weeks prior: drop some hints
About a month before the release, let fans know that you're working on something new. This can be something as simple as a series of text posts scattered throughout Twitter and Facebook, or something more intricate such as a vlog or clip of you in the studio announcing your album will be out soon (preferably with some tracks subtly playing in the background).
This is also the week where – if you haven't begun already – you should start finalizing graphics, because you'll be needing some artwork throughout the push. Hopefully, you already have album art ready, so the remaining graphics will just be promo and pre-order materials.
And here's a pro tip: when getting your album artwork done, ask for a bundle package that can include three or four simple social media graphics and banners. This way, you'll have everything you may need all at once, and you don't have to scurry for promo materials or worry about creating your own!
Three weeks prior: push your single
Find the track that's going to be your first single, or a good highlighted track, and start pushing that out. Put some small advertising boosts behind it, and if you have artwork done for the single, begin sharing that on your outlets, too. You should also begin sending this to any blogs or websites that take submissions. Try to build some publicity while you're at it.
Two weeks prior: begin a pre-order campaign
Start pushing for pre-orders (while also pushing the single). Begin promoting a pre-order link, but also mention your single for those who may have missed it. A simple graphic with text like "pre-order now" and the album cover linking to the pre-order site will get you far. This would also be a good time to change banner images across all relevant channels to include a graphic with release dates.
Also, be personable! Write text posts, make video shout-outs for Instagram and Facebook, let people know you're excited, and thank them for support.
Week of release: push out daily content!
Find a fun way to remind fans of the dates, like a small "three, two, one" daily countdown with accompanying graphics, or releasing previews of songs daily until the release date. Another engaging tactic would be to hop on a live chat (such as YouNow) the night before the release, and give your fans an impromptu listening session.
Ensure that you, your buddies, friends, and labelmates share the work, too. Let everyone know, and bask in a job well done.
As a music marketing strategist, Tyler Allen works with an extensive array of artists, labels, music tech, and music retail entities. Tyler began his music industry career with Sony Music Entertainment and RED Distribution, as well as the advertising industry. He is dedicated to giving veteran artists the tools to preserve their legacy, and new artists the tools to begin theirs (as well as everything in between). Learn more at wtylerconsulting.com.