When it comes to promoting new music, you don't need to have a label at your back, but you do need to plan carefully and work hard. In fact, a scrappy DIY approach has, in some instances, been more effective. Here we look at three essential tips for bringing an audience in to your music.
Guest post by Jason Mayoral of the Symphonic Blog
The key to promoting music is to start early and be really active. Just change your cover photo on Facebook by the album cover and announce the launch day does not lead anywhere. You need to create expectation over time and keep it after the disk appears.
The fact is that you do not need the marketing department of a record label for the launch campaign of your album. With all the tools at your disposal on the internet, you can get diffusion for very little money, or even for free. In fact, the creative campaigns carried out by indie musicians tend to be more effective than the stereotyped strategies of the big labels.
Here are three tips on how you can gather a music audience:
1. Make your fans work
For the most part, as an indie artist (meaning independent artist), you need to set everything up for yourself, and that includes marketing. But in reality you have a full team of collaborators waiting to spread your news: your fans! Although you can not send them a plan of actions by email and expect them to complete the assigned tasks, you can, and should, create a strategy that encourages their participation.
One of the best ways to achieve this is to involve them. If people think that they have contributed in some way to the project, they will be more willing to share it with their friends. This could be as simple as asking for photos to use in the video clip of your single. Crowdfunding platforms allow you to offer attractive rewards. how to include their names in a song, allow them to write a line of a letter, or appear in the acknowledgments in the album’s booklet.
Contests are another great way to get fans involved. Offer them something truly extraordinary, like a live webinar / concert through Google Hangout where you release a new song. Ask the fans to share something, like your single, on social networks to participate in the contest. You will also get more diffusion encouraging the winners to talk about their extraordinary experience in the contest.
2. Live promotion
Currently, disc releases are becoming increasingly digital. You do not have to worry about your album reaching the big stores and then going to sign CDs on the day of release. Instead, you just have to click on the “upload files” button to send a few tweets, and you have already complied. Anyway, that you can do everything online does not mean you should do it. The face-to-face experience is still tremendously important in the music industry.
I know that recording an album can be a bit chaotic, a struggle to get everything done on time, but it’s exactly when you’re interested in playing concerts. Make your fans know that you are releasing a new song in your shows. This will not only attract people and draw attention to the new album, you will also have the opportunity to shoot the songs, based on the reactions of the audience. If it does not sound exactly as you thought when you play at full volume, you still have time to make some changes! You could even schedule four concerts in the month before the launch and tell your fans that you will play the entire album in one of them. In this way, if you really want to hear the new songs in advance, you will have to go to all the concerts!
We all know that the live show can be useful to draw attention to the local scene on your album after the release. It’s a fairly common practice to have a party or concert to release the album and then go on tour, but you have to think about how to take this strategy a step further and offer something that is really exciting for your fans, while increasing the diffusion of your album. Do a mini tour of homemade concerts in your area is a good way to give something extra special to your fans. You could even set up an attractive contest or sell two CDs for the price of one to encourage people to share.
3. Constant content
The last thing you should do is start working on your next album and disappear for a few months. After months of silence, when you finally reappear with news, your fans may not be following you, listening or looking for your content.
Social networks are one of the easiest ways to be on the radar of your fans. Post Twitter updates on the recording process, photos from the studio, or small teasers on Vine. If you have a blog set up on your website, follow the content flow! Share stories from the studio, or what the album inspired you, or some of the songs. You want your fans to visit your website regularly until you release the album. This way, they can buy the disc and maybe some merchandising when it appears.
It will also improve your SEO approach by making your website improve its ranking. With SEO agencies – like Rebel Corp a Miami SEO marketing agency – you can get your music reach the people interested in the kind of music you offer. Also, PPC consultant (an expert that creates pay per click online campaigns using keywords associated to what your brand offer) can help make excellent marketing campaigns for your music to reach a specific target.
If you want to reach an audience beyond your active database, bloggers are the way to go, and entering a blog is totally within your reach, as an independent artist, if you have a strategy in mind. The best thing about blogs is that they tend to have loyal followers who really trust the blogger’s opinion. Above all, his followers are circumscribed to specific niches. This means that you are guaranteed an audience that already likes the kind of music you play.
Do some research and find blogs that talk about musicians of your style and that are at a time in your musical career similar to yours. Then, you send them an email. You can usually find the contact information of the blogger looking for a bit on the web. Put a clear topic and make the personal email, brief and to the point. Share an interesting story about your album with a link to your music, but do not tell them your life in a long and boring mail. Remember, it is enough to intrigue them to check your music: music is the one that should speak.
If you want to convert blog followers into fans, try to offer them an exclusive scoop of your single or a free download for their users. If they have a song and they like it, they are more likely to buy the rest of the album.
You can even go deep into it and open the door to your fans to show them the composition process. Many people find the creative world of the musicians really interesting. Post short videos of drafts of songs you are working on or photos of short ideas for the lyrics. Ask your fans for opinion and talk to them about what inspires you. Not only will you follow your content with interest, you can also forge a more personal relationship.