Music marketing ROI: Are you getting back what you’re putting in?
In one form or another, marketing is a key part of finding success as a musical artist. So how can you tell whether or not the time and effort you sink into your marketing is actually paying off?
Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix
Every artist knows that marketing is the name of the game in music today, but how many know for sure whether or not their efforts are paying off?
The music business is as much about marketing as it is performance. I take that back. Music marketing is more important than performative talent because it’s easier for someone with talent never to be heard than for someone terrible with decent marketing skills to become the next Billboard sensation. It doesn’t mean your material doesn’t matter, but it does mean that material alone won’t give you a career.
Music marketing is a game we are playing without rules or limits. Some people spend thousands of dollars to sell only a few records. Meanwhile, some kids in Kansas with a decent understanding of Adobe products can go platinum without a label. Marketing is the great decider, and while everyone is doing it, very few know how to measure success.
ROI is fancy business shorthand for “return on investment.” It’s a term used to describe what happens as a result of your action. Everyone in music is making content constantly to entertain untold millions that they believe might one day become a fan. Those efforts may include social media ads, social media posts, billboards, radio spots, ads on Spotify, and more. Every avenue of promotion is viable in today’s marketplace, but not every approach will work for your career. Knowing what works—and why it works—is the key to success.
In this Music Biz update, host James Shotwell explains ROI and why calculating the value of a music marketing campaign can be difficult. He also details the four things every artist must understand if they want to become better marketers moving forward.
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James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.