5 Best Practices to promote a song

Whether you’re old or new to music promotion, here are 5 proven practices to help get your song the attention it deserves…

by David Andrew Wiebe from Bandzoogle

You’ve just put the finishing touches on your new song, and you’re ready to send it off to mixing and mastering.

Your mind now runs wild with questions – who will listen to my new song? How do I get it out there? What steps do I need to take to make sure the right people hear it?

The best marketing campaigns aren’t necessarily executed perfectly, but they are organized and coordinated. Or, as it has been said:

Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.

So, what follows is an organized, coordinated plan you can follow to meet all your song promotion goals.

5 best ways to promote your song

1. Find your angle and go where the fans already are

Music careers today are generally built on a combination of live performance, content, email, social media, PR and playlisting, and radio (including internet radio, podcasts, live streams, etc.).

But the sheer amount of work required to grow and utilize all media channels is mind-numbing. If you don’t have much of a following and only have 90 days to promote your new song, for example, trying to build a presence everywhere is going to prove a losing battle.

Unless an artist already has gigs lined up, a folder full of video and audio content, a big email list or social media following, and/or a long list of relevant industry contacts (all of this takes time), my advice is to find an angle.

I recently coached an emerging artist to organize a dance party for her release. She loves to dance, and when she’s in her element, the people around her have more fun too. She’s more likely to find the support and attendance she’s looking for if she positions it as a dance party rather than just another “gig.”

A guitarist who loves video game music could plug into video game conventions held internationally – Comic-Con, MAGFest, BlizzCon, among many others.

There is always a way to short-circuit the audience question. The key is to find your angle.

2. Alert and mobilize your tribe

No matter the size of your fan base – small or big – you must let everyone you know when you’ve got a new release.

But do not think of this as a self-contained social media and email campaign. Inevitably, you’ll leave opportunities on the table if you focus exclusively on these channels (you’ll be amazed at how many people don’t see your posts or emails).

Consider adding the following tasks to your checklist to ensure your message gets seen:

  • Run a pre-save campaign
  • Set up a retargeting ad campaign
  • Send text/SMS messages
  • Have personal phone conversations
  • Send postcards and letters via snail mail

Don’t just send out notices or updates either. Make a specific ask of your prospects and fans. Generally, the best thing you can do is ask them to join your email list (if they haven’t already). You can make additional asks once they’re on your list.

Also, if you haven’t already created one, set up a launch team. This would be a group of people who support you in sharing your new release. You could ask them to post your release on social media, or you could even request that they create some hype around your launch party. Don’t hold back – make big asks!

Build a professional website to promote your music in just a few clicks! Try Bandzoogle now.

3. Utilize Smart Links

Bandzoogle has a new, built-in Smart Links feature that makes it easier than ever for you to promote and sell your music.

This feature allows you to organize all your streaming and social media links in an attractive, central, mobile-friendly page. It’s also a great tool for driving fans back to your music website.

With Smart Links, you can easily customize and prioritize the destinations you want to send your fans and media contacts to. Your page also prominently features a “Buy” button to encourage more sales.

No matter the shape or intent of your marketing campaign, focus is important. Smart Links and landing pages help you cut down on the clutter while drawing attention to your new release.

Smart Links ought to come in handy when you’re alerting and mobilizing your tribe too.

4. Build your EPK

There’s a ton of information associated with new releases – release artwork, artist bio, lyrics, recording credits, metadata, and more.

If you’re a Bandzoogle member, you can take advantage of our built-in electronic press kitfunctionality to assemble and present relevant information in an attractive fashion.

This function lets you highlight your best tracks (with a music player), bio, press images, album art, social media links, music videos, and just about anything else you can name.

Whether it’s to get more gigs, set up more press interviews, get radio airplay, or otherwise, an EPK is a powerful tool you can use to spread your message more broadly.

5. Run a contest or giveaway

Contests and giveaways can help you build a lot of excitement for your new release.

The smart thing to do would be to use it as an opportunity to grow your email list. In other words, if your prospects and fans want to be entered into the contest, they must join your email list.

The offer must be attractive though. Giving away a CD and digital download is a good start, but it might not be enough to gain traction with your giveaway. Think bigger. Throw in a T-shirt and a couple of tickets to your release show.

Contests and giveaways can sometimes build explosive momentum and lead to widespread coverage. But at any given time, there are a plethora of other distractions, so this is not guaranteed.

But even if your campaign isn’t a runaway success on that scale, it’s well worth doing, because it creates goodwill with your audience. You’ll find that the more unselfish you are, the more your audience trusts and wants to hear from you.

Final thoughts

The methods mentioned here all stack on each other. This means you can create a cohesive song promotion strategy out of them. For best results, don’t apply one tactic at a time or mix and match. Set everything into motion with urgent concurrency.

Getting noticed isn’t necessarily easy, but all the tools you need to be able to do the job are already there. All you need to do is to find the most direct route to your goal. Focus on the activity that moves the needle and leave the rest alone.


David Andrew Wiebe is the Founder & CEO of The Music Entrepreneur HQ and author of four books, including the much-praised The New Music Industry: Adapting, Growing and Thriving in The Information Age. Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work and music instruction.

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