The music industry has always been a dynamic, competitive place that requires musicians to stay up-to-date on the most effective ways to promote their music in order to find success early in their careers.
In the past, artists were limited in the ways in which they could successfully promote their new releases without relying on record labels and managers. The digital age has changed this dramatically by providing independent artists the marketing tools they need to promote their own music and image without needing a record deal.
This means that independent artists are responsible for both the business and creative aspects of their brand. While it may seem overwhelming, this gives artists the freedom to grow at their own pace and on their own terms. It also allows them to generate an audience organically as they develop their style.
Fortunately, there have never been more ways for artists to accomplish this growth. If you’re an artist who finds themself struggling more with the backend issues of your creative development, here are some tips to help you navigate.
Social media has quickly become integral for musicians to connect and grow their fanbase. By utilizing social media platforms, you create a unique relationship with your followers and grow your community. In addition to posting new releases, engaging content can include articles, unreleased snippets, live streams, or even playlists.
To create an even more personal and rewarding connection with your fans, artists have the ability to directly communicate with followers by commenting on posts, liking comments, and potentially even messaging them.
Staying active on your social media by commenting on posts, liking comments, and running polls will help build loyalty among your fanbase and keep them engaged at any stage of your career.
When building your profile on social media, it’s important to choose your image and strategize your posts. Catering the posts to the platform is a big part of engaging with the fans that follow you there.
"Indie musicians can promote their music effectively by harnessing the power of social media, collaborating with influencers, and utilizing streaming platforms like Spotify and SoundCloud. AI tools can analyze data to help identify target audiences and even tailor marketing efforts. Indie artists should also consider submitting their releases to platforms like SubmitHub, reaching out to music blogs for reviews, and organizing launch parties and shows," says Emily Reynolds Bergh, Owner at R Public Relations.
Streaming services have turned the music industry upside down since its creation. As of 2023, 84% of the U.S music industry’s revenue comes directly from streaming platforms.
Creating your profile and submitting music to major streaming platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music is vital for artists trying to promote their songs. By doing this, artists gain the ability to reach a global audience.
Unfortunately, that audience doesn’t come overnight. It’s important to leverage the nuances of each platform - such as curated playlists - to gain further listeners.
Pricila Rijo, Owner at The Rijo Creative Co., recommends: "One of the best ways to promote your music online organically is through the power of collaboration and playlists. Platforms like SubmitHub and PlaylistPush do a great job streamlining the process, allowing your music to get in front of the right curators. You may also get good traction by submitting directly to YouTube playlist curators that follow your genre. Find playlist curators on DSPs such as Spotify, Soundcloud, and Audiomack."
Audiomack is part of a handful of smaller platforms that are useful for independent musicians, and feature a growing user base. Audiomack also provides a less restricted experience than what you might find on a larger, more established app, such as more achievable payouts.
Another excellent resource is Bandcamp, which offers monetization, merchandising and direct support for growing artists. Bandcamp helps developing artists for its ease of access and depth of features.
"Another creative way is to collaborate with content creators who can use your music for their videos or channels without copyright strikes. Influencers and vloggers are always in search of music for their videos with credit to the artist," Pricila Rijo adds.
Influencer marketing continues to be an increasingly effective tool for gaining exposure as an artist. Collaborating with creators could get your music featured on that channel's videos, tapping into their audience as well.
The key to a successful collaboration is researching to find influencers and bloggers in your niche that resonate with you and your music. Ideally, there will be some overlap between your audiences to maximize your takeaway.
Rijo adds: "In addition, new platforms like EVEN do a great job of connecting musicians with their fans through a centralized platform. Harness the power of AI for good; there are thousands of music submission sites you can utilize AI for to speed up your searches of the best sites for your genre and region. For festival submissions, the best way to keep up with all of the festivals is to turn on a Google Alert for “festival submission” or “artist showcase.” A platform like Artist Replugged calls out musicians to start filming their indie music journey and submit documentaries."
Music blogs still maintain substantial readership, and coverage from any outlet allows you to tap into a broader audience.
While easier said than done, it’s worth researching different outlets, and deciding which one you think would vibe best with your music and style.
When pitching to these outlets, artists should have an EPK, or electronic press kit prepared. An EPK is essentially a resume for artists to provide information about yourself and your music to agents and media figures. Artists looking to create their own EPK can use Bandzoogle, which provides all the tools you need to get started.
To assist with the process of getting your music in the hands of the right people, artists can submit their music to a platform like Musosoup. The platform excels at getting your music in front of bloggers, music journalists and radio stations.
Adarsh Benz Lal, Editor at OddPlug, says: "There are numerous blogs, playlists, and platforms eager to showcase promising new indie releases - take time to identify the right targets for your genre and pitch them professionally."
Regardless how you promote your music,
No two audiences are the same, and no matter how you put your music out it's important to find a willing formula that works for you and your music.
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