5 cost-effective marketing strategies every musician should use
1. Leverage social media tools
Social media is a wonderful instrument for marketers in the digital age. About 49% of the world uses it every day, so you're bound to hit the mark with your promotion here.
Instagram is a great place to find your audience and build your brand. Here's how you can promote your music on Instagram:
● Do live streams - connect with your fans on a personal level with impromptu music performances and Q&A sessions
● Make reels - these are 15 second videos that that you can use to tell people more about you, and show behind the scenes footage of your band practises and concerts
You can also build a fanbase on Twitter because it allows you to interact with fans one on one. And because many accounts on Twitter are public, two-way engagement is more successful here than anywhere else.
Tweet as often as you can. Promote your shows and albums, and share stories from your life and music journey.
Grammy-winning artist Ed Sheeran used Twitter in 2016 to promote his new album "÷". He simply posted a blue square, and let fans figure out the rest from earlier interactions that they had had with him.
Remember that you don't have to have an active presence on every social media platform. Pick and choose your platforms based on audience relevance and the interactions you get. Figure out where your audience likes to hang out, and do most of your marketing there.
A street team is a group of dedicated fans who want to help you sell your tickets and promote your band. Use email and social media to build your street team. Give them incentives e.g. free tickets, backstage passes, and facetime with the band. Considering these people will already be fans, they're likely to jump at the opportunity.
Once you have your street team, get them to put up posters all across your locale. All places that you're doing shows at should have your posters.
And don't worry, making posters doesn't have to be a daunting or expensive task. Plenty of sites, such as PosterMyWall, have music poster templates you can customize according to your needs. Take inspiration from your favorite bands and musicians and create a poster that tells the world who you are.
You should also print your designs out as flyers and have your street team distribute them at venues where you'll be performing.
Currently, 9 out of 10 marketers use email marketing to promote their brands. And for good reason. Emails allow you to get to users' inboxes directly so you know they receive your message. Social media algorithms can keep changing, however, email is consistent.
To implement this strategy, you first need to collect emails. You can do this in the following ways:
● Trade email lists with other small musicians
● Do merch giveaways and get people to sign up to enter
● Offer a free download for a new song if people give their email
Once you have your email list, send out regular emails to your subscribers. Of course, the frequency of your emails depends entirely on you. Weekly emails generally are more concise and informal. Monthly emails can talk more about big picture things, future plans etc. Whether you choose to send out weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly emails will depend on the time you have to write them, and the information you feel your fans should know. For instance, send out more emails before a big gig or before an album release.
You can also talk about your music, the inspiration behind it, any new shows that are coming up, fan stories, you name it. Be as creative as you can. Let people get to know you so that they're more interested in your music.
Collabs with other similar artists allow you to reach each other's audiences and build connections within the music industry. You can reach out to your fellow musicians in some of these ways:
● DM them on social media - share some of your work and tell them about yourself
● Use your network - get contacts from friends and use your own
● Invite other musicians to your gigs and pitch to them after the show
● Organize a small musicians' event or retreat where all budding artists can get to know each other
Once you get people on board, you should do gigs together and promote them on social media. This will increase your and the other artist's audience reach.
Michael Jackson's and Paul McCartney's 1982 collaboration is a great example of this. Both artists were able to introduce their fans to the other's music, which was especially helpful because both had very different audiences. Their song "The Girl is Mine" was a hit and stayed on no. 2 of the Billboard Hot 100 for a long time.
More than half the people in the US have listened to a podcast at some point or another, making it one of the most frequently consumed forms of digital media. So use a Soundcloud podcast to connect with fans and let them in on your thoughts and musings. Find out what your fans like to hear, and introduce those topics as well. And don't forget to promote your podcast on social media.
A music podcast will not only establish you as an authority figure in your industry, but it will also help you gain a more dedicated fan following.
This is certainly true for Tom May, guitarist and vocalist of punk rock band "The Menzingers". May started his podcast "Future Friday" to give his fans an insight into his thoughts on life, art, and everything in between. The podcast was a huge hit not just with punk rock fans, but fans of existentialism as well.
These strategies are proof that you can run a successful marketing campaign for your band without breaking the bank. Remember the key takeaways:
● Use social media as often as you can
● Market directly to your fans through email
● Advertise in your neighborhood
● Connect with other artists to get to potential fans
● Get personal with podcasts© 2016 The Classical Art, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.