Anyone can create music and I’ve got a few friends within the industry who have been asking me how they’d go about marketing a new musician to the scene, that perhaps either hasn’t got any following to start with or has no experience in dealing with marketing yourself (or a persona you’ve created) online.
So, with that in mind I went out and looked for some guides for musicians on how to promote their music and to be quite honest… There wasn’t much out there, either it talked about using fake YouTube or soundcloud views and sharing your music on a standard Facebook page. And, as I always get a bit of flack for not putting enough content marketing based tutorials and guides up, I thought I’d put together another big guide and help an industry that I haven’t really been in before.
So, without further ado… Let’s dive straight into the Guide.
Table of Contents –
Download This Guide –
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Chapter 1 – Introduction and Campaign Setup
If you’re brand new to the whole Internet Marketing scene, then it can be pretty scary just diving straight into trying to promote yourself, or what is inevitably your product. Along the way, you’ll have to deal with all sorts of abuse, love, success, failures and it can be a really stressful time – Especially when you don’t have the startup capital to have someone else do the work for you. You’ll have to push yourself to do all the things I’ll be talking about in this guide, all by yourself whilst at the same time trying to create “the product” (which is music for you musicians) that will offer the most to your growing number of fans and followers.
Keyword & Fan Research –
For those that don’t know, researching the keywords you’re going to want to target and the community behind them is really important. There’s already a ton of guides out there to doing your own keyword research, my favorite being Baclinko’s Definitive Guide, but you can’t really take much away from these guides when it comes to actually growing out an idea of what kind of music your target fanbase will enjoy and will help your music/product be successful.
There’s a really cool tactic that I’ve been using to find successful music and ways to promote your music to your target fanbase via a social/forum style website called Reddit.
Now, Reddit has the capabilities to give your music career MASSIVE success, but if you dive straight into posting your music videos and mp3s every 5 minutes on a different “subreddit” then you probably aren’t going to be very successful.
There’s a really cool tactic that I used to find ways to promote music to a community that already enjoys your music. The first thing you need to learn about Reddit is that it’s split up into multiple different “sub-reddits”, these are mostly community made and managed, meaning the pressure on the overall Reddit staff is massively reduced as most Subreddit owners or moderators love their community and want it as clean as possible – This means Bans are swift, but only limited to very specific parts of the website.
There’s an awesome Wiki hereÂ on the Music subreddit that will showcase all of the available subreddits for different Genres, your genre should more than likely be somewhere in here.
So, let’s say you were a House artist, I’d head over to the /r/house subreddit which has (currently) close to 18,000 readers – Good start, right! On the right of the sub-reddit screen, you’ll be able to see a list of different assortments to sort through your reddit choices, I want to go to the “Top” section –
This may be in a different location, dependent on the sub-reddit but will always be within this list. Going through to the Top section, you now want to select the Links from All Time section, which’ll bring back the very best shares of all time on that subreddit –
Now it’s just a case of trawling through all of the music and posts within this sub-reddit to find what kind of things you can produce. For example, this memeÂ did the best a post has ever done on this sub-reddit, along with a cool backgroundÂ that someone within the community made, a rather funnyÂ poke at the community and of course some classic tunes.Â
So, from taking a look at what’s been massively successful on this sub-reddit, you can take away from it that your fan base, and in this example that fan base is within the house genre, enjoy the following:
- Good Music (Which every fan base should enjoy)
- Funny Memes / Videos
- Cool Pieces of Fan Art
That’s just from a glance, and if you go deeper into the comments section of Reddit, then you’ll also be able to find the type of language that your community like – Which vastly helps when it comes to promoting yourself on Twitter or Facebook.
Chapter 2 – Social Growth
We’ve all seen the posts about musicians “making it” on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube and though you probably won’t be able to put your success down to one social networking platform, if you put all of them together then you should be able to grow your career within the music industry a lot quicker than those that don’t use any form of social media – Just look at Bieber (however much I or you may hate his music) with his now over 50 million followers on Twitter, granted some may be fake/bots but that’s still n incredible amount of reach for just 140 characters. Especially how much of an influence just one Tweet could have on his entire career, just look at numerous studies of people being fired or becoming famous from a single tweet, and that’s just Twitter which is only the second biggest social network.
2.1 – YouTube
For musicians, YouTube can either make you or break you, just look at the likes of Gangnam Style by Psy or Friday by Rebecca Black – You could say both of these “made” the artists, but whilst one was played incessantly on the radio, the other had thousands of death threats and harassment blasted at her, just for making a YouTube video.
I’ve already done a post here on my Adsense Empire site which goes through the basics of monetizing your YouTube videos and looking at creating them, and I did a post here on optimizing and marketing a YouTube video. Both of these posts go into pretty much all you need to know about making and marketing a YouTube channel, though if you’re looking for some serious detail then I suggest you check out Matthew Woodward’s series on marketing a YouTube channel.
2.12 – Bonus Tip for YouTube
I thought I’d include this as an awesome way to promote your music via YouTube that not many artists have been doing – Most artists you’ll meet will post their Music video via Vevo or another network based service to protect their work vs copyright, but I find this actually hurts your chances of getting popular and you’re given literally no benefit from posting to one of these networks except having copyright over the video.
Copyright may protect your work from being “stolen” but it means that people can’t use it for projects such as background music, video game montages/plays and adverts which can give you some really good RIO (return on investment) whilst posting to YouTube.
Here’s an absolutely fantastic example of why copyright actually harms your marketing campaign.
FazeClan, which is a large community based channel of call of duty video game OCEs (one clip edits) and montages, did their 1 million subscriber TeamTage (a team montage) –
The song used at the start of this video is by Don Diablo, in May when the video was live on UK Drum and Bass had around 147,000 views –
Within just a few days of the montage going live, the video’s view count had almost tripled into over 325,000 views and today it’s sitting close to 1.1 million, unfortunately the public stats are closed but the song has now been used on over 500 other montages within the call of duty community and has garnered the artist a considerable following of the back off the use of their remix.
Now not all music is going to be suitable to use in a video game montage, but it’s an option for most electric based artists and gives a fantastic way to promote your music to a massively growing industry. There’s also a ton of parody videos that have done really well based on video games, such as Husky and Kurt Hugo Schneider’s take on Justin Bieber’s Baby called “Banelings” which is a video game unit within Starcraft 2 –
2.2 Facebook –
I’ve got some fantastic examples of huge success within the music industry on Facebook, and if you haven’t already checked out my Facebook hack then you should be able to learn a ton on how to grow your facebook page or clicks to your video via stealing other artists fan bases.
We spoke in the first chapter about sharing Memes and funny pictures as well as fan art to communities and Facebook fan pages are the perfect place to do this kind of thing. Rather well known artists like Borgore and Krewella do this kind of viral sharing very well, and they’ve both attracted over a million likes to their pages already, most of the funny posts tend to be targeted at a specific “style” of posting, for example Borgore uses the Illuminati as a bit of a joke and Krewella goes for more partying/raving based pictures and videos.
2.3 – Twitter
Like we said earlier (in regards to Justin Bieber) twitter is a massively popular and easy way to promote yourself and your music. Here’s a few examples of how celebrities (not just Musicians) have had good and bad press via their Twitter profiles, as well as how they’ve attracted even more followers to engage with the content they post on Twitter:
I don’t have any specific rules or a strategy when it comes to Twitter and promoting yourself on Twitter, though I do like this post on the top “10 commandments” of what to do and what not to do when it comes to Tweeting and your entire Twitter career – As I said earlier, you can make yourself and help promote yourself (like James Blunt) on Twitter or threaten to hospitalize Ashton Kutcher and look even mo’ crazy!
2.4 – Reddit
We looked at the ways to engage with Reddit posts and looked at how you can use Reddit as an awesome-sauce way to build up some epic content and to find out what your engaged fan base like to share and engage with.
The next part of this though, is actually engaging with the community that you’ve found and found what they like. I also said you don’t want to be a bull in a china-shop and start posting tons of your own content every 5 minutes, so there’s a couple ways you can go about building up your reputation and generating traffic/views, without p*ssing all over the sub-reddit community.
A lot of what I talk about in this section, is based on this article on Social Media Examiner by Jesse Aaron. Again, if you’re looking for even more detail then I suggest you go and read his article and base your strategy of his findings.
The first thing you can do, is locate all of the sub-reddits you’re trying to target and create a “multi-reddit” which will pull all of the posts from these Reddits into one page, rather than having to individually check each page – You can then use the “Top” function that we talked about in the introduction to again, find the best content from the sub-reddits that you can then try and base your content on. To create a sub-reddit, you’ll want to go onto the homepage, click the left hand bar to expand it and go from there to create your multi-reddit:
Then, you start building the content that you’ve found has been successful to your target audience and either just post it straight to the individual sub-reddits, you can use an easy to manage excel doc for all of this, just to make the entire campaign a lot easier and attach notes to it if you’re working for a clients site or easily forget things.
Alternatively, you can use a Reddit sponsored headlineÂ via the Reddit ads platform.
2.5 – SoundCloud
I really don’t have much experience when it comes to growing a SoundCloud profile, and not many people really use the search function or much of the explore feature of the site – So I’d suggest just using SoundCloud with the other methods within the guide and use it for sharing your music, as well as offering Free downloads of your music to other people.
2.6 – Tumblr
I’ve been a fan of Tumblr ever since I saw Jay from LazyAssStoner’s tutorial on using Tumblr to get a ton of niche relevant and well converting traffic, his process can take a bit of time but it’s totally worth it in the end and you add a “web property asset” to your career’s portfolio that you can then use to grow with your career.
I can’t really offer anything more than Jay has already come up with, there’s a few bots out there but nothing beats the real thing –
Chapter 3 – Website & Blogging
All artists and “personas” need a website, and having a blog allows for you to create awesome pieces of content that’ll further help not only promote your music but promote you as a brand and means you can share your own views, which’ll help grow your career within pretty much any industry and can bring you into the forefront of the limelight for other issues. Take a look at Russell Brand’s blog hereÂ where he uses his own opinions, views and experiences to “Newsjack” certain issues, such as the Phillip Seymour Hoffman death, which got him an incredible amount of traffic and some pretty strong backlinks to his site –
I can’t really tell you how to blog, as blogging is really your own style. Though here’s a few resources I’ve used in the past for blogging inspiration and help –
- How I Built a Top 100 Blog by Matthew Woodward
- Want Better Copy? by Joel Klettke
- Hunting your Audience by Me
Chapter 4 – Bonuses
I don’t really have much more to say, there’s a few bonus tips that I’d suggest all musicians have a look at and so I thought I’d just put together a quickfire list for you to get started with:
- There’s never enough information & you’re never an expert – Don’t just read this guide, have a look at other resources that are available to you and learn how to be a really good marketer, it’ll seriously help your career in music.
- There’s a load of other ways to generate traffic and views – Live stream you making music on Justin TV, Get Ads on target sites with BuySellAds and a load of others! – Find where your audience is and do off the cuff ideas to generate a load of traffic.
- Don’t let anything get to your head, you might get a million or even a couple million views on your music… but you can always grow your career and keep investing into more ventures.
There’s a few tips, and if you have any questions feel free to ask me here.
Chapter 5 – Conclusion
As a musician, the world of online is a very scary place and it’s made and broken even the best of artists. I wouldn’t take anything that “trolls” or “haters” say to heart, and if you can… Try to do a James Blunt on their asses! Use tactics and build relationships that maybe other people haven’t thought of and you’ll be able to grow your career a lot quicker than most.
If you can learn how to be a marketer as well as a musician, you’ll be able to succeed a lot better than most do.
- Find your Audience! and what they want (I use Subreddits)
- Don’t go all cray cray on Social Networking sites!
- Post only what your Audience want on Social Networking sites
- Hijack other Artists Followings with my Facebook PPC Hack
- Use alternative tactics to gain followings (Gaming is a good start for Music)
- Blog about anything but Music, grow your PERSONA rather than your Music