What works, what doesn’t work in music marketing? The answer to this is often subjective because there are different target groups and countless possibilities for individual marketing. Nevertheless, aside from getting the services of the best digital marketing Manchester has, the following strategies are universally applicable. Also, but not only as an emergency plan in a crisis.
1. Content remains king and entertainment becomes more important
Point 1 is rather obvious: As in previous years, good content on social media is almost mandatory. Imagine a potential fan listening to your music somewhere, reading your name in an ad or on a flyer. He visits your Instagram or Facebook account but finds there only unsightly, shaky rehearsal room pictures that are months old or even worse: advertising, advertising, advertising.
He doesn’t tend to become a new follower, because nowadays we follow bands and artists not to miss any news, but to connect with the respective artist. That’s why it’s important that your newsfeeds and stories are interesting to outsiders.
2. Frequent posting is desirable again
In general, more frequent posting will increase again. Where not even two years ago it was said that you are not allowed to post on Facebook several times a day, because otherwise, one post steals the reach of the other, it will soon probably be said again: Fire free! This is due to the fact that Facebook and Instagram are experimenting with abolishing the Like function for posts. The reasons for this are probably rather controversial. Superficially, it is about protecting young people from getting involved in status battles over the most popular images and thus becoming psychologically stressed. For the platforms, however, there is the decisive advantage that users are encouraged to post more, even several times a day.
3. More text and statements in posts and posts
How much text you can put in a social media post changes again and again. With ads and posts, the tendency is to increase to more text (not in the image, but in the actual post). In general, however, this also has to do with the trend that fans really want to get to know their artists.
So in the corona year, don’t be afraid to write a few more lyrics, for example, to tell you in detail about your songs.
4. Be careful with free online streams
Nothing is currently as trendy as online streams, split-screen home-made videos and the like. You can jump on this bandwagon, but please be careful not to be authentic and not to sell yourself below value.
Those who are less well-known, do not headline festivals, and perhaps have 10k followers can and should make an effort to stay in the conversation by revealing a little, but not too much, about themselves. Streaming events from magazines and other organizers are basically a cool thing, but often don’t promise a lot of hits on social media. I recommend that you create your own stream on Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube, which is exclusive to your fans. Do not make it too long, a maximum of 30 minutes, and be creative and remain high quality.
5. Tell your (Corona) story
Like everyone else, you as a musician are currently very hard hit by the crisis. Talk to your fans, but also to the media about it. You can also keep your band in the race by telling your story in interviews with the press or on your own blog. These can be tour memories or strokes of fate for your career through the crisis.
Everyone has something to say – you just have to figure out what that is!
6. Give new media like TikTok an early chance
Point 4 contains the very bold statement that we need to turn to new social media. I’ve already experimented a bit with TikTok – admittedly a platform whose meaning and purpose are not quite clear to me yet: The audience is obviously very young and largely American. The platform shows short videos, mostly funny ones, that appear in masses in a feed.
But there are also opportunities here. Like Instagram used to be, the organic reach on TikTok is still immensely high and a video you upload reaches quite a lot of people. There are also features such as linking directly to the Instagram account. Especially if you make “Newschool” music, you could pick up new fans with some cool and funny videos!
7. Retargeting is the order of the day
As in recent years, you won’t get much further on social media if you don’t run ads. Facebook, for example, serves almost exclusively as an advertising platform. But social ads are not a bad thing, because there are now many ways to run good campaigns without spending thousands of euros.
In my opinion, the most important trend in the placement of ads will be retargeting. People who have already interacted with your content (for example, from other ads) need to be approached repeatedly to turn them into fans/buyers/streamers.
ALSO READ: Collaborating on Creating Music Online
8. Authenticity before “label speak”
Let’s finally leave social media on this list. This tip is rather general and applies to almost everything you do: Authenticity counts more than professionalism, especially with young audiences.
I see it with small bands that are on the rise, as well as with old hands: Hardly anyone presents themselves to the outside world in a press release style. Whether in social media posts, in interviews, on website texts, or at events: remains authentic.
9. Micromarketing is becoming increasingly important
As you can see, you have to think much more from the point of view of the fan/buyer/concertgoer in your marketing and PR strategies. Ask yourself: what does the audience want? Why is the audience interested in me? Try to start on a small scale. This can be a response to a private message or a comment. This can be a photo at the merch stand. A reaction to a shared song.
Many musicians also forget that they can define demographic and geographic marketing goals. Based on record sales, concert visits, and Spotify streams, you can quickly determine where your fans actually live and how old they are. If this is how your true fans emerge, then focus on this group to make them more loyal and expand at the same time!
10. Funding and assistance are no longer embarrassing
So-called “true” musicians like to demonize subsidies such as the Initiative Musik. But if you have a band with a vision and a concrete plan to conquer the music landscape, you should not be ashamed to apply for and accept subsidies in the form of cash grants these days.
Musicians are paid poorly, studios, etc. are becoming more and more expensive, and record deal advances are becoming increasingly rare. So be open to it if you let yourself be supported by the Initiative Musik or other newcomer funding.
11. Spotify is platform number 1, but streaming numbers are not the most important thing
It’s all about streams, isn’t it? As an organizer, booker, and PR manager, I actually look at the streaming numbers of the bands that apply to me. But here you have to pay close attention to whether Spotify (as an example for the other streaming services, but Spotify is the largest) is actually your platform.
Streaming, in my opinion, is a great thing for young artists to spread their music. The payment is negligible if you don’t have a lot of streams, but uploading to Spotify is now nothing but expensive. If you don’t have a label and distribution, which I would still recommend, you can use various services to manage your entire band on Spotify.
12. PR and online promo displace physical sales but don’t make them obsolete
Everyone has now noticed that the physical distribution of records is declining. Online promo has to be used because flyers and posters at concerts and in trendy shops are simply no longer enough. In many places, PR campaigns are overtaking the competencies of music labels, which are already working with agencies themselves.
As a musician, you, therefore, have to think about what you want and what you need. For example, for an EP whose songs are to be released individually as singles, the search for a label may not be worthwhile. A small self-distribution for the merch stand at live concerts may make more sense, coupled with a good PR campaign that you set up yourself or with an agency!
13. Originality in playlist pitches
Briefly back to Spotify & Co.: Since Spotify curators are always easier to find and the distribution for streaming services is also affordable for artists, as I said, everything is rushing into the playlists. In order to stand out from the crowd here, you should be creative, but also decisive in your so-called pitch. When you apply for a playlist, you need a few bullet points that show what makes your music and your band particularly worth listening to and relevant.
In the future, it is important to get more and more creative, perhaps also to look left and right at playlists that may not have so much to do with your music on the surface, but have a similar message.
14. Homepage becomes important again
The last point is also obvious again because actually not only since this year relevant. For heaven’s sake, get a homepage. You can see it with bands, labels, and agencies: “owned media” is slowly but steadily replacing large portals. Where you had to have everything bundled on Facebook in recent years because you wanted to retrieve information quickly and easily, now the trend is coming back more and more to stay longer on the profiles or homepages of the artists.
With a good homepage you also protect yourself from a possible catastrophe: Due to data protection, lack of reach, or paid functions, it is not entirely unrealistic that the most used social media so far will no longer be attractive for you or your fans at some point. With a nice homepage where everything can be found, you can at least continue to exist online. In addition, a homepage also radiates a degree of professional discipline, which plays into your cards when applying to labels or festivals!