Much to the chagrin of most musicians, marketing often takes up almost as much time as the creative process itself. For musicians who aren't on a major label and don't have access to a dedicated marketing team, marketing management is a vital skill to develop. But marketing your music doesn't have to be a headache-inducing endeavor – there are lots of ways to streamline the process and make it easier to get your work in front of people who want to hear it. Check out these ten steps to better music marketing.
Know Your Core Demographic
Knowing who you're marketing to is key. Know the kinds of people that listen to your genre(s) of music – where they go, what they do, what they like, where they're from. Knowing your audience will help you better target your marketing – and in turn will help you sell more music and book more shows.
Choose a Platform
Social media marketing has become an incredibly important part of selling and promoting just about anything, and choosing a social media management platform can help you streamline and manage your social media posts – not to mention save you lots of time. Take a little time to research relevant social media platforms as well as available platforms for social media management, and choose carefully in accordance with your needs and budget.
Occasionally Review Analytics
Analytics show you how frequently your social media posts are viewed and which ones are performing the best. Reviewing social media analytics will help you get better at marketing by showing you what kind of posts are performing bests and even which times of day your posts tend to do well.
What's Paying Off?
Do your video posts perform well? What about pictures and text posts? Good marketing generally translates into sales and opportunities, so pay close attention to what's getting the most responses, particularly to would-be music buyers and promoters.
Regularly Release New Material
While some bands go years between albums, you should at least occasionally show your audience what you're working on. Post some audio tracks you're working on, photos from the studio, or pics of your new instrumental setup – anything that gives your audience the inside track on your process is good to share.
Engage With Your Audience
If you get comments or messages, don't ignore them – respond to them as much as you possibly can. If you get a lot of these – and we'll talk about this next – gather up common questions and comments and address them in Q+A sessions, whether you do static videos or livestreams. An audience that feels listened to is going to keep listening.
Q+A sessions can be lots of fun for your audience. Whether you do one a month or one a year, bands with engaged followings usually get a great response to them. As mentioned before, collect questions via comments or messages, and encourage fans to view the Q+A sessions or participate in the livestream. Livestreams are becoming super popular among creators, so see if it works for you.
Post Shareable Content
The best marketing relies on people discussing what you're doing with one another. By posting highly shareable content – especially videos and photos – you're more likely to get post shares and video clicks, and, ultimately, more fans.
Making regular posts across social media platforms and blogging sites is one of the best ways to keep people regularly engaged. Posts daily or every few days are a great bet, and this is one area you can use your analytics data – see when the most people are viewing posts and schedule them via your SM management platform for around those times.
While daily posts are probably just fine, a dozen posts a day will probably drive people away. It's a crowded marketplace, to be sure, but don't be the screaming harpy. Keep your posts regular but not overfrequent, and keep them on point.
Most musicians don't want to spend their time on marketing, but it's especially important for indie artists of all stripes to gain knowledge of this area. Knowing how to market means you might not have to do it yourself for too long – because getting your music in front of the right people is the path to every musician's success