How To Market Your Music- Music Promotion 101- Playlist King Blog

Music Marketing Tips: Concentrating Efforts

Music Promotion

In the last artist tip newsletter, we discussed strategy. This time we will expand on that. Measurable goals and concentration of efforts will get you a long way. Think and act like you are a record label. We have a finite budget. Where should we spend? Read more about how to think about music marketing properly.

If you are new to the artist game.. read this. if not, skip to the fourth paragraph.  It’s time to realize that some artists are doing well for one reason. You might be better artists than they are. Think Kodak Black… he might be absolutely terrible as far as lyrical ability goes, but he is signed to Atlantic Records.

How did he do so well? Two components- Luck, and strategy. He took his work seriously and invested in himself. Invested in his product and marketing. Those who think like business people have a much better chance of making it big-time in the music industry. 

Concentration of efforts: you cannot be scattered and be succesful. Good managers are organized. If you are a single act artist without professional management: you are your own manager

Learn about the best areas to focus on in music marketing. Unless you have money falling from the sky, you won’t be able to promote a video, your Spotify, have billboards (get yours here) along highways, and still have money to pay the bills all at the same time. 

A little money here and there into different areas may seem like a good idea. But it’s not. Figure out where to best allocate your money, and what then measure the results of it. A good metric would be ‘Did this spending help get me farther toward my short term goal?’

Why we advocate Spotify: Spotify allows measurable results. It’s the best platform (in our opinion) for growth of an artist, and furthermore, allows for royalties in return. We also know that is has a higher conversion rate than other forms of music advertising. Think about it: your links are all right on your artist page, you are given room for a professional bio (your fans get to know you), and they are already ON SPOTIFY LOOKING FOR MUSIC! Where can you find a better platform as an artist? (Get organic playlist promotion here)

From our experience: videos are very costly, and unless you already have a big fan base, can result in very little gain. Once you get signed, leave it to the label to pay and market it.

Recap: pick one or two areas where you are going to spend, and make sure you do it well. It takes money to make money. Do not expect profit right away, but keep working toward your goals, and keep growing. Numbers are power! 

Music Marketing Strategy: Spending

How to maximize your music marketing campaign

Defining goals is of the most importance to an artist. It is extremely important to know the current digital marketing landscape, and if you aren’t a professional, you will need assistance. You need to realize that all of these other artists in your genre are your competitors. Sure the pot is large, and everyone can have a little slice, but think about this- when it comes down to record label rosters, there are many interviews, and very few slots.

It takes money to make money. Remember hearing that? It’s true. Very few artists have an abundance of capital lying around, but every spare dollar that you make, should be invested right back into the business (your music).

Lets prioritize the areas of spending through a basic cost-benefit analysis- Areas that a musician will likely spend during their initial growth stages (pre record deal) :

  • Production & equipment
  • Marketing
  • Touring

Lets try to clear up a few things- Your music all depends on it’s quality. If you don’t have a great, professionally packaged product, it won’t sell. Luckily, it doesn’t take much to get a high quality recording. A decent microphone, Interface, and DAW should do the trick, if you have a fairly well acoustically treated room. Mixing and mastering should be professionally done, but great engineers can be hired for a few hundred dollars (versus spending thousands at top studios). Tip: Record at home and send out to the engineer for mixing to save money. Make sure all your takes are exactly how you want it, as sending things back and forth (revisions) often add extra costs.

Now that you have this beautifully done single/album, you plan on releasing it. It won’t do a bit of good if no one hears it, so this is quite possibly the most important element next to making the music. This is where we are going to get more granular.

Some possible methods of marketing are: Banner Advertisements, Editorial PR, Playlist Promotion, Newsletter Campaigns, Influencer Marketing, Search Optimization, Music Videos and promotion, TV/billboard ads and more.

So now start thinking: what is going to get me the most benefit (refer to goals) for my buck. This metric could be measured in clicks, likes, streams, follows, downloads, shows, whatever your goal may be. Out of those prior examples, there are some which are more complex than others.

Banner ads often get you a good return, the cons are you may not have these set up in the right places, and may be targeting the wrong audience. If you do not have experience doing this, it may be hard to do, and you may need a graphic designer to format your ads

Editorials can be a hit or miss. Depending on which sites/magazines you land in, you can end up paying a fortune, and not get much of a return, unless you work with Music marketing professionals that know how to get you prime placement, and which sources are a good fit.

Playlist Promotion (our favorite) gives you returns quickly. It is measurable how much of a return you can get, and builds buzz and proof right away. It is a direct method of connecting with possible fans, and provides royalties (return on investment directly)

Newsletters: every artist should have an email campaign set up. This is a reasonably inexpensive way to keep your fans updated directly, and every pro musician has one.

Influencer Marketing: Can be great if you know the right people, and if their audience is very similar to yours. This can also be very expensive, depending on what you are asking for. A post or story usually doesn’t do much good. An active campaign endorsed by a big celebrity may be beneficial.

Search Engine optimization can help when people are searching for your work on Google or other engines. Can be very costly and should be a later priority if you have capital to spare.

Videos– Usually a poor investment. There are so many to compete with, and platforms such as Youtube aren’t focused directly on music.

Touring can be quite expensive. Unless you are positive you can sell say, 100 t-shirts, it may not make sense to have a bunch of merchandise made (usually there are minimum orders). Travel is expensive but necessary. Even artists signed to major labels (not the Taylor Swift and Drake types) often find themselves packed in a low cost van.

Recap: Set your budget on priorities. A good rule is: Production as 1/4, marketing 2/4 (half your budget), and touring 1/4th.

Artist Tips

Artist tips – Tip Series on how to market your music

This will be a short post, but an important one nonetheless. We have a FREE artist tip series only available to our email subscribers. These are tips from music industry professionals, which encompasses numerous key areas that may help support our artists.

Some areas covered are: Music Marketing , Strategy , Music Business , Investment, Rights and Licensing , and Production

Sign up for our tip series newsletters here:

Music and Strategy

Where musicians fail

Have you ever thought about strategy when it comes to your music? If you did, that’s great. Now it’s time to perfect it.

Strategy is CRUCIAL to meeting your goals as an artist. Countless times we have spoken with artists, and asked them what their goal are. We often here “to get a record deal”. Next, we ask “what is your current strategy” and that is when many artists have a tough time responding. It is important to sit back and think about your music, and start to realize that MUSIC IS A BUSINESS. In any successful business, you need strategy in order to be successful.

You are selling a product. Don’t you want it to be top notch? Everything with your name on it has to be professional. You are selling yourself. How to get a great product? Investment. In order to differentiate your music from any average musician on the block, you need a crisp image, and a differentiated brand. Music quality depends on many factors- song structure, talent and practice, high quality recordings, and professional mix and masters, to mention a few factors. What you put in, is what you get out. Take the time and money to invest in your brand, and don’t seek profit or results right away, it almost never happens.

Start thinking about who you want your music to reach, what is your niche, and how you are going to get it in front of the right listeners. Releasing a song, and hoping it blows up, with no marketing plan is delusional.

Set some goals. Try to make them tangible. A healthy goal is “How do i get to 1000 fans”. Think: What is going to help me get where I want to be?

Investigate different methods of music marketing, finding out who your fans are, and how to tap into that fanbase. Spotify is a great platform, as you can start to see similar artists, and their fanbases that may also like your music. Visit our promotions page for help growing an audience Www.ThePlaylistKing.com/Promotion

We advocate, and focus on Spotify promotion, because we know that it has limitless untapped potential, and is one of the best methods of tapping into these potential fanbases.

In the next post, we will discuss playlists.

Music Promotion & What To Watch Out For

Many artists see sites offering “High Quality” streams being offered. “Buy 10,000 streams”. Be careful. These can hurt your music career and scam you out of hard earned money.

And what to look out for.Types of Music Marketing

Plainly stated, there are various methods out there to market your music. Touring and through merchandise, advertising on billboards, advertorial articles, Facebook ads, contests, giveaways, search engine optimization… the list goes on and on. But as an independent artist, you want something fast, effective, and relatively inexpensive. You want to reach listeners and to get your music heard, right away. If you can find a better strategy for gaining a fanbase than finding an audience then one that is currently listening to tunes, than you might be the best marketer of all time. Artists that know a thing or two about promoting their music know that there is no better place to be than online. Applications such as Spotify are the leading source of music-listeners, with over 207 million subscribers. The best part, is that a good portion of those potential fans can have your music right at their fingertips (and in their headphones too).

Music Promotion 101

  Navigating Streaming Promotions

  • Many music promotion sites offer options to purchase a given amount of streams. Don’t fall for it. There are penalties. There are two types of music promotion: Organic growth and, respectively “non-organic” computer generated plays, using bots. Organic growth relies on user interaction, meaning real people interacting and listening to music. Real growth is the type you want, in fact, simulated growth isn’t growth at all. Bots have been used to stream songs or albums numerous times, and do not offer any real human engagement or listeners. Stay away from sites that offer a certain amount of plays, or ones that mention “High quality streams”. It is very difficult to predict how much human-generated engagement is going to occur from any given form of advertisement or promotion. Why have people used bots? Because they want to see a ridiculous amount of plays overnight. This is only harmful to the user, which we will discuss in this article. 
  • Organic Growth & Playlists. Artists can achieve real growth by getting their music in front of real fans. Commonly, you may see artist posting their music on social media sites. While we encourage this, the reality is that the results are very poor, and most people won’t give your music a chance unless you have some great momentum already. The future of music promotion is through Playlists. Playlists are simply a collection of songs. Playlists can be shared, and on certain platforms, many people follow them. Artists can gain tremendous growth by getting on playlists, and now, and with the help of Playlist King, independent artists like yourself can get on playlists too. Playlists are completely organic and are generally compliant with your favorite platform’s terms of service- they created them for that purpose of providing a combination of songs and have many that are developed for the sole purpose of breaking new artists and songs.
Music Promotion 101
Music Promotion Playlist King
  • Reach

As commonly noted by advertising platforms such as Facebook Ads, there is a metric titled “Reach” that may pertain to playlists as well. The best way to describe reach is the size of a potential audience. For example, if there are 100,000 followers on a playlist, it has a reach of 100,000 potential listeners. This is an important figure to note, as many services utilize this figure, and for some companies, end up delivering numbers that upset their optimistic clients.

  • Repercussions of fake promotion (bots).  ‘Botting’ is against the terms of service for major streaming platforms, such as Spotify. It is extremely easy for major streaming platforms to detect botting, and they have repercussions against users who participate or hire bot based promotion companies as a service. These companies are protecting themselves from undeserved payouts in royalties, and have very smart technology implemented to analyze any spikes in streams. If caught botting, an artist’s music can be taken down, or even banned from using the platform permanently. There is also the possibility of getting sued by these major companies that have far better lawyers than the majority of labels, let alone artists can afford.
  •  Smarter Bots: Are Still Dumb. Be careful as many promotion sites claim to have organic traffic, but now have bots that crawl through playlists, boosting stats of listeners on it. Often, fake followers are bought or created, and then the computer program will simulate listeners coming from the playlist, exchanging IP addresses from all over the world. At the end of the day, platforms are generally very quick to catch on. Don’t jeopardize your music career, go organic.

Read more at: www.ThePlaylistKing.com/blog