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.