When it comes to promoting music online, there are far too many channels, networks, forums, platforms, apps and communities for musicians to be involved with to be present on them all.
So rather than attempt the impossible, you should focus your efforts on a handful that are likely to bare the most fruit.
How are you to know which platforms are most likely to lead to success? Well, there’s no one answer, and trial and error will still most certainly be involved. But there are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you identify your best options:
- Who are your ideal fans?
- Where do they spend their time online?
- Where do you find similar artists (even far bigger acts within your genre) spending most of their time actively engaging with their audience online?
- What type of content are they focused on (i.e. Videos, photos, articles/ blogs, etc.)
Answering these simple questions is a great way to get started. Once you’ve made it to this point, you’ll want to explore the different platforms/properties available to you. These can be broken into 4 separate categories, each with a unique purpose:
While social networks are great, they are essentially rented, not owned. If Twitter suddenly ceases to exist, all of your followers go with it.
For this simple reason, you should always start with the channels you can call your own. Make sure these act as the hub for your fans to know they can always find the most up to date information about you.
1 1. Website
This should always be priority #1 (and we’re not just saying that to toot our own horns). An official website gives your fans a place online where they know they can find you, no matter which social networks come and go.
2 2. Mailing list
Email is still the best way to reach your fans when they need to be reached. Unlike most social networks that 1) use an algorithm to determine what content gets delivered to fans (hint: your content may not get seen!) and 2) require a fan to be present on the social network at or around the time of you posting, your email is guaranteed to land in the inbox of your fans. A regular monthly newsletter is a great way to keep your die-hard fans informed about all things going on with you and your band.
3 3. Blog
Speaking of all things going on with you and your band, a blog is a great way to offer a regular, longer-form glimpse into your world. Recording / touring diaries, lyrics, album reviews, personal entries about what makes you feel joy, anger, sadness, etc. For fans interested in connecting with you, or learning more about the creative process behind their favorite music, a blog is a great resource to own. Contact us if you need one.
4 4. Facebook
Not much needs to be said here other than it’s by far the biggest social network, and often seen as the standard for where you should be online. However, Facebook’s algorithm used to determine which content will be seen by fans has been detrimental to the effectiveness of the platform (the average visibility of a post to your page is likely between 5 – 10% of your total fan base). You do have the option to pay for your posts to be seen by more fans, but keep this all in mind as you determine which platforms to spend the majority of your time.
5 5. Twitter
Around for almost as long as Facebook, but still trying to truly find its way in the world of social networking, Twitter is a jack of all trades for news in real time. Depending on what kind of news your fans want, Twitter could be a great way to post set lists in real time, thoughts and rants contributing to relevant trending topics around the world using hashtags, question and answer sessions with fans, and more.
6 6. Instagram
Owned by Facebook, Instagram is the standard for easy photo sharing. Instagram is a great way for you to spice up your content on Facebook and Twitter with photos and videos by posting your photos to all 3 channels at once. Instagram also has other apps such as Boomerang, Layout and Hyperlapse that allow you to create unique and inventive content out of your every-day photos / videos.
7 7. Snapchat
Snapchat has become the biggest ‘new kid on the block’ with a focus on storytelling through short, timed photos / videos. Oh, and the filters. The latter has become a huge focus for the platform, and has led to some highly unique marketing opportunities.
Now, on the other hand, there are some platforms don’t require active engagement. There are many that can act as a channel for you to amplify your music, videos, news, and tour dates to ensure that you’re out in front of your own fans, and new potential fans, when it matters most.
8 8. Streaming Music
Essentially a requirement with the slow death of album sales, getting your music on streaming music platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, YouTube Red, etc. is the best way to make sure your fans can hear your music when they want to. You’ll get some royalties from this, but ideally the real money comes when your fans see you on tour, buy your merch, etc.
9 9. YouTube
Speaking of YouTube, this is a great way to amplify your music. It is, to this day, still the #1 streaming music service on the internet. Not only is it a great opportunity for new fans to find you, but it’s also one of the easiest ways for fans to share your music on other social networks, leading to a greatly expanded reach beyond your core fan base.
10 10. Blogs
No not your own blog, but other people’s blogs can be another great opportunity to reach new fans. Seeking opportunities for music reviews, interviews, guest blogging, etc. is a good start. Take a look at blogs that are featuring other similar artists (ideally your artists that match your size first – don’t go reaching out to NPR to review your first-ever single because you have a similar sound).
11 11. SoundCloud
Similar to YouTube, SoundCloud offers an incredibly easy way for fans to share streaming audio of your music on most platforms. There is also quite a large community of regular users and curators on the platform, so including your music here could be a good way for your music to gain newfound visibility.
Having mentioned all the above possible ways to promote your songs online, we’d encourage you to make good use of them, as these methods when applied can drastically curb copyright infringements, thereby allowing artistes to make more profits off their intellectual properties.
We at TM also assist talented upcoming acts to get their creatives heard and seen for free via our blogging platforms. For more details, Click Here.