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11 Powerful Music Marketing Secrets

11 Powerful Music Marketing Secrets

When it comes to music marketing secrets most musicians struggle to think of more than one or two.

Rockstars, songbirds, and backstage bosses making it all happen might be nailing it when it comes to churning out killer tracks or epic stage performances. But let’s face it, without a kick-butt marketing plan, even the most amazing tune could fall on deaf ears. So, let’s jump into some secrets that can give your music marketing game that much-needed boost. 🚀

We’ll break down many of the sections of this article with dedicated articles of their own. It’s a big subject.

11 Powerful Music Marketing Secrets
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Table of Contents

Music Marketing Secrets

Audience

Know Your Audience Like the Back of Your Hand​

The A word. Audience. The importance of understanding your audience is one of the biggest music marketing secrets. It is simply HUGE.

Before you dive into any strategy, you need to figure out exactly who it is that you’re trying to reach. Is your audience  up of emo teens, the festival-going 20-somethings, or the folks who love acoustic jams at coffee shops? Pinpoint your audience and tailor your message to them.

Audience Profiles

Getting really serious about music marketing, you will want to create audience profiles or avatars. These are summary sheets on who your audience are. Create a sheet for each key type of person in your audience. Such avatars are highly useful when it comes to developing your marketing strategy and for initial audience targeting with advertising. The idea is simple. Make life easy by advertising to the right people in the first place! As music marketing secrets go, it seems pretty obvious when you say it out loud.

Attention

Grab Their Attention - Get Noticed

Like audience, when it comes to music marketing secrets, attention is pretty fundamental. Getting noticed is often harder than it looks.

So many people want your attention. Advertisers. Social followers. TV shows. Games. Movies.

Controversy might get you noticed, however, you can’t effectively manage how far it goes or how it will be interpreted. You have to be very careful.

Take a second and imagine yourself a music listener. The very first step in becoming a fan of a band is noticing the band/artist. You notice their style, their image, their music. Up until that point they are background noise. Make no mistake. If you want your music to do something, anything, you first  have to be noticed

You have to stand out from the crowd. Get noticed. You can have the best music in the world, but if you have a bland, un-engaging image, you will not get visually noticed. If your music doesn’t stand out and is unengaging, it won’t get noticed.

It is true that the playing field is, in some ways, much more level than it ever was. We all have access to much more tools than we ever had before. It is possible to achieve great results with the aid of a few tools and a little knowledge. The more knowledge the better.

The trouble is that there are so many people clamouring for attention, getting noticed is harder than ever! Musicians are competing with so many other musicians, music producers and people who would love to be a singer but so far have only managed to “get this app” that makes them sound like a star, people doing covers of a song on a kazoo, people who got a keyboard last week, clips of them playing a game, a video capture of them reading Shakespeare, a video of paint drying. It’s a long list.

Data and Insights company Luminate stated that 120,000 new tracks are released every day on music streaming platforms. YouTube say that around 3.7 Million new videos are uploaded EVERY DAY!

Artist/Band - Songstuff Music Community Join

Getting attention relates to Discovery

Keep Their Attention

Sure, social media is a place to show off your new gear or post some behind-the-scenes snaps. But it’s also an amazing tool for connecting directly with your fans. Share snippets of upcoming songs, run contests, or even do Q&A sessions to engage your audience.

Connection

Attention is all about developing a connection with your audience. It’s a subtle but important part of your music marketing secrets. The quality of that connection is something that is worth investing in. It flows through from the words and feeling in your music, through your brand identity and messaging and how you directly connect with fans in any context.

Engagement

We all want to grow engagement. Engagement keeps our audiences interested in what we do. It maintains and develops our connection with our audience.

Each type of engagement might have a few recommended content ideas. Each content idea may have a few formats. So, gather together different content ideas and learn how to do different formats and identify the formats that really work for you.

Use Their Attention

Ok, you have their attention. What are you going to do with it?

This is where we direct people to do something. The industry calls this the “Call To Action” or CTA.

You could pitch them your music to buy, but they hardly know you. They might buy your song, but the chances are pretty low if this is their first encounter with you. They need to hear your music a few times before they might be persuaded to buy your song. You need to let your sound grow on them.

But, how do you know if they have heard you before? Do you know how many times they have heard your music?

The answer is often, you don’t know. Commonly artists use link trees to direct listeners to a number of places like:

  • Their artist channel
  • Their music website
  • A specific song or video

The trouble is, if you give people options they can stumble over the choice and risk them losing interest. Add to that, none of those choices has a way to contact that listener, no way to get them to encourage them to listen to more of your music. If you lose them now, you might never get them back!

We have their attention. Ideally we want them to do something, right now, that ensures we can keep in touch. 

This is when we direct them to join our mailing list (see below).

Where we don’t know if it is a  first encounter, we have to assume it is. Establish a firm way to communicate. Email is the strongest method of direct communication because you can push communication directly to a specific individual. Social followers are

Social Media Isn't Just for Selfies

The next of the music marketing secrets is in some ways pretty obvious. Social media. 

Sure, social media is a place to show off your new gear or post some behind-the-scenes snaps. But it’s also an amazing tool for connecting directly with your fans. Share snippets of upcoming songs, run contests, or even do Q&A sessions to engage your audience.

Use social media to get attention and to keep attention via engagement, and at a first level, direct attention.

For musicians, social media is way more than a place to post their pictures. They are places full of activity. Full of potential listeners. Places where artists can tell stories, engage with their fans, and reach new audiences. By being creative and consistent, artists can turn their social media profiles into powerful tools for their music career.

Email Lists Are Your Secret Weapon

You might think email is ancient, an antiquated tool, but it’s actually one of the most direct ways to engage with fans. It remains one of the most important music marketing secrets. Once you have started building it, it will become your most important single asset. Not only that but when used effectively, you can engage with the right person, with the right message, at the right time.

It is worth reminding yourself that every person on your email list has *chosen* to be there, meaning they’re already invested in you! Send out exclusive content or early-bird ticket sales to make your followers feel like VIPs.

Email lists are primarily used for engagement, including nurturing, and for directing attention. They can be beneficial for many sales and marketing activities.

Emails offer an intimate and direct connection to your fans. If you are smart your email list can become a powerful tool. Your mailing list is not just for promotions. It is for building a loyal fan base that naturally grows with you as you travel on your musical journey.

Playlists Are the New Radio

You know how some songs just blow up because they’re played non-stop on the radio? The same can happen with playlists. Playlists are the modern equivalent of radio airplay. Try to get your music featured on popular Spotify playlists or ones that are trending in your genre. A little exposure goes a long way.

Radio and playlists feature strongly in getting attention/discovery. It is also useful, to a degree, for keeping attention. Beyond that, radio and playlists massively reinforce how much the listener imprints by repeated exposure to your music. In other words, people hear your song several times and it increases the strength of the reaction your music, which makes playlists essential for reaching new audiences and boosting your music’s exposure.

Playlists are incredibly powerful tools for music promotion. They offer you a way to reach a global audience, improve the chances of your music being discovered, and make enough to make a significant difference to your streaming numbers. When you strategically leverage playlists, you can amplify the reach of your music and develop new ways to grow your audience.

Partnerships = Growth

Partnerships in the music industry can be a game-changer. They open doors to new opportunities and to new audiences.

You scratch my back; I’ll scratch yours. Collab with other musicians, brands, or even local businesses that align with your vibe. It’s a win-win situation where both parties get to tap into each other’s audiences. The influence of other artists help you by introducing you to their audience and vice versa.

If you do the right partnerships in the right way they can be an ideal strategy for growth. As mentioned earlier, partnerships allow you to tap into new audiences, resources, and ideas. Fundamentally you need to find partners who align with your brand identity. It is also important that both parties will benefit from the relationship. By having strongly aligned goals and activities, partnerships can lead to creative results and a boost to the reach of all involved.

Merch Isn't Just Swag

Sure, merch like tees and caps is cool, but it’s also another income stream and a marketing tool. Fans sporting your merch become walking billboards, promoting your music wherever they go. So get creative and offer merch that stands out.

In the music industry, merchandise is much more than just additional income. Merch is a vehicle to strengthen the bond with your fans. It extends your brand, adds detail to your artistic expression. If you do it the right way, merch can become fully integrated with your musical identity. Merch helps you  nurture a deeper bond with your audience and it opens up new channels for engagement and growth. It increases brand loyalty and the overall brand identity. 

Be a Storyteller

People love stories, and your music has one. Maybe you wrote a song in the depths of heartbreak or amidst a euphoric journey. Share that story. It adds another layer to your music and helps fans connect on a deeper level.

Storytelling in music is a powerful tool. It goes beyond the act of just listening to a song; it invites your audience into your world. When you master the art of storytelling your music will benefit as your story telling skills filter through to your songs, but that isn’t all. You will also build a deeper, longer lasting relationship with your fans.

Video Content Is King

This can’t be emphasized enough. Whether it’s a music video, a vlog from your latest tour, or a short clip talking about your songwriting process—video engages people like nothing else. 

I won’t go into all the reasons here, however we all want to grow engagement. Each type of engagement might have a few recommended content ideas. Each content idea may have a few formats. So, gather together different content ideas and learn how to do different formats and identify the formats that really work for you.

YouTube is now the number one discovery platform for music. That can’t be ignored.

 Platforms like YouTube are also a great way to reach new fans who might not find you otherwise. YouTube is the number one discovery platform. For artists, it is great for finding your audience and for increasing how much the listener imprints on your music.

Reviews and Press Matter

Never underestimate the power of a good review or a feature in a popular music blog. Reach out to journalists or bloggers in your genre, send them your press kit, and offer to do interviews. The more the media talks about you, the more credibility and attention you gain. Press is mainly useful for discovery/getting attention and for keeping attention. It also helps the band brand imprint.

Press and reviews are vital elements in the music marketing mix. They give you credibility, validation and a heightened level of visibility in a crowded market. By actively engaging with the press and using reviews effectively, you can significantly boost your profile and reach in the music industry.

Analytics Aren't Just Numbers

Data might seem boring, but it can tell you so much about who’s listening to your music and where they’re from. Use analytics to fine-tune your marketing strategies and to figure out what’s working and what needs to go. It can save you a lot of wasted ad budget. It can save your music as a business. Full stop.

When you place an ad on a platform like Facebook your ad is placed on specific pages. You might have more than one version of an ad too. For example you might have more than one graphic ad, you might have a video ad too. It cost money or time to produce each ad type. Through analytics you might find 20% of your ad clicks came from the graphic ads, and the rest came from your video but only 10% of those graphic ad clicks resulted in a sign up for your mailing list.

Meanwhile 80% of your ad clicks came from your video and 80% of those resulted in signing up for your video. If your ad budget had been divided evenly between your 2 graphic ads and your video ad, you would be better directing your ad budget entirely towards video because a far higher percentage of your mailing list sign ups came from your video ad displays.

In fact, for 1000 ad displays, if the ads cost the same, then 2/3 of your ads (666 displays) went on graphic ads and 1/3 (333 displays) went on video ads. If we had 100 clicks overall, 20 came from graphic ads and 80 came from your video ad. That is bad enough, but 2 mailing list sign ups were generated by 666 ad displays, and 64 mailing list sign ups were generated by 333 video ad displays. If it cost $0.20 per display, then it cost you $66.60 per mailing list sign up via graphic ad and $1 per mailing list sign up using video ads.

Analytics can be much, much more useful than this

That's A Wrap

So there it is, folks—11 juicy music marketing secrets that can propel your music marketing to new heights. Now go on, implement these bad boys into your plan and watch your fanbase grow like never before!

Keep on rocking! 🤘

Related Articles

Did you find “11 Powerful Music Marketing Secrets” useful? Do you want to find out more about the music business? If so, you can find articles and tutorials on our Music Industry Articles page.

You might be interested in our article “Know Your Audience”.

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To help you to understand specific terms, take a look at our Music Glossary. It has extensive descriptions of music technology terms and concepts. It also contains entries about music theory and terms from across the music industry including music marketing and music promotion.

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