You are about to release a single or an album and it can be very confusing as to how to go about it because you have no idea where to start from. Digital platforms are crowded and social media is becoming saturated due to the high volume of music released on a single day. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do about it except drop your own music.
Several artists have moved up the music industry ladder and built large fan bases with just one hit single. Armed with strategies, you can do the same for your music career. When you release your music, even if it's a single, you are establishing yourself as an artist in the music industry. Make sure you create a plan for your music release because it will definitely affect its performance long term.
Create A Marketing Plan.
Keep it in mind that you don't have to wait until the day before your release date to start working on a marketing plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. A pre-release campaign can go a long way to create a momentum for your music even before it is released. First thing first, do you have a release date? If the answer is No, then you have to set a feasible date that allows some room for adjustments.
Secondly, you need to ask yourself; What is the purpose of this marketing plan? Setting realistic goals that you can go after and accomplish is important. Not only is it good for your self-confidence, but you'll also get a lot more done. Realistic goals are goals you can plan, execute and have a deadline. These five steps can help you if you want to create a marketing plan:
Set Realistic Goals.
Like I said earlier, a marketing strategy is not complete without a clear goal(s). What exactly do you want to accomplish? Your goals should be:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Relevant
T - Timely
How do you figure it out? If this is your first hit, you can start by doing some market research on some artists that you follow or artists that release their music in the same genre as yours. If this is not your first, you can go back and do a survey on your previous release.
Know Your Audience.
If this is not your first music release, you can use insights from your digital platforms and social media to know your audience and identify your super fans. If this is your first single then you have a lot to do. You can use Feature.fm to get real-time audience insights for your music brand, or by checking out other artists in the same genre as you with artists.spotify.com or artists.apple.com With these insights you can find out their:
Other favorite artists they follow
Most visited social media platforms
Define Your Brand.
Artists tend to skip this part but this is very important in your music career. Defining your brand is not an easy task but it's something you must do if you want to attract fans.
But what exactly is a brand?
A brand is a visual impression of what you stand for. A brand goes beyond the logo, the artworks, or signature, and if you are looking to gain more fans then you need to create a brand for yourself. Branding is visual consistency in your style and identity. Building a brand is tough work, but don't let it discourage you from starting now.
Ask yourself, what are your core values? What should come to the mind of your audience when they see or hear your name? One way to find inspiration is to learn from the Pros, or your list of favorite musicians. Write down some of the reasons why you have come to love them as an artist, and how their music makes you feel, study them carefully then from there you can craft your own brand. Don't forget to always keep things simple.
You can also pull together artworks, logos or other visuals that inspire you so you can be able to create your own visuals or get a visual artist to assist you. You can take a look at our recommended visuals for your music release.
Decide On A Plan Of Action.
How many channels are you going to use to market your music? This is going to depend on where you can find your target audience. Are you going to send your music to radio stations or websites? Are you going to get a pre-save link or not? Are you going to get yourself a website or use your social media channels? Each social media channel has its own strength, so if you want to promote a music video, you know better to choose YouTube, Instagram or TikTok rather than Twitter. If you don't know what to do, you can check out feature.fm direct advertising features and a digital suite built specifically for music marketing.
Create A Budget.
Your music is a business and just like any new business, you should set a realistic budget that will work with your set goals and cover your action plans. Write down an estimate of what each step will cost you, in terms of money and your time. Feel free to remove things that might not be covered by your budget. As you gain more exposure and you begin to make money from your music, you can add more action plans to your list.
Create A List Of Promoters and Promotional Content.
Keep your relevant visuals/marketing materials ready beforehand. It could be videos and/or graphics that are used to help promote your release. Are you going to use radio promotion, social media, record pools, a music video, motion graphics, or a combination of tactics? Don't start and finish with cover art!
Also create a list of promoters. Promoters could be DJs, Radio Personalities, Bloggers, and influencers. These are people that promote music like yours and have a following that you want to tap into. Once your music is out, you'll want to reach out to these people professionally via email.
Promote your pre-save link. Use a platform like Feature.fm to get a pre-save link. If fans pre-save your music, they'll get it as soon as it releases. You can also use your pre-save link to collect emails, which could be another excellent way to connect with your fans.
Pick Your Distribution Methods
Music distribution is when you make your music available for listeners. You can distribute your music both digitally or physically. You need to decide if your music is going to be available for free, for streaming, or for purchase. Will it be available on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, Audiomack, or SoundCloud? Note that you can make it free on one platform and for sale on another.
You can make use of music distributor companies to get your music out there globally. They act as the middleman between you, the artist, and your fans, the listeners. Most distribution companies offer to register your music to protect your work and prevent others from misusing it for personal benefits. It is very important that you obtain the necessary licenses you need for your music. Music distribution depends on your budget and additional services you might need before you release that single. Start small and move up the ladder when you begin to gain solid ground in the music industry.
Update Your Online Presence
Update your social media, press kit, or website. Make sure your bio, display picture, and profile are updated. Now that you will be releasing new music people will definitely be checking out your profile. Take fresh photos for your press kit and of course your single.
Now that you have finally released that great new single, what's next? You have to keep the momentum of your music going. Decide if you are going to release another single or album or EP before the popularity dies. You can even capitalize on that to book gigs, get sponsorships and seek more press coverage. Don't forget to check back a week after your release date to view your insights and statistics. Take note of them. Like I said earlier you can use these insights to tweak your marketing plan for your next music.