Music is the same kind of business as any other, and it too needs marketing. But it has its specifics. Music cannot be touched or used in the usual sense of the word. The benefit to the client of music is in the emotions and impressions. So the promotion of musicians is built on special principles. In this article, we’ll look at how to promote music on and off the Internet.
Music Strategy and Branding
Any music will find its listeners – the question is how many. What’s important here is style. It is largely determined by standard marketing things: the target audience, promotion channels, geography. Rap and pop music is more popular with the youth, so this material should be promoted in one venue. For jazz, with its older audience channels, will be different. That determines the general strategy: where and how to promote their music.
The band or performer is a brand. Accordingly, they have the same brand components as in any business. Therefore, to increase recognition and credibility, the musician’s brand needs to be developed in the same way. For example, the visual identity must match the style and resonate with the audience. So metal artists usually have gloomy logos, while pop artists have bright and pleasant ones. Also, this includes appearance. It would be strange to see a band on stage chopping hardcore but the participants are dressed in austere suits.
A trademark is the name of the performer or the name of the group. Sometimes fans go to the band’s concert even after the lineup has completely changed – this is the power of the brand.
Tools and channels
After developing your brand and strategy, it’s time to choose your promotion channels. There are a lot of tools and channels: radio, streaming services, special sites for promoting musicians, social networks, and much more.
It may be considered that a business does not exist if it is not present on social networks. And music is no exception. That said, you have to take very serious care of the content. You will not be able to post only new tracks, because they do not come out every day. But you can post photos and videos from tours, backstages from performances and shooting music videos, and work at the studio.
Having musical material and high-quality content, you can successfully promote your project: advertise music through contextual and targeted advertising, and make arrangements for placements in thematic communities with the right audience. The same works for YouTube (and even for TikTok), where you can post on themed channels or bloggers with the right audience.
Many people use streaming services, paying per subscription rather than per track. It’s simple and efficient, but quite expensive: hosting costs thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars.
Getting on the radio is more difficult. To promote a song through radio, you need high-quality material that accurately hits the station’s audience.
Getting to a well-known festival is almost a 100% guarantee of being heard. Even if the artist is not placed on the main stage, he will be heard and seen by thousands of potential audience members. You only need to get into the format of the festival and, again, have a certain level of professionalism and fame.
A manager or agent is a person who professionally handles all the “behind the scenes” work of a project. He knows how to promote a song, organize a tour, negotiate with a label, and make you artist pr.
Usually, managers work for a percentage of performance fees and sales. The percentage varies depending on the function: managers charge an average of 10% for organizing concerts and 20-40% for the full cycle. The latter usually assemble and maintain at their own expense a team that provides targeting, design, photography, video, and social networking. If the project does not have a powerful label, you will also need a tour manager who will accompany the team on departures and help with the organization. Sometimes concert managers take on this function.
It is worth looking for a manager when an artist has a level of popularity that provides at least 10-20 concerts a year. A manager is unlikely to work with a very “green” performer, so you must first seek recognition on your own.
You can find an agent in thematic communities, on forums and conferences, or simply by posting a vacancy. Or you can contact a promotional agency that promotes artists. They almost always specialize in certain niches: classical music, pop, rock, electronics, young artists.
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