11 Music Marketing Strategies for 2021

April 27, 2021

The world of music marketing changes rapidly, what worked in 2019 did not necessarily work in 2020 and probably will not work in 2021. Finding ways to connect with your audience can become a headache. Do you want to know how to market your music in 2021? If so, these 11 music marketing strategies will help you.

1. Think about your branding

Before you promote your music, all of your communication elements need to go in the same direction. All material and aspect of your image should be aimed at promoting your music:

  • Press photos
  • The biography
  • EPK (electronic press kit)
  • Social networks
  • The website

2. Make your Electronic Press Kit

The press kit (also called a press book, a press kit, or EPK) is an essential pitching tool for musicians, very handy in music promotion. It brings together all the necessary elements when contacting media, music labels, music managers, bloggers, or curators. EPK allows everyone to better know your project, your career, your universe, and to decide whether they should accept your request, in particular for the promotion of your albums or your tours.

Creating the press kit is a job that should not be rushed if you want to expand your network and seize more opportunities. What you should put in your EPK?

Short biography

Try to briefly describe your music project as well as the current events, by adding both the informative and the intriguing facts about your music. If you're having trouble telling a story, ask someone else for help, as your bio says a lot about your project. Remember to mention your music style clearly, and compare it to a few similar projects. As for the biography’s length, make sure to propose several formats depending on your message receiver: a few lines, a paragraph, 3 paragraphs, and 5 paragraphs.

Music

Your music is the most important part of your EPK folder and that's why you should add it just below your bio. The manager, label, or other professional will seek to listen to at least one track that you have selected. Therefore, choose (only) your top three titles.

If you have trouble identifying them, ask your fanbase for feedback or observe the statistics of your titles (sales, streaming, YouTube, etc.). Be careful, don't make the mistake of sharing your entire discography, and especially your oldest songs. Add song link, whether on Youtube, Soundcloud, for download, or on streaming sites (you may use SmatLinks!)

Videos

Some media are much more likely to share your content if you have a promotional video.

You'll be much more likely to get live gigs on festivals if you have a video that perfectly captures one of your lives. Include some of your best videos in your press kit to present your project in its best form. If possible, vary the types of videos (interview, clip and live) so that there is something for everyone!

Recent press articles

As this is a press kit, you need to show that you are generating interest from the… press.

If possible, try to include articles or publications relating to your music that are related to the entity you are approaching (musical style, demography, region). List the media that mentioned you in the last 365 days (or more if needed), top quotes, and add links to full articles. It's a great way to show that your music project is already validated by other professionals, even if you start small and locally.

Notable facts

If you are on tour, have been nominated for an award, have performed at a reputable festival, or have been open for an important musical project, you should mention it. Anything that can earn points for your record should be included.

Contact information

Finally, add the contact information to you (phone and email). What’s more, you may include links to your social networks and your official website, so that the interested party can easily contact you or find out more about you

3. Is your digital presence in shape?

Before you release your music, you should have a coherent, attractive, and active digital presence. By saying “digital presence” we mean having social media accounts, a website, and a YouTube channel. Also, be present on social media!

Be part of Spotify for artists

Do you have a Spotify artist account? If you don't, create it! There is no better way to know your audience: how many people listen to you, where they are from, which playlists they are listening to. You can check if your listens are organic or if they listened to you through a created playlist. Create your Spotify account, so you can upload your songs directly to their playlists.

4. Use the power of social media

Nowadays, social media profiles (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc…) are the perfect complement or substitute for a website. Most artists and musical groups have an account on Instagram and Facebook, however, there are also other great platforms, like Twitter, TikTok, Soundcloud, or Pinterest. Social media marketing for musicians is an extremely important part of the whole digital marketing campaign.

Be remarkable, exceed expectations, and engage people with your creativity

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram are more than a digital business card or a place to share songs or music videos. They are indeed real places of meeting and exchange. Whether you are a musician, a rock band, a concert organizer, or any other professional in the world of music, you need to reach out to your audience.

There is therefore a good chance that a label manager or concert organizer will consult your Facebook page before offering you a contract. A good presence in social media with a large base of followers can thus reassure an organizer. If a band is successful in getting their audience excited on social media, this can be interpreted by some as a harbinger of the ability to ignite audiences in concert. Having a Facebook page and a Twitter profile is no guarantee of success. But it's a great way to reach potential listeners and fans that would otherwise be difficult to access.

Get attention and don’t lose it!

Visiting your social media profile isn’t worth it if there’s nothing there to see. So use your creativity to publish interesting content! On social networks, people want to have exclusive content. They want to share a part of your life. Make them feel like they have an inside view of your group. If you are using social media for the sole purpose of promoting the sale of your CDs, your followers may quickly turn away from you.

The content should be interactive and engage your fans. The more your followers react to your content, the more it will reach people to whom you may not otherwise have access.

Build your identity and nurture personal relationships with your fans. All the professionals in the field are also present on social media. So they can check your presence and get a feel for your ability to interact with an audience.

5. Create a Smart Link and share it

You must have heard of SmartLinks or fanlink. These allow you to create a landing page associated with a link that provides access to the different channels where your music is published. Our Smart Links service has an intuitive and simple interface. Thus, in less than half an hour you can create a profile and enter all the links to streaming platforms with your music. What’s more, our Smart Link feature is remarkable because it can also transfer your music from one streaming platform to another! Keep it all in one link, and you’ll save time. Once you have the link, it’s your job to share it on social networks or publish it where your fans can find it.

6. Create your music website

A very common mistake of beginning musicians is that they don’t have a website because they consider it unnecessary. It’s a big mistake! Your website is your portfolio, it’s that magical place where all your most valuable information is collected ready to be heard and shared with your possible future followers, so if you don't have it and you didn't have it in your plans, do it!

7. Start an email marketing campaign

The marketing carried through email (email marketing) is the perfect way to promote your music and test some new ideas.

The basics of a musician's mailing list

As we now live in a digitized global village, many marketing campaigns are run out via email. However, remember that your fans receive tons of emails. So when they open it, they don't read it in depth. Therefore, you must make it easy and fast for your fans to understand your message. Highlight links to streaming platforms or download links.

Also, remember to use Smart Links - which are easy to use and convenient (so that people can listen to something immediately and enjoy their sweet melodies without losing their time). Physical CD shipping is worth offering, as some people still have an attachment to this format.

How to market your music in 2021 when it comes to email campaigns? To encourage more people to subscribe to your mailing list, include exclusive content: pre-sale of tickets, special fans-only packages, bonuses, and behind-the-scenes videos. Always remember to satisfy your fans and take care of their interests.

Famous musicians using email marketing

Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams knows his fans don't go far without checking email. He ran an email marketing campaign to present his new single 'I Do Not Feel Like Being Good', and to bring out other tracks and upcoming tour dates.

Foo Fighters need no introduction. They are an iconic American rock band. When their new album and HBO special 'Sonic Highways premiered, they ran an email marketing campaign with the trailer and information to attract the attention of all their fans.

These are the best places to build your mailing list:

  • On your website
  • Via Bandcamp or other social media site
  • Offline, at concerts
  • Through existing albums and merchandising

Promote your music with paid advertising

Google Ads, Facebook Business Manager, and YouTube Ads are some of the tools that the web offers you to attract 100% organic traffic. Thus, it’s wise to plan some budget and start using these tools for digital music marketing.

8. Be present in podcasts

Podcast recording is very much in vogue! Whether you record one by yourself or are invited to one, it's a hot topic! Especially if you can upload it to Spotify, a platform that is making a gigantic investment for the generation of this type of content because they already are a sure hit.

9. Playlists

The artists have to put in a lot of effort so that their songs are heard. Succeeding in the music industry has never been easy, but music streaming has changed some of the rules of the game. Before, the radio was the loudspeaker to introduce new singers, now lists like Discovery Weekly or Today's Top Hits are the ways to make musicians known. But it’s not easy to get there.

Even though there are currently many streaming platforms besides Spotify, such as Apple Music, Amazon Music, and YouTube, the competition is increasing. Many of the marketing strategies for artists run by record labels or marketing companies are the same, but playlists have found their way into this sector. However, industry members point out that playlists are just one part of a long-term strategy to make a singer's work visible.

Spotify and Apple Music offer their users an opportunity to become playlist curators. This way, fans can curate their favorite music, and have a real influence on promoting not known bands and indie artists. For musicians who are taking the first steps in their journey, being on these playlists can be a huge thing. But first thing’s first, if you want to add your song to a curated playlist, you must first build your artist’s profile on music streaming platforms, upload photos, and make everything look neat.

You are going to use your playlists to achieve 3 things:

  • To be discovered by new (potential) fans.
  • Keep fans connected with you.
  • Be a part of the whole music genre, together with artists that inspire you

If your music is already added to some playlists, don’t forget about proper promotion strategies. Share links to streaming platforms - on your website, social media profiles, in emails. Keep your fans updated and show them, where they can find your music. They may even add these playlists to their favorites!

Today, Spotify is filled to the brim with passionate music curators, who create their playlists with decent follower counts. Your job is to find these people, contact them, and send them your newest release. Just remember to say a few words about loving their playlist, and give them a small idea about your project, and why it would be a perfect match to their playlist.

Always be gentle and polite and wait for a response.

10. Pitch your music

Here’s some truth: musicians have to see themselves not just as tortured souls who put their hearts on their sleeves and guitar picks, but salesmen! Remember that every day a new artist is born and a new single (or song) is released. For this reason, you must be very attentive to all the existing promotional tools to create a strategy that helps you launch your music successfully.

And even if you inform your fans on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube about your new music, it may be not enough to become popular like your favorite artists. So, what more should you do? The answer is simple - start pitching your music! Record labels, music curators, music managers, event managers, music bloggers, websites - these are the places to which you can pitch. For example, send them your EPK and add a few words to grab their attention.

Contact music bloggers

Do the test and try it again and again. Find who are the music bloggers with the most followers in your country and send them your product, for example in a form of EPK. Try it again and again! Don’t get tired. Eventually, it will pay off.

11. Collaborate with other musicians

If you are one of those who prefer another way to make yourself known, we tell you that what never fails is to organize gigs with other musicians to "exchange followers" and thus achieve more reach. It goes without saying that if the musicians with whom you organize an event of this style are more recognized, much better.

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