The music industry has never been more crowded. Millions of artists are in constant competition for the attention of listeners worldwide. For that reason, promoting your music online can be incredibly difficult.

With that in mind, we decided to write this small guide on how to promote your music online, based on our experience working closely alongside artists and record labels.

Regardless of your current position within the industry, we’re certain that some or all of these strategies will work for you.

1.List your music on multiple streaming services

Music streaming has seen rapid growth in the last few years, with recent stats showing over 30 million people have at least one streaming account.

Online streaming now accounts for around 60% of an artists average revenue. However, between Spotify, Google Play, iTunes, Youtube, Bandcamp, Amazon Music, Tidal, Deezer and several other streaming services – it can be hard for artists to know which platforms to prioritise first.

For best results, you’re going to want to maintain a consistent presence across as many platforms as possible. Otherwise, you will be missing out on users that can’t find you on their preferred platform

Services like TuneCore and Distrokid allow you to submit your music to multiple streaming platforms at the same time, without the hard work of manually uploading to each platform.

Whilst this step isn’t exactly the most exciting part of your music promotion, it’s incredibly important if you want to maximise the effectiveness of other promotional activity.

2.Get a high quality eCommerce website

A website functions as the digital hub of your online marketing efforts. Whilst it won’t typically be responsible for bringing in new fans by itself, your website will perform some very important tasks.

One of which involves selling your music, clothing and merchandise directly to your fans via an on-site store. This allows you to completely bypass any middle-men services that would typically take a cut of your profits.

It also increases trust in your brand and adds to your credibility as an artist whilst also being a great way to update your fans with the latest news.

Another important benefit of your website is that will allow you to grow your email marketing list by converting your website traffic through the use of a strategically placed sign-up form.

3. Market directly to your fanbase using email


 
It’s best to think of your email audience as the most engaged part of your fan club because your email subscribers have explicitly declared an interest in hearing from you.

Once you’ve built an email marketing list and some of your fans have subscribed, you can now begin the process of marketing to them in a more direct way.

Your email list is great for advertising new releases to your existing fans. For example, If you’ve just dropped a new track or album, you can prepare an emailer containing a link to the product page on your website store.

Alternatively, you could promote a limited-time sale of your latest merchandise, promote a recent bit of content or push ticket sales for an upcoming event. Your fans love to receive this information, so don’t be afraid to send out emails to your list on a regular basis.

Out of all the strategies we’re listing in this guide on how to promote your music online, this one is the most underutilised. This is unfortunate because it’s among the most effective.

4. Get involved with online communities

When you’re just starting out and trying to gain some initial traction, it can be incredibly hard due to the fact that people tend to pay more attention to the artists they already know.

Therefore, in order to generate an initial audience, you might need to get involved with other people in your niche.

The exact process for this is mostly the same, but it will change slightly depending on your genre.

That being said, there is some advice that we can give to almost everyone reading this guide. Find some relevant forums or subreddits and start by observing the type of content that gets posted.

You can then begin to get involved by commenting on posts and eventually, submitting some of your own.

For example, your posts could be asking people what they think of your latest track, which can help to bring extra awareness to your music and may even generate some extra followers.

The key to engaging with online communities is to be as authentic as possible. If it seems like you’re only interested in gaining new fans and sales, then you’ll become disliked very quickly.

This process of joining an online community remains mostly the same regardless of whether you’re on a subreddit or another forum.

Be authentic, add value, and do your best to establish relationships with other community members.


Some examples of the top music communities on Reddit

5. Reach out to influencers in your genre

It’s likely that you already have a good idea of who the influencers are in your field, but if you don’t, spend a bit of time researching. They could be someone running a popular podcast, a DJ, or a well-known reviewer.

After identifying the right people, you can then reach out to them and begin the process of building a relationship.

Once you’ve made an introduction, you can ask if they’d be willing to listen to your music and should they like it, use it on their podcast, set or radio show, etc.

Not everyone will want to listen to your music, especially if you’re unproven, but you only need a few influencers to like your stuff in order to gain a good amount of publicity.

Keep in touch with the influencers that respond positively to your message as these relationships will continue to be mutually benficial going forward.

6. Connect with other artists

Similarly to the last point, the main motivation behind this strategy is also networking. However, instead of reaching up the ladder to get in the good books of influencers, you’re reaching outwards to other artists that you like within your genre.

The objective here is once again to build meaningful, mutually beneficial connections. By establishing a public relationship with another artist, their audience becomes aware of your existence and vice-versa.

To go about this, firstly you’ll need to identify the artists that you like. You probably already know a few. Once you’ve compiled this list, you can begin the process of building a connection with them.

One way to do this is to retweet or share something they’re promoting on social media, like a new album or event that they’re attending. If you liked their latest album or track, you could Tweet at them saying so.

The key yet again is to be authentic. This is a common theme that you’ll notice throughout this guide.

You’re looking to get involved with people, not use them for your own gain. If you successfully connect with some other artists, the benefits will occur as a side-effect of the relationship you’ve established.

7. Humanise yourself on social media

It’s very easy to get lost amongst the noise on social media. There are millions of seemingly robotic profiles out there polluting the newsfeeds of your audience.

To give yourself a better chance of standing out amongst the crowd, it’s important to humanise your brand and be as authentic as possible across social media platforms.

There are several ways to give your audience an inside look into your process and lifestyle.

Some examples include doing interviews, uploading behind-the-scenes content or even teasing your audience with a snapshot of upcoming music.

The big thing to take away from this section is to ask yourself ‘what kind of value or experience can the content I post provide my audience?’.

When you begin to think like this and take a more human approach to social media, you’ll be able to connect with your fans on a deeper and more personal level.

If you enjoyed this article, check out the rest of our Music Marketing category!


Also published on Medium.