Top 10 Digital Marketing Strategies for Musicians

We explore some of the best digital marketing strategies for bands, musicians and artists... 


With our new Digital Marketing degrees, students have a fantastic opportunity to get to grips with the latest strategies surrounding selling and promoting music.

But with so many options around music marketing available, what channels should emerging musicians and artists embrace to elevate their careers? 

And what exactly is music marketing?

Here, we'll delve into the definition of music marketing strategies and how to use them to advance your career...

What is Music Marketing


A music marketing strategy in our networked world can incorporate a variety of different things, all of which centre on how you promote your music.

From sharing information about a new release or event on Facebook to capturing email addresses to build a database, all these activities fall under the banner of marketing...

What Music Marketing Strategies are Available?

There are a huge number of options when it comes to the tools and professionals you need when devising an effective marketing strategy. From website builders to experts in YouTube ads, there are all kinds of skill sets that could come in useful.

Marketing strategies are all about how you position yourself as an artist or producer and the different methods you can use to shout about and sell your music.

You could also argue that they are one of the reasons why it's not always the most amazing music that rises to the top.

You can create technically 'poor' music - but if it is well marketed, then it can still find an audience of tens of thousands.

Music Marketing in the Digital Age


Streaming services are one of the key platforms for music industry professionals to master with Spotify's editorial team seen as important tastemakers.

There are plenty of other new music marketing tactics for independent artists to utilise to attract new fans and get their music heard in the digital age.

Some of the most crucial tools to win over new audiences include digital ads, email marketing campaigns, paid advertising, social media posts, Google ads and more.

With a plethora of channels at your disposal, the challenge for your marketing strategy is for these to emphasise, highlight and align with your musical identity.

What Does a Music Marketer Do?

From streaming services such as Apple Music to managing the production of a music video or deploying paid ads effectively, music marketers need to have many different skills. You must know your music and the best ways to promote this to your target audience - this will include current fans and new fans too.

As a music marketing professional, it is a huge boost to be organised as a large amount of your efforts will involve planning how to promote something - maybe a new release or event. An ability to network and create strong relationships with the likes of record labels and streaming platforms will also help too.

How to Create a Music Marketing Plan in Today's Music Industry

Our digital world has created opportunities for all artists to target their fans and grow an audience. To a certain extent, the size of a marketing budget will dictate what is achievable - for example, music videos can be an expensive outlay for an emerging act to fund.

You might want to only focus on certain channels to promote your music. So optimising your streaming platforms but not spending too much money on digital advertising.

The most important part of winning over new audiences is ensuring your music marketing is authentic and aligned to your music's brand. You should also take some time to prepare your music marketing plan. Consider what you want to achieve and the time frame you want to do it in. Then move forward from there.

Remember the Value of Your Music Business Network

Don't underestimate networked skills. Collaborating on music projects can be essential in building an audience and developing a reputation. Cultivate this network by offering your services for free to open the door on other opportunities and grow your audience.

If you really want to make networking work, then you can use the online channels such as social media to do this. Although nothing beats meeting in person,  you can also grow a global network via your internet connection.

Now we've discussed what music marketing is and how important it is is in today's industry, were, we'll explore 10 marketing strategies for musicians...

Set Up Social Media Accounts 


In a past life, music lovers wanted their favourite bands and artists to create an air of mystery around them and their music. Less is more was the motto.

But in the digital age, this has all changed thanks to the prevalence of social media.

Despite the volume of online noise created by them, free channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube can be very effective marketing channels for emerging artists.

They are often the first place music industry professionals and thought leaders will go to check out a new act so it's well worth investing in putting them together. 

Create a Content Strategy for your Profiles


When you have set these profiles up, you'll then want to consider how you're going to use them.

Think about the kind of content you want to share, then draw up a plan. It sounds obvious, but you don’t want to bombard your followers with content.

Think sensibly about how to drip feed posts via your channels, then map this out in a social media and content plan using a spreadsheet."

Make sure you include all your channels and an additional sheet for any ideas you may have. If you record them in there, then you can always revisit them at a later date. 

If you’re struggling for content ideas, then do some research into what your favourite artists are up to and how they use their channels. 

Use Different Tools to Find Your Audience 


Every artist or band needs to work out who their audience is. 

There are plenty of tools out there to help you. From Facebook to Spotify, the majority of these platforms provide basic analytics to help you discover information about your audience - location, age, how they engage with you - these details can be essential tools in your fight to stand out online. 

This can be beneficial for two reasons - you can develop a strategy that will reach your audience more accurately. You can also target those who you know will be interested in what you’re doing. 

Read our article about Spotify for Artists.

Consider How You Engage With Current and Future Fans 


As an artist, your current fans are important but you also need to have one eye on where your new followers are coming from. 

Getting your music marketing right includes considering how you can affirm, then maintain your artist or band’s identity. 

Engage with your current audience by creating and sharing online content in the form of blogs, playlists and newsletters. Then, think about how you can attract a new audience via engaging content. Be as creative as you want but in a way that is aligned with your brand and identity.

If you drive people to your website, then offer them a free track in return for their email. This can be a great way of expanding the size of your audience via a mailing list. 

Get Your Music to Online Tastemakers and Influencers


Networking with online influencers such as bloggers, broadcasters and journalists can be an effective way of promoting your music. If you can establish good relationships with these tastemakers, then they are more likely to listen and potentially shout about any new music you release. 

Getting your music featured on a reputable music website can be half the battle in expanding your audience."

If you're starting from scratch on a promotional campaign, then do some research and list the most suitable websites for your music. Dig out the email addresses of any editors or writers, then start pitching to them. If you can, try and send to a personal email address rather than a generic one. This way it's more likely to be read than immediately moved to the Trash folder. 

Create an Electronic Press Kit 


If you're after some press coverage in the form of a new track premiere or an artist interview, then an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) can be a handy tool to have. 

You need to include an artist bio, decent image, links to your music and social media accounts. Make sure that the track is as good as you can make it rather than being a poorly recorded demo (unless a lo-fi vibe is part of what you’re aiming to achieve). 

Do your homework and make sure your EPK copy is free from grammatical errors and all links are live. Try and avoid sharing huge files as this will only annoy recipients.

Sell Merchandise to Market Your Music 


If you think you've got your music right and you're looking to cut through, then coming up with some exciting merchandise can be an interesting option.

Whereas in the past, this was related to just band t-shirts, many artists are now far more ambitious.

From the coffin from glam-rock legends Kiss to Metallica's take on Monopoly, there are plenty of options to explore.

If you find something that sells, then this can potentially be a good way of funding a tour or release. 

Create a Community Around Your Music


A key way of keeping your fanbase engaged is to create a community around your music. 

How do you do this? Well, this can be via social media or at gigs but try to establish authentic and sustainable relationships with your audience. You can do this by engaging with them on social media or starting a mailing list. 

If you're working on a specific project, then perhaps you can share behind-the-scenes clips from gigs or rehearsals as teasers ahead of a release. 

You could set up a Patreon profile and give fans the opportunity to invest in your music via a monthly subscription." 

If you emphasise this sense of community with your audience, then it will help them stay engaged with your musical journey and hopefully share details of your music and projects...

Invest in a PR/radio campaign


If you’re at the level where you can afford to invest some money in your marketing, then consider working with a PR or radio plugger to help push your music further.

Whether you want to do this will depend on a number of factors - your audience, market and what you want to achieve. If budget is tight, then you may want to take this work on yourself as there's no guarantee that your music will be picked up. 

But it could be worth investigating if you want to reach a mainstream audience. 

Review Your Marketing Strategies 


Whichever options you choose, it's always sensible to keep your marketing strategies in a state of review. Remember, this is a fluid and adaptable approach and nothing is set in stone. As long as you keep an eye on your analytics, then you can tweak your approach as you go. 

How to do Music Marketing as an Artist


Create a website and use this as a hub for your artist activities and one-stop shop for all your of music catalogue.

There are different channels you can follow - launch a YouTube channel and start live streaming your music. Perhaps launch a competition on social media around giveaways.

As an artist, it's well worth taking some time to work out who you and your audience are. Once you know who you are, then you should be well-placed to understand how to sell yourself and your music.

How to do Music Marketing as a Producer

Marketing as your music as a producer is similar to that of an artist. Setting up a website or utilising social media channels is a great way of promoting you and your music. Choosing the artists you produce and collaborate with can help expand your audience and underline your musical brand.

Other tactics can include inviting different creators and influencers to use your music and looking to other producers as a great example of how to market your music.

The Future of Music Marketing

The music industry is full of fantastic opportunities - from music video to music streaming platforms, technology has created more than ever before for marketing. Get out there and get involved...

Deep dive into the evolving world of music marketing

Our CIM accredited Music Marketing degree, that sits within our School of Music Business,  will help you gain a richly detailed understanding of digital marketing fundamentals and specialisms. You'll become a master of online content — someone who knows how to reach and influence people through multiple digital platforms.

To completely immerse yourself in your creative career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

Music Marketing
by ICMP staff writer
November 25, 2022
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