Posting your original songs up on YouTube is a form of distribution, but the only people who are going to experience that music are already aware of you as an artist. Marketing your music is not just about making your current fans aware of any new releases. This approach is not getting you into growth.
Marketing growth is about finding new people to expose your music to. This may sound elementary to some of you, but I’ll bet you’re not using the tools you currently have in the best way to grow your audience.
I know this because I see it every day with both indie artists and label artists! One slight tweak in your approach on YouTube could change everything.
Why not post a video of you interpreting a cover song that is popular right now? This will generate traffic you would never have gotten posting an original, as a percentage (however small) of people who are looking for the original artist’s video will stumble across your version and watch it. That’s growth.
That means new people watching you as an artist. Not only are they experiencing your spin on a song, since they already know the song, they are focusing on your interpretation. The information that is coming through as they watch is your artistry. Not for nothing, you might discover that people are responding to qualities of yours you weren’t aware you possessed.
If they like it, people will respond. If you ask them, they’ll subscribe. If you’re smart, you’ll give them a free download in exchange for their email address so you own the information.
If they learn to like you as an artist, then they’ll be far more likely to listen to your original music. When they do listen, they’ll have an open mind and an open heart because your cover rendition won them over and they’re prepared to love you.
That’s marketing on YouTube. Always ask yourself, where’s the traffic coming from? This will influence your cover song choices.
Most indie artists copy their idols’ social media behaviors. They have posts of them doing this or that on stage or behind the scenes, etc.
This method is important but you need to recognize that it only supports the fans who are aware of you as an artist. Think about it, if they don’t know you, how are they going to see a post like that?
Don’t stop doing this sort of social outreach, it’s an important piece of your social media strategy — but only for your current fans. These posts will do little, if anything, to expand your audience. You want to get your content in front of new people who aren’t currently aware of you. This requires a different thought process and execution strategy.
Take off your artist hat and put on your record label executive hat for a minute. Imagine you just signed the greatest unknown act in the world: YOU. In the interest of clear communication, let’s give you a name: MC XFactor. Nobody knows about this new artist, so how are you going to get MC XFactor in front of a new, targeted group of people who are likely to enjoy his music?
Well, let’s say MC XFactor is a rap artist. Right off the bat, we can target tons of rap artists with faithful followers on all sorts of social media platforms.
But let’s drill down some more. What kind of rap artist is MC XFactor? If money and connections were no object, what rap artist would you put MC XFactor on tour with because the headliner’s audience would relate to MC X Factor’s music?
Don’t look now but you are in the process of defining your audience. Once you’ve determined exactly who the audience is, you have to find where they hang out online. This is called targeting.
If MC XFactor would absolutely CRUSH it on tour with Lil’ Wayne because his fans would love your artist’s music, start following people who follow Lil’ Wayne on Twitter and Instagram.
What are you doing to ensure you own everyone’s contact information after they’ve attended your live show or landed on your website? You could have a million followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but you don’t own their contact info — the respective platforms do. You must take your music marketing a step further and convert as many social media followers of yours into contacts you own.
You already know about Facebook and how few people see your posts unless you pay. Get a squeeze page — a landing page that captures opt-in email addresses — and work around that problem. It’s called permission marketing, which works off the idea that the lifetime value of a fan is worth exponentially more than the .99¢ or $10.99 you’re hoping to get for a single or a CD.
You’re supposed to be an entertainer. Find new people every day, entertain them on social media, get them to love you, then capture their info and deepen that relationship.
An artist with tens of thousands of engaged contacts is quite powerful to the industry, brands, and other artists. Once you accept this as the one viable method to grow your brand and expose your artistry, you’ll be on your way to making a living as a music artist.
Post Content Regularly
With so many new acts coming out every day, it can be hard to stay top-of-mind.Yes, someone might hear one of your songs and like what you’re doing, but if you don’t keep giving them more content and keep them entertained in some form of another, there’s a good chance that they may forget you.It’s because of this that you’ll want to take advantage of your website, and employ a good content marketing.
In other words, you want to use your content to get in new fans and to keep existing fans happy.But what kind of content can you publish? Here are some types of content you should be creating:
- Videos. Another obvious one.
- Songs. This is the obvious one.
- Blog posts related to your genre of music. You can get a lot of people finding out about you by publishing content related to your genre as a whole rather than just you as a musician. More on this later.