Few industries understand the need to evolve more than music. From vinyl to Tidal, the tune has completely changed in the last few decades. In less than half a lifetime, we went from mind-numbingly slow dial-up to being tapped into the Internet constantly, across a variety of devices and mediums. This has brought about a groundswell of entrepreneurial explorers, keen to pioneer and plant their flag in the fertile and untamed digital music landscape. Sure, the methods may be different, but the soul is still there. So how do you promote music through digital marketing?
What is Music Marketing ?
Besides talent and production, marketing is the key component in turning an artist into a star. It amplifies your hard work and talent to millions of potential fans. Before the Internet Age, this would have just included DJs, radio stations, television and industry press. Today, it consists of social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and getting onto major digital music platforms like Tidal, iTunes, Soundcloud and Spotify.
Living In a Social Media World
According to Raffi Keuhnelian, CEO of MusicPromoToday, "Social media has allowed musical talents from around the world to become global superstars. Just think of Justin Bieber, Adele or The Weekend--they all 'made it' online. It also offers music fans the ability to interact and engage with their favourite musicians."
He continues, "Fans feel like they have a voice with social media and that they are being heard. Artists use it to communicate with their fans by keeping them in the know-how of the latest news and upcoming releases. Successful artists are those that excel with their digital marketing strategy and reap the rewards of their creative approach."
Social media marketing also offers a cost-effective solution for bands and their managers to build buzz. For all up-and-coming bands still playing concerts in mom's basement, this has been a real game-changer. With the potential to reach an audience of millions through a retweet by an influencer, artists can launch their career before it even starts.
Don't count out a more traditional promotional strategy like word-of-mouth out though--if anything, it's become even more important with the internet and social media. Think: when you like something, you share it with your friends. Before, this meant waiting to see them or picking up the phone. Now, everybody is a quick text, direct message or click of the "Share" button away.
Mobile Marketing is Key
Let's face it: everyone owns a mobile device. And they always have it on them. Chances are yours is less than five feet away from you at this moment, right? This offers a unique ability for music pioneers and bands to engage fans at times they may have previously been unreachable. When they are at work, they can check their mobile device and suddenly discover an artist or song they've never heard of before.
Before digital, they had to be listening to the right radio station at the right time to hear a new track. Nowadays, they can be online at any point during the day and find a new band that catches their eye--or ear, as the case may be.
Video marketing has also emerged as one of the best tools the music industry has for digital marketing. Sites like YouTube and Vimeo allow bands to create visual content and post it for millions to see. This has helped launch many aspiring artists. Look at teenage star Avery, who has created a successful career almost entirely thanks to YouTube. Times have never been more exciting.
Digital marketing has undoubtedly changed the terrain of the music industry. The key is to not view it as an unfamiliar threat, but instead a huge opportunity waiting for pioneering artists and their teams. From social media to word of mouth to video market, new talents have never had so many tools --or competition-- in front of them. Those who will not only survive, but thrive in this new world of music are the ones who use the Internet to make themselves known to huge new audiences.
With the rise of Gen Z, the world's first true digital natives, younger generations are learning about older songs through social media and video sites, creating a new wave of fans for the music industry.