Marketing and promotion are essential for all artists as they work to create a buzz in the music industry and build a career. As your supporters and followers, they are the biggest asset that you will have and your superfans will follow your career forever.
The way to build your fanbase and create buzz is to get your name out there and promote yourself non–stop. You can do this from scratch through live performance and consistent updates on social media and other platforms, such as YouTube and Soundcloud
But what can an artist do to build up the numbers and turn a low key event into buzz? Below, are 17 ways to promote and market your music online, on social media and in person.
How to create a buzz for your music
When you’re just starting out, your fans are essential to your success. So you want to look at building that community of supporters who will follow your career.
Ultimately, it’s all about believing in yourself and your abilities. You know you’ve got the talent and your fans do too. Keep sending out those positive vibes (and those positive updates to your fans) and you will begin to build buzz over time.
#1 Play live as often as possible
Above all, this is ultimately the best way to both engage with fans and build your fanbase as well as promoting and marketing yourself in person and on social media. People will learn to fall in love with your music in person and gain a better appreciation for you as an artist. It’s those bonds with your fans that you will start to see growing more and more as time goes on.
#2 Perform in smaller venues
Fans love seeing artists in smaller, more intimate venues. It helps to build that relationship and appreciate their music at a different level and in a different way. They can see you close up and it adds greater value to their experience. It also improves the sound quality and creates a close vibe amongst your fans.
#3 Hang around after gigs
Whether it’s 2 people or 50 people, those that have waited around for you after you’ve finished performing really appreciate and value your taking the time to talk to them and have photographs taken.
It’s a great way for you to get to know your fans in person too. They will gain a greater love and appreciation for you and it will ensure they keep coming back.
#4 Give away free merchandise
Keep hold of some of your merchandise such as badges or keyrings and give them away to fans when you meet them. It might not mean a great deal to you, but it will mean the world to your fans to receive something free directly from you, and it will show that you care about your fans.
#5 Make experiences for your fans
Invite a select number of fans to a launch party for your next single or album and give them an exclusive live performance. Having them there will be a boost both for you and for them.
Don’t underestimate the power of YouTube – it has more than 1.9 million logged-in monthly users and in an average month, 8 out of 10 18-49-year-olds watch it. Those are some big numbers!
#6 Be your own spokesperson
Find out about different events happening across the area and get your name out there. Get involved in charity events and get yourself immersed in the environment. It’s a fantastic way to make new fans who could go on to promote you and create buzz for your music.
#7 E-mail marketing
This is a great way to start building your fanbase. Regular emails keep people up to date and engaged with what’s going on in your career. Commit to at least a monthly newsletter plus regular emails each time you have any exciting news. It keeps that special bond going between you and your fans.
How to promote your music on social media
Social media has become a huge part of our daily lives. It’s likely you are already signed up to the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by now, but if you’re not, it’s the next step to getting your name recognised and out in the public domain.
Set up your social media accounts and ask your friends to like them and share them to help grow that fanbase. After that, it’s all about being your own PR guru – organise yourself so you can promote your music for all to enjoy.
Set aside time each day to ensure that each of the platforms is covered. Make sure you use those hashtags to increase public awareness of who you are and what you do to ensure that more people can find out more about you.
#8 Post content every day
The social media platforms available to us nowadays are hugely valuable. Make time every day to post on social media and let your fans know you’re out there. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are hugely popular ways to spread the message and get your name out in the public.
Take a look at your mentions and take the time to reply to your fans. They will really appreciate you making the effort to respond to them, and it will likely increase their love for you as an artist.
Did you know that the average amount of time spent on social media each day is 116 minutes? And between September 2017 and October 2018, the number of people using social media grew by 320 million – that’s a new user roughly every 10 seconds. So, what better way to spread the word?
#9 Run competitions
Running a competition to give away merchandise or tickets is an excellent way to gain excitement and build momentum around you as an artist.
People love a freebie and there are so many different ways to launch competitions now. It could be through your website or on social media. Make the competition about reaching a target number of followers and you’ll see the numbers start to shoot up.
#10 Arrange meet-and-greets
Once you start to build a strong following, you will begin to recognise the fans doing some of the promotion and marketing for you . Make sure you don’t forget them. Organise meet and greets when you can. It won’t take long and it will mean the world to your fans.
#11 Start a blog
Blogs are a great way to provide lengthy updates and details about your career and your life in general. It’s another great way to build strong artist-fan relationships and keeps the momentum going. Statistics also show that featuring a blog on your website will give you a 434% better chance of being ranked highly on search engines.
How promote your music on YouTube
The time that people spend watching videos on YouTube is growing year on year. So it’s one of the best platforms to help grow that fanbase and create buzz and hype.
YouTube is another good way to engage with your audience so keep checking the comments and responding to them when you can.
Share, share, share! Post links to your videos on your social media and encourage your friends and family to do the same to build those followers.
#12 Start your own YouTube channel
If you haven’t already done this, YouTube is a great platform to build your followers and helps to turn those fans into superfans. It’s not just about music videos either. It could simply be a video of you sitting at home with your guitar. The personal videos will be a big hit with your
#13 Live stream your music
There has been a big rise in live streaming services in recent years, so make the most of it. Introduce your fans to some of your newest music. Not only will it help you gauge the response to your music, but it will help your fans feel closer to you and understand more about your musical journey.
#14 Start a fan Q&A
Live streaming doesn’t just need to be used for performing but it can also be a way to promote all sorts of events whilst interacting with your friends. Give them a chance to ask you questions and find out a bit more about what’s going on in your world.
#15 Feature them in your music video
Always a great way to interact with your fans, Pharrell William’s 2013 music video for Happy featured fans and celebrities alike:
When you’re getting ready to shoot your next music video, why not ask your fans to get involved? It’s an easy way to get a good crowd for your video and it helps to build that rapport. For your fans, it also means they get a free gig and they get to be a part of your journey.
How to promote your music on SoundCloud
Make a plan for promoting your music and know who your target audience is. Once you’ve established that, you can start to share your tracks on social media and build that following.
Keep an eye on your comments and reply to your listeners. It will help you get an idea of the popularity of your music and might even give you ideas about your next record.
There are different kinds of genre and location-based groups that you can join and share your music on, which will help you to build more fans.
Start following lots of people – Soundcloud is a social community. The more you follow, the more people are likely to follow you back and together you can help to promote your music. Your friends and your followers can help to set you on the road to success!
#16 Sign up to Soundcloud
Another really useful platform that allows users to upload their music, Soundcloud is a popular streaming service and is invaluable for artists starting out in the music industry. It has 76 million monthly users and is worth millions in the music industry.
#17 Start a podcast
Another way to build those relationships with your fans, podcasts are a brilliant way for people to be able to find out what’s going on while they are on the move. Easily shared, they will help to build up those numbers.
Promoting music independently
You have to promote your music independently before expecting your fans to help you out and spread the buzz. The way that we listen to music nowadays has changed. Lots of people listen to singles from different artists instead of progressing to listening to albums. But it’s the superfans that will stick with you through every single song you record.
They will be behind you every step of the way and will be key in helping you promote your music. It’s also likely that the majority of your income will come from these fans as they will be listening to you on streaming platforms and spending their money on tickets and merch.
Ready to take your marketing and promotion to the next level?
Hopefully, by now, you have got a multitude of ideas about how to create a buzz for your music. The marketing and promotion you do now will help your career for years and years to come.
Let us know what artists have a lot of buzz or great marketing and promotion in the comments below.