How to Promote Your Music: 15 Tips to Market Your Music in 2020! [*Must Read*]
The music industry is constantly changing with new ways to promote your music appearing all of the time. While some of the traditional ways to promote your music are out of date, many of them are still relevant today.
There are also plenty of new places to promote your music in 2019. They are extremely important when it comes to having a successful career as an artist! We have the 15 best ways in which you can promote your music effectively.
Promoting your music is essential for success in the music industry and if you aren’t promoting your own music, you’re going to struggle to get yourself heard. Below are 15 easy ways that you can promote your music
How to market your music and get your music heard?
There is no definitive best way to promote your music, however, there are plenty of great ways to market your music in 2019 including:
- Live gigs
- Using social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
- Featuring on blogs
- Making music videos
- Developing an image
- Being on Spotify
- Getting playlisted
- Collaborating with other artists
- Getting radio play
- Being featured on TV
- Getting physical press coverage
- Creating an ‘Electronic Press Kit’ (EPK)
- Having a website
- Creating great content
- Surrounding yourself with a great team
Where can I promote my music?
#1 Social media
It’s one of the most common ways to promote your music online, but it’s popular for a reason.
There are so many ways in which you can promote your music for free – with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter being great contenders for artists to promote their music, you’d be missing out not to have an account.
Regularly updating these will help your music become more popular and allow it to be viewed by a wider audience. Of course, engaging your fan base on other social media platforms is also essential.
Getting your social media engagement and content right is massive. For example on Facebook if you post too little you are in danger of getting lost in peoples’ news feeds and forgotten.
Post too much however and you will irritate your fans! Striking the right balance is essential in keeping your current fans engaged and growing your fan base.
#2 Get a website and a mailing list
Even in 2019, a website is a great thing to have for bands and artists. For a lot of businesses, it’s their hub containing all of the relevant information a customer might be looking for all in one place – it’s exactly the same for musicians!
You have all the control with a website – you can edit how the website looks, feels and operates.
If you want to feature your latest album on your homepage and sell it directly on your website, you can do that!
Having a website also shows that you’re a serious artist. Even in 2019 with social media playing a huge part in the online world, some people still expect you to have a website.
These people can include bookers, promoters, radio stations and anyone else who might be looking for some music for an upcoming show, festival or podcast.
The benefits of mailing lists
Another great thing about having a website is that you can get people to sign up to your mailing list which acts as a direct contact with your fans. You can format an announcement email any way you want.
When it comes to sending emails, you also aren’t limited by an algorithm that makes only a small percentage of your audience see a post (like on Facebook) – if everyone gets an email notification on their phone, that means 100% of the people who are subscribed to you will see your email!
#3 Get featured in magazines and newspapers
When it comes to physical press coverage, magazines and newspapers are great for promoting your music.
Some reputable music magazines like NME have huge audiences which are great for growing an artist’s fan base. They also allow new people to be informed of your presence and, of course, your new song or album that’s just dropped.
Not all artists, especially independent musicians, are able to successfully pitch their music to magazines like NME. Fortunately, though, no matter where you live in the UK, there are local magazines which often feature what’s happening in their respective music scenes.
Smaller community magazines are often keen to promote music that’s surrounded by hype or is creating a positive impact on the local area. You might also be surprised at the substantial reach that some of these ‘smaller’ publications have.
A magazine specifically dedicated to music is often the best though. The people who read these types of publications are often more likely to be music fans, so they would potentially be much more inclined to check out your musical project if they like what they see.
How do I promote my music on social media?
#4 It’s all about good content
With of the rise of social media in the past decade, it’s become so easy to market your music to people all around the world, but now in 2019, it’s become one of the hardest places to stand out as an artist!
It’s now so important to really bring value to your audience. People who love music want to invest in, not only your music but also you as a person. If you create great content, their much more likely to buy your music down the line.
Make sure to have great quality photos that you can post on your social media. Make sure you create engaging videos that you can put on Facebook and YouTube.
As a creative, you should find this easier than most – think up some ways to make Facebook’s algorithm organically boost your post by giving stuff away for free if people share a post – a CD perhaps.
Some other content ideas
A great way you can create great content outside of your music is through merch! Of course, you can make the usual t-shirt, hoodie or sticker set, but try to think outside the box.
You might want to make a memory stick with special unreleased demos and sell it at your gigs to your hard-core fans who want to see and hear everything you create…
Record labels are catching on to this!
Recently record labels have been noticing the fact that artists have been making money outside of selling music and through streaming.
The ‘360 record deal’ is a very common deal that big established artists are encouraged to sign nowadays, as it allows record labels to take a share of everything that the artist does – this includes money generated from merch and other content outside of the music.
If big multi-million pound companies are getting behind this idea of ‘content,’ independent musicians should too!
How do I get my music noticed online?
#5 Get featured on blogs
Nowadays online blogs are a great platform for musicians to promote their music. It gives a second-hand opinion on what a band or artist is about.
It’s brilliant for ‘social proof,’ which means really proving that you are a legitimate band to your audience.
Many online blogs are run by big companies so they’re hard to get featured on (unless you’re a big artist), but some are run by independent local curators who would love to feature what you’ve been working on in the studio or what gigs you have coming up!
Proving to your audience that your music is worth talking about will give them faith that you’re a dedicated artist that has some hype behind you!
There’s so much more info on specifically HOW to get featured on blogs here.
How do I promote a single song?
#6 Get on Spotify
In 2019, being on an online streaming platform such as Soundcloud or Spotify is crucial for allowing people to listen to your music for free so that you can grow your fan base.
If you’re signed to a record label they will be able to do this all for you, but if you’re not signed to a record label there are plenty of sites that you, as an independent artist, can use to upload your tracks.
Sites such as DistroKid and CD Baby are great for small artists with just a few tracks to upload. If you have lots of music that you’ll be uploading regularly as albums, TuneCore might be a better option for you.
Make sure to note that each of these services requires a small payment to upload music to Spotify – it’s definitely worth it though.
Your ‘monthly listeners’
The great thing with Spotify though is that it shows monthly listeners. For many people (including consumers and industry people who might want to promote your music) the number that shows how many ‘listeners’ you have gives a real insight into who currently cares about your music.
Even if you have a song with a million streams on Spotify, if you have only 100 monthly listeners it means that you’ve clearly had a very successful period, but you need to work on re-engaging your fans. If the number is high though, it proves that people currently care about your music.
The FREE alternative – Soundcloud
If you don’t have any money at all to pay to upload your songs to Spotify, Soundcloud is a great option because it’s free and easy to upload your music directly through their site.
#7 Get featured on a Spotify playlist
Continuing on with the theme of Spotify, it’s important to note the relevance of playlists.
Playlists are great because if you’re featured on ones that already have regular listeners, you’ll get a slice of those playlists’ plays! This allows you to build up your numbers and prove to your audience (and people who might want to book you for a show) that you’re the real deal!
Independently curated playlists are the way to go!
There are many different types of playlists, but the ones that you should be aiming to get on are the smaller independently curated playlists. Often these have a contact email in the description that you can pitch your music to. If not, a quick search on Facebook or Google wouldn’t go a-miss!
Getting on BIG playlists
Some playlists are created by people actually working at Spotify – these are hard to get on because you really need good numbers to prove that you’ll bring value to the playlist. If you get on one of these you’ll certainly boost your song’s popularity amongst the people who regularly listen to that playlist.
More on HOW to get on Spotify playlists here.
#8 Make a music video
If you’ve just released a single, a great thing to have to promote it is a music video.
Adding a visual aspect to a song really shows your audience that you have a creative mind. It also allows them to connect to you even more as an artist.
Just use your phone
High production music videos can be expensive, but if you’re just starting out, find a friend who has a good quality video camera (or even a phone) and edit together some clips of you playing along to the song in an interesting setting.
Make sure to overdub the original track over your edit so that the audio is the studio version of your song though.
#9 Create a remix or feature another artist
Getting someone who’s good at producing to make a remix of your original single is a great idea. They can put a creative twist on your original song to help promote it.
This gives you new and exciting content to promote, so now you don’t have to keep repeating yourself by saying ‘listen to my same old song!’ Having people listen to a remix will still help build up awareness of your original song in the long term.
Sharing is caring
Collaborate with another artist! You might want to post a video on your Facebook with you and another singer singing an acoustic version of your song. Again, this promotes your original song but keeps your audience engaged with new content.
#10 Create a press pack and make an Electronic Press Kit (EPK)
A little less of a priority now in the age of the internet but having the following together as An EPK is press pack is like a CV for singers, it should include everything in it that sells you as an artist. The most important things to include in a press pack are:
- Description and background of the act.
- Any artwork, such as business cards, posters etc.
- A demo CD or hyperlink to YouTube.
- Any publicity that you have received.
- Your contact details.
- A recent picture of the act.
You can send this off to bloggers, Spotify curators, promoters and anyone else who you might want to work with to gain momentum and more of a presence as a musician.
More on HOW to create an EPK here.
How do you get people to hear your music?
#11 Gig as much as you can
You need people to hear your music and have the opportunity to see you perform as well; this is where gigging comes in. Having gigging experience helps to promote your music and you as a singer. It also gives you real-life experience of performing on stage and in front of an audience.
This experience will help you to improve your future gigs, as you will be able to find out which songs work, what your fan base is like and whether your crowd is enjoying your music. Perhaps start with smaller gigs and Open Mic nights before embarking on larger gigs.
Getting bigger gigs
Once you’ve got more of a fan base, promoters will want to book you up to support a bigger band. This allows you to play your amazing songs and win over the fans of the headline band!
Working hard promoting the gig, promoting yourself at the gig and after will all assist in promoting your brand and music.
#12 Get featured on the radio
Even in 2019, radio is still a great platform for discovering new music.
One of the best stations for upcoming artists to showcase their songs in the UK is BBC Introducing. They have so much support for new music and upcoming bands. Wherever you are in the country, there will be a local BBC Introducing station.
You can upload your best tracks online through the BBC Introducing uploader for free, and if the hosts enjoy your song they’ll play it to an audience of people who want to discover new bands and artists.
Many influential people (both locally and regionally) listen to BBC Introducing. You never know who might enjoy your song and get in contact!
There are also plenty of local community radio stations all over the UK who would be up for featuring your music (if your song is good quality)! Just google ‘[Your City name] radio stations’ and see what comes up.
More on how to get your music featured on the radio here.
#13 Get featured on TV
It’s a step up from radio and something that you’re more likely to want to consider further into your music career (when you have the contacts), but television is definitely a huge platform for you to showcase your music.
Not only this but if you ever get featured on a TV show, you’ll be given the opportunity to show everyone who you are as an individual.
People love to relate to someone they see on TV – be that person that someone becomes a super-fan of because they saw your great interview on the telly!
Always remember to be yourself though, people can tell if you aren’t being genuine!
How can I make my music popular?
#14 Create your own unique ‘image’
Having your own ‘image’ is often overlooked by many artists. It might not be something you want to focus on, but it’s something people who listen to you notice if they want to invest in you as an artist.
Develop something that stands out about you and market yourself to a target audience. This ABSOLUTELY includes your music and your ‘sound,’ but can also what you wear, how you talk and what you say.
Even bands and artists that don’t appear to have an ‘image’ in the traditional sense still have an identity.
Find something unique about you that people can appreciate but can also relate to!
#15 Surround yourself with a dedicated team who care
Surrounding yourself with good people is a good thing to do in general, but it’s absolutely paramount for musicians to find a network of people who believe in them – here’s why.
The way that big successful artists promote their music is by having a dedicated manager, booking agent, P.R team to name just a few jobs. This covers all of your bases allowing you to, not only promote your music successfully, but have a successful artist career.
How to do this as an independent artist
If you’re an independent artist though you might just want 1 or 2 additional people to help you with these important jobs. It could be a friend, family member, or even another band member.
Ideally, if you have 1 person – a manager who really believes in you, they will take a lot of weight off your shoulders. They will be focusing on the business side of your project so that you can focus on the creative side of your music career.
If someone truly wants you to do well as a musician, they’ll do everything they can to help you succeed in the music industry.
Marketing your music with Free giveaways
You should always have leaflets to hand out at you gigs, but of course, everyone loves a freebie too, so why not give them something extra to remember you with!
After you’ve played at a gig, give some badges or demo CDs away, that way your fans receive something and are more likely to listen to you again.
Make sure the CD is professionally recorded and represents you in the best way possible; quality rather than quantity is key. Run competitions through your social media giving away freebies too to interact with your fans and keep them interacting with you.
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful and let us know if you’ve got any additional ways to promote your music in the comments below!