10 Essential Online Music Marketing Tools
Do you want to build your Spotify following, grow your email list, and boost engagement on platforms like YouTube and SoundCloud? Do you want to spend less money or time on promotion, but have a greater effect? Get free access to the same marketing tools used by Nettwerk Music Group, Sony, Universal, The Orchard, and more. Here are our picks in no particular order:
1. Spotify for Artists
There are tons of benefits that you can access through the Spotify for Artists dashboard, including customizing your Spotify profile, submitting to playlists, song statistics, and listener demographics. If you have even a small following on Spotify, the analytics alone can be one of your most valuable music marketing tools. You can use that insight to make smart decisions on where to perform live, which bands to tour with, who to target on social media, and much more.
If you play a lot of live shows, Bandsintown is a must. It’s the largest concert discovery platform, used by over 500,000 artists and 50 million fans. It’s an easy way to reach more music lovers and sell tickets to your shows. Perhaps the best part is that you can sync all of your tour dates across your website, Facebook page, and other social networks, all from one place.
3. Mailing list
Your mailing list is the single most important marketing tool you have. Your email newsletter, on the other hand, is free permission marketing, so use it at least once a month! It allows you to target meaningful information to people who you know are fans of your music. Never underestimate the fact that you can instantly reach your biggest fans with a click of a “send” button.
Don’t forget to check in on your email analytics every now and then. Open rates, click-through rates, new signups, and unsubscribes all tell you important information about how healthy and engaged your list is. Use that data to tweak, test, and improve each email you send to ensure that you’re getting the most out of every campaign.
Artists tend to undervalue the power of websites just as much as mailing lists. Facebook is not a website. Bandcamp is not a website. Fans want a one-stop shop where they can listen to your music, watch your videos, learn about upcoming shows, and find out more about you. The easier it is to find you, the easier it is to follow you.
Creating and maintaining a proper website isn’t just for your fans, either. Talent buyers, music journalists, and all sorts of industry professionals are more biased towards artists who represent themselves well with a professional-looking online presence. There are also plenty of ways that you can use your website data to drive your music career forward.
Artists don’t always see the value in Twitter, or simply don’t get how to use it. But it’s one of the best music marketing tools for real-time updates, and it’s a great place to share thoughts on trending topics, have personal interactions with your fans, and more.
Hashtags and mentions are two of the big keys to taking advantage of Twitter. When tweeting about an upcoming show, for instance, be sure to tag the venue and the other artists on the bill, and use hashtags that specifically apply to your event and the city it’s in.
People love photos, plain and simple. The beauty of Instagram is that you have the opportunity to share everyday things with your fans — clips from new songs you’re working on, an amazing meal you had, or even the bite your dog took out of your lyric notebook. Go easy on show posters or anything that looks too polished. There are lots of ways to get creative with music marketing on Instagram while still coming across as authentic.
Plus, you can easily promote any Instagram post through Facebook Ads Manager (the same way you’d promote a Facebook post) to reach the targeted audience of your choice.
Think of YouTube as your audio/visual business card. It gives people a three-dimensional idea of who you are. It’s a huge driver for music discovery, and it’s how many fans prefer to share and consume music.
Upload videos on a consistent schedule to gradually build a following, and be sure to share them across other platforms, whether it’s embedded in an email newsletter or posted as a short teaser on Instagram. Include links to your website and social media profiles in every YouTube video description, and use relevant keywords so that you come up in search results and related video suggestions.
Bandcamp is dedicated to helping musicians sell directly to their fans and maintain control over how they share their content. You can set whatever pricing you’re comfortable with, let fans decide how much they want to pay, or choose to offer free download codes.
The customizable, embeddable music players are a huge plus, and you can even bundle your digital music with physical merch, like T-shirts, posters, or vinyl. Bandcamp also does a great job of curating and promoting music on the platform to encourage customers to discover new artists.
SoundCloud is another artist-friendly platform that does a great job of helping people find new music from a huge, diverse community of creators. It’s an open platform designed to directly connect artists and fans.
SoundCloud is unique in that people can leave comments on songs as they’re listening. You might get valuable feedback on a favorite verse, other songs they think of when they hear yours, or opinions about specific instruments on the track. Many artists even use SoundCloud as a place to upload raw demos and gauge the response before investing in professional production.
1001Tracklists has become an integral aspect of the electronic music industry over the last few years. The hub that informs fans and musicians about set lists, the platform has become a huge source of data around the popularity of certain tracks, artists and events in the industry. Check out which artist played your music and share it on your Social Media Channels!