With so many ways to promote your music online - and only so many hours in the day - how do you decide which platforms are worth your time and energy?
If you try to promote your music through every channel available to you, all at the same time, you’re going to spread yourself too thin and eventually burn out. On top of that, you’ll end up frustrated that all of your hard work hasn’t actually amounted to much.
So rather than attempt the impossible, focus your efforts on a handful of platforms where your existing and potential fans are most likely to spend their time online. Start by promoting your music independently through the platforms that you most enjoy using, and build from there.
Here are 17 of the best ways to promote your music online.
To be sure that you’ll always have a place for your fans to find you online, make a music website with a custom domain name. Your website should be a one-stop shop that includes your latest music, an EPK, your official artist bio, upcoming events, and more.
You will use your website to promote music online by sharing new releases, adding your full discography, and gathering interest in your live show. A music website is the most robust way to get your music fans to support your music directly.
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2. Email list
Your email list is likely the most valuable music marketing tool you’ll have. Unlike social media platforms where algorithms determine who sees your content, your emails are guaranteed to land in your subscribers’ inboxes.
Always work on building your email list. Whether or not you have new music on the horizon, sending a regular monthly newsletter is a great way to keep your fans engaged and informed about all things going on with you and your band. This is key to building a community who cares and who will be there when you have new music to promote.
Writing a blog is a great way to offer insight into your career, and regular updates show that you’re an active musician. In addition to building a deeper relationship with your fans, writing a blog about your music can also help with your website’s SEO.
Without being too self-promotional, create blog posts that talk about your music every week or two. These could include insight into your creative process, roundups of new music you’ve been loving, or personal stories about your life as a musician. Keep in mind you can repurpose the content for newsletters or social media updates as well.
4. Electronic Press Kit
An electronic press kit, or EPK, is essentially an online résumé for your band. It should include your up-to-date bio, music, photos, videos, tour dates, press coverage, links, and contact information.
An EPK is an essential tool when it comes to promoting your music online. You can use it to create media assets that go along with a new music release, or add an EPK tailored to help you book more shows and reach more fans.
5. Music blogs
Even small features on music blogs will have a positive impact on your band website’s SEO and your music’s exposure, so seek out opportunities for album reviews, concert reviews, interviews, and guest posts.
To make the best use of your promotion efforts, research music blogs that feature artists similar to you in terms of genre and prominence. Then put together a personalized pitch that will catch the blogger’s attention.
Securing an interview on a podcast, or getting your music featured, is a great way to reach new music fans. Even a feature on a local podcast will give a new audience a more in-depth look at your music and who you are as a musician.
To promote your music online with a podcast, you could start your own and talk about your band with regular episodes. You can also reach out for an interview, or pitch your songs to podcasts. Just be sure to take some time and research podcasts that would be a good fit for your music.
As a social media platform used by billions, Facebook has long been considered essential for promoting music online. While it’s become increasingly difficult to reach fans organically over the last few years, there is still weight in using Facebook to promote your music.
If there’s an audience you want to reach and you have some budget to work with, get comfortable with Ads Manager to create and measure Facebook ad campaigns. As long as you dedicate some time to testing and optimizing, Facebook ads can be one of the most affordable ways to promote your music online.
Between the grid, stories, IGTV, Instagram Live, and Reels, Instagram offers many options to build your visual brand as a musician.
Try out the different options to see which you can commit to building organic Instagram traffic, from playing clips on your instrument with Reels, to sharing behind the scenes Stories for your fans. If you have a little money to put towards growing your presence, you can advertise and promote Instagram posts through Facebook Ads Manager in the same way that you’d promote a Facebook post.
Twitter reigns supreme for real-time updates and quick interactions. If you are comfortable with this format, it can be a good way to find people who are talking about your music (or similar artists), and strike up conversations with them.
To promote your music on Twitter, work on fan engagement by sharing thoughts on relevant trending topics, hosting Q&A sessions, posting setlists and pre-show selfies, and more.
Snapchat is a casual, in-the-moment social media app, more about building and engaging a fanbase than selling music directly.But it is a fun way to connect with fans, especially if your target audience skews younger.
It tends to feel more personal than other social media apps, which can lead to some unique marketing opportunities that don’t necessarily feel like “marketing.” So keep that in mind if you decide to promote your music through Snapchat.
11. Tik Tok
TikTok has quickly become a popular way to promote music online; trending on TikTok can do big things for your music career. The video app is especially popular among Gen Z, but older demographics have wasted no time hopping on the bandwagon.
You can create your own short videos, but be sure to also release your music to the platform as well so it can be used as audio snippets. The fine-tuned algorithm and addictive format give you a good chance of organically reaching a new audience with TikTok in comparison to other social media platforms.
Twitch is a platform that focuses on live video streaming. The platform is gaining popularity as a way for independent artists to not only perform shows, but also to build an audience and engage with a greater community.
If you’re a regular performer, Twitch is a good avenue to put on livestream concerts with an interactive feel. You can also promote your music on Twitch by hosting Q& A sessions, streaming rehearsals, or giving online classes and workshops.
YouTube is an enormous driver of music discovery. To use YouTube to promote your music online, upload and share videos regularly. To make your videos more discoverable, make sure that every upload has a clear and catchy title. Add a detailed description with keywords and relevant tags. You’ll also want to organize similar types of videos into playlists to build watch time.
Embeddable YouTube videos can also be added to your own website, a website promoting your music (think online press outlets, blogs, or venue websites), or linked and shared on other platforms.
14. Streaming services (Spotify, Apple, playlists)
Most fans use streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon to listen to their favorite artists and discover new music, so you’ll want to make sure your releases are available on all of them.
Getting even one of your songs featured on a playlist can work wonders for your music career. There are millions of playlists out there for every subgenre, mood, and activity imaginable - which translates into a golden opportunity to reach the right audience at the right time.
Bandcamp is a marketplace where music fans can listen to your music, or purchase downloads, vinyls, and even cassettes. The Bandcamp app allows listeners to stream music from their favourite artists.
Bandcamp is well-known for their community, so it’s well worth adding your music there for discovery purposes. You can also directly integrate your Bandcamp player to your music website, making sure that your fans can support you directly.
SoundCloud is one of the most artist-friendly platforms out there for independent musicians and niche genres, plus it boasts a massive community of diverse music lovers.
Use SoundCloud to promote your music online by sharing your tracks there for others to hear. You can even use SoundCloud to upload demos and gather feedback before investing in professional production. Be sure that if you go this route to spend some time on the platform yourself, by listening and sharing thoughts with other music makers to help build that community aspect.
Bandsintown is the largest concert discovery platform, used by over 500,000 artists and 50 million fans.
It’s a great way for performing artists to gain extra exposure for their shows, whether you’re heading out on tour, live streaming from home, or anything in between. You’ll be able to sync all of your upcoming events across your website and social media channels to be sure your fans can track your dates and catch your music in person.
All of these options to reach new listeners make promoting your music online a tangible goal for any independent artist. When starting out though, it’s important to remember that all of your efforts should really be about the music.
Choose a few platforms where you feel comfortable, or where you are able to grow a following quickly because your music suits the service. Then focus on those promotional tools to build lasting relationships with your fans. You can always add more options once you get into a routine of promoting your music online in an authentic way.
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