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:
Nothing can ever replace the OG of music promotion. Regardless of how many fans you have on social media, you still need a homebase online to direct potential and future fans toward. That home is your music website.
On it, fans, booking agents, and labels should be able to find your EPK, latest music, bio, upcoming shows, and anything else that gives them a snapshot of who you are and why they should care. You can also add a Smart link to promote your music right under your own custom domain name with your website.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good website to promote your music—it’s one of the best ways to get fans to support your music directly. It’s also a great way to gather fans’ email addresses so you can keep in touch with them.
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2. Email list
Your email list is one of the most important building blocks for a successful career. You’ll use it to keep in touch with fans, and it’s a great (if not one of the best) way to promote your music.
Whether or not you have new music or shows coming up, sending a monthly newsletter is a great way to keep your fans in the know 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 do have new music to promote.
If you’re a natural storyteller, this is the option for you. Both being a guest on other people’s podcasts and starting your own is a great way to showcase your personality and let people in on who you are—which is exactly why they’ll want to learn more and follow you.
You can start by submitting yourself to music podcasts or even podcasts related to your brand. For instance, if your band is a pop-punk band reminiscent of early 2000s Warped Tour era, you might submit to podcasts that focus on 2000s nostalgia, or the punk scene. Whatever the style of the podcast, the important thing is to have an angle. Why are you the perfect guest? What will their listeners gain from having you on?
Then, consider if you want to start your own podcast. It could be around your music, your brand, or just you and your friends chatting. It might sound silly but with the right mix of personalities, a little bit of branding, and some loyal fans, this can be a really cool way to reach new music fans. Plus, not a lot of bands are doing it, which gives you an advantage.
4. Electronic Press Kit
Your EPK is often the first impression for people like booking agents, press, or even labels. Think of it as an online resume for your band. Everything from your bio, music, photos, live video footage, and contact information should be on there. If you’re wanting to:
- Book more shows
- Play festivals
- Get in front of labels
- Find a manager
…or anything else, you’re going to need a really strong EPK. You can even add an EPK to your website to help with these things!
When it comes to ease of use, Groover is top of mind. Designed to send your songs to blogs, radio, playlists, labels, and more with just a few quick clicks, Groover has quickly become one of the go-tos for DIY musicians to promote their releases.
You can even use Groover to promote your music on TikTok to help increase followers and get your music trending!
6. Blogs (in and outside the music industry)
You might think of blogs as being outdated in the age of TikTok and Spotify, but blogs have a lot to offer when it comes to getting in front of new fans and promoting your music online.
You can start your own blog on your website, or seek out features on other blogs. Interviews, reviews, spotlights, tour diaries, and behind-the-scenes posts all have a place on both your own blog and others’.
Even the smallest features on blogs (which often have some of the most loyal readers) will have a positive impact on your band website’s SEO, so don’t be shy about seeking out these mentions. Be sure to do a mix of reaching out to blogs that feature artists similar to you in terms of both career stage and genre, and those that aren’t music-related but are related to your brand. (See the pop-punk podcast example above.)
No matter what, be sure to personalize your pitch. This goes a long way.
Instagram remains a really popular way to reach new fans. Between Stories, Reels, your grid, Lives, and comments and engagement on other people’s posts, there are plenty of ways to build your brand.
If you’re already a fan of Instagram, see what feels most natural to you, and what your audience responds to. Reels might be a popular way to promote your music, but if your audience tends to respond better to carousel posts or Lives, then stick with those. Listen to what your audience needs.
One of the most underappreciated and underutilized platforms for promotion in the music industry is Reddit. While you have to be careful not to just go on Reddit and spam your music to the different Subreddits, there are a lot of communities for just about every genre, interest, and brand you can imagine, and many of them allow you to share your music for feedback.
Some artists even start their own Subreddits as an additional way to engage with Redditors!!
Discord seems to be set to become the next TikTok for the music industry, and might become one of the best ways to build an engaged fanbase if it’s a platform that resonates for you.
You can hang around on other people’s servers to get comfortable and build new connections and fans organically. Then, when you’re ready, consider starting your own server to really nurture your existing fanbase and promote your music.
10. Influencer partnerships and brand collaborations
One of the fastest growing methods of promotion in all industries is influencer marketing: when you partner with social media influencers to promote a product (in your case - your music!).
A lot of nano-influencers (those with under 10k followers) will work with you for either little or no charge, and this is a great way to get in front of a totally new audience. They can feature your music in a Reel, do a joint Live with you, or have your song in the background of a TikTok post.
You can also incorporate the help of other brands that can grow alongside you as you promote your music. For example, working with a local clothing company to wear one of their shirts in your music video, with the stipulation that you tag and mention them in the description and they share your video to all their fans.
The more specific you can make these partnerships and collaborations to you and your audience’s interest, the more successful you’ll be.
11. 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, activity, and mood imaginable—which translates into many golden opportunities to reach the right audience at the right time.
I don’t have to tell you how powerful TikTok has become, especially with Gen Z (so, if this is your audience, it’s a great place to be). TikTokcan be a fantastic tool to have fun and show your personality. Through that, you can really attract fans who vibe with your energy and feel seen through you simply being yourself.
While it’s ever changing, it’s still one of the social media platforms where you can have success with reaching a new audience.
Twitch can be amazing for an indie artist’s career, especially if you’re the kind of artist that doesn’t get to play live out in public as much as you’d like, but still want to connect with your fans in that same way.
Because Twitch focuses on live video streaming, the platform gained a lot of popularity early in the pandemic. Its staying power is thanks not only to the way it allows artists to do virtual comments, but also to its vibrant community.
14. YouTube Shorts
YouTube has always been a giant in the music industry for obvious reasons. But, with the addition of Shorts, you can now bring all your favorite platforms together under YouTube’s roof.
Sure, you can still host your music videos, lyric videos, live performances, and so on within YouTube as you always have, but you can also begin to create Shorts (which are a lot like Reels or Tik Toks) as an additional way to capture—and keep—the attention of fans. Once they discover your Shorts, it’s a natural transition to continue discovering your music through your channel’s music videos.
15. Create your own Playlist
Who says you have to rely on Spotify to put you on their editorial playlist? Sure it’s cool to be featured on a playlist, but you can create your very own playlist that includes your music and the music of other local artists or artists you admire, and then use your social media or even ads to promote it and get it more listeners. It’s organic, and it sure beats playlist bots.
Make the name and cover artwork something immediately engaging that conveys the mood of the playlist. Think of Spotify’s “Songs to Sing in the Car” versus the generically-named playlist “Pop Songs to Enjoy.” One definitely has more kick, right?
Once it’s complete, share the playlist with other indie artists you included—they can share it with their audience as well!
Bandcamp has been a mainstay in the music industry, and for good reason: it’s a marketplace where music fans can listen to your music, or purchase downloads, vinyls, and even cassettes. The Bandcamp app also allows your fans to stream your music from anywhere. On top of that, it has a thriving community of members, and it is well worth adding your music there. You never know who might come across it!
Bonus: You can directly integrate your Bandcamp player to your music website.
Bandsintown is the largest concert discovery platform, used by over 500,000 artists and 50 million fans. They’re another mainstay in the industry, and with those user numbers they’re definitely doing things right.
With their strong reputation, Bandsintown provides a great way to gain more exposure for your shows. You can also sync your shows with your website and social media so that everything stays up to date automatically. (No more remembering to take down old shows on your website!)
Try each of these platforms to see which ones resonate with you, so you know which ones to pursue when it comes time to decide. It’s about finding a platform you’re comfortable with, and ideally one where your fans already spend time.
Once you focus your efforts on those platforms, you can quickly grow a following. And you can always get deeper involved once you have a routine for promoting your music online in an authentic way.
Angela Tyler is the founder of MP Co. (formerly Muddy Paw PR) a marketing, PR, and management services company for musicians. She has secured placements in Forbes, Business Insider, American Songwriter, on the “Lead Singer Syndrome” podcast and more, and her artists go on to sign to labels and play major festivals. She loves dessert, her rescue dog Sawyer, and new ideas.
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