Trying to figure out how to promote your band? More than ever, this requires a long-term strategy. Following trendy, flash in the pan tactics and techniques of the day will only get you so far. If you want to promote your music successfully, you must go where the listeners are and get your music in front of them.
Promoting your music online ensures that you’re ready when people start Googling and come looking for you. The music industry is constantly changing and transforming. So, knowing how to promote your band online can only help build and nurture your fan base and attract new fans in the process.
Here are 8 ways to promote your band:
1. Create engaging video content
Video content is a promotion essential, and best of all, it can be created cost-effectively, even from the comfort of your own home.
Your content can be used for promotion in a variety of ways, whether it’s to book more shows, grow your fan base, or showcase your latest release. Keep in mind all of the channels where you can natively share your videos – YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, for example.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to limit yourself to music related content with your videos. You can create vlogs, rig rundowns, product reviews, interviews, and more.
2. Connect with fans at shows
People may hear you for the first time on Spotify or YouTube. But a live show is where a real connection is made. And if you want to build an engaged, loyal fan base, you must create a connection.
There are many ways to get in front of your audience to promote your band – in-person shows, touring, and even live streams. In recent years, technology has had to catch up to an evolving need for video conferencing, and as such, live streams have become more utilized, more engaged, and more viable.
When looking for gig opportunities, create a relationship with local bands, and don’t forget to reach out to local press for promotion.
3. Host a live stream event
Don’t just host a live stream. Make an event out of it!
Many events fail for lack of preparation. But if you take the right steps to organize, promote, and execute, you’ll get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
You can integrate live streaming as part of your touring efforts, or even do one-offs to keep your fans engaged while you’re working on your next release.
Live streams can also drive up your impressions on social media, and the more people see you, the better the chance you will grow your following.
4. Put efforts into getting playlisted
Getting your music playlisted is still a fantastic way to increase its reach, and promote your band in the process.
To maximize your playlisting potential, follow these steps, first claim your Spotify for Artists account. You can manage your official Spotify profile and presence, and keep an eye on your stats. This can help with geo targeting and ongoing advertising efforts.
Next, you’ll launch your music to your audience. This boosts your music in the algorithm, increasing your chances of getting playlisted. If you aren’t stimulating organic listens, getting playlisted will prove an uphill battle.
You will also want to pitch your music to curators. Identify the curators and look up their websites or social media profiles. Pitch to relevant playlists only and play the long game. Build relationships and remain patient in your communication.
5. Maintain an up-to-date website
Take control of your online presence by creating a music website where you control the narrative. Having a website gives your band the chance to speak directly to your audience and shape your identity at the same time, through creative visuals and design.
Your website should function as the centerpiece in your ongoing online promotion efforts for your band. Ensure that your social media profiles point back to your website (i.e., your “link in the bio” should be your artist website). This drives traffic back to your website, and helps your fans to see the full picture of your band.
Don’t forget to set up a shop to sell your music and band merch to make money from your website.
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6. Make and sell branded merch
Turn your fans into walking billboards for your brand and music by making and selling branded merch. Share it out by word of mouth, at shows, and ask your fans to spread it online as well.
Creating and selling merch has never been easier thanks to print-on-demand tools like Printful. You can keep your garage clear of excess inventory and focus instead on sharing your merch and making an income from it.
While t-shirts are great sellers, offer some creative band merch as well. Add your band logo to mugs, stickers, hoodies and more to see what appeals to your fans.
7. Share your music far and wide
These days, sharing your music on one platform and hoping listeners will find it is like throwing a needle in a haystack and expecting to be able to find it quickly and easily without getting hurt.
There are a lot of great platforms like YouTube, SoundCloud, and Bandcamp where you can get free exposure to promote your music online without it being a huge drain on your time.
Keep an ear to the ground and be on the lookout for new platforms where more people can hear your music. And don’t forget to direct them to your official website.
8. Research and pitch to radio stations and podcasts
There are still plenty of people who listen to the radio, and that means there’s a viable market you can tap into. Actively seek out opportunities in college and internet radio because the exposure you get from a single spin can be hard to replicate with a channel like streaming.
Also seek out local podcasts for opportunities to be interviewed and to share your music. Do your research before pitching, though, and be clear on your value proposition. Look for ways to add value to podcast hosts and they will be more likely to respond favorably to your requests.
A successful music career always begins with great music. But these days, you also need to focus your efforts on promoting your music. Otherwise, no one will hear it!
Make promotion an organic extension of your artistic identity. Keep it fun and enjoyable, and you will see results. The momentum you create will pay off.
David Andrew Wiebe is the Founder & CEO of The Music Entrepreneur HQ and author of four books, including the much-praised The New Music Industry: Adapting, Growing and Thriving in The Information Age. Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work and music instruction.
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