The Internet is a space with endless ways to express oneself. Music can be recorded, designed, managed, promoted, performed and sold online. The number of music marketing tools grows each month. You as an artist need to know how to sell. So check these five essential music marketing tools you need to know about.
#1 Facebook: the king among music marketing tools
Facebook is still widely used for the news and promotion of all kind. So at an early stage, an own homepage is not needed.
Facebook allows you to be unique and stand out by using a cover image, a profile photo, and apps. This social platform combines all the apps you need: Instagram, Twitter, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, BandsInTown etc. See how Mogwai personified their app banners.
Start building an audience
Pick a cover photo that sets the mood of your music. Remember, a larger image is better than a smaller. Avoid pixels, unless you are a glitch-hop artist. If you are familiar with Photoshop or a similar software, cut your image to 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall and save as png. You can also use a Facebook cover image generator.
If you are a solo musician, try not to upload your persona to both cover image and profile photo. That creates a slightly narcissistic feeling. Set the mood by using photos from your rehearsal space, your favourite spot in the city, nature or an abstract graphic from the public domain websites.
Don’t you have photos like those? Pixabay offers high-quality images that you can use for free. Alternatively, go to Google Images, press Search Tools, then Usage Rights, select Labeled for Reuse.
Add apps to your Facebook page
Type in Instagram/Twitter/Soundcloud Tab into the search field. Prepare app banners size 111 x 74 pixels. Under the cover image press More, Manage Tabs, Add or Remove Tabs, Edit Setting under the Tab you would like to update. Both an image and a title can be modified. This will make your Facebook page look more effective. The call to action phrases like Follow us, Get the latest News, Write us will encourage people to take action more than plain Instagram, Twitter, E-news words.
Fill out the About section
People want to know the story! Who are you? What kind of music do you make? What made you become a musician? It also makes your profile look more genuine and simply interesting.
Communicate with your followers
You won’t forget to post the news, the first single release or live video, but please do not forget to answer emails and public questions.
And even more importantly – ask your fans’ opinions! Tease them with pre-released songs. Ask them which ones you should include in the upcoming EP. Let them vote for your CD cover. Offer to take a part in the video shooting. After the show, ask your fans to share their photos and mark them. They will feel valued for sure. See how Lis Er Stille, a band from Denmark, communicates with their fans.
Talk about other musicians or music related subjects
Tell us what inspires you. Share what you thought of a new Aphex Twin record. Let fans know you have just read an amazing book. Tag other musicians/pages you talk about so that readers can check them out right away. When sharing somebody’s timeline post, add a personal note or opinion on the issue. Why bothering, you might ask? It is a bonus to step outside your ego, introduce your readers to great content, support others and make your Timeline more active!
Disregarding the message, an image is worth a thousand words. Make sure to accompany links with some visuals as well.
We want to know who you are as a person/band. Post your tour photos. Thank your fans for coming to a show. Telling them about technical or personal challenges. When everyone is on holiday, do not forget to wish your fans a very Happy Christmas. Give them a special code for a song download.
Follow Facebook rules
Until the last year, many pages would ask for Likes and Shares of an image in order to enter the competition. Now this is against the Facebook law. But you still can embed email sign up forms and run promotions using email campaigns.
Find best times and frequency for posts
If you have a lot to say, try not posting more than twice a day or it will make you sound like a bored panda. Best posting time is between noon and 9pm. The best hours you will see by checking Facebook Insights and analysing your traffic.
Make use of Facebook ads
Consider boosting your most important posts like album releases or upcoming tours. Facebook is free until you really need it to work for you. It makes sure your posts are not seen to all your followers. The first thing you can do is ask your followers to click Get Notifications under the Like button. Then if the viewing stats are still low, boost your posts by paying.
Try €5 per day first. That should not break your bank and will definitely help you spread the news. Facebook will show your post even to those who do not follow you yet, but like similar music genre.
Facebook is one of the most powerful music marketing tools on the Internet and should be used to the maximum.
#2 Proven music marketing tools: E-Mail
No matter how popular Facebook is, email remains the most official form of communication on the Internet. Email is a relationship between you and your fan. Appreciate the subscribers’ email space, though. Send them only the most important and exciting information. Be short and clear in your message, the music will tell the rest.
There are at least 10 great email marketing services. Each one has good and bad sides. For the beginners, Mailchimp is one of the best options. It is free for up to 2000 e-mail addresses and is very easy to use. E-mail campaigns will help you segment your fans by age, sex, country etc. This will help you send German tour dates to those based in Germany. Or treat your Vienna-based fans with a secret show.
Create email signup forms and embed them on Facebook or post elsewhere. Keep the e-mail simple. We know you are a musician and not a graphic designer.
#3 Visual music marketing tools: Instagram
Instagram is one of the greatest visual music marketing tools you should be using on a regular basis. Today everybody owns a smartphone and can shoot great photos within one second. Show us the process of recording, a freshly baked vinyl, a poster of your concert somewhere deep in France or
Use hashtags! They will increase your fan base. It is a good idea to use the most popular hashtags: #instadaily, #instamusic, #music #indie etc. However adding your personal hashtags like the name of the album or band is great, too.
Communicate! Follow back, comment, like! Start following your favorite bands and ask them relevant questions. Do not overdo it and seem desperate. You are not a 12-year old girl who is seeking #likeforlike.
Filter fashion is changing like everything else. Filters were the big boom for several years until #nofilter came in. Yet, VSCO app is being on a peak of popularity right now. It makes photos look a little misty, yet very eye pleasing (see the image above).
Just like filters, video editing options are also evolving. Try Hyperlapse – it is easy and fun!
#4 Live music marketing tools: Twitter
If you just started the music career and do not have a large fan base, I would not worry about Twitter. Many small bands are not on Twitter. This platform is an effective music marketing tool for those who already made a name. Use Twitter to quickly update your fans. The hashtags play the most important role here; tag everything and everyone related to the post. Do not forget – 140 characters is not enough to write a poem! Be constructive, use
If you are an established musician or a band, use Twitter to quickly update your fans. The hashtags play the most important role here. Tag everything and everyone related to the post. Do not forget – 140 characters is not enough to write a poem! Be constructive and use bit.ly to shorten your links. See how many clicks you can get and learn from good posts. And once again – communicate! Liars profile is a great example.
Another great tool for live communication with fans is Snapchat. Check it out, if you have some time.
#5 Video music marketing tools
Video material is maybe one of the most powerful music marketing tools. Current smartphones and applications allow you to film and edit without a computer. This iPhone 5s video is incredible.
When posting a video link on Facebook, add a comment. It is also a great idea if you upload your video content directly to Facebook. Then all your music clips will be in the video section.
Use YouTube to reach a bigger audience. Vimeo is more popular among underground musicians. However, no one stops you from using both platforms.
These are the most important music marketing tools you need. They will keep your followers engaged and arouse interest in strangers. Social media is time-consuming, sure. Simply focus on two or three in the beginning and keep growing. Read more about music marketing for independent musicians here.