Published on May 14th, 2021 | by Sunit Nandi


8 Steps to Digitalization & Online Marketing in the Music Industry

Musicians and music producers of days gone by had a hard time marketing music. Some of the methods they used were interesting. One was to hand out tapes or CDs to club DJs, radio stations, or even strangers on the streets.

Those with some extra cash would hire people to push their music. Landing gigs at events was another way to get some visibility. Many would sit by their radios hoping for a chance to hear their songs.

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The internet has been a godsend for those in the music industry. You get tons of avenues, a broad audience base, and quick sharing of information.

But, it is not that simple. It pays to have the right steps to market your music online.

Music Digitalization and Online Marketing

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The digitalization of music allows it to be easily accessible across electronic devices. It has managed to revolutionize music production, distribution, and consumption.

The move to digital platforms has eliminated the need for physical products like LPs and CDS. Imagine the amount of savings for supply and distribution channels.

Many newbies in the music industry had to give up on their dreams. Lack of money and access to producers were significant impediments. Now, all you need is a computer, the right software, and you are good to go.

Once the music is out, you don’t need to stand outside a club or radio station, hoping to pass it to the DJ. You can now use digital channels like your website, social media, and other music platforms for marketing purposes.

Let’s look at some steps you can take to get your music to the right ears through the online platform.

Start With a Plan of Action

Go into music marketing in the same way you would any other type of marketing. It helps to start with a plan of action.

Look at all the factors that contribute to a solid marketing strategy. They include:

  • Your goals
  • Market and competitor research
  • Timelines
  • How you will achieve the goals – strategies, platforms, tools, etc.
  • Performance measurements and the metrics you will use
  • Financial aspects

The plan of action is the roadmap that will guide every single thing you do. You will not achieve any success without one.

Think About the Quality of Your Music

Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/concert-crowd-audience-people-768722/

One of the biggest arguments against digitalization is that the quality of music may not be good enough. Online distributors tend to compress or minimize data. This is due to bandwidth and storage limitations.

Internet radio and streaming services also give very low-quality output for digital products. It could be as low as 160kbit. A CD, on average, gets 1,411 kbit per second.

So what does this mean? The final output will not have the original quality. There may be distortion in sound or the loss of high-frequency parts.

Your audiences may not be very forgiving of poor quality sound. It could impact the uptake of your creative work. Pay attention to the quality of music you put out into the market.

You have many options for tools and software such as GarageBand and Logic Pro X from Apple. Others are Audacity, Ableton Live, Avid Pro Tools, and FL studio. Some are so friendly to use that beginners will have no problem. Further, you have free options if you do not have a budget.

A Website is a Good Idea

A website is a fantastic avenue for creating brand awareness. It doesn’t even take up much to set up one in terms of time and money.

You have the option of free website builders. They come with templates and themes you can customize as you wish. The other option is to hire a designer to create one for you.

The beauty of having a website is you have total control over what goes on it. You can use it for free music marketing, promotions, launching new releases, and so much more.

When working on website content, focus on search engine optimization (SEO). It pays to make it easy for the search engines to find you.

Best SEO practices will help with your ranking, thus increasing visibility. These include:-

  • Having the right keywords
  • Coming up with excellent content that increases engagement
  • Choosing the right domain name
  • Link building with trustworthy websites
  • Listing on platforms like Google My Business. Google Search Console and local listings

The list above is nowhere near exhaustive. Take the time to learn SEO techniques you can implement and see your rankings soar.

Take Advantage of Social Media

If you do not have social media accounts, it is time to step up to the 21st century. You are missing out on a fantastic way to reach audiences easily and quickly. You have a place where you can post your creative work without limitation.

You have the option of audio or video formats that your audiences can engage with. Here’s the kicker, you can open an account on every social media platform. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, etc., are all yours for the taking.

But, wait a minute, before you hop onto these platforms, take note of the following.

  • You must have identified that your target audiences are on that particular platform
  • Maintain consistency in posting. It doesn’t always have to be creative work. You could engage with the audiences on so many other things. The aim is to always interact with fans so that you are top of their mind at all times
  • Join relevant networking groups. It can give you exposure and help with the creative process. Further, you never know which bigwig producer occasionally passes by. That big break could be on that platform.

What you are aiming for is to build an organic fan base. Such audiences are likely to buy and share your music. You will also find that social media marketing is cost-effective while reaching millions of audiences.

PS. Make sure you link all your accounts to your website. It helps to have a lot of traffic to your site. The search engines take notice and may reward you with high rankings.

Create an Electronic Press Kit (EPR)

An electronic press kit is a central location for all your music assets. Such include music files, images, photos, and so much more.

An EPR gives quick access to information for anyone who may have an interest. It is especially helpful when reaching out to editors, program directors, talent buyers, and even bloggers.

Invest in Mobile and Video Marketing

Mobile devices provide convenience and quick access. It could explain why they have become so popular and a significant source of internet traffic. Companies invest resources using such platforms to reach their customers.

Those in the music industry have the same opportunities. Mobile marketing is an excellent way to reach audiences right where they are likely to be.

Take a look at platforms like Vimeo or YouTube. Videos are the leading forms of communication. Many aspiring artists have managed to break through using the platform. A word of caution, though.

You must take time to develop high-quality content. There is a lot of competition, and you could get lost in the clutter. Your videos must stand out in terms of quality and engagement.

Increase Interest with Fan Collaboration

You know how some companies take advantage of user-generated content when marketing? It allows audiences to feel like they’re part of the process. The same is applicable for collaboration to create content and value.

It also provides a fantastic way to start a conversation amongst target audiences. Make it more interesting with special promotions. Such could include attendance to invite-only premiers. Come up with an online game where winners win tickets to the show.

Put Aside Some Money for Paid Promotions

The online platform is effective because you can do a lot without spending much. But, you can get excellent publicity without breaking the bank.

Boosting posts on platforms like Instagram and Facebook can get your music to fans’ ears. If your budget allows it, you can run radio campaigns and so much more.

It also pays to have your music on the right platforms. Sign up to Spotify, SoundCloud, Tidal, and Apple music. Also, take advantage of distribution services like Tunecore and CDBaby.

Final Thoughts

Online marketing provides a lot of potential for those in the music industry. You can do a lot without spending any money on avenues like social media. Even if you do decide to spend, you will not find the costs prohibitive.

Start by understanding your target audiences well because they determine everything you do. It also helps to have a strategy and goals to guide all your activities. Good luck with your music career.

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About the Author

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.

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