Here at EBS Marketing, we talk a lot about business marketing, and how companies should be promoting themselves online to increase visibility and sales. And although the vast majority of the topics we discuss are relevant to a wide range of other fields and disciplines, we thought it might be a good idea to concentrate on another side of online marketing.
Music marketing has been around ever since recorded songs were cut into wax and distributed amongst the public, but most of this promoting was coordinated by third parties such record labels and management. But with the rise of social networking and DIY ethics, musicians and bands have had access to their own promotion tools for next to nothing.
Sure, up-coming bands and artists may not be expecting a turnover anywhere similar to that of a start-up business, but to dismiss the modern music-making public as simply hobbyists would be a drastic mistake. There is some serious talent out there, and they mean business.
But what can you and your band do to make sure you’re getting heard by the right people, at the right time in the right way? Well, here at EBS Marketing we’re here to help you out. Some of this you might already know, but even if you learn one thing from this blog hopefully it will be worthwhile.
This part of our online music marketing master class is all about your product; the music, and where to upload it. Here are a few tips.
Have you recorded any of your songs?
First thing’s first, the music. To be seen in any sort of light online, you have to have some sort of recorded music to show.
One of the main problems with having access to a wealth of different social channels is that they are populated by pages of bands with 100 likes/followers or less with no music uploaded at all. You don’t want to end up in the social media graveyard do you?
Are they any good?
If you’ve got an EP, single, album or even some videos, then that’s great. First job done. The second one though is a little trickier, and quite hard to determine.
Although music is an art form, and everyone has different tastes and opinions, flogging a dead horse isn’t something you want to be doing. Try and look for honest opinions of your work, and how you can improve.Mmarketing your music is made so much easier with a better product, just like it is in business. So, make sure your music is the best it can be.
Are you uploading them to the right websites?
When it comes to uploading your music you want to position yourself so your songs are as sharable and accessible as possible – especially if you are a new band. It’s not so much about uploading to every profile available to you, but making sure you’re hitting the main websites that:
- Are accessible by anyone – Nobody likes having to sign up to something, and music should be no different. If a listener has to log in or create an account to gain access to a track then you need to reconsider using that website.
- Give you the opportunity to pay as you like – Free music is awesome, but money for a struggling artist is also awesome. So using websites which give the listener the opportunity to pay what they like is a great option.
- Support great high res artwork – Although many of us have come to terms with not having physical music – although the revival of vinyl is a great thing – it’s still great to have some beautiful album cover art. And websites that make the most of this are well worth investing in.
- Let users comment and share – Letting your listeners share and comment away with ease is a great way to aid an online conversation about your music.
- That are clickable within social sites – What’s the point of sharing music on Facebook or Twitter if you have to click through to listen? Being able to play tracks directly in social networking sites without having to divert is a great way to encourage browsers and new fans.
- Let fans listen on the go – Many music hosting websites now have mobile apps which make listening on the go even easier, so no more horrible tinny laptop speakers!
So with that in mind here are a few website we suggest using to upload your music and promote your band.
Soundcloud – Where you’ll want to get some experience.
An unbelievably useful tool for new artists, Soundcloud gives bands and artists the opportunity to build a following and let listeners give their thoughts. What’s good about Soundcloud is it’s a hot bed of genres and tracks, allowing bands to not just post EPs and albums, but demos, singles, one-offs and remixes.
Bandcamp – Where you’ll want to upload your finished records.
Once you release your debut album or EP, make sure you upload it to Bandcamp and get sharing. You can let your fans pay what they like, include bonus files such as liner notes & photos, and even set up pre-order and merchandise links.
YouTube – Where you’ll want to upload acoustic sets and music videos.
YouTube’s reach is unprecedented. It’s endlessly accessible and recognisable, and it’s compatible with almost anything. So if you’ve got live versions of your tracks or behind the scenes footage then look no further. Another idea is to upload your music directly to YouTube – it might not be a very exciting watch, but you’d be surprised how many people use YouTube specifically for listening to music.
Amazing Radio – Where you’ll want to get your music played.
Amazing Radio is one of the world’s most innovative radio stations, which plays tracks uploaded via record labels and artists. And if you make enough buzz around your profile and upload good music, it could be played!
BBC Introducing – Where you’ll want to try.
Uploading your music to BBC Introducing won’t allow fans to listen online, and you won’t necessarily even hear anything back from the BBC, but it’s worth a shot. They say they might not get back to you within two months, but if you’re patient, and good enough, you’re music could be played on national radio.
We hope this introduction of online music marketing has been helpful and given you some ideas. Be sure to stay tuned for our next installment in which we’ll discuss social networking in more detail.