I want to be famous! How to promote your music online
Music marketing is a rapidly evolving challenge in a saturated industry; so how can you successfully promote your music online?
The current musical landscape is very different to how it looked fifteen years ago. Think back to the late 90s; to make it as a band, you had to rely on traditional methods of mass media. You had to get the attention of music journalists, radio play and critically, a performance on Top of The Pops. But nowadays, in what ways is it possible for anybody to quickly and easily promote your music and reach a global audience?
Whilst being in a start-up band myself, this is something I’ve researched and will pursue over the next few weeks. Hopefully, this blog will provide a humble guide for other new aspiring Bands or Artists to showcase and promote their music and go global… potentially.
A Band/Artist website can be a great way of communicating the image, identity and sound of the band. But it’s not necessary to hire a team of developers and fill it with bells, whistles and widgets; you can easily create something fun and unique using ready-made templates or a free framework such as Wordpress
The key here is to update the site regularly. You can increase the loyalty of your fans by informing them of upcoming gigs and recent news, including an interesting bio and offering access to downloads. Keeping an up-to-date website is also a great way of providing a patrolling promoter or industry representative with important contact details and music samples.
There are also sophisticated ways of increasing the visibility of your website on search engines by thinking carefully about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). By including frequently used keywords, updating your site regularly with audiovisual content and cross-linking your pages with other sites, you can attract more traffic to your page and potentially new fans!
Social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook provide an essential one-stop band advert. You can use these simple digital tools to present photos, songs, videos, info and calendars.
The relevance of this social networking cannot be underestimated; a whole plethora of world-famous bands once had their start on these sites. In 2004, the supporters of a small Sheffield band, called the Arctic Monkeys, launched a page on Myspace which quickly generated a major underground following. The efforts of their Myspace fans quickly brought the Arctic Monkeys to the attention of record labels and propelled them into global stardom with the fastest selling album in UK history.
Think outside the box: You could host a competition to increase your Facebook likes or Twitter followers by offering exclusive prizes. It’s often simple ideas that win. Humour is always a winner and people love freebies, so be clever and use your resources.
Youtube is used by millions of people every day and has become the best and easiest way of distributing amateur, as well as commercial, content online. Videos are easily searchable, inter-linked with other relevant content and supplemented by user comments.
The significance of Youtube is clear from the huge amount of overnight phenomena and trends that began on the site. In the space of a week, the unknown South Korean singer, PSY, went from total obscurity to a chart-topping pop sensation thanks to ‘Gangnam Style,’ the dance craze he first broadcast on Youtube.
To get the best results from Youtube, create and customise your own unique channel, get uploading all of your videos (thinking carefully about your titles and tagging) and finally, start networking with fellow users to gain views and subscribers.
This guide may not provide you with all the answers to becoming a global success or video sensation, but hopefully it has highlighted some of the huge numbers of ways to expose your music on the web. The Internet and its enormous potential for self-promotion has broken down the traditional patterns of music marketing. All that’s left is for the music industry to adjust to these dramatic changes….But we’ll save that debate for another time!
Written by Tom Giles