Music marketing: A guide to successfully promote a music album
Have you got an album coming up and are you looking for a killer way to promote it? We’ve put together a guide for record labels and artists with useful tips for a successful music promotion.
The magic number: 4 weeks
Make sure that your album has been delivered to all digital service providers (Spotify, iTunes etc) at least 4 weeks prior to the release date. Music streaming platforms need at least 4 weeks of lead time when it comes to scheduling content, features, promotions or passing an album through an editorial team.
During those 4 weeks, there is enough time to find the right playlist curator on each streaming platform. If the submitted release has to be changed within that 4-week lead time, you can simply edit the release in your Kwettr account and re-submit. This is a fully automated process. Enough lead time for new music means playing safe.
Wonder how to get your album pitched at DSPs? Distribution includes pitches.
Data, data, data
4 is the magic number, Data is the magic word in online marketing. Collecting and interpreting data is more important than ever. Useful tools include SEMrush or HRefs. SEMrush can be used to determine what kind of ad campaigns need to be done or what kind of adjustments need to be made to existing online media. HRefs is used to determine the right keywords. Any music marketing agency would advise this, to improve the technical SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of your website.
Using a Google Performance Max campaign (P-Max) you can even use AI to run your ads. This type of campaign used data and artificial intelligence to determine the best targeting combined with the right visual or text ad. A strong marketing tool to promote your new music.
Once released, you can use the analytical reports from your Kwettr account to measure streams, see the performance of your tracks in playlists and see downloads on several DSPs as well. Use this data to edit your existing music marketing strategy or build a new campaign. See analytical data on Amazon Music, Spotify and YouTube Music.
The best way to create a buzz before the release date is to have pre-saves and pre-orders available for your hardcore fans. A pre-save means your fans are offered the opportunity to save a track to their library even before it is released. Upon release date, Spotify will automatically add the new track to your library.
Pre-saves are important because Spotify values this kind of fan interaction upfront. It is a benchmark for the popularity of an upcoming release; if a track gains a high number of pre-saves, Spotify is more likely to include it in its playlists. Don’t forget to include information on the pre-sale when you use Spotify4Artists to pitch your new song. Sharing the pre-save link on any social media platform is also important, to drive traffic to your upcoming release. Fans are notified of the new release and can already pre-save the track to their account.
Another great way to improve customer experiences is by sharing exclusive material. Snippets of new tracks, videos of studio time, meet and greets, signed copies of albums, goodie bags. Your music is being offered to an exclusive audience on for example Beatport. This website for DJs is one of the few remaining stores that sells downloads and they love exclusivities.
Beatport even offers so-called Beatport Exclusive deals on label level. This means that if a record label commits to having all releases of a particular label exclusive for a period of 2 weeks, Beatport pays a higher royalty rate and is more likely to feature the new music on its website. Apple Music (and in the past iTunes) also love exclusive material. Apple Music also offers support on social media when a release is being made Apple Music exclusive.
Not all music streaming platforms promote exclusive content. There are certain platforms that strongly believe that music should be available for all people, all over the world. Spotify is a good example; they hardly ever dedicate a lot of attention to a release that can only be found on Spotify. It is a matter of principles, and maybe a way of positioning themselves in the market as opposed to Apple Music (which loves exclusive content). These two streaming giants are in a long-term struggle for market share and are very cautious about the way they position themselves in the market.
Socials: organic and ads
Why use a press & PR agent if targeted social ads and Google Ads reach the same people for only a small portion of the money? A music promotion company like Kwettr can also book ads for you on several platforms including YouTube ads. Kwettr’s music marketing services include ads, email marketing and pitches to streaming platforms.
Ads on social media
If you run a Facebook ad, make sure to always check your Facebook Insights for valuable data on organic posts. It shows the behaviour of your target audience. Social media marketing is also important on relatively new platforms like TikTok. Especially now TikTok has launched TikTok Music and the new TikTok Shop (US only). The music business thrives on social media; all large companies (except X, formally known as Twitter) have licensing deals with publishing companies and record labels. An independent artist can sign up for Kwettr, we make sure that your music on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snap is monetized and paid.
A more expensive way of promoting music but very effective: is the use of influencers on social media. These so-called influencers are often well-known people with lots of followers on for example TikTok or Instagram. They get paid to share your music, call out your name, give a shout-out or start a dance hoping it to go viral.
Getting in touch with an influencer is often difficult; there are agencies around for this kind of promotion but keep in mind that it can be very expensive. Most campaigns start with a budget of at least Eur. 10.000 and as with any type of marketing; success can’t be guaranteed.
Besides exclusives, there is bound to be some content that can be given away for free. Reward your most loyal customers when they share your message on social media. A great way to ask your fans to share a message, create virality and reach potential fans.
Email marketing: still a relevant tool for the music industry
The Kwettr mail program has great targeting options. Select the most active users and only offer content to those who are looking for it. Tailor-made content offerings are a sign of good customer service. The email marketing promotion that we offer can be used to communicate a new release, a pre-order or pre-save or an upcoming tour. Simply contact your Kwettr account manager and he can help you get started.
Include DSPs in your marketing plan and social communications
DSPs like Apple Music just love it when you give them a shout-out on social media. When a new album or single is released, make sure to share links to DSPs and of course, nice images of those DSPs in case your record is featured. Chances are high that some of these DSPs will share or like your message, increasing your reach even further.
Shout-outs by music streaming services also mean that other music industry professionals see your brand name and get a clear image of who you are as an independent artist. It can be very helpful in landing a new deal with a record label or getting your music heard on a radio station.
To sum up…
Promoting an album takes time and dedication. Start at least 4 weeks in advance, use our free e-books and tools for inspiration or contact one of our account managers.
Use social media to communicate your new release, pre-order or pre-save. If possible, try to give away some exclusive content to spark virality. Kwettr can help you determine the right marketing plan for your new music. Simply sign up for our distribution service and we’ll be in touch.