So, you’ve just received the master/s for your new release, and now what are you going to do? Make a Facebook post and call it a day? Unfortunately, in today’s music industry, if you want to make it independently then you need to be your own marketing, PR, and Advertising campaign manager, and a single social media post is sadly, not going to cut it. What that means for the many musicians who do not have access to tens-of-thousands in a campaign budget, is that being resourceful, and knowing where to spend your precious promo-bucks, is key to building a following, and getting noticed.
Music Industry Inside Out have compiled a short-list of 5 ways to spend money on music promotion, without breaking the bank, check them out below:
1. Facebook & Instagram Paid Promotion Tools
Starting from as little as $1 a day, paid promotional tools on Facebook and/or Instagram can make a huge difference to your project’s potential reach, as well as messaging frequency. Basically, more people can see your advert, and more often. Where the decision making gets difficult, is deciding on what content you will benefit from the most by running a paid-promotional campaign. Paying to boost a post with promotional tools does not guarantee any rewards, so make sure that the content you are going to promote is of a decent production quality, and is understandable/digestible for audiences who are unfamiliar with your project. Below are some tips from Facebook on how to get the best value out of your paid campaigns.
Examples of videos to post:
- Live performance footage to drive ticket sales
- Performance footage to drive merch sales
- Performance footage or stripped down performance footage to drive streams
- Fun/creative video initiative to announce album release and drive streams (for example, a 15-second teaser with the artist speaking directly to the camera)
- Fun/creative video that debuts merch to drive merch sales
Use Facebook advertising tools to reach an audience of people who are most likely to be interested in what you want to promote.
- From the people who watch your videos on Facebook and Instagram, you can create a Custom Audience. You can then create a Facebook ad to show to this qualified audience. Learn more about creating a custom audience from video views here.
2. Commission Some Eye-Catching Artwork for your Single/EP/Album
If you are looking to grow your fan-base organically, finding the right visual aesthetic to match your music is essential, and music fans certainly have been know to judge a book by its cover. If you are going to pay for a boost on a post of your single-artwork to try and reach new fans, then the artwork has to be representative of your music, and inviting/intriguing enough to make people want to investigate your project further.
Artwork can vary greatly in price, and if you only have $100 then you should search for emerging visual artists who match your required style, and will accept a commission within your budget. The best way to scout talent for your release-artwork is to look at artists with a similar aesthetic to you and investigate who they are working with. It also helps to understand roughly, a few keywords that describe your visual aesthetic, for example – “natural, earthy-tones, organic” for a folk or blues artist, vs. “distorted, primary colours, geometric” – Understanding what style you want, even if just through some rough keywords, will make it easier to search for visual artists and artworks.
Where to look for stunning visual art:
Remember to always approach artists/content creators for permission to use their work.
3. Invest in Merchandise/Print Media
Money spent on physical merchandise or promotion can reap great rewards in terms of exposure, as well as an opportunity to make a return on investment. $100 spent on some stickers, or some promotional buttons, could be doubled or tripled depending on your quantity and supplier. Merchandise also serves a double purpose, as it generates income from sales, as well as generating advertising and exposure from people displaying your artist/band merch in public.
Here are some great options for merchandise and print media suppliers that ship nationally to Australia.
4. Create Physical Download Cards
If $100 is too little dough to get your own CDs/Cassettes/Vinyl printed, then you should investigate physical download cards. Cheap to produce – physical download cards are an opportunity for artists to give their fans something physical/token, and to drive traffic towards a new release. The card usually features the release artwork and a digital download code or link. Bandcamp makes it unbelievably easy to get started on this, providing a digital template for designing, and printing your cards. You can even print them from your home printer!
For information and examples of how to prepare a digital download card, check out Bandcamp.
5. Pay for Media Coverage
While $100 may not cut it for most media publications, it is more than worth your while to investigate the music blogs and publications that service artists within your genre. Media promotion can prove invaluable when it comes to having a varied selection of online content for your artist/s: It makes a difference to have positive feedback come from an outside entity, rather than always from the band/artist themselves.
Options for some paid media promotion in Australia are:
Make it Count: Know Your Audience
At the end of the day, promotion means nothing if you don’t have a concrete plan in place for what the promotion is looking to achieve. If you know you need to build your audience, and attract new fans, then promoting your up-coming live-show is probably best suited towards engaging existing fans. Truly understanding the best-use for each promotional tool takes time, so pay attention to artists/bands that you admire and try to understand the what the goal behind each piece of promotion they post is. Lastly, think about how you can use promotional tools in ways which align with your artist/bands brand or story – Not every artist needs to utilise Snapchat, and by the same token, not every genre is finished selling cassettes and vinyl!