When I discuss music marketing with musicians, they almost always ask, “Isn’t that the same as promotion?” It is, and it isn’t. Marketing includes promotion, but promotion is only one part of marketing.
Music marketing and music promotion are often thought of as the same thing. They’re not. They have distinct roles in the overall plan to get your music heard. Let me explain.
What is Music Marketing?
Marketing is a variety of strategic tactics you will use to get your music heard. Typically a music marketing plan will have elements that will include the 4Ps: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
Product: What is your music? What style of music is it? What are the lyrics about?
Price: How much will you sell your music for, and what can people expect to pay for a live show?
Place: Where will you distribute your music (online, physical stores, etc.)?
Promotion: What are you doing to let people know about your music? What marketing channels will you use?
Music marketing includes:
- Creating a music strategy
- Building a brand
- Targeting your audience
- Developing marketing materials
- Creating a publicity plan
You want to use a variety of mediums that include paid, earned, and owned media strategies. Paid media would be advertising and sponsorships. Earned media is publicity, which can come in the form of reviews, interviews, or feature stories. Owned media is anything you create, such as a website or social media account.
Music Marketing is about creating a plan and executing that plan. Like:
- Making a website.
- Setting up social media profiles.
- Releasing new music videos or singles.
- Booking shows
It’s not about hoping people will find your music organically. It’s about taking control of the conversation around your music and making sure as many people as possible hear it.
Music marketing should be an ongoing process that you are constantly tweaking and adjusting. What works today may not work tomorrow, so you have to be willing to change with the times.
What is music promotion?
Music promotion is one element of marketing, but it’s an essential one. Promotion is all about getting your music in front of the right people. This could be getting people to listen to your music on streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music, buy your music on Amazon, see you live at a show, or even tell their friends about your music.
Music is promoted in the same way other things are. It can be done by sending emails, posting on social media, advertising it, or word-of-mouth.
One key difference between music marketing and other types of marketing is that musicians often have to promote themselves. This means they often have to do things like create their own website or social media accounts, and make their own music videos.
When you’re an indie band, like 95% of all musicians, with no big label backing you up, you’ll need to hustle and get your music out there any way you can.
Musicians also need to be savvy about the ways they market themselves. Using social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok can be a great way to connect with fans and share exclusive content.
It’s crucial to have a plan and understand the different types of promotion to make use of your time and resources most effectively.
There are two types of music promotion: paid and unpaid. Paid promotion includes advertising, sponsorships, and endorsements. Unpaid promotion includes publicity stunts, social media marketing, and street teaming. Both types are important, but they should be used in conjunction with each other for the best results.
It is a must to have a clear goal in mind when you start marketing your music. What are you trying to achieve? Are you looking for more exposure, higher album sales, or more gigs? Once you know what you want, you can develop a plan that will help you reach your goals.
According to the media company Music Business Worldwide, over 60,000 tracks are uploaded to Spotify every day. That’s a lot of noise music lovers have to get around to get to your music. This is why marketing your music brand is essential.
If you’re not sure where to start, contact a music marketing specialist for help. At Lundberg Entertainment Group we can help you develop a plan tailored to your needs and budget.