There are lots of different ways people can promote their bands, including local advertising and the sale of merchandise. The online market is huge, however, and no serious band can afford to ignore the opportunities this presents.
It can be confusing at the start because there are so many different platforms from which to choose. There’s no shortage of online advice either, with each person plugging something different. Let’s have a look at some key ideas together.
1. Upload digital tracks
Many people listen to digital music on such platforms as Soundcloud, Spotify or Bandcamp. It’s therefore important to have a presence there, but the markets can be saturated for every genre. A visit to PlaylistStreams reveals that playlist promotion is what bands need in order to be heard above the crowd. Their music needs to be included in the very playlists people are using for that genre. Bands will also value professional assistance that includes data reporting so they can see which songs are albums are doing the best during advertising campaigns.
2. Have a band website and use email marketing
People need to be able to easily find your band site when they search on Google. They’ll be expecting videos that auto-play, and sections containing a discography, group bio and tour information.
Once people have been lured to the site it’s important to offer physical CDs that can be ordered, and mp3’s that can be instantly downloaded. Why not create some band merchandise too and sell it from there?
Website visitors should also be given the chance to subscribe in order to receive important updates and offers. Bands could offer freebies such as a downloadable track, in exchange for the person’s email address.
Email marketing is highly effective, so there is great value in obtaining peoples’ email addresses. People are more likely to open these emails if the word ‘video’ is included in the title. Why not include a band video in your mailing? People are more likely to buy as a result of seeing video content than just seeing photos or reading text.
3. Have a Youtube account
This is the top go-to for music fans online. There’s space for song videos including unplugged or live versions. Let different band members speak about what they are up to, and when the next tour or album is coming out. Even consider tutorials so the band’s fans can learn how to drum or guitar to a specific track.
It’s possible to include a web link in the video description to help create revenue, plus your email address for possible communication. When a band does a cover version of someone else’s song, it can be a good way to be found by a brand new audience. When uploading a video, there is an option to choose the thumbnail that will appear. Make sure this is exciting and eye catching.
4. Be active on social media
Engagement is key here, so regularly post quality content to keep people interested. The algorithms for Instagram and Facebook change every year, but engagement is always the key to success. Don’t put Youtube links on Facebook but instead post the same video separately on each platform.
Shout outs are a popular practice on social media. If you give another band a mention, they are likely to return the favour. This can raise brand awareness and even generate income. Use Facebook or Instagram live stream to capture audiences keen to see a performance. The beauty is that the recording can be watched even after it has finished.
When advertising an album on Facebook, consider Facebook Ads. They can be inexpensive, and bands can reach a niche target audience.
5. Myspace, Soundcloud and Bandcamp
Bands can appear on Myspace using a music page. Working bands use it all over the world. It can be a great tool for displaying pictures and music videos. Soundcloud has double the audience than Spotify. As with Bandcamp, ensure that the band’s name matches the account name so it can be easily located. Once again, shout outs are a great tool here.
Bandcamp is purely sound and no video content. This means bands don’t have to worry if they don’t have time to produce high-quality videos. There is space for artwork here, so make sure it is highly appealing for the target audience.
It’s important for any band to be spinning different plates simultaneously, by having an online presence on different platforms. This is because earnings can be small, especially at the start. Maximise the free opportunities such platforms as Facebook or Youtube provide, and consider paying for promotion on digital music sites and social media.