Working in the music industry, it’s easy to get fixated on your end goal as simply producing enough to get a CD or album launched. However, it’s easy to get so focused on this goal that you forget that building your successful music career won’t stop there. In fact, it won’t even start it! Once you’ve worked hard to create your album, spending money on top-tier support and studio time, you will need to put on your business hat to take your success to the next phase. Here are the top tips you need to help you.
Albums Sell on Awareness
An album by itself is worth very little. If no one knows you’ve made it, all it will do is sit in listings, unsold. It’s wise to start creating and building the hype machine for your album long before it actually drops. Network with other musicians in genres parallel to yours. Share video, pictures, and behind-the-scenes content across your social platforms. Send email bursts to existing fans, and cultivate new ones through smart social media marketing. Make sure there are eager fans waiting for the album to drop long before you hit day 1.
When it comes to releasing new music, some bands choose to drop a single here and there in the months leading up to an album release. This strategy can help build hype around the album and also ensure that the band’s music is being played regularly on Spotify, which can help with getting onto algorithm-based playlists. Additionally, bands may choose to have a single release party for each new song, which can help generate more publicity. This strategy makes sense when an album is composed of multiple songs, as it allows for a longer lead time between releases.
Speaking of day 1, it’s smart to choose a promotional single from the album you’re creating. Poll people, from fans to the engineers helping you produce, and choose a strong, catchy anchor single for the album. And use that as your first point of sale to push the album. Invest in single artwork and a music video, with details of the incoming album drop date included. Build buzz the same way as we mentioned above. Tweet lyrics from the song to get people interested, and see if music blogs are willing to do an exclusive or premiere. Giving people something tangible to hype the album long before official launch helps drive further interest.
Invest in Video
Video content is king in the modern marketing landscape, but teasers and behind-the-scenes footage will only go so far. Back up the hype you’re creating for your single with a music video. Obviously, the higher the production quality the better, but even famous bands have worked miracles with lyric videos and other, simpler video content to match their songs.
Not only does the video have immense sharing potential across social media, but it’s also building that hype you need to get album sales down the track. Make sure to finish with a promo for the whole album!
Assemble Your Team
A music project requires a lot of hard work and dedication in order to be successful. A great way to ensure success is to have a well-oiled machine working behind the scenes, putting in the necessary effort to get your music the attention it deserves. This is where a distribution, publicity, and marketing team comes in.
A distribution team is responsible for getting your music into the hands of as many people as possible. They work with online and brick-and-mortar stores to make sure that your album is available for purchase, and they also work with streaming services to get your music in front of as many ears as possible.
A publicity team is responsible for getting your name out there. They create press releases and pitch your music to journalists, hoping to get some coverage in magazines, newspapers, and online publications.
A marketing team is responsible for creating a plan and executing it in order to generate awareness for your music and help you sell albums and tickets. They come up with ideas for advertising campaigns, develop promotional materials, and work with retailers to come up with exclusive deals for fans.
All three of these teams are essential for a successful music launch, so it’s important to make sure that you have the best people on your side.
Have a Party
Successfully completing an album is a major milestone in the music business, so you’re going to want to celebrate. The idea is to celebrate smartly! Release parties are another way to get eyes on you. But plan with intent. Don’t release your album into the world the second you finish it. Give yourself a marketing ‘cushion’ of around 3 months to start pulling in industry attention. Send your EPK to radio, podcasters, music journalists, community event organizers, bloggers, and anyone else who could be your cheerleading team.
It’s time to start planning your release party, as you build out your marketing strategy and promotional plan you need to consider some things:
Weeks before the event, begin a teaser campaign with social media posts, email blasts, and other outreach to create excitement and anticipation for the party. Make sure to include all the details of the event in your marketing materials (date, time, location, etc.)
Create exclusive merchandise for the event that you can sell at the party or online afterwards. This will not only generate revenue but also create a lasting memento for attendees. After the show, have the band come to the merch table and interact with fans one on one. This is a great way to cultivate relationships with fans and create lasting supporters.
Lastly, remember to invite press to the event and make sure to have a photographer and a videographer in your team to capture all the fun. This will provide great content for post-event promotion.
Remember, the music business is about creativity and flair, but it’s also about business. If you’re not willing to put in the hustle to generate the hype your album needs to sell, then it’s on you if you get disappointed.
By making smart use of available industry insiders, social platforms and digital channels, and the power of anticipation, you can help your album land with a splash. So make sure you’re keeping the marketing momentum you need flowing long in advance of the release, so you can build your name and get the results you desire from your music career.