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Building Successful Music Marketing Strategies In 2024

One of the first internet giants, Napster, foreshadowed that music would play a pivotal role in the new digital culture. Gone are the days when the radio was the only way to make new music heard. With the rise of digital streaming and social media, the strategies to market music have evolved drastically. This article aims to delve into these changes and provide a comprehensive guide for production companies looking to build successful music marketing strategies in 2024.

The evolution of music marketing

Before we get into the strategies, let’s take a quick detour to understand their evolution over the years.In the olden times—meaning, during the XXth century—music relied heavily on radio promotions, TV ads, tours, and word-of-mouth spreading. These traditional music marketing strategies were mostly intended to achieve mass exposure.

Everything changed with the irruption of the internet and, more so, social media. Music marketing started inevitably using channels like YouTube, Instagram, Spotify, and, more recently, TikTok, thus fundamentally changing how music is distributed and consumed.

We all remember Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” skyrocketing on the charts, mostly for going viral on TikTok. The novelty of this song—which has now become almost a norm—is that it went from TikTok to the charts, and not the other way around, as it used to. Also, Nas’ approach was nothing of a coincidence: the artist openly talked about crafting the hit using his internet know-how; from the length—and potential of looping it addictively—to the “meme-able” lyrics, it was a song made for a world where “the algorithm” is a thing and has its grip over all of us.

We’d all want to be able to “break the internet” with moments like Bizarrap and Shakira’s latest song. They leveraged their huge, already hooked audiences to drop a song written to be a hit because it exposed a scandal in a very personal—and catchy—way. Of course, everyone would be talking about it the next month; it was a great song with lots of hot goss. But for companies looking for music marketing strategies that work for where they’re at, working with influencers and creators might be the right move. 

Man working on music marketing strategies in front of sound equipment

The power of social media in music marketing

The intensification of social media use has been a game-changer for the music industry. Their reach is undeniable, and even if its vastness might seem like a hindrance, it’s its biggest asset.

These platforms offer a wider reach and allow for more innovative and engaging strategies to promote music. For example, IG Stories’ feature includes music integration, allowing users to discover and share new music with their followers. Similarly, TikTok’s user-generated content encourages the use of new songs for viral trends. These allowed not only artists to get their dues when tracking a song’s performance but also the immense ability to find their fans in whatever niche of the internet they’re in.

One of the best music marketing campaigns in 2023 was Tyla’s “Water.” The South African artist used the already proven power of challenges to make her song—which has a very catchy and short chorus—go viral, making herself globally known in the process. This proves that not only Beyoncé and Dua Lipa can have a viral challenge moment: it’s anyone’s game if you know your way through the internet’s superspreaders, a.k.a. content creators.

The role of music blogs

From old-school readers to Gen-Z digital natives, blogs have always been a valuable resource for multiple demographics, thus maintaining their relevance in music marketing strategies: featuring your music on renowned music blogs or with a very engaged audience are proven paths to gain exposure.

Music blogs offer a platform for new or established artists to showcase their work to an engaged and eager audience. Pitchfork and Hype Machine, for instance, have helped many indie artists reach a niche audience and even gain mainstream attention. For music production companies, sending press releases or promotional material to these blogs can be a game-changer for new artists looking for a breakthrough.

But how can you be visible on these platforms? Network, network, network! Establish relationships with bloggers, send them exclusive previews, personalized messages, or even engage with them on social media. Ensure your pitches are tailored to the blog’s niche audience, not generic mass emails. Making it into listicles, recs, and reviews—all of which live in music blogs—is important because there are always people looking for that new special thing. By using the big power of “being the first one to know,” production companies can deliver the best music marketing campaigns—the ones that feel organic and rely on music connoisseurs and snobs to spread their message.

Creating your music marketing strategy in 5 steps

Let’s dive into building your strategy. These step-by-step tips should guide you along.

Step 1: Identify and understand your audience.

Understanding your audience is crucial because promoting pop to a metal-loving audience will fall flat. Conduct audience research, understand demographic data, and build audience personas.

Step 2: Set clear goals.

Ask yourself what you want to achieve through your music marketing. This could go from having more followers, engagement, streams on Spotify, or ticket sales. Goals are important; they provide a clear compass to navigate these sometimes choppy seas.

Step 3: Select the right platforms.

After understanding your audience, you’ll need to know what platforms they’re on. If it’s Gen-Z, you might want to go to TikTok because LinkedIn might not be as effective. But hey, maybe LinkedIn could be the breakthrough that tango band needs! And never underestimate TikTok’s power—anything could go viral there. Just give it a shot…trust us.

Step 4: Develop engaging content.

Make sure it’s not just restricted to cover art or song clips. Behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, fan shoutouts, and user-generated content will keep audiences engaged.

Step 5: Leverage influencers.

Identify influencers who align with your brand’s personality and music genre. Their promotion of your music adds a layer of authenticity, and their followers could potentially become your band’s fans as well. Think about your own life: how many times have you discovered new music through a creator’s rec?

Step 6: Track your results.

Use analytics from social platforms to know how effective your campaign is, adjust strategies, and make decisions for future campaigns based on hard data.

Enhancing your strategy with influencer marketing

Influencer marketing might seem straightforward—select an influencer, get them to post about your music, and voilà! But there’s more to this process. Save this one in “Favorites;” thank us later!

Identify the right influencers

Influencers should align with your brand personality, music genre, and target audience. Use tools that can provide detailed metrics and insights about potential influencers.

Engage and build relationships

Instead of making your collaboration a single transaction, engage with the influencer over time and cultivate a beneficial relationship. Follow their posts, share their content, and interact through comments. Make them feel special; they’ll reward it with a true, heartfelt promotion of your music!

Provide creative freedom

Influencers know their audience best. While clear communication around marketing goals is needed, allow them creative freedom. This way, the content stays genuine and resonates more with their followers. You are going to creators for their creativity, so make sure to tap into that: that’s their forté, their métier, their thing. Let them do it!

Evaluate and optimize

Use metrics like engagement rate, click-through rate, and total reach to measure a campaign’s success. Over time, data will inform future collaborations and help optimize your influencer marketing efforts. Carrying out digital marketing strategies without considering data is like walking through the streets in the dark.

Looking into the future: what’s next for music marketing

Looking ahead, the industry can expect to see enhanced strategies leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR).

AI could possibly predict the type of music consumers would enjoy, personalizing their experiences like never before. On the other hand, VR and AR can create immersive experiences, such as virtual concerts or music videos, opening uncharted territories for music promotion. Music marketing companies should stay on top of these trends to not be left behind.

However, even with the advent of new technologies, remember the core principle of music marketing is emotion. Regardless of the platform or technology, successful music marketing strategies will always find a way to resonate emotionally with the audience.

Conclusion

A successful music marketing plan in the 2020s requires a healthy mixture of traditional and modern strategies. While social media platforms offer broader reach and engagement, the power of music blogs remains reputable. Influencer marketing has also cemented its place as a key component of effective music marketing, and it is advisable to optimize this aspect rather than forego it.

The future of music marketing sees a blend of AI, VR, and AR technologies, promising interesting avenues for the industry. Being well-equipped with these music marketing strategies and ensuring they resonate with the audience on an emotional level is all you need to stride confidently into the future of music marketing.

And remember, the key to a successful journey lies in keeping pace with the changing trends and being open to innovative strategies to reach and connect with your audience. The stage is set, and it’s time to play your best tune! Happy marketing!

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Special thanks to our friends at Grin.co for their insights on this topic.
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