Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the most naive of all? The artist who thinks that running automated ads will get him momentum. Be it Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, or Google Ads, just by running these campaigns by the standardized book of marketing, you will not develop a fanbase. So what are these 10 music marketing facts you will discover sooner or later? Read below to find out and be grateful you stumbled upon THIS article as you’re about to save yourself a whole lot of money and a whole lot of time.
10. A lot of views don’t necessarily mean a lot of fans.
15 years ago a lot of views meant an entire career. But now the market is so oversaturated with sincerely PHENOMENAL independent artists that just by looking at you or hearing you, people don’t make the automated commitment of following you and caring about you. Now you have to put out ten times more material to gain fans than artists had to 10 to 15 years ago. Now just one song, one video, one feature won’t cut it. It still may not happen even after 10 songs, 10 videos, 10 collaborations. Now you have to genuinely have that X-Factor in you and realize a music career is a business that you must run efficiently and independently.
9. A major cosign doesn’t guarantee legitimacy.
Why? Because so many more people are now famous and we also have micro-influencers and local voices. You could get more credibility collaborating with the top underground rapper in your city than by paying Nicki Minaj to hop on a song with you. There are so many wasted collaborations in this industry done with the express purpose of marketing the artist to a new, broader fanbase but unless the two acts are about EQUAL in their fame and star power, the collaboration will just dissipate in thin air with no real traction for the paying artist.
8. Your audience changes because you do.
You grow older, you get wiser, you talk about different things than you used to, your sound evolves, your perspective grows, thus your audience becomes entirely a different entity than what it was when you first started out. If you’re lucky, your fans will grow with you and you might enjoy seeing the same names and faces even 10 or 20 years down the road. Otherwise, make peace with the fact that fans, more than friends, come and go, and just because someone is hardcore supporting your top famous song it doesn’t mean they will go hear out the rest of your catalog or buy your merch. Fans too have to niched down.
7. Social media is the new TV.
Although highly relevant and seemingly immortal, TV is not the trend maker or announcer anymore. Heck, we have TikTok journalists who literally get paid by their fans to sum up the daily news on their account in under a minute. You can’t say you don’t like computers or phones and that you’re old school. That old school that you once were part of will soon be extinct. In this day and age, if you don’t talk on social media, you don’t exist in real life. Translated to music: you don’t stand a single chance to ever have a career if you’re not on social media. In-person marketing is second to laying a strong online presence first.
6. Being a triple threat is not enough.
Here’s a macabre truth: if Beyoncè was trying to come up in 2021 based on her voice, provocative dance moves, and cute face, she’d be begging you in her bio to pre-save the upcoming single on Distrokid. The competition is just so f*cking fierce that being a triple threat, or even quadruple is not enough. You have to be a pro at damn near 10 jobs. You have to obviously know how to write your own songs, do production and post-production in most cases, preferably play an instrument, have an ethereal voice, a gym-trained body, a youthful face, know how to design your cover artworks and social media banners, know how to market yourself, know some degree of psychology so that you trick new viewers to watch more of your content so that eventually, hopefully, you’ll have developed enough of a fanbase to support your living. So next time you’re running ads for your music, seriously ask yourself how are you better than the next guy/ girl? If you’re plain, and trust us artists always know when they’re not good enough, work on your craft and branding before you work on your marketing.
5. Radio is the last medium to discover good music.
The first people to truly know who’s the next big thing is TikTok. That’s where the world is happening right very now. That’s where the clubbing and dining and karaoke-ing happens. Just in a different format than the one you were used to pre-pandemic. Only after a song has passed through the TikTok community does it translate to Spotify streams. And only after it gained major numbers on Spotify, does a song get the attention of FM radio stations around the world. So no more payola. Now it’s influenceola. Pay the influencers to directly help you out promote your record.
4. You can’t predict the outcome of marketing a certain song or project.
How do we break this to you without making your world crumble? Uhm… Just because YOU think song X is the best you’ve ever written, it doesn’t mean that that’s how your audience will feel about it too. More often than not, and very unfortunately so, your fans and listeners prefer the record you’ve put the least amount of effort into. So stay flexible in your marketing strategy and never limit yourself to that one song you’re stuck on when it could be the very next one to bring you that buzz that you deserve. Test, test, test.
3. You talking about yourself will only get you that far.
Have you ever wondered how come artist X who’s only 18 years old and has a million streams per song on Spotify never gets sponsored by brands and never lands commercials and only seems to exist on his social media profiles? There’s a glass ceiling that indie artists are oblivious to and yet to the most average fan it is obvious as day that this artist hasn’t made it yet despite the impressive numbers. That’s because they are the only ones promoting themselves. You wanna break the glass ceiling? Get OTHER people to promote you. And not fake promote you where you write your own press release and they just copy/paste what you sent them. Get on genuine blogs and publications that will sincerely talk about you and whose opinions you will be able to quote on your website and in your bio. Always remember that people talk about what is already being talked about. Somebody has to get that ball rolling and finding that somebody is your task.
2. You need a continuous marketing strategy and a budget for it.
DO NOT quit your day job. Actually, get a SECOND one if you can. One should pay for your bills and the second for your marketing. Breaking through the competition is so ridiculously hard WITH money. Without it… you won’t make it. Money is more than essential in having a realistic chance to earn your living as a musician. It is your oxygen. What happens if you cut off the oxygen? You die.
1. You can’t afford to stop studying the industry.
If you’ve been following us for more than a year, you will have noticed how we went from talking about Instagram marketing to mainly TikTok marketing. Why? ‘Cause we are continuously studying, testing, adjusting and TikTok is where it’s at now and possibly for a long time to come. If you’re a smart one, you’re saving yourself all that time by learning directly from us since we’re doing the actual hard work. We watch hundreds of hours of content and analyze trends, tags, hours, formats, posting frequency, location relevance, etc and we share all of that with you. If you’re not a regular BRE reader, that’s okay too just remember in that case to put in the hard work yourself or you’ll be limping, then falling, then straight diving into obscurity if you don’t keep up with the ever changing social media marketing.
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