music promotion

10 music promotion strategies you need to succeed

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The Internet isn’t the only place you can go to for your music promotion — these 10 strategies can take you beyond the net.

When most musicians think about promotion, they usually think about social media and the Internet, but if you’re only using the Internet, you might be missing out on a lot of opportunities to reach your fans

Here are 10 promotional strategies that you need to succeed.

#1: Publicity

Publicity, also known as earned media refers to the comments, stories, and reviews about your music by a journalist that is not paid for or controlled by you. To attract and enable publicity, you might want to create an electronic press kit (EPK) that includes important information about your career and links to your music and videos to help journalists source info about you. Reach out to small and mid-sized bloggers using resources like Submithub and the Indie Bible to get them to write about you and add you to their playlists. And network at major conventions like SXSW, ICreate Music, and the TAXI Road Rally to personally meet press people and get them to write about you.

#2: Paid advertising

Paid advertising refers to the promotional communications you direct other companies to publish at a cost to you. This includes buying Facebook ads so you can get in front of your target audience and spread your message, boosting Instagram posts, and bidding for Google keyword searches so that people searching for your type of music might get directed to your website.

#3: The Internet

Internet promotion is the process of using online media to communicate information about your career and get your fans to care. This might include creating a TikTok strategy, where you have the opportunity for the algorithms to blow you out to thousands of people and get noticed by your fans; using your YouTube channel to do live meet-and-greet streams with your fans so that you can get to know them better; and building a customized personal website so that you can show off your personal brand and look more legitimate in the eyes of your fans and industry people.

#4: Guerrilla marketing

Guerrilla marketing is any unconventional form of promotion that could be executed with low to no budget. This might include leaving your brand mark everywhere where fans can see them, stenciling sidewalks with your logo using spray chalk, and handing out postcards — particularly in front of the venues where you’re going to be performing — so you can meet and shake hands with fans.

#5: Word-of-mouth marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is the process of stimulating natural conversation or buzz between people about your music and this might include creating mystery in your promotional posts by hinting to people about events that are coming soon, holding contests such as TikTok dance-offs where people can win a valued prize, and hitting up influencers (local radio DJs, local bands) who can help spread the word about your music.

#6: Radio promotion

Radio promotion is the process of soliciting radio stations to play your music and do interviews. This can include targeting commercial specialty shows that feature local bands so your music can literally get played 50 miles or more in each direction and you can start making fans and even getting testimonials from local DJs to include in your EPK and on your website.

#7: Sponsorship

Sponsorships are a mutually beneficial relationship between two entities where each promotes the other. You can also seek equipment endorsements where you can get guitar, drum, and bass companies to give you free gear and to advertise you as well.

#8: Direct marketing

Direct marketing is the process of communicating directly with your fans, including direct email promotions — using services like Mailchimp — so you can literally get into the inboxes of every single one of your fans. Direct marketing also includes snail mail, texting, or even calling your fans.

#9 Face-to-face sales

Face-to-face sales involves getting eye-to-eye with your fans and industry people and getting them to act. In addition to making direct merch sales at gigs, this includes asking local club bookers, music supervisors, music investors, journalists, and anyone else you’re trying to pitch your music to to personally meet you for coffee or lunch so you can build relationships, make friends, and close deals that can ultimately lead you to getting in front of many more fans.

#10 Sales promotions

Sales promotions, or short-term incentives, are used to stimulate a quick buying response. This might include offering discount tickets to your shows, doing 2-for-1 specials on your merch, and even doing raffles at your live performances.

Want more music career advice? Don’t just read it… watch the videos on Bobby Borg’s YouTube channel.


Bobby Borg is the author of Music Marketing For The DIY Musician (Second Edition), Business Basics For Musicians (Second Edition), and The Five Star Music Makeover (published by Hal Leonard Books). Get these books at any fine online store in both physical or digital format. Learn more at www.bobbyborg.com.


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