Planning an album release, whether it's an artist's 1st or 50th, is hard work. This can be exhausting, especially for freelance artists who have to do the heavy lifting themselves. As Director of Business Development at AMW Group, an entertainment promotion agency, I know that better than anyone. The business side of the music industry can be difficult to navigate. There isn't just one way to do it and apparently millions of options to consider. Advertising, branding, ads on social networks, music promotionand presales are just a handful of tools to consider. But wait, there is more! Deciding how to move forward after release (that's right, I said “after release”) should also be planned ahead.
So what should you consider in your promotional strategy? Today we're going to talk about the most important elements of promoting your next release before, during, and after so you can run your release like a pro.
Things to know before you start
For your convenience
Artists have two main options for promoting themselves:
Public relations is all about skillfully nurturing a positive public image by a company or other established person in your industry. If your brand is learning with an audience, or if your brand's public opinion needs a boost, PR is the way to go.
Digital marketing is the marketing, and therefore the promotion, of products or services that use digital media to drive sales. If your brand is trying to promote a specific product or drive traffic to a particular website, you need to consider digital marketing as a way to attract customers.
How long should it take?
Plan to spend at least 3-6 months of real time promoting, and a few months before planning the promotion. Successful artists, no matter where they start, are the ones who prioritize treating their music like a business. One of the most crucial parts of any successful business is building and maintaining positive customer relationships. Any relationship, business or otherwise, requires focus and attention.
In my experience in the PR world, a lot of new artists leave the promotion until the last moment and try to do it within a few weeks.
During the campaign:
A press release is a short, informative report written by a public relations professional and sent to targeted members of the media. Their goal is to attract journalists and members of the media and get them to engage with your brand in a meaningful way.
Introducing yourself to the media should be a lot like introducing yourself to someone else in a professional setting. It is important to be clear, concise and to the point. If you use a publicist, they can optimize the wording of your press release and use their network of contacts. It puts your brand in front of as many eyes as possible, in the best possible way.
Social networks / Fan Nurturing
Many musicians use this popular technique. It's a great way to not only introduce yourself to fans who are already interested in your niche, but also to network professionally. Find other musicians and influencers to collaborate with on social media. Spending time with other successful artists will also make you come across as a greater authority in your field.
Plus, take the time to learn all you can about the fans you already have. Knowing the demographics of the people who love your music will help you find future fans and better market existing fans.
EPK (Electronic Press Kit)
As a musician, this is basically your resume. An EPK is a simple website or page on your music website that is exclusively for your press kit. If you're releasing your first version or don't currently have an EPK, now is the time to start building one.
The most obvious part of your music. Put some of your most recent best singles in an easily playable mp3 format (i.e. without the listener having to download anything). Links to your music streaming accounts, social media accounts, merchandise, and your entire website will also need to be added. The purpose of an EPK is to get members of the media to write about you. professional photos, album covers and a professionally written bio. Journalists receive between hundreds and thousands of submissions per week, so a well done EPK is a must for promotion.
Public relations and media
Whether you decide to go with public relations, marketing, or a mix of the two, media outreach is an important part of every campaign. The more media that are interested in covering your new version, the more opportunity members of the audience will have to see your work.
The brands that have the best relationships with their audiences are the brands that keep reaching out in a deliberate and tactical way. That's why it's a good idea to add a professional into the mix, so that you get promoted in the best possible light. If you want to increase your reach, public relations and marketing are solid investments.
Digital marketing allows you to acquire large audiences quickly and at a more affordable price than traditional marketing. Nowadays, more and more consumers are interacting with brands through digital marketing. An effectively planned digital marketing strategy can reach your ideal customers at a faster rate than traditional marketing avenues. Your audience is able to search for and immediately engage with your brand with just a few clicks, which means they'll be more likely to make brand decisions on the spot.
With digital marketing, you can follow your direct results, virtually in real time. When people click on your ad, you can see who is following the links, who is viewing your website, and who is buying your merchandise. These metrics are also ideal for developing better plans to educate your audience in the future.
The benefits of playlist placements seem endless to artists. With listeners spending at least half of their time listening to playlists on the platform, either of their own creation or curated by the streaming site, every artist wants a place on a playlist. The ability to put your music in front of listeners who may never have heard it otherwise is unmistakable when it comes to music promotion.
When using a professional advertising service, your music can be strategically placed to coordinate with your media coverage within a campaign. This allows your music to gain more attention when placed.
The bottom line
There are plenty of other options when it comes to planning a successful outing, but these are the key pieces of what every artist needs to get their project off the ground. My most frequent advice to new artists is to be realistic with their goals and the steps to take to achieve them. Do as much research as you can on every facet of your business. There is always more to learn. Success is a perfect storm of hard work, flexibility, knowledge and luck, so take control of the pieces you have power over.
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Stand on any gymnasium floor and look up – way up. At first glance, it doesn’t take much to imagine the level of sophistication in some of the equipment located overhead, not to mention the process of safely installing it. But with today’s technology and automation being built into so many of these products that are used on a daily basis, the question that often comes up is how to manage it all.
Many choose to have manual systems and equipment in place for reasons such as simplicity or with budget in mind. While there is nothing wrong with this type of operation and equipment, in terms of operational optimization, many are trending in the opposite direction.
With everything from BASKETBALL BACKSTOPS that fold up into the ceiling or off to the side, to gym divider curtains, scoreboards and even volleyball systems, the modern gymnasium is becoming a connected one. With most of these products coming with independent electric controls, innovative solutions to manage them are now on the forefront.
Located along the Rideau Canal, one of our most recent projects brought us into Canada’s national capital to work on another gym partition that needed replacing.
Originally founded as an all-girls school in 1928, IMMACULATA HIGH SCHOOL opened with an principal enrollment of just 85 at the site of the former Christie mansion. The following year, enrollment nearly doubled, and a new building was quickly constructed, and the school’s first commencement followed.
It wasn’t until 1978 that male students were enrolled at the school as enrollment swelled to nearly 1, 000 students towards the end of the 1980s. After 65 years of education, the school officially moved to its current location along the canal and currently serves as home to the school’s sports team, the Immaculata Saints.
In search of a new set of rugby goals for one of their biggest athletic parks, the City of Toronto once again came knocking at our door. Having done a few projects together in the past, they are a group that we truly always enjoy working closely with. When the time comes to outfit an outdoor venue, we are always flattered to make the bermuda list of potential partners. In early 2020, the city was in search of a new set of rugby goals for EGLINGTON FLATS, located in the York region. Constructed on the Humber River Floodplain in 1954, today the park is heavily focused on sports, with six soccer fields, four field hockey pitches, a football field, winterized la petite balle jaune petits and bien sûr, the rugby field.
While we all certainly enjoy watching something come to fruition, there is something extra special about being involved in the revitalization of something as well. Over the years, we’ve been blessed to be involved in a number of these genres of projects ranging from local community centres and schools all the way to nationally recognized institutions such as Queen’s University.
We’ve been granted access to stripped out gymnasiums and open athletic fields to style and eventually install state-of-the-art athletic equipment and infrastructure. From simple bleachers, to basketball systems to complete grandstands designed to accommodate tens of thousands of fans, these projects have and always will hold a special place in our hearts.