How to Plan a Successful Album/Single Release with Music Promotion
Mockup of different poster frames displayed in a gallery Music Templates 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 […]

Mock up of different poster frames on display in a gallery

Mockup of different poster frames displayed in a gallery

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.

Merch bundle mockup including two-sided view hoodie and two digipaks

Merch bundle mockup including two-sided view hoodie and two digipaks

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:

Official announcements

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.

Mock up with a woman's hand holding an Iphone 11 Pro on a neat desk

Mock up with female hand holding iPhone on neat desk

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.

Paid Marketing

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.

Reading list

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.

The best music promotion tips straight from the experts

Learn the industry's top tips for promoting your music to the world. We tell you everything you need to know about promoting music and successfully marketing your brand!

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