Having a rough time getting people to listen to your music? Need advice on how you can promote your music to a targeted audience? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The art of music marketing is an essential skill in business that every musician should learn. Unfortunately, not many musicians fully understand just how important good marketing is to the development of their career. Though most artists have a team of publicists to do the work for them, there are some things that only an artist can achieve to develop a strong following of supporters.
Thanks to various social platforms and music streaming sites like Spotify and Tidal, many up and coming artists, as well as the veterans of the industry, can optimize their music marketing efforts to reach out to their target audience in the most efficient way possible. But with the consistent flow of new music filling the charts, standing out can be a challenge for any given artist. You may also see marketing Segmentation.
Think about it. You can have a killer album featuring the best producers and songwriters in the business, but if you don’t market your music, no one will know about it. Music marketing is about communicating with a particular group of people. As an artist, you are given the power to send a message to listeners regarding whatever topic is relevant to the lives of the average individual. The general purpose of marketing is to build a solid fanbase to support you in your endeavors. Although it’s a bumpy road ahead, some of the most successful musicians in history are living proof that hard work is bound to pay off.
Listed below is a compilation of successful music marketing strategies executed by some of the century’s most talented musicians:
Singer, songwriter, record producer, and now actor is there anything Ed Sheeran can’t do?
After the success of his studio albums, + (read as ‘plus’) and x (read as ‘multiply’), the English singer brought everyone to the edge of their seats with the release of his third album ÷ (read as ‘divide’) in 2017. The first two singles of the album broke records around the world, debuting in the top two positions of the charts in countries like the UK, Australia, and Germany.
So, how did his latest album gain so much attention? It’s simple, really. All he ever did was go on a long hiatus from social media. A year after announcing his time off to travel the world, Ed posted an image of a plain light blue square across different social networks, which served as a teaser to his newest album. The anticipation certainly left fans in a frenzy, giving the album the attention it needed to attain music marketing success. You may also see Social Media Marketing Examples.
Queen Bey surely knows how to make a massive impact under the watchful eye of the press and her fans, so who are we to expect anything less from the musical genius herself?
But when her latest album Lemonade went viral, it left many people wondering what the story behind its beautifully-written soundtracks was about. With so many speculations surrounding her shaky relationship with husband and fellow musician Jay-Z, the public soon realized how this musical masterpiece was really a reflection of the singer’s experience with love, heartbreak, and empowerment. You may also see Email Marketing Examples.
The album gained music marketing success thanks to its powerful tracks which aimed to delineate feminism, misogyny, and racism — all of which have caused alarming tensions among members of society.
We all know Drake as one of the most talented artists in the modern era, but becoming an internet sensation for being the face of every good meme certainly helped boost his already incredible presence in the music industry.
If you take the time to look up Drake memes on Google, you’ll come to find that a vast part of the internet is filled with numerous spin-offs of ‘Hotline Bling’. In 2016, the Canadian artist decided to poke fun at himself by announcing his new single entitled ‘More than a Meme’ as a form of mockery during his appearance on Saturday Night Live. You may also see Effective Marketing Examples.
While this might as well be an effortless means of music marketing in itself, it’s hard to ignore how his popularity as a comedic icon has also contributed to his success as an award-winning rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, and entrepreneur.
English rock band “The 1975” were first recognized for their ‘dressed in black, head-to-toe’ aesthetics and their soothing yet lyrically alluring soundtracks, so after growing silent on social media and coming out with a brand new image for the band, it had many people asking, “What are they up to now?”
Following their self-titled debut album, the 1975’s sophomore album I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It had a vibe that was the total opposite of what fans expected. The band began building a strong level of anticipation by releasing comic strips and cryptic messages across social media. Then, when the black and white LEDs were soon replaced by neon pinks, fans were overwhelmed by this sudden change of direction. Fortunately, the band’s efforts paid off when the album received high praises from fans and critics alike. This is definitely one music marketing strategy that PR professionals can learn a thing or two from. You may also see Marketing Objectives.
Not that Kanye West needed any more publicity after his infamous meltdown during the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009 and his highly publicized wedding to Kim Kardashian in 2014, but the award-winning rapper continues to prove his status as a marketing genius with the release of his 8th studio album, The Life of Pablo.
The buzz over Kanye’s new album all began when the rapper featured naked wax figures of today’s most prominent artists together in bed in his music video ‘FAMOUS’. Though it was a bit tricky to figure out who’s who, the controversial video gained worldwide attention for its rather questioning concept and purpose. But you know what they say: good or bad publicity is still publicity nonetheless. This marketing stunt, along with his constant interaction with fans on social media, has helped Kanye and his team reach international success over night.
Coldplay is one of those bands who can produce powerful lyrics that will leave listeners in a puddle of their own tears. But for a band that has the ability to speak in volumes with their music, they can be pretty quiet with their approach to music marketing. When a familiar artwork was seen at the London Underground, many fans of the popular band realized how similar the pattern was to the tshirt print that frontman Chris Martin wore at the Global Citizen Festival.
This lead to many speculations over an upcoming album in which the band soon confirmed with a wordless Twitter post of the album’s artwork. A Head Full of Dreams soon made airwaves leading up to its release when the band began releasing animated snippets of the album on Twitter and Instagram. This clever marketing campaign has helped the album sell over 6 million copies worldwide as of 2017, peaking at number two in music charts in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Italy.
From being a multi-award winning country singer to becoming pop star royalty within her first decade in the industry, Taylor Swift has mastered the art of music marketing in ways that other artists can only dream of. While Taylor has always been under much scrutiny over her endless cycle of relationships with Hollywood’s biggest stars, it’s hard to ignore how her clever marketing tactics have made her one of today’s biggest stars.
One example of music marketing done right is apparent in Taylor Swift’s music video for ‘Bad Blood’. Days before the official release of the video, Taylor’s marketing team created a level of anticipation by releasing teasers in the form of posters. Each poster featured some of today’s most popular celebrities, ranging from singers such as Hayley Williams and Selena Gomez, actresses like Mariska Hargitay and Jessica Alba, model Karlie Kloss and Cara Delevingne, and many other artists who all happen to be a part of Taylor’s famous “squad” of friends. You may also see Movie Marketing Examples.
Rihanna could go years without releasing an album or a single but still manage to remain under the spotlight for her outgoing personality and ‘i-could-care-less-about-what-you-think’ fashion taste.
But before launching her make-up line ‘Fenty Beauty’, Rihanna made headlines by spending the rest of 2015 just trolling everyone with tidbits from her 8th studio album, Anti. While she wasn’t totally out of the music charts at the time, with singles ‘American Oxygen’ and ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’, not to mention her collaboration with Kanye and Paul McCartney in ‘FourFiveSeconds’, Rihanna still left fans demanding for a full album.
Then came her partnership with Samsung to launch ‘Anti Diary’, a music marketing attempt to promote her upcoming album. Although the campaign was all over the place, it still made Rihanna the talk of the town for a year. Perhaps the word you’re looking for is ‘Queen’.
Although DJ Khaled has been in the industry for a while now, he heavily utilized social networking platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram in his most recent album “Grateful”. This allowed him to connect with audiences by posting timely and witty content to help build his brand in the market. Notable partnerships and collaborations with fellow musicians such as Rihanna, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Calvin Harris, Alicia Keys and Nicki Minaj have also kept him under everyone’s radar. DJ Khaled managed to develop a strong and loyal following through his distinctive social marketing strategy that other artists have yet to outdo.
Long gone are his signature hair-flipping blonde locks and bubblegum pop music days, as Justin Bieber enters the other side of the spectrum with singles like ‘Sorry’ and ‘Where Are Ü Now’.
Before experiencing a significant turmoil in his career, the Canadian singer launched a marketing campaign to promote the digital release of his second compilation album Journals. The ten-week campaign entitled ‘Music Mondays’ featured a variety of songs that each received a warm welcome at the top spot of the iTunes charts. Although the album generated mixed reviews from critics, fans embraced his mature direction towards music, labeling it as one of his best materials.
However, with his DUI arrest and infamous meltdowns with the paparazzi, the Biebs needed to make a massive music comeback to clear his name. That’s when the single ‘What Do You Mean?’ from his fourth studio album started a hype unlike any other on social media. To market his newest single to a wider reach, Justin Bieber launched a 28-day campaign featuring fellow celebrities like James Corden, Halsey, Ellen DeGeneres, and Carly Rae Jepsen, all holding signs to advertise the song’s release.
Without a doubt, a good marketing strategy can greatly contribute to the success of a musician in the competitive industry. While content marketing and digital marketing play a significant role to its performance, it’s important for marketers to know that the best way to connect with audiences is to keep them interested and engaged, even if you aren’t releasing new music anytime soon.