Effective Use of Content Marketing For the Music Industry

As a performing musician, you need to wear two hats; one as an artist who is true to yourself, and one as an entertainer trying to resonate with your audience. One of the truths we all learn in the music business that our skill is seldom the deciding factor when it comes to getting famous. Fame is not only fickle, but it’s also subjective. Two people could be doing almost identical things, but after a while, one might become famous, while the other struggles in the shadows. There is no “secret sauce” to becoming famous. To become famous, you need to have the right style, the right sound and be in the right place at the right time.

How do you find the right place?

Marketing.

Talk to music execs from before the internet era, and they’ll tell you similar stories. They would go out and listen to music to find new talent. If they found someone who was skilled, and who looked the part, they would offer the artist or the band a record deal.

The real world, however, is not like Field of Dreams; if you record it – they will not come.

Record labels used to hedge their bets on an artist. They would pay for everything from recording and production to distribution and marketing. To generate revenue, marketing was (almost) more important than the recording the album.

You might be wondering to yourself – what’s the difference between sales and marketing? In a nutshell, marketing is getting the album onto the shelves; selling is the art of getting it off the shelves.

Building the Hype

Nowadays it’s not as easy to build hype around a new music launch for a relatively unknown artist. The proliferation of professional-quality home studios means that almost anyone can record and release an album.

More musicians prefer to distribute their own music. This has two significant advantages. First, musicians don’t have to pay a cut to anyone, and second, musicians are often able to sell their albums cheaper, which increases the likelihood of additional sales.

The drawback, however, is that musicians are now also responsible for marketing their albums. While a few smaller local music stores might stock your album, if you are relatively unknown, you will struggle to get your music into an international distribution chain.

In essence, if you want to get your album onto the shelves of a music store – or a playlist on Deezer or Spotify – then you need to make people aware of your music, and who you are.

Effective Use of Content Marketing For the Music Industry

When it comes to marketing, there is a broad diversity of avenues available to you. Since you’re a musician, you’re already putting content out there, so let’s look at a few additional Content Marketing strategies you can employ to market yourself and your music.

1) Videos

If you look at the growth of video consumption in the past decade, you will see that year on year video content is growing exponentially. As of 2019 over 1 billion hours of video content is consumed on YouTube alone – per day!

If you want to get into video marketing, you can go beyond a simple music video.

Top Video Ideas

Interviews: Your audience will often want to know more about the members of the band, so by recording interviews you an connect with people on a more personal level. You can also share more information on the formation of the band, the personal lives of the members, and so on.

Unboxing Videos: For the last few years, there has been a growing trend in unboxing videos. When you get a new piece of gear, record an unboxing video.

Gear Breakdowns: Have you ever wanted to know how your favourite musician gets their signature tone? If so, there’s a good chance that you’ve watched a video on YouTube of their gear rundown.

Behind the scenes: Who doesn’t love a good behind the scenes video? Show people what life is like backstage or in the studio, and you are almost guaranteed a few views.

Live Song Run Through: Record a video of one of your popular songs, and focus on one musician in the band. Bass Play-through of {this song}.

2) Blog Posts

We can’t mention content marketing and not go into blog posts. Blog posts are still the most accessible and valuable forms of content marketing.

By blogging, you share your thoughts, tips, and expertise with the world. And best of all is that you don’t need any special skills or tools. Sure, some writers are better than others, but almost anyone can write. And with practice (and some honest feedback) anyone can improve their writing.

Top Blog Post Ideas

Listicles: People love reading listicles. They disseminate information in an easy to scan manner. When someone reads a listicle, they might skim the piece and focus on the points they either don’t know enough about or point they are experts on and want to read to see if the author missed anything. As a musician you could do listicles like The # types of people at {genre} show.

How To Guides: Content should either be entertaining or educational, so writing a few How-To Guides will help you to educate your audience. Write about your tips on how to tour, or how to set up a stage.

Gear Reviews: Gear is a subjective experience. Sharing your thoughts on your gear, and why you use it, might help someone look at something in a new way.

3) Podcasts

Ask anyone in a lumberjack shirt with a big beard and a man-bun what their favourite podcast is, and they might struggle to narrow it down to one. The Podcast culture has grown alongside the hipster culture and taken on a life of its own. If you want to reach as broad an audience as possible, start a Podcast.

Content marketing focuses on the 80/20 rule. We spend 20% of our time creating the content, and 20% of the time distributing the content. But what does this have to do with Podcasts? Everything, and nothing.

If you’ve already taken steps to create videos and write blogs, the easiest way to get into Podcasting is by turning your existing content into a Podcast. All you need to launch your Podcast is a computer and a Podcast capable microphone like the RØDE Podcaster.

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