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Organic Music Promotion Strategies Every Upcoming Artist Should Know

by Jun 18, 2022Music Business

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Recording and producing your music could be one not-so-daunting task as compared to actually getting the song to the eardrums of your prospective listener.

Note, I am not saying that the creative process of doing music is simple, no, but it is a tad easier than getting your music to the fans.

This is why as an Upcoming Artist, you need to understand and grasp the following tips and ideas on how to promote your music organically for it to gain the much-needed traction and attention.

What is organic Music promotion?

Organic Music promotion or marketing simply means promoting your musical works organically without the use of paid adverts like Facebook ads, Google AdWords, etc.

With these methods, you only send your listeners, fans, and critics to places where they can access your musical works and materials via word of mouth, social media, content marketing, and organic search through SEO.

How Do I promote my songs to gain Organic reach?

Image by Tumisu, please consider ☕ Thank you! 🤗 from Pixabay

As an Independent Artist or Indie for short, getting organic reach for your music is becoming much easier since the advent of the Internet, and most importantly Social Media and of course the whole meat of this discussion- Streaming Platforms.

Now to answer the question as it concerns promoting your music Proper, first, you need to understand the following:

  1. You are a Brand and not a commodityAs a Brand, you will create the necessary self-worth that gives the fans, critics, and other brands working with you the right perception as regards who you really are. I am inundated daily with upcoming artists complaining of getting reaped off by one shady-looking label or music distribution service. Some of these acts don’t understand the business angle of this industry and sign off their worth for pennies.
  2. You don’t need a label, simply put- labels are overrated these days: With the rise of Social Media and the hottest bride of the internet- TikTok, labels rely more on signing artists or should I say “creators” who blew up thanks to a trend. While this might be a cool thing for labels who rely on TikTok to do the organic heavy lifting in terms of promotion, this indeed is signaling the end of Music Labels as we know it. Now it is all about ownership, and new artists who somehow understand this, are already sitting atop a goldmine. I mean why would I share the rights to my intellectual property when I can keep the rights and the proceeds thereof 100 percent? With NFTs in the mix, we can just be saying adieu to labels.
  3. Making good and trendy music should never be taken for granted: This should be the essence of being a music Artist. As a music blogger, I’ve had the experience of listening to both good music and sadly- very very bad sounds. I mean some are so bad and I’m like “…WTF are you doing buddy? are you for real?…”. You gotta step up your game most notably as an Indie Artist. Master the ropes of writing good lyrics and if you cannot write, then by all means hire (FYI we offer music writing too). Then work on your vocals as well and always work with a good producer.
  4. Your fan base is your worth, cater to them: Without your fans or would-be listeners, then you are just making music for your mom, pops, and your cat. These people are the bedrock of your career and whatever direction your sound should follow.
  5. Never rely on one platform, cross-platform promotion and posting is the key: MySpace taught us that lesson, I know of Artists who learned the hard way. MySpace was the grove and vibes of the early days, most streaming platforms and Social media services built their platforms mimicking MySpace. Unfortunately, the site is a shadow of its former self, and a lesson to Artists to never rely on any platform. Today we have TikTok, Instagram used to be the real deal but its lack of organic reach (except you buy ads), is making it relatively difficult to blow up, especially if you are just starting out. So build your own and own it. It is not too bad to build an Email list or develop a website (You can hit us up, yes we build websites too).
  6. Learn all the requisite skills that you need to always keep you ahead of the game: While we are proposing you become a Jack of all trades, it is pertinent you grabbed the most useful skills required to get your career right off the bat with no hassles. I always advise artists- to learn how to create engaging content for their social media pages, learn some digital marketing skills, understand effective communication, and just get down and dirty learning some cool techie stuff. Not only will it save you a lot of money, but it could also potentially put you on a different career path especially when music ain’t paying the bills.
  7. Always learn, relearn, unlearn and comprehend: The music business sure has a very steep learning curve, but at some point, you need to understand contracts, promotional tips and steps, marketing yourself, and understand when to back off from a potentially bad deal that could hurt your career on the long-term. So know when to learn a new thing be it a skill or some ways to improvise, don’t hesitate to relearn, and remember newer ways of doing things come up daily. Unlearning is another skill set you need to navigate through the dark waters of the industry, using Myspace once more as an analogy- how many top indie Artists on MySpace knew that the site was headed for a bubble burst? none.

List of the Ideas and how it works:

#1. Leveraging on the power of TikTok:

According to Wallaroomedia,

TikTok officially has over 1 billion monthly active users as of April 2022.

This staggering number and the impressive demographics of the app (young people between the ages of 1) have made it the golden goose of the music industry.

These days Labels even rely on Tiktok Metrics and signals to market the music of their individual signees.

While this might be counterproductive to these labels in the long run. However, these are interesting times for Indie Artists who understand the power of leveraging the organic traffic typical of the app. ‘

News of little-known wannabe artists blowing up and gaining widespread acceptability with their songs overnight is all over the place.

Lil Nas X, though a pariah in the house of hip hop (owing to his sexuality and strange rap genre), to a little unknown track, titled Old Town Road from obscurity to a smashing hit, and he did organically painstaking too.

Coming back home, Ckay’s global hit single- “Love Nwantiti” blew up when Canadian Supermodel Winnie Harlow designed a dance sketch leveraging the sensuality and flow of the song to create a viral rhythm that took over the app, making Ckay platinum-certified artists all over the world.

#2. Build a List of Fans and Subscribers:

According to every known digital marketing expert like the Gary Vees, Neil Patels, etc.

the money is in the list”.

While this assertion holds true, lots of artists find this irrelevant and unrelated to their industry growth.

Well, I’ll have to disagree with you because like every other business where lead acquisition seems to be the norm, music has to be treated as such and building a list of fans who love and resonate with your kinda sound is very important.

Again, you might ask me- What’s the importance of building a list as a Music Artist?

The merits are quite exhaustive, but I will a few:

  1. Cheap: it reduces your marketing spending because email has a high ROI of about 4400%.
  2. Higher Returns on Investment: Yes like I asserted above, the CTR (click-through rate) is quite higher and if properly done, you will get more streams when you send the right emails to your fans whenever you release a new project.
  3. Longevity: This is by far the most long-lasting marketing channel that will outlive every other method. I don’t think there’s anyone with no email account, are they?
  4. It is yours: With the death of Myspace, it became evident that owning your own marketing space (email in this case), cannot be overemphasized. Instagram used to be the bomb, but organic traffic has dried up, TikTok is still blowing up, but it recently tweaked its algorithm favoring highly niched-down content to generic ones. But having a list will keep you safe and immune to any algo changes because the audience is yours. You are free to send them emails any time, any day – you are only limited by your imaginations.

Again, the issue with this process is the “how”; While this could be an issue but there are some simple steps to make this happen.

  • Doing giveaways (free tickets to your show, branded merch, etc.)
  • holding contests (dance and lip-syncing contests).

These are just the two most basic tips to build a list of fans for your music.

#3. Using Merchandize

Using Merch to promote your music Is an age-long industry standard practice. You can print T-shirts, Mugs, sweatshirts, hoodies, baseball caps, etc.

The merch could have:

  • title of your new single
  • catchy phrases derived from the lyrics of the project being promoted
  • dates and cities you are visiting for a tour or concert.

These days creating merch is a tad easier and entirely free with print-on-demand websites where you can set up shop. create design mockups, print, and delivery all handled by these POD companies-

#4. Create a Social Media content strategy:

Creating an effective Social media content strategy is what put artists like Blaqbonez. Mayorkun, Peruzzi, Teni the Entertainer, and newer cats like Boy Spice are ahead of the curve.

They understand Social media content creation. Blaq for example employs humor and a bit of controversy to keep his followers and fans engaged. Having said that, for your content creation strategy to be on point it has to be:

  1. Intentional
  2. Targetting a set demography
  3. Funny and somewhat exaggerating in a manner that creates a “shock effect

#5. Build a Music Website:

Building a website used to be a daunting and highly technical task, it used to be a preserve of techies and nerds.

These days with drag and drop tools like Wix and Squarespace and a clear understanding of a low-code Content Management Service like WordPress, anybody can create a functional website with all the necessary bells and whistles.

Why should I build a website for my music?

  1. For easy branding
  2. Owning your own space
  3. Effectively managing the direction of your career
  4. Easy accessibility of your contents
  5. Increase your income streams by creating more sources like eCommerce, etc

How do I build a site?

As I asserted at the beginning of this section of the article, building websites is no longer the exclusive preserve of nerds and techies, but it is still a task that requires a steep learning curve especially as low-code tools like WordPress are not technologies you can master on short notice.

Wix and Squarespace are also easy tools you can manipulate while on the go to create stunning Music websites that convert.

My pick and preference is WordPress not only because it is free, but also because its robust community of freelancers, techies, and midlevel user database makes it so easy to jump into and also easy to learn with a ton of free tools and resources at your disposal.

If for any reason you run into issues, there s simply no technical issue that lacks a solution because another user like you must have encountered the issue and brought it to the attention of the community for prompt resolution.

Finally, if you still feel overwhelmed by the concept of creating a website for your music career, then use sites like Fiverr to get good designers at a very cheap rate.

While on WordPress, Website builders like –

  • Divi (Get a discount using the Affiliate link)
  • Elementor
  • Beaver
  • Envato elements: not your typical builder but it has unlimited resources to utilize and as a musician, this is a place for you to access- graphics, music, video assets, and then WordPress templates.

#6. Do music collaborations:

Photo by Yan Krukov

Music collaborations are as old as the art itself, and it remains one of the fastest ways to grow your brand as a musician by leveraging the audiences of your collaborator to grow organically.

In the recent past, we have also seen established acts like Davido, Wizkid, Burnaboy, Tuface Idibia all piggybacking on the buzz of some upcoming yet hot acts to stay relevant, while the latter rides on the wave of the popularity of the big artists to appeal to both their audience as well as those of the older act.T

The only drawback of this method is that most upcoming acts do not have the budget required to have an established act like say Wizkid to jump on their songs.

So What should I do?

It’s either you create a spicy and trendy song like an Olakira with his song- Maserati which had a Davido on the remix, or Kizz Daniel whose debut hit single Woju, had heavyweights Davido and Tiwa on the remix.

The other way around this is to look for other upcoming acts like yourself and do a collaboration, both yall can increase your listener base by leveraging on your individual audiences to grow at a pace.

So collaborations can take you a notch higher and give your career the boost it requires.

#7. Create a Playlist on Digital Streaming Platforms

I kinda got to understand the power of playlists when I decided to create on Boomplay and Spotify.

At first, I felt it was imperative to get your song on prominent playlists of top DJs and so on. while this is very important, it is also worthy of note that creating your own can keep you on the right pedestal.

Like I said in the first paragraph of this section, I created a playlist, an Indigenous one to be precise of about 10 songs just for my personal entertainment.

I kept playing the songs and adding more related tracks to swell the ranks and also keep me glued to listening to my playlist.

Within a short time, I noticed some comments, likes, and shares for this playlist.

With this experience I kinda took to creating more playlist, some are doing well while others are just exclusively my own to listen to.

Why is a Playlist Important?

  1. It helps your songs get easily discovered on streaming platforms
  2. Gaining more fans is very important, but gaining dedicated new fans is even more important. A prominent playlist with a mix of the big names and yours easily make fans of the big Artistsregard you as one

So what makes a Playlist take off?

There are some very salient factors that would result in creating highly effective playlists, I’ll enumerate some of these

below:

  1. Keep it niche- I did an old-school playlist, a nineties RnB playlist, and an Igbo language indigenous playlist. I compiled a list of similar songs to cater to my mood at any given time. It will be wrong to have a Tupac song on an RnB playlist with an Usher Raymond song(s). So ensure you niche it down.
  2. Use Keywords: If you want to be easily discovered, remember people search for music with the keywords related to either the artist, the title of the song, or the genre.
  3. Play your playlist regularly: I truly experienced the merit of playing your playlist over and over again. It tells the streaming algorithm that the song compilation is truly interesting if it gets this good number of listens even by the creator of the list. So ensure you play this playlist because as you warm it regularly then the likelihood of it being suggested to another user with similar musical preferences is even higher.
  4. Utilize well-designed artwork: The temptation of using already available song art is really high, but I daresay you should try and create your own unique cover art. Tools like Canva, photopea can enable you to do that easily and conveniently without spending a dime.

#8. Always follow the data:

Learning digital marketing will help you as an artist as you expand in your career. Having this useful skill can help you comprehend

simple analytics. This is how you follow the data.

Following the data implies the following:

  1. Get the accurate demography of the people with a taste for your genre
  2. It keeps you informed on the most authentic musical trends to implement to enhance your chances of your music taking off as soon as it hits the shelves.

So what Tools can help you do this?

I won’t go any further by listing complex and almost impossible to purchase tools, rather I will list just one of the best analytical tools which is Google analytics.

#9. Stay Consistent and do good and relatable Music:

At the end of the day, making good music encompasses the whole tips, methods, and promotional style in the bid to help your career gain the mainstream appeal it craves, we can’t stress this enough!

Do you want to promote your song? gain more recognition and build the right brand for your Music?

Let us hear from you

Written By chinemere onuekwusi

Chinemere Onuekwusi is just a dude who writes on pretty much every topic that relates to small business, blogging, Music, Films and conscientious issues. He enjoys reading, traveling and he's a helluva technology enthusiast.

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