Online music promotion - you know you need to do it, but the number of options available to get the job done can be down right overwhelming. This how-to guide for promoting music online will walk you through the steps you need to follow to set up an internet music promotion strategy that works for you. There's no single blueprint that works for everyone, but these steps will make sure you set off down the right path.
The kiss of death for online music promotion is to think that all there is to it is to throw up some online profiles and wait for the fans to start pouring in. There are way, way (way) too many internet music promotion tools available for you to strike out half heartedly into this process. Nor can you allow managing your internet presence become the only thing you are really doing with your music career. Decide up front that you're going to put some time into developing a strategy and that you're going to resist the urge to lallygag around on Facebook all day and pretend it's work. Ahem.
Find Your Fans
With so many promotional tools out there, you can be sure that your fans are not on ALL of them. Because you need your online music promotion work to be manageable, you need to be selective about the sites you use, and at the top of the list should be the sites where people like your fans congregate. Indie rockers needn't post their vids all over World Star Hip Hop while mainstream country artists don't need to be trying to blow up on Pitchfork. Not sure where your fans are? Well, where are you? Chances are, your own net habits are a good guide.
Develop Two Strategies
When we talk about internet music promotion, we're really talking about two things - getting reviews and other coverage on blogs and internet magazines, much like the promotion you would get in print media, and your own promotion work that involves interacting with your fans, usually using social media. You need a different plan for each. But more on that below...
Strategy One - Online Media
Contrary to popular belief, getting actual coverage - reviews and interviews - for your music online isn't much different than it is in the print world. In fact, it may be easier. You need some music, a press release and a database of contacts. That last one is the trickiest part if you've never done any promo before, but there's no mystery. Set aside an afternoon, make a list of sites/blogs you like and create a spreadsheet that contains the contact info for them. It's not glamorous, but it's a good time investment. Now, contact them, make a pitch and start the dialogue. More info below.
Strategy Two: Fan Interaction
This is the part where you start to use social networking sites. Remember when you found your fans online, way back in step two? This step is also where you'll use that info. Give your fans something of value while social networking. Let them in on the recording process, tell them when you're writing new songs and so on. They will enjoy hearing about your day to day life to a certain extent, but remember to deliver the goods as well. More info below.
Make Online Promo Part of Your Daily Routine
Set aside some time each day to manage your online presence - just don't make it your WHOLE day.
Get More Info About Contacting The Press:
Get More Info About Social Networking Sites
Don't forget to have your own website! There's no substitute for having your own website to control your message and create your image. Learn more about setting up a website here.
One way to further engage your fans - and to gather more info about them to you can target your promotion strategy - is to give up some goods in exchange for the 411. For instance, offer a free download in exchange for signing up for your newsletter. Depending on how you structure your newsletter sign-up, you can get email address, fav websites, geographic locations - a veritable marketing info jackpot. Plus, your newsletter is one more tool to keep your fans in the loop. Learn more about newsletters here.