The most amazing thing about the music industry today is how level the playing field has become. It is easier than ever to record a song or entire album in your bedroom, upload it to the internet, and get people to engage with it on social media. It also makes influencer marketing for musicians possible.
This is due entirely to technology and not just the internet either. Software tools like Garageband, Ableton, and Spotify’s music collaboration service Soundtrap make creating music easier and more affordable than ever before.
Of course, the internet makes it possible for influencers to market music to millions of potential fans all over the world through their social media channels. Digital music distribution companies such as CDBaby, Tunecore, and ReverbNation make tracks available for streaming on services that include Apple Music, Pandora, and Tidal. Spotify alone sees the release of over 60,000 songs every day!
The downside to the ease of recording and distributing music is that if anyone can do it everybody will. With so much music out there how do you get yours to stand out and be heard? That’s a challenge for sure, but there are tools to help you with that too. One of those is through the use of influencer marketing for musicians.
If you hear the word influencer and you think of the Kardashians, you are not alone, but influencers aren’t necessarily reality TV stars. They are people who are active on multiple social media platforms every day. They engage with their followers and recommend products and services, brands, and yes, music. Sometimes they do this in subtle ways. This has become an important, mostly untapped resource for artists to get their music out there.
Influencer marketing for musicians does work and companies like SpaceLoud are at the forefront of this new service, but let’s look at some other ways artists promote their music both traditional and new.
Artists need to think about how music promotion has changed over the years. Distribution has changed, the way people listen to music has changed, and your music marketing should change too. That said, some of the traditional methods still work. Promotion will always be about getting the word out even as the way to get the word out has changed. That’s a challenge but there are tools to help you with that too. One of those is through the use of influencers.
Before we dive into what influencer marketing for musicians is, let’s look at some of the traditional ways artists have gotten their music heard by the masses, then we'll share with you the current, most effective ways to let people know about your music.
There are methods of music promotion that used to work well for artists, but in today's rapidly shifting industry, just don’t deliver the same results. Here are a few:
Once upon a time, a record label contract was the only way you could get heard on the radio. When a label signed an artist they took care of all the promotion, booked shows, interviews, reviews, and got them airplay. Granted, there was a lot wrong with the artist/label relationship that we won’t get into here, but the label was motivated by profit so it was in their interest to break an artist.
Record labels then and now have the money and leverage to get artists the attention they need to grow their audience. They have big marketing departments and big budgets for promotion. So, yes, there is a place for them in today’s music environment. Smaller independent labels have also grown as a place that fosters young talent. These labels are seen as tastemakers and being on their roster is enough to get people interested.
Labels also handle things such as distribution, paying publishing and royalties, mentoring, and providing legal assistance. They also pay advances against future album sales (which need to be paid back, of course).
Labels take their cut of album sales after they recoup production costs. They may own the masters of your recording too and have other legal binds put on you. Even smaller labels have a big say in the way an artist records, releases music, and tours. It’s better not to give up control of the release date, creative control of album sequencing, cover art, or the rights to your music.
Being connected to a label has benefits, no doubt, but it is no longer a requirement for an artist to be successful. Far from it. Besides, the chances of getting signed to a major label are low given the sheer amount of talent out there. You don’t need to be the best, there’s no most talented category, but it does pay to be the hardest working. And it’s better to work smart too.
Sending your music to blogs and review sites has traditionally been a good way to get press. Print publications, there are still a few around, are worth a shot as well, especially if they cover local music.
Influential music sites have thousands of readers ready to buy whatever single or album is given the nod from their music writers. There’s no reason not to send your music to them, however, you need to understand they receive a high volume of music. They may pass on it if they ever even get to it.
There are also many websites and hosting services you can use to promote yourself. You can build a website if you have the skills or use a free web-building program. It doesn’t hurt to have multiple pages and sites where fans can find out about you and your music, but it takes time to manage all of these things. You should be updating them with new information (release and tour dates, new merch, etc.) as it becomes available. Too many websites and pages and it becomes difficult to manage. If you can’t maintain them then you’re not doing yourself any favors.
A Spotify playlist is a collection of songs presented to users of the streaming service (that is projected to grow to 400 million users in 178 countries by the end of this year, btw). To be included on a playlist, you'll need a verified artist page which may be done through a digital distribution service like CDBaby. Choose your best songs and submit them for consideration. It’s a good way to broaden your audience, especially when combined with an influencer marketing for musicians campaign.
Once the track is available to them through a distributor you can suggest that track for inclusion on a list. Getting on a playlist is not a given, however. Spotify gets thousands of requests. You can only submit one song at a time, but don’t get discouraged. Keep submitting and you might strike gold. Getting on a Spotify playlist gives bands a huge boost and there’s no cost to submit your tracks.
YouTube hasn’t just been about Charlie Bit My Finger videos for a while now. YouTube is a popular music streaming service in its own right and musicians should take advantage of what it has to offer in terms of music promotion. If you’re using a digital music distribution service, your music may already be available on this platform. If so, you should claim your Official Artist Channel on YouTube.
The Official Artist Channel, or OAC, is a great way to get your music out there and also to engage with fans. Using your OAC lets you make and upload videos to one channel so fans can find you. It also gives you access to analytics so you can see where traffic is coming from. You can use this data to focus other promotional efforts in those areas. If you do decide to use influencer marketing for musicians to promote your music, find out if they are active on YouTube.
Ok, so now you are familiar with some of the more traditional methods for promoting music. Here are two current ways artists have found success (in some cases A LOT of success) with their music marketing.
We’ve come a long way since Myspace. New platforms pop up all the time as others fade away. As an artist, you should keep current with what the popular platforms and apps are and use them to reach new fans. If you decide to go the route of influencer marketing for musicians, make sure they are using at least three of the more popular social media outlets. Those include:
TikTok is one of the more popular video-sharing apps in the world right now with over over 689 million monthly active users. They have surpassed over 2 billion downloads on Google Play and the App Store. Influencers who are active on this platform can break an artist big.
Not far behind TikTok is the video-sharing platform Instagram Reels. Reels was created as a response to the popularity of TikTok. It was created by Instagram which is owned by Facebook and that means there is great potential for cross-channel promotion. And don't forget Instagram Stories -- a powerful way to send traffic directly to your music.
Snapchat is used by over 280 million people. Artists and influencers use this service to showcase music and videos and to promote their brands. It’s a way to humanize yourself and let fans get a glimpse of your true personality.
Rapidly exploding in popularity, YouTube Shorts is a new competitor to TikTok and Instagram Reels. It’s short-form video content, perfect for promoting music on, and is an underrated channel for artists to promote music on. Keep a close eye on this one, it will likely be big.
One of the more recent developments in promoting new music is influencer marketing. This is where an artist partners with an influencer who promotes that artist’s work to their followers. Influencers have huge followings across multiple social media platforms, and their followers look to them to learn about new products, music, podcasts, and more. They are a valuable asset to emerging talent who need to get their music to a wider audience.
Using influencer marketing for musicians shifts some of the responsibility of promotion to someone else so you have more time to concentrate on creating music. There is no doubt about the power of influencers to persuade people to buy a product or service they recommend. The question is how do you find one? That’s where SpaceLoud comes in. We help artists and influencers collaborate seamlessly.
SpaceLoud is a service that brings artists and influencers together in a relationship that benefits both parties. The artist gets increased exposure and the influencer grows their own following while also making money. Influencer marketing for musicians is a way to increase the artist’s social media followers and promote new releases, shows, tours, and merchandise. Finding an influencer is easy. Just sign up for a SpaceLoud account (which is free) and start your search.
Once you’ve created an account, connecting with an influencer happens in one of two ways. You can browse profile pages to find influencers who you think will do the best job promoting your type of music. You’ll see what social media channels they use and how big their followings are. Or you can create a campaign and let influencers contact you. The campaign includes details about who you are trying to reach and the social media channels you’d like to target. Interested influencers submit proposals for you to review.
Whichever way you use influencer marketing for musicians, you are in control. You decide when the influencer will start promoting your music and you set the price for that service beforehand—you don’t pay a penny until the campaign is finished.
Ready to start working with an influencer for your music marketing? It’s as easy as signing up for an account with SpaceLoud. We’re only successful if you’re successful. That’s why we’ve built the tools to help you get your music heard by as large an audience as possible. Influencers, we need you too, so sign up and use the following you’ve built to create a steady stream of revenue.