How to learn marketing in the music business?


If you have ever had any experience in business you would know that it is not easy to do marketing. Often you try different things to get the business up and often work for long periods with no rewards.

If this has been your experience, this article will help you get a new perspective on marketing for the music business and how to approach it. When it comes to the music business, people unfortunately don’t understand the value of marketing.

Many people see it as just another tick box they have to check as part of getting my business ‘out there’, and often outsource this function to a third person. I would caution that this is a huge mistake.

A business is doomed to fail if the owners and managers are not fully in charge of the business model and its implementation.Whilst the marketing activities do not have to be performed by the owner, how the product is marketed must be completely informed by the owners and the people who built the product. The struggles and challenges in marketing each product are very different.

Some might even think, I have a great product why should I spend money on marketing, let people come to me. These are bad behaviors that you have to eliminate before you learn how to do marketing for your music business. If you don’t lose these bad habits, you will not grasp the difference marketing makes in a business.

The impact that marketing makes in a business nowadays is huge. Even businesses with small products can rake in big numbers if the product is marketed properly. A mediocre product, marketed well can do much better than a good product with average or poor marketing.

Learning marketing starts with first understanding the business, then focusing on what your audience might be interested in when it comes to music. Learning the ins and outs of the industry by learning the target audience is very important when it comes to success in the music business.

Music marketing is nothing more than making your music known to people using various techniques such as influencer marketing and creative social media campaigns. These techniques are used to make people aware of the song that is released by an artist.

Just knowing that you have to do marketing is one thing, but understanding how to do it and putting it into action is how you will achieve results. In this article, I will walk you through different aspects of marketing when it comes to different streams of income that will help you accelerate the learning curve. Let’s get started.

What is music marketing? 

When it comes to music marketing, one thing to note is that you cannot go in with one strategy thinking it will work and will not need to be changed. you need to have the grit, determination and flexibility to change midway if a certain approach is not working.

Music marketing is tough, and there are a lot of variables that you have to control if you want to be a good music marketer. The people who do music marketing study how you can market your music based on the product size, how many people might be interested in it as well as how much they will be able to pay for the product. Without this analyses, you cannot make a music marketing campaign work, regardless of whether it’s Facebook advertising or google ads.

Thorough research helps prevent rookie mistakes and will help you to make solid decisions. If you are someone who is hiring a music marketer, the first thing to notice is whether they know the product or stream of income. Source knowledge is valuable in determining if something will work or not.

There are so many different types of marketing campaigns one could run, and they will all have the potential to work for you. However you have to understand that no matter how much experience a marketer has in marketing, if they don’t understand the audience they are targeting, the campaign is going to fail.

This is why when you look at various artists and their music marketing campaigns, they are thoroughly selected. They don’t just go and select 15 different things. Five Properly researched and tagged music campaigns are usually enough to get the word out about your product.

The most important thing about any musical marketing project is knowing the result you want to achieve. You won’t know the result of the project until you see the number of products sold. There are a lot of other factors such as the time of the year and many other influences on product sales.

Certain musical products like royalties won’t work when you are advertising them to an audience at the end of a year. You have to do that at the start of the year to get the attention of producers who want to use your music for their projects.

The situation is the same case when you look at Merch sales as well. You cannot simply advertise thinking that you can get sales at anytime during the year. You have to tie your product with a day or festival in order to sell it.

Why music marketing is so important in the music business 

If you are someone who doesn’t have a following and are just starting out in music, people aren’t going to be interested in your products or even in your music. You have to get their attention and make them interested in you.

This is why over the last 6 years, a lot of artists and producers have turned towards the art of content marketing. Content marketing is nothing more than producing content for free and in return, steer their attention towards music and products.

This has been a successful formula for a lot of marketers. You give them something for free to get their attention, and then you lead them to a product to purchase on your site.

Without marketing, no business can grow. The “art” of putting a sign in front of a shop is nothing but marketing. You are letting everyone know that you are there to offer a particular product. This is how marketing works.

I can not stress how important it is not to overlook this aspect of the music business as well. Some people put all their time and effort into creating an amazing product, they won’t market it at all.

In music the idea of, if you build it, they will come is not so straight forward. In fact, it doesn’t happen that way at all. It’s the complete opposite of how customers buy a product. Very often music marketed well can take off like a rocket, even if it is mediocre.

When you market your product, people come to know about it and if they are interested they will purchase it as well. This is how basic marketing works.

Big multi-national companies spend millions on advertisements to get their name on every corner because of this. They just want their name to be know by every human alive. This should be the same tactic followed for marketing for music as well.

When you look at marketing the different products you have in the music business, you should know that each of them requires different methods.

Not all products should be marketed in the same way, as each of them has a different audience and should approached like a new campaign.

Different aspects of marketing your music business 

When it comes to marketing your music business, you cannot follow the same tactics that worked 6 years ago. You have to innovate, and find a way to attract customers based on the product that you are selling them.

You cannot create a campaign based on some tip that you got from a YouTube video as well. Even if it worked for them, there is no guarantee that it will work for you. The best way to market a product better is to do it on a small scale and then scaling it up over time to the number of people you want to reach.

Let’s say you want to reach 50,000 people to get a conversion rate of 5 percent. Start by doing it for 500 people and see if you can get the result.

This type of targeted advertising will help you in marketing your product to mass audiences properly, without breaking your bank on failed campaigns. In this article, I will walk you through all the things to look at when you are marketing for a particular audience.

Streaming

Streaming services are a great place to start marketing when it comes to the music business. People make a large portion of their money in the music business from streaming. This is because of the reach that you get when you market your music to the right audience that is looking to listen to that music in their content.

This is where you can take your marketing skills to the next level, by getting high returns on what you are trying to do in the music business. When compared to all other types of music production income, streaming is something that can compound over time as the placements that you get can stay for a long time.

Let’s look at an example; if your song is being played over and over on Spotify, and it stays relevant for a long time, then you will be making money from it even after 10 years.

This is not possible with many other streams of income in music production. The music business has expanded so much nowadays that it’s taken seriously.

There are people making millions just from the streaming songs on distribution platforms. This was not possible even a decade ago. The best way to market on streaming platform is to put you out there as a character that people associate with.

This has been the only successful way a lot of music artists have made their way to the top. In the end though , the quality of the content you produce will determine your longevity.

Royalties 

Apart from streaming, the hardest thing to do is to get your songs placed in movies and TV shows, to do this you need to have connections in the music distribution community.

It’s one of the hardest things to do. You have to market purposefully to the people who can get you a placement in these movies and TV shows. Most people don’t understand the value of these placements.

Let me explain that a bit, when you look at a music placement in a movie or a TV show, it will start to generate royalties throughout the life of the movie without you having to do anything. The only work you might have to do is to make the music. Usually, these are called digital assets that you can own as well if you are trying to invest in them.

If you have a song placed in a TV show, such as friends, which is known worldwide, you would be generating royalties for more than 20 years as of now. This is due to how the shows are being re telecasted in different parts of the world. The fan base that these shows have created also makes it have better longevity when compared to a lot of other shows, which don’t get re-watched often.

Beat sales 

Marketing beats has become easier due to the increase in the number of marketing avenues like Facebook and Twitter. These platforms have started to allow marketing to a group of audiences that can be specifically targeted.

This has made music producers and music marketers very active in marketing on social media. This is also due to the rise in the number of online music producers in the beat-selling community.

There is always a market for selling beats online. This is because of the various types of subgenres of music that comes out every single month.

Different types of music become popular every single month. Riding this wave of what’s good at the moment is good in some ways, but it doesn’t hold its value when you look at it in terms of how well your marketing campaign is work.

There is a popular saying in marketing that “you need 7 touch points with a customer to make them buy something from you”. If you are going to be riding trends, you won’t be able to make a consistent impression on a customer to make a purchase.

This is another reason why music production with one stream of income is not viable in the new age of digital production.

Sample packs 

The target audience for this marketing section is music producers who are starting their careers in music. Sample packs are small audio files that contain pieces of the song or a track. They help the new music producer to not worry about a particular part in the song, instead use the time to learn a song one by one.

The quest to find sample packs by music producers is a thirst that can’t be quenched easily. They are always going after new sample packs. With this in mind, there are sample packs released every single week.

If you are entering this sample pack market just like the beat sales, you will have to ride a lot of trends, especially when it comes to how you are marketing your sample packs. If you are not adapting to the schemas of the environment, you will not sell any sample packs.

Every single trend that comes and goes in the beat-selling industry also influences the sample pack industry. The sample packs in the same trend get released immediately, as soon as the trends of a similar track or sub-genre start to get more attention. If you are marketing in sample packs, you have to be vigilant on what the current trend is in beat sales.

Merch sales 

Selling Merch in the music industry is a fantastic business if you understand what you are doing. This is very important because you have to find the right audience to market your Merch to. If you are even slightly off on the targeted audience, the investment wont generate a return.

You can make a lot of income when it comes to Merch sales if you have good knowledge about the trends around the industry. When a movement or an issue becomes the center of the music industry, a trend starts.

As a Merch marketer for music, the ability to identify these trends and marketing them to the right people who will be interested in them is crucial in the success of this business model.

There are so many products you can sell when it comes to merchandise. Take advantage of all of them. Some people might be interested in multiple products as well. Each product might need a different design according to what the trend is in that market. Consider all the factors before you decide on a design to go with.

The best way to get more sales is to build an audience. If you don’t build an audience then it’s hard to sell just through online advertising. The conversation rate will be very low. A better way to do it, would be to completely take advantage of the influence you generate through other parts of your music business and sell Merch on the side.

Touring Gigs 

An artist touring is the most fundamental marketing that anyone can do in the music business. This is because of the ability to advertise to a wider audience, no matter where they are in the world.

Your’e going to them in person is the most efficient way to advertise your brand. Performing songs has always been the best marketing method for selling Merch and making a connection with the people who listen to your music.

There are so many advantages to why you should be looking towards the ability to completely change the way your brand is perceived as well. Making a brand successful in the music industry takes time and effort and touring is one method you can use to reduce the time to success.

Touring allows you to take advantage of all the avenues of income in the music business. This opens up the ability to sell all the products that you have in your music business.

These tours provide the opportunity to make your brand more popular among various cultures and connect more with people.

Online courses 

This stream of income is for artists and producers who are more inclined to make money through teaching others. It’s not like other streams of income at all. You have to actively look for people who are willing to learn music production or the music business. Marketing for music online courses starts with choosing the right platform to sell your courses.

There are so many platforms to choose from like Udemy and Skillshare. They have their different advertisement models as well. Depending on which one you are comfortable with you to have to go all-in on the advertisement.

Studio time 

Building a recording studio and renting it out to other people to use, is also a popular revenue stream. Giving studio time in a studio that you own, can generate a lot of income as well.

This has been true to how the industry has shaped in the last few years. People who need to record songs take everything to the studio and spend more than a week on it. This allows you to make a business out of it.

Due to an increase in the number of home recording studios, this might not be a long-term opportunity for a business. As the cost of the equipment is getting lower, music producers are developing their studios at home.

How do I become a music marketer?

Marketing music plays a big role in the success of a commercial music release. Having a music business degree helps to get you into music management and marketing positions.

Working with up and coming artists will help you to become a better music marketer, as you will understand the industry and product placement better.

How do I learn the music business?

Learning the music business takes time and lots of research. The best way to learn is from people who have already done this. When you learn from them don’t take the pathways, instead, learn the mindset and application. This will lead you to generate success in your business. From there it’s all about experimentation and what works for your style of business.

How do I market myself in the music industry?

Having a great story is what always leads you to into people’s hearts. People don’t buy a product because of its specification, but because it helps them achieve a task. This is the single most important thing to do, in order to position yourself appropriately in the music industry.

What is the best way to promote your music?

In today’s industry, the best way to promote your music is to get your name out through influencers. Collaborating with influencers makes a huge change in how people perceive you.

This also allows you to connect with people on a deeper level. This has been the most effective of methods being used in today’s marketing world.

How can I promote my music in 2021?

Taking the route of content marketing is the only way to promote your music and reach an audience in 2021. This has become the norm because of how people interact with content nowadays.

People love to support a music brand with a story behind it rather than a music label. This is why we see a lot of independent artists taking over record labels.

How much do music marketers make?

Depending on the project, a music marketer can make from $500 to $2 million, for bigger projects involving bigger artists. When it comes to touring and performing live, music marketers play a big role in booking shows, which pays the most.

Conclusion

Marketing, in general, is an art; there are lots of ways you can do it. There is no right or wrong way. The results are where you will see the big difference. If you don’t experiment in marketing, it will seem like a burden rather an opportunity to learn and have fun.

Music marketing can be a source of great income; it can even become your full-time career as well. People who take music marketing way too seriously and care about every single intricate detail fail because of how complex the market is.

Learning from your mistakes is the only way to get better and better at music marketing. If you try shortcuts, it will hurt your integrity in the long run.

A good music marketer should know how to tell a good story. There is this wonderful saying that “people buy stories not products”. You have to sell your story to make people buy the product rather than blasting them with the product specifications.

The great winners in marketing are people who can discern what is needed in the market and provide it at top-notch quality. When you experiment in marketing for music, sometimes you will find out that you have to change the way you process things to achieve success. In the end, if you don’t give up, you will win.

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