Cover/ Thumbnail Photo Credit : Drew Ressler /Rukes www.rukes.com
( Warning : This post is on Music Marketing not production tips.)
The Internet changed everything.
There are thousands of tracks being uploaded right now.
Some awesome, some meh.
But regardless, all these tracks will run into the same problems.
How the hell do I get my music in front of new fans.
Now I know what your saying, marketing is lame, its annoying. I want to make music not focus on attracting new fans.
I hear you I truly do, however without some form of marketing plan, you are going to be spinning your wheels, instead of getting on Spinnin Records . ( cheesy I know)
Every single business/ brand in the world has this issue, getting what they make/produce in front of new customers ( fans ). Often times small businesses will fail due to this simple reason.
No one finds them.
or in our case, the music.
It's the sad reality of the music industry, you will get slaughtered by the " competition " if you don't find ways to push your brand in front of people. I don't like to use the word competition as I truly don't view it like that, however if you take the mellow approach and don't actively promote your music in a creative way you will be fucked, for lack of a better term.
It seems all to often producers will upload tracks, labels will upload tracks and just hope for the best.
If the music is amazing, it will find its way...right?
Why, because even if its beautiful song that truly speaks to a core audience on a deep level, the track has to be found. Period
This is the hard part.
Think back on the last few products you bought.
Did you buy some shoes because you liked the ad on TV? You know the funny one that grabbed your attention through all the other bull shit.
Did you buy DC Clothing because you where watching Fantasy Factory ? ( guilty as charged) .
Did you download a new game for your phone, because Kate Upton caught your attention due to ....well you know.
More importantly, how did you find your last " new song ". Was it via a labels youtube channel? Was it due to beatport's top 100?
This is everything, how you find your content is king in the realm of brand awareness.
Think about it this way. Your DJ XYZ, you upload an original track on youtube under the name ( DJ XYZ- Kittens and Stuff)
Now, how could people " possibly " find this song. Well of course they could search its tittle, your artist name, or kittens and stuff. Now , although kittens is a uber popular term, you most likely will never make the top of the search . Maybe if someone typed in kittens and stuff, but who knows. The point is, unless people ACTIVELY SEARCH FOR YOU, they most likely won't find you.
If you are marketing savvy, and want to try to capture peoples search terms, by all means be my guest. But I would assume the majority of you guys , myself included, don't want to name songs after popular search terms. DJ XYZ -Kim Kardashian butt photos ... anyone ?
So , unless you have a prior fan base, and a rather large one at that. Your still going to need to find ways to attract new listeners and fans. I've talked about this before how you can do remix contests, unique videos and stuff like that. However are there other, more unique ways?
Yes,I feel there are, the key is getting your music " bolted" on to other peoples content. Sounds impossible right? Why would other people want you use your music for their projects?
Simple, they need music, you can't legally upload a popular song on youtube, or for your App and make money from it.
What this means is that right now, someone is uploading a video or designing something and saying to themselves? How can I get free music for this project.
Recently I was working with a client on getting some free exposure for his work and I wanted to share with you a few of the ways we went about it . The good part, 99% of people will never take the time to contact all these potential projects so if you put in the time you have a good shot.
( Want to learn more about marketing content on the internet, especially the dark side to the web ? Check out Ryan Holiday , he's the dude behind Tucker Max, American Apparel ( their awesome ad's), Tim Ferriss and MANY more. All prior to his 21st Birthday. I've learned a ton from this dude over the years, so wanted to give credit where credit is due.)
Now 2 Tips you can use TODAY to gain media exposure for free
Now you may be saying, wtf I already USE tons of youtube videos. Yes, you most likely do, however do you find OTHER peoples youtube videos to bolt your content to?
Tons of people use youtube, they are uploading new content all the time. In fact, while you are reading this post about 500 hours of new content was posted. They are uploading all kinds of videos. One of the most popular and easy videos I've found to attach your songs to are extreme sport videos.
Random Go Pro User Dropping some sick lines in fresh powder. Awesome
Skater spent a year collecting clips to put together a mini video. Killer
Mountain Biker bouncing in the woods and running into a tree. Beautiful
These are the types of videos that most EDM will easily flow with, in fact these people usually LOVE when you contact them. Why ? Because they can now monetize their videos. When they use 100% their own content ( and your song ) youtube will let them place ads on the videos, compared to using popular songs that youtube may block or place restrictions on.
Now, often times you won't be able to get the person to put it on a already uploaded video, however if that person uploads all the time they will have another video coming up shortly.
This is both a win for you the artist and the video up loader. Awesome
The cool part is, you can legit keep doing this as long as you want. Hell, you can contact 1,000's of people if you want. Who knows how many of them will go for it, but if your music is solid and produced well you should see a decent amount of people interested.
In simple terms what I am saying is, contact video uploaders, random ones from all corners of the world and ask if they want a " free song " to use for their videos. For whatever reason no one seems to ever put in the time to do this, its a great way for free easy marketing.
Below are some steps and ideas that may guide you.
Example of the style of video ( and some beautiful snow )
Some types of videos you can search for on youtube are.
1. Go Pro Sports ( not the huge go pro channel ones, but ones shot by people doing the sports as hobbies)
2. Animal dancing videos( kittens, cute shit, stuff like this can get a ton of hits)
3. Girls Dancing/ Twerking ( hell, you could most likely contact some of the lesser known dancers on youtube and they'd dance to your music, this is un tested though FYI)
4. Ski Resorts ( they tend to post snowboard/ skiing videos as well, often times they use random music, these have worked for me in the past)
5. Car Reviews ( these can get a TON of hits and the users usually upload a ton of content. Are you video savvy? Offer to make the user an intro with your song. That intro could play on every single video they upload .)
( Example of car video)
There are tons of other categories that may work with your videos, try to think outside the box to see what you can attach your music to. I tend to go with videos I like myself/ know the market. However, the farther outside the box you think the easier it will be.
Some tips for contacting/ what videos to look for.
- As I said before, you typically will need someone that uploads fairly regularly, this way they can use the track on the next video.
- Shoot for a decent amount of video views, however don't go crazy ( unless you want to, can't hurt to try ). Usually the large brands have a lot more hoops to jump through, the smaller channels are usually fairly easy. Remember, you can repeat this process as much as you want, small views will add up over a lot of videos.
-Try to find that users direct email. I wouldn't bother with youtube messages, facebook messages or anything of that nature. Direct email is usually your best bet. You can usually find this on their home page if they have one.
- When writing the person, try to sound as professional as you can. They most likely get so much spam they will scan your message in 2 seconds, if it smells like spam they will ignore it. Make sure it looks like it's offering VALUE to them, not trying to steal value. Remember you are trying to help them by giving them value ( your track ) try to convey that in your message.
This simple process of attaching your songs to videos may seem hard to do, or may seem like a waste of time. But not only will you get some exposure, you NEVER know what could be the next Harlem shake. This is truly one of the most cost effective ways to expand your brand.
Not only is it cost effective, unlike sending your tracks to popular channels ( music ) which get hundreds of tracks a day, these video owners seem to rarely get offered music. It's much easier to get your tracks on youtube when your the only one in the game ( compared to the 100+ people sending to music blogs a day)
( Side note : I would politely ask for the artist name/ song tittle in the description for the video. Along with a link to your most popular page. When the video is up, I would leave a comment saying thanks. Not only will this make the up loader happy , but anyone looking over the comments will have an instant click to your channel if they want it. You don't need to link it, they will click your profile if needed)
- Phone Apps/Games
This one is a bit harder to pull off then the youtube videos for a number of reasons, but just like the youtube videos they can have a great pay off.
Traditionally, games will have some style of music playing in the back ground. Some times it may be only a 30 second loop that hangs in the background, sometimes it may be a song that provides a lot to the game itself. However, the majority of the apps and games will have some style of music.
Just like the youtube videos, you can contact the creators and see if they have any use for your music on the next game, even if just a small segment of it. You most likely don't want to contact the massive game companies ( but don't let me stop you) but the smaller ones, the people that aren't making millions of dollars will most likely at least be interested in reading what you have to offer.
Again, you may be thinking " why would anyone want MY music in their game " . You must remember that a lot of the game / app designers make their products out of a labor of love, they may not be making any or a decent revenue from these games yet. This means that they are always looking for ways to reduce costs and add increased value to their product.
Games can be a bit hard to find as can apps and you want to make sure you contact people you think are relevant to what you produce. If the person has yoga apps and products, I don't think your latest dance banger will do them any good. However, if there is a fast paced puzzle game with a ton of flashing lights ...maybe.
You don't want to waste your time or theirs so always keep that in mind when you are contacting people.
You never know what games will take off.
What if some silly little puzzle game blows up to be the next candy crush, with your music along with it. Again, the chances are rare but at the very least you will get more free exposure.
When working with the game/ app designer, try to figure out a way to make sure your work is attributed. This could be a tiny " music by " on a page in the game , to an extreme in your face pop up when you leave the game with something like.
" Love the game Kitten Toss Blast ? Download the Song BLAH BLAH BLAH by DJ XYZ here for free" They could make an easy click to download ( facebook like/ content blocker) or a number of other ways to entice the user to click on it. This wouldn't take away from the game, and would generate a ton of traffic ( depending on the app/ game ). Either way try to figure out unique ways to capture and create new content for the user.
This sounds like a lot of work man
Listen, I am not here to blow smoke up your ass.
Truly I want to help people, this is my labor of love. However with the birth of the internet and the dawn of the computer musician , there is just a TON of music, a lot of great music. This is a beautiful thing but its increasingly harder to stand out and make yourself known.
A lot of you may be saying, fuck, I don't want to do this, I will just make amazing music and get on a huge label.
Just a fair warning. Labels now a days like to see 2 things.
- A strong " brand " across all social media. A real brand, with people interacting with the artist.
- Top songs in the charts. ( have charted high before etc)
The bigger labels usually want both of these. Small labels, you can get away with next to nothing but that's a story for another day.
Regardless, in order to get on those big labels it is going to be a hell of a lot easier if you have a strong brand built up.
I truly feel the two above marketing tips can help you, mainly because they aren't played out and as I said, 99% of people reading this won't take the time so they still won't be played out.
Remember, promoters, booking agents and top labels all want to see strong growth.
Get your music out their in a unique way, and watch the fans roll in. It may be a slow slow process, but in 3 years from now you will be glad you spent 4 or 5 hours a week emailing random people on internet.
It may not be as fun as producing, it may not be rewarding at first. You may get told to fuck off ( but most likely just ignored) but keep plugging away and good things will come.
Have any questions? Leave a comment Below
Want more tips like this ? Please tell me ! I base my content off of artists questions.
Hope everyone had a solid holiday. If I don't talk to you again have a killer New Year !
Let's make 2015 one to remember.