With this new album coming out I've been focusing on marketing. For people not used to doing marketing like a musician... it can be a challenge.
There are two key questions you need to ask yourself before you get started.
1. Where do I want to grow my audience?
2. What's most important for my growth?
When answering those questions myself I thought social media would be a good way to start... I think for the most part that's a wrong way of thinking. I believe you should start everything with the music. If you can introduce more people to your music the social media will come. An example was a person I met who had 100k fans on social media but hardly posted. He focused more on plays on platforms such as soundcloud, spotify and others. Here's the thing... focusing on plays also brings in some small revenue but it gets the people that are truly interested in your sound to follow your progress. Also, everyone knows you can buy followers now and you can spot someone faking it. Finding listeners is more of a challenge thus brings more value to your brand. Social media followers don't stick as much and they don't transition into purchases mostly. They will normally unfollow you in a day or so.
Don't chase the followers, chase the listeners.
Now there are a few applications I would like to highlight. Trying to help you understand why they are important and why they might fit your goals. I'll be focusing on paid marketing because as a new artist this is probably the best way to get started in an industry mainly saturated by mediocre artists.
Let's start with publications such as magazines with email lists. The thing you have to remember is prices here always change based on various reasons but they have the most pull of any marketing tool. You'll be spending more but the results should be better. You might want to save up and have a following before contacting some of these outlets.
RA:Resident Advisor • This is a great resource to market. They have a huge reach 30 million readers... with plenty of avenues to promote through. You can post your shows, music, and more. It's also more reasonable when it comes to pricing for marketing. Probably one of the largest email lists out there, with newsletters regularly.
Magnetic Magazine • I'm a fan of this alternative magazine outlet because it actually doesn't do in your face typical advertising. Usually they will want an article or something a little more. This is something you should want in a publication. If you want to reach a bunch of people looking for new music and industry news... this is your place.
Dancing Astronaut • This is one of the most popular industry news outlets. If you don't know about it... I'd be surprised. Great marketing through this publication with some of the largest fan base reach.
Attack Magazine • Last but not least is Attack Magazine. Not only is this a great resource for news but you can also send them mixes because they do mixes of the week. I would approach this publication differently than just an album release. They are looking for deep stories to write about but there are ways to get your stories featured.
The forums I've listed are more for me but I found that they are the most responsive to what I create. Most forums and messaging boards are a joke. Mostly musicians advertising to other musicians... these sites are similar but at least they are responsive and people care about what you are doing. I'm always looking to add more to this list. It's important to have a community behind what you are doing and these are the ones that I found had the most engagement.
Elektronauts • This forum is mostly for people who own Elektron synths but it's also for people who have a passion for music gear. I found being active in this forum not only gave me more knowledge on products but also gave me a strong community to share my new work.
DJ TechTools • I've been a member of this forum for a while and I've always enjoyed most of the articles. I'm not really a DJ but I do like finding DJs to play my music. It's a great resource for new stuff going on in the industry.
Submit Sites and Blogs
A great aggregator for music is a blog that writes about your music. These sites offer services to send music to their partner blogs or post through their own sites.
SubmitHub • This site allows you to send songs to blogs and record labels. You can filter the ones you think will fit your music genre. It's a great way to get exposure but some of the blogs don't have high acceptance rate. They will however give you a review of your song.
HomeCooking Share • This site takes submissions for new music. They don't accept everything but I think it's the only free site I have mentioned on here.
Club Restricted • Most sites don't include you in on their email campaign but this one does. They have 150k emails that target music fans. I should know... I've been getting emails from them for a while. They seem to do a decent job of marketing with posts on their sites and though email.
Midnite Blaster • This site costs money to market to soundcloud with postings to other accounts. They have permissions for hundreds of artists, labels, and influencers on SoundCloud to repost tracks for 24 hours. Prices change here so check with them but expect great results.
New Retro Wave • Honestly I just put this in for myself. You can pass it up unless you are into synthwave like me.
Redirect Marketing/Download Gates
These sites create portal pages to direct fans to download music and various other things for emails. Some have other features too like targeted marketing for specific audiences. Seems like they are great for people who already have an audience.
Toneden.io • This is actually the industry leading marketing tool for building marketing campaigns and maintaining an audience. It connects all of your social networks and has playbooks that you select to build marketing campaigns. It's a little pricey but it claims to automate things with little adjustments. I've heard a bunch of great things from others.
Hypeddit • This site actually belongs in a few other categories because it has similar features to SubmitHub. You can build marketing campaigns with facebook and send songs to blogs. You also get a nifty portal to direct traffic with.
Feature.fm • I'm fascinated with this site currently because it injects your songs into a playlist. It also has the portal pages to direct traffic. The songs injected are mostly at the end of a playlist. It's great because it only charges you if the song is played for a certain time limit. It also gives your songs a boost at the beginning of the launch. It's guaranteed plays with your soundcloud embedded increasing your plays on that network. You can pay as little for $10 for 600+ plays and that's a strong start. I've heard a ton of great feedback from this app. You can read more about it here: About Feature.fm
So what's the most important goals for you?
My top goals are to reach as many people as possible, to get listeners to my music, and find those that engage with my music. I've presented some of the tools I'm using to grow my brand larger. Those goals have helped me direct my marketing and I'm just getting started. Things change quickly in the marketing world so I'll be updating this post with new tools as frequently as possible.
Build email lists and get plays... it's that simple!
If you have any information to add... feel free to comment below. If any of these worked great for you... let me know! Also, remember this is what worked for me and it's different with everyone. It's important to put together your own network and make a marketing plan.