Today’s music industry has made it possible for independent artists to gain worldwide exposure without help from large record companies. This, of course, requires artists to be business savvy and have an understanding of how to use technology and the internet to their advantage.
Internet marketing has become mainstream for businesses in all industries, as it’s a relatively low-cost way to reach millions of potential consumers. Here are some ways internet marketing can help your music go viral.
Social Media Reach
Social media is, by far, the easiest way to gain exposure. All artists should have a combination of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, SoundCloud, and any other social media accounts. All it takes is one person to share a link to your song (or a YouTube video) – and if their followers like what they hear, then they might continue reposting your music. These platforms make it easy for anyone to share your music on their own pages, creating an exponentially growing number of potential listeners.
For Facebook in particular, make sure that you have an official fan or “like” page, rather than relying on your personal account. Your fan page makes it possible for anyone to “like” and follow along, without having to add you as a friend. What’s great about Facebook, is that fans don’t necessarily have to share your posts in order for them to be visible within their networks – it can show up in news feeds when they just give a thumbs up to one of your posts or write a comment, increasing the numbers in your total reach. Of course, Facebook’s paid advertising options are another way you can target demographics that are specific to the type of music you are producing.
Building a Following
Internet marketing is essential, not only for getting people to listen to your music, but for building your following as an artist. Fans and followers aren’t just looking to connect to the music you produce, but the person behind the music as well. The more transparent you are with your life and who you are as a person, the easier it is for people to relate to you and form an artist-to-audience connection.
This is why many YouTube stars, or even some “celebrity” Vine personalities have had such successful launches with their first single. Ronnie Banks, a well-known Viner, had well over a million followers on Vine before he released his single, Wake Up – so naturally, there was over a million people anticipating its iTunes release. It’s just as important to create a buzz, build anticipation, and have a following as it is to produce quality music; and using the internet is the most efficient way of doing so.
Nobody in the music industry stands alone. In order to be successful and relevant to the music business, every artist needs their own network of producers, DJs, songwriters, singers, etc. But don’t pigeonhole yourself into only collaborating with fellow music artists. Every individual with an online presence, no matter how small, has their own personal network of people who you don’t necessarily have access to; and each person in their network will have their own network as well. If you think outside the box a bit, you can reach those audiences that others may be overlooking.
One example is the blogging world. Today, bloggers are a dime a dozen and many of them are looking for new content. Why not reach out to bloggers and ask to be interviewed, or if they would write a post about your music? If you’re performing, you can contact local bloggers in your city and invite them to come hear you live. Some may do it for free, while others may require a sponsored post fee. But if that particular blog is reaching the right demographic for your music, it could be a smart investment. Even lesser-known bloggers will have a small following of potential listeners or fans.
Internet Radio and Podcasts
There’s countless online radio stations that you can submit your songs to – usually, for a small fee – which can be a great way to get your music heard and build your audience. Podcasts can also be effective, as it puts you in the position of being the DJ or radio show host. People also enjoy listening to podcasts while going about their everyday activities, and it’s easier than having to surf through social media pages and read multiple posts.
If you choose to go the podcast route, be creative and engaging. Nobody wants to hear someone ramble on in a monotone voice, nor should you just play loops of your new single. Use your podcast as a chance to display who you are as an artist, discuss topics that you care about, and invite others to participate in your show. Although the focus won’t always be on your music, you will be building your following which, in turn, can set your music up to go viral.
Keep in mind that there’s no one-stop solution when it comes to internet marketing. The best strategy is to have your hand in several pots in order to reach as many people, on as many platforms, as possible.