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Written by Ramsey Brown.
Are you an independent artist with a mass of amazing unreleased tracks just sitting on your computer? Or as I like to call it, sitting on a pot of gold. Oftentimes musicians will have a ton of great music but will never release it because they don’t have the proper release strategies in place.
Although I feel strongly that artists should release more music than not — having a well thought out marketing plan before actually dropping a single will only give you a greater advantage of increasing your overall visibility.
There are many different strategies to consider before sharing your music to the public. When you’ve spent so much time and energy creating a specific track, it’s important to weigh out all options in order to optimize your release.
Nowadays, everything happens or is done online. As far as the music industry goes, most all marketing and promotion efforts are now done through social media and streaming platforms. This is an important factor to keep in mind when constructing your single release strategy. Ultimately, your launch plan is going to be the easiest, cheapest, and most effective when it is activated on websites such as Instagram, Spotify, TikTok, and others.
This generation of artists has steered away from the more traditional methods of music promotion such as billboards, radio, and magazine ads. Not only are these sort of approaches extremely expensive, but they are becoming less and less effective due to social media.
Independent artists typically do not have thousands of marketing dollars to spend promoting their next single. Although thousands of dollars never hurts anyone’s music promotion plans, it is definitely not necessary for a successful release.
So how can you have a thriving single release plan without a ton of money behind it? Well, that’s exactly what we are about to explain. Luckily, there are many different low budget release strategies that are easy to implement. In this article, we are going to share with you our 7 favorite and most effective single release strategies that you can take advantage of next time you want to drop some new music.
If you’ve ever been told that you need a ton of money in order to properly release your music — we’re here to say that you’ve been told wrong. If there's a will, there’s a way. If you take the information and tips provided below, add your own hard work and passion to it, you’ll see for yourself the outstanding results it can get you. Take note!
With the intention of serving as a guide and inspiration in your next steps as an independent musician, below you will find 7 key tips and strategies to help launch your next single.
If it’s one thing that fans love to see — it’s some behind the scenes footage from their favorite artists. It’s always a good promotional rule of thumb to give your audience something they’ve not yet seen before, especially if you are a newer musician who has never before published any major content on social media.
By showing the creative process behind the song you are releasing, it will bring your fans closer to you and make them feel more connected to the song itself. This connection will only continue to grow among your fans and keep their attention and interest for any future projects as well.
If you are already in the recording studio creating music, you might as well grab some camera footage of the process to make for an awesome promo video to use down the road — it’s essentially killing two birds with one stone. Your creative process shown in the studio is unique to you only and captures your artistry in a genuine and effortless way.
Once you collect the footage, you’ll want to put it together in an eye-catching format. There are a ton of free or low cost apps that you can use to create and edit high quality videos yourself. Or if you would rather hire a professional, Fiverr offers freelance video editors who can provide almost any style of reel for almost any budget.
Once you have the video, the next step is to post it on your social networks. The best platforms to do this are of course through Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, but don’t limit to just those.
As we’ve mentioned time and time again, the internet is your best friend when it comes to promoting your music and organizing your release strategy. If you really want your song to reach the masses, you need to make it available on every single platform possible.
This is where distribution companies such as Tunecore, Distrokid, CDbaby, and many others come into play. Distributors get your music placed on platforms like Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, iTunes, Google Play, Deezer, Amazon Prime Music, Tidal — and the list goes on. They simplify the process of uploading your music to these sites and allow it to be done all it one place.
This way, you can go ahead and schedule your release date so you have a set timeframe to promote and push your marketing strategy ahead of time. Bandcamp and Soundcloud are both user-generated, so you’ll have to do those ones manually. But the largest audio streaming service right now, in both catalog size and number of users, is Spotify. So put some extra effort into your Spotify distribution if possible, and make sure to create a Spotify For Artists account to stay on top of your analytics.
You will also want to take advantage of your distributor's additional promotion features. Some companies allow you to submit your songs for playlist consideration on Spotify. This way, you are guaranteed to be featured on Release Radar for your current fans to see. You also better your chances of your track being featured on various other playlists depending on the distribution company you use.
Your song probably sounds great, but a person’s eyes will be the first to notice it. The name of the song, the cover artwork, the promo video, or the graphics you release along with song are just as important as the actual song itself. There have been plenty of instances where I’ve personally been drawn into listening and liking a song because of the visual marketing aspect behind it, even if the actual song wasn’t so great.
If you have any type of budget, it’s highly recommended that you hire a professional graphic designer to create eye-catching cover artwork for the single. When your cover art looks good, it will entince people to click on the song and listen to it. There’s also been times where I’ve clicked on a song to listen just because I liked the song title. So, ensure your single is represented well by these specific visual aspects.
It’s also a good idea to do an artist or band photoshoot every time your drop a new project. Before you begin touching on your single release plan, you can go ahead and build some buzz around your name by posting high-quality, good looking images of you or your band. Include captions insinuating you are working on a new project and tell your fans to be on the look out. This will show that you are making artistic moves and have your audience eager to find out more about what you’re working on.
Pro Tip: Fiverr is your best bet for finding low budget and high quality freelancers who can provide you with cover artwork, promotional materials, graphic design, video editing, and more.
You may not be very familiar with this term, but this is basically a fancy term meaning releasing multiple records in a strategic timeline. The way music is released and consumed has changed tremendously over the past two decades. Artists rarely drop an entire album in one day but instead opt to release several singles from the same album over a particular timeframe in order to create anticipation and generate more buzz around the project.
The way the cascade of singles works is very simple. First you release a single and leave it streaming for a few weeks to a month, then you release a second single along with the first and then a third along with the other two, and so on. The reason for releasing them like that and not all at once is because it increases your overall traffic to your platforms. It boils down to simple math, the visibility of each song will be multiplied each time you drop another one, as people are more likely to re-listen to the compilation each time a new one is released.
If you drop 4 singles all together, the listener will go to your page once to listen to them all together. But if you release multiple songs on different days, the listener will be redirected your page each time a new song is dropped. A cascade of singles has its many advantages and works very well along with algorithms on Spotify, Apple Music, or similar platforms. This single release strategy will never fail to increase your plays and streams.
We’ve explained in previous articles the importance of artists and bands having a press kit. When it comes to single releases, press kits are equally as important. Create an online page or a shareable folder that includes all materials people would need to feature you such as…
Your Contact Information
Promo images and song artwork
Once you create your press pack, you will want to send it out to as many media outlets as possible such as music blogs, YouTube channels, influencers, local music critics, music magazines, local and state newspapers, local DJs, local radio stations, college radio stations, etc.
It is always a good idea when preparing to send out a press pack to make a list of 20-30 contacts you would like to reach out to. Make sure when you are creating this list that you include only relevant publications that would relate to your music and would be likely to share your content.
Each different outlet should include a personalized messaged in relation to that specific outlet. Along with the press kit, write out a message explaining why their audience would be interested in hearing the song. To take this a step further, you should even offer to do an interview or live performance.
Don’t forget to send your press kit and song out to other special interest media types who speak directly to your target audience. A special interest would be a genre, hobby, value, belief, etc. If your song is about a specific car, you could find a YouTube blogger who specializes in discussion about that same car, then send the track to him/her. If your song is Gospel music, don’t waste time sending it to outlets that do not play religious specific music. Instead, send your press kits and song to Christian blogs or podcasts whose are most likely to take interest in it.
Once your song is released, you’ll want to find ways to maintain its buzz and traction for weeks to follow. This is especially important since your single is likely going to be tied with an EP or a compilation of other singles down the road. You can easily keep the hype of your single going through bonus content.
Bonus content is a way to hold the attention of the listeners and keeping their interest in the song before they stop listening to it. Bonus content can include but is not limited to things like:
Remixes: Many artists or bands will hand their songs over to be remixed by DJs and producers in order to create a fresh new spin to it and increase its reach. Many artists will even have their song remixed in a genre that is completely different to their own. Not only will this have your fans excited to hear the remade version, but it will also put your music in front of a brand new audience that you haven’t reached before.
Acoustic version: A stripped-down, unplugged version of a song always has a certain intimate quality to it. It gives the listener the opportunity to hear the lyrics more clearly and makes the musician seem more vulnerable, therefore more relatable and connectable.
Features: Allowing another artist to get a verse or feature in your song is something that can give your track an entire new energy. This also paves the way to reaching a whole new fanbase — the collaborating artist’s fanbase.
Live version: A live recording might not sound as perfect as the studio version, but there’s just something about it; fans love it. Release good quality footage of your band performing the song live at a show.
At the end of the day, there is only so much time and energy and independent artist can exert into their single release strategies. One of the most easiest and effective ways to ensure your next track is getting the push and visibility it needs is by hiring an outside professional company to market and promote your music for you.
Omari MC in particular has a ton of knowledge, experience, and connections in the music industry and has worked with thousands of artists to get their songs heard and played on platforms like Spotify, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and even on the radio and podcasts.
Being an independent artist is hard enough on its own. Marketing and promoting your own music along with creating it is even more difficult. Which is exactly the reason why it’s recommend you hire out a third party company who is specialized in optimizing your music marketing and single release strategies.
The team at Omari MC does everything from Spotify playlist placement, Facebook and Instagram Ads, TikTok influencer campaigns, and so much more. We are passionate about helping artists and will work with you directly to ensure the vision you have for your music project it met. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you develop your perfect single release strategy, check out our website or contact us for a one-on-one consultation today!
When your song is ready to go, it's time to start promoting it to potential fans! Omari has the best organic promotion services money can buy. With packages for Spotify, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, we will get your music the traffic and attention it deserves! Click below for more information.
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© 2023 Omari MC, LLC. All Rights Reserved.