The challenge of music promotion in the 21st century is to develop a 360° marketing strategy that reaches all these audiences and connects with every potential opportunity — and to do that you need the right tools. From platform-specific advertising managers to CRM solutions and link shorteners: every music marketing tool plays its role in creating, organizing, and distributing your content (and your message) so that it reaches the right people at the right time.
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As a music marketer, there are more platforms and plans to choose from nowadays than ever before, many of which are difficult to work with. That’s why the real challenge isn’t the choice but the choice architecture itself: We have so many possibilities that we don’t really know which one to choose. That’s where this guide comes in: To help you navigate through all these options, I’ll show you which tools I use and how I use them when approaching this gigantic task of “music marketing.” From platform-specific advertising managers to CRM solutions, there are plenty of tools to consider when trying to reach potential fans. But the point is: we should use all those available tools to their full extent!
9 Best Music Marketing Tools for Musicians
In this post, we will cover 9 music marketing tools which we believe deserve more attention. Some of these are very powerful and some are more on the creative side. If you want to go deeper into marketing, here is a list of tools that focus around your target audience — I'll give you a hint — it's not just fans…
Spotify for Artists is a powerful tool that gives you the ability to manage your presence on the platform. It’s part of Spotify’s overall strategy to create a more equitable playing field for all artists, regardless of their size.
Spotify for Artists gives you the tools to optimize and improve your performance on the platform. This starts with customizing your Spotify profile and accessing critical data on playlist additions, number of streams, and number of followers/listeners.
Playlist additions are the lifeblood of Spotify performance, and Spotify for Artists gives you a direct channel to pitch your music to Spotify’s editorial team, leveling out the playing field for independent artists out there. You can also use this tool to track where your music is being played across the site and make sure it’s being promoted appropriately.
Soundcharts is a music intelligence platform that provides data insights for artists and brands. Soundcharts gathers all the various data points to help you assess your marketing strategy and figure out what is (or isn’t) working. Soundcharts platform gives you a comprehensive view of an artist’s performance across the music industry, including:
Social media performance
Streaming consumption metrics and playlist exposure
Thousands of digital charts, from TikTok and Instagram Stories to Shazam and YouTube
Real-time radio airplay data from over 1,900 major stations in 74 countries
Online media mentions
With Soundcharts, marketers have access to insights that help identify new opportunities, highlight high-potential markets, assess the results of your campaigns, and make strategic, data-inspired marketing decisions. success. Try Soundcharts for free — no credit card required.
ReverbNation is a music marketing platform that includes tools for social media, email newsletters, targeted advertisements, and more. It’s ideal for artists and bands with established audiences who want to expand their reach.
ReverbNation is one of the largest online communities of music professionals in the world with over 10 million users. The platform offers a suite of tools to help artists increase their visibility, including email newsletters, viral marketing widgets, electronic press releases, and more.
ReverbNation also sells advertising space on its website for musicians who don’t have large followings but want to reach new listeners on platforms like Facebook or Spotify.
HubSpot is a full-suite Customer Relationship Management tool which music professionals can use to construct and carry out a cross-platform marketing strategy, then assess the success of this strategy and optimize moving forward. You can centralize all your marketing campaigns (emails, blogs, social media posts, advertisements) on HubSpot — and track exact metrics at the same time.
HubSpot's key features include:
Email Marketing - You can send one-time emails or create email drip campaigns for automated follow-up messages.
Landing Pages - Create landing pages for your website and promote them through social media ads or other paid advertising channels like Facebook or Google AdWords.
Social Media Management - Schedule posts across multiple social media channels with pre-made templates so you won't have to waste time creating them every time you want to post something new. HubSpot also tracks how well each post performs so you can look back at what was successful in the past to inform future posts that might do well too!
Blog Management - Publish blog posts from within your dashboard by writing directly in the editor and scheduling when it should go live on your website.
With Show.co, you can promote your new music with a full suite of tools that will help you grow your audience and sell more music.
Spotify pre-save: let listeners save your music on Spotify before it’s released to boost early streaming.
YouTube Premiere: create unique debut webpages for your YouTube videos to drive view counts and enhance your branding.
Spotify and iHeartRadio ads: create and launch ads on the largest streaming platforms.
Banner ads on major music websites: place ads on sites like Rolling Stone and Billboard.
ToneDen is the world's best music marketing platform, with everything you need to promote your music, from the first single to a tour. ToneDen is especially valuable to music professionals as a marketing platform for live events. With ToneDen, you can:
Create marketing playbooks that cover each phase of the event lifecycle
Design unique landing pages
Launch social media and email marketing campaigns
Integrate with Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and Instagram
Amplify is a link shortener that allows you to customize your links with artwork, metadata, or videos. It also tracks how many people view your links and creates landing pages and smart links.
The Amplify app is free for iOS, Android and the web, so it’s easy to use across platforms.
The app has been around for a few years now, but it was recently acquired by Spotify and updated with new features like analytics tools. It’s now part of Spotify’s strategy to improve its social media presence by offering its users more ways to share their music on different platforms.
Why Use Amplify?
The main reason to use an app like Amplify is because sharing music on social media is complicated. If you just give someone a Spotify link, they may not know how to open the file or play it on another device (especially if they don’t have Spotify). With Amplify, you can customize your link with artwork or even add a video preview so people know what they’re clicking on before they hit play. The last thing anyone wants is for someone to click on something only to find out it doesn’t work!
Buzzstream is an outreach and PR tool that automates critical parts of link building and marketing. You can send out bulk pitches tailored to different audiences and create a link building database. Buzzstream is also an excellent way to find social media influencers in your genre.
If you're just starting out with link building, BuzzStream's interface can be intimidating. But once you get the hang of it, you'll save hours of time on content promotion and outreach.
Facebook Messenger bots are the next big thing in marketing. The platform is already being used by many businesses to provide customer service, sales and social media management, but they can also be used to engage with your audience in a personalized manner.
Engaging with your audience in a personalized manner becomes more and more difficult as you gain traction. With social media bots, you can engage at scale and send customized direct messages to your listeners en masse. It’s great for viral marketing campaigns.
The platform also lets you integrate with other apps like Shopify and Salesforce so you can directly connect with customers and provide them with deep product information or order tracking info when they need it most.k.
6 Types of Music Marketing Platforms
Marketing platforms of the music industry can be divided into the following types:
1. Social Media
Social media marketing is a powerful tool for customer engagement and building brand awareness. However, to build a following on social media, you need to understand the demographics of your target audience and set goals in terms of web-mentions or content engagement metrics. In the digital sharing age, your fans are the media itself, one that can sometimes be much more powerful than the conventional communication channels. However, don’t forget about other channels. Social media marketing should be just a part of your overall communication strategy.
Social media has become an integral part of modern marketing strategies for small businesses. As this trend continues to grow with each passing year, social media marketers continue to refine their methods and focus on new strategies.
When you're looking to reach out to a specific audience, digital advertising is a great way to go. Digital advertising allows you to choose not only the time and place of your communication but also the type of people you engage with. Advertising through social media (e.g. Facebook ads), search engines (e.g. GoogleAdWords), digital displays or even digital audio platforms of Spotify/Pandora allows you to target people based on demographics (age, location, income, etc), musical preferences and interests.
This is different from physical space advertising like OOH (out of home) advertising — although it remains reserved for more popular acts, targeting wider audiences — because it allows us to target people based on their interests and preferences rather than just their location or age range.
Paid advertising is a great way to get in front of the audience, but it should be approached with caution — the acquired traffic won’t stick around for long if you’re not able to spark an organic interest across other channels and platforms.
3. CRM: Direct-to-Fan Communication
When it comes to cultivating a loyal fan base, direct-to-fan communication is crucial. First and foremost, music is a passion and part of people’s identity. Direct engagement helps to build a deeper connection with your audience — and that is something that can come a long way in the music business.
Emails, text messages, or direct messages over social media — whether manual or via bots — will help you build a tight-knit ring of fans that will stick with you (and consistently support you).
4. Digital Service Providers
Digital Service Providers (DSPs) play a crucial role in the digital music consumption landscape. They help artists reach their fans and grow their careers, by distributing their music to the various platforms that host playlists.
Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, SoundCloud: the digital music consumption landscape is made up of dozens of DSPs. Getting in front of the audience of these platforms is a key to expanding your fan base and growing your career.
One of the most prominent channels to reach the audience of the various streaming platforms are the playlist placement. That’s why the playlist strategy is now at the heart of any music marketing campaign.
Playlists are a powerful tool for digital service providers to connect with their listeners, but they can also be dangerous if you're not careful. There are five types of playlists on DSPs:
Generally, playlists on the DSPs can be divided into five types:
-Official playlists curated by a corresponding streaming platform's team
-Major-owned playlists curated by major brands
-Third-party playlists curated by independent influencers
-Personalized playlists created by the algorithms of the DSP
-User-generated playlists created by fans
Today’s most successful artists are building their brands on multiple platforms. And one of the best ways to do that is through a playlist.
Playlists can offer a vast opportunity to reach new fans, but at the same time, it puts the artist at risk of being reduced to just another name in a long list — so you have to build your story on other platforms first and turn the streaming audiences into fans who will go out to your shows.
5. Media and Publications
In the music industry, there are few things as important as publicity. It’s a good thing, then, that there are so many ways to get your name out there:
Online blogs and publications are some of the best places to reach a niche audience and generate local excitement.
Appearances on TV and radio allow you to reach more mainstream audiences.
Newspapers and magazines don’t have the heft they once did, but remain the mainstays of the music industry’s “old guard.”
Sync licensing gets your music out there AND generates royalties.
Promotion of this kind free advertisement — except that it never comes for free. You need a PR strategy, a network of connections across different mediums, a press event, and a solid (and preferably data-based) pitch. News doesn’t create itself, so musicians have to work with journalists and media pros to make it happen.
6. User-Generated Content Platforms & Word-of-Mouth
The world is more connected than ever. And while music was always a social phenomena, the digital space has made the world even more connected than ever. Digital Word-of-Mouth can now travel around the globe overnight and turn an unknown artist into an international sensation.
Right now, TikTok is the user-generated content platform on top of everybody's mind — but the fan-driven content can live on several platforms: from Twitter to YouTube to Spotify (remember those user-generated playlists?). However, you have to remember that virality doesn't just happen — it's always driven by a solid strategy.
5 Best Music Marketing Platforms
YouTube is a great place to begin your music marketing campaign. It's the most popular video-sharing platform, and it's where you can expect to reach the most people. People watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos every day. Music is by far the most viewed category of video (27%), and 95% of the most watched videos on YouTube are music videos.
2. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
It's no secret that the digital world is congregated on a trio of social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Your presence on each platform is critical to maximizing your reach.
You know the drill. Twitter has 330 million MAUs, which makes it the playground of most influencers and budding music journalists at the heart of all things viral and word-of-mouth. Facebook has a staggering 2.38 billion MASU; it's the most-used social media platform worldwide — and people will discover your live events there. Finally, Instagram has 1 billion MAUs; it's a great place to cultivate a unique brand and visual aesthetic.
Each platform requires a tailored approach since all of them have their own niche, demographic, and most importantly, content format. Your social media marketing strategy should tie all three together — and make the best use of their corresponding advantages.
Spotify is the world’s most popular music streaming platform, controlling 31% of the global streaming market with its 365 million annually active users.
If you’re looking to get your music on Spotify, there are two main ways to do it: through editorial or label-owned playlists, or by getting featured by 3rd-party influencers.
Editorial and label-owned playlists can provide colossal exposure and transform careers — they’re a center of attention for any music marketing campaign. But they’re also tough to get onto, so it takes time and resources. On the other hand, getting featured by 3rd-party influencers is easier to reach but doesn’t have as much of an impact — although even a single plug can be a game-changer. The bottom line is that 54% of people say that digital playlists are replacing albums for them, and platforms like Spotify have driven this change in listening behavior.
TikTok is a music marketing platform that allows users to repurpose music into shareable memes. Music is a powerful motivator for sharing, and TikTok has found a way to harness that power by giving artists the ability to have their songs featured on the platform.
The platform has been an incredible success, and it's not hard to see why: it taps into a vein of fan content that has always been important in music marketing but has never before been so easily accessible. This is the new frontier of music marketing: making your music available to users so they can generate their own content and build word-of-mouth. TikTok is the pioneer in this budding area.
Radio is still one of the most effective ways to reach new audiences. It's one of the most powerful mediums for reaching your target audience and building brand awareness, which is why it's still so important to have your song on the airwaves.
The power of radio varies from market to market and from audience to audience, but it remains an effective way for performers to build momentum for their careers. Whether you're looking for a broader reach or just want more listeners in a specific area, radio airplay is still a vital performance indicator and a key component of success..
Marketing Tools vs. Platforms: What’s the Difference for Musicians?
Marketing tools are the instruments of your marketing strategy — the tools you use to analyze your performance on major digital platforms, and amplify your success there.
Marketing platforms are streaming services, radio, and social media — all the different spaces where musicians can promote their music and connect with their audience.
Marketing tools and platforms work hand in hand: you can’t reach an audience without a presence on major digital platforms, but cutting through the noise and putting together a successful marketing strategy requires the right instruments — and the right insights.
Overall, making changes to your music marketing strategy doesn't have to be daunting, scary, or even difficult. Just keep in mind that your strategy needs to be as fluid and agile as the music industry — so keep tabs on how your audience is engaging with you on each platform, and what they’re responding to positively. If a certain type of marketing approach performs well for you on any particular social platform — gravitate towards it. But most importantly: use the resources available to make those data-driven decisions that will help grow your fan base.
. Find out more about how A&R DUTY can help you do this.