Whether you are a newly formed band, or one who has been doing local gigs for a while, getting your music heard on a bigger scale to generate that greater public interest can often be a time consuming and expensive task.
“Making it big” as the saying goes relies on much more than musical talent in today’s music industry. You could be the most talented musicians, playing some of the best music around, but if you are unable to effectively market your band as a whole, you are going to find it much more difficult to achieve that initial break through.
Realistically, not everyone has thousands of pounds to spend on in-depth national marketing campaigns aimed at increasing your bands overall brand image, getting your music heard and developing your fan base. However, there are some marketing ideas that will serve as a good starting block for marketing your band, without breaking the bank.
Social Media Engagement
While the breakthrough success achieved by many artists through MySpace in years gone by is somewhat on the decline, there are still a large number of social media platforms for you to effectively promote your music and engage with your audience. Your social media pages should be looked upon as you would your own brand website. That means every single piece of important information regarding your band should be on there. This includes information regarding releases, performance dates, locations and any other information you deem vital to the band.
However, you shouldn’t look social media as a way to just give out band information. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or any other platform, your social identity should be used as a two-way medium, not only producing posts, but also responding to those made by your followers. Actively engaging with your followers gives your band a personal identity, encouraging more people to get involved. The more engaging you are with your followers, the more successful you are going to be. When engaging with followers, bear in mind that what you say and how you act reflects your bands brand image as a whole. Getting into an argument or saying something negative will damage your brand image rather than helping to promote it.
Don’t just rely on Facebook and Twitter to achieve social media popularity. Try some of the more music and imagery orientated platforms such as SoundCloud, Last FM, Flickr and Instagram.
Local gigs are the bread and butter of all upcoming bands. Whether it’s performing at a private function, a local nightclub or pubs in your area, these events are the best way for a band to publically get their music heard and attract that initial fan base that is key to a band’s long term success. However, with many people often drinking and having a good time, even if they liked the band and music they heard, they may not remember much about it the next day. To create more of a memorable experience for your audience, you could create promotional products such as printed t-shirts and CDs. Giving something for fans to take away with them not only generates funds that you can put towards new equipment and other promotional endeavours, but also increases your brand awareness as more people will become exposed to your band logo and information on a regular basis.
Gorilla marketing is a low-cost promotional tool which many use to market their brands. This marketing technique involves placing promotional stickers and other content that will be memorable to people who view them. Many large businesses spend a substantial amount of their marketing budgets each year creating inspirational gorilla campaigns that will put them head and shoulders above the competition. For a local band, the effective way to carry out gorilla marketing would be to place advertorial posters and other content for your local gigs. This could be in takeaways, bars, clubs and other places, essentially places where people interested in your music would go.
When carrying out gorilla marketing, if your strategy involves placing content on private or public property, be sure to first gain permission to do so from the business or organisation who owns the property. While breaking the rules and surprising people is essentially what gorilla marketing is all about, doing it without permission could be seen as criminal damage, resulting in possible police involvement or a lawsuit and being arrested probably isn’t going to help your public image all that much.
Over the last 10 years, public competitions to find musical talent has become a popular worldwide trend, with countless TV shows looking for the next big music act from all walks of life. Going on these types of shows not only gives a band the opportunity to make it to the big time quickly, but also allows you to dramatically increase your exposure.
At the end of the day, as a band you need to decide what you are willing to do in order to get that big break as it won’t be for everyone. While the talent competition may not be suited to the genre of music you play, having the chance to perform on this larger scale will get more people aware of your music and your band as a whole, increasing not only your band’s brand image, but allowing you to generate public interest, attracting new followers in the process.
For those who don’t like the idea of going on national TV, you should look to other events such as local talent competitions. While these won’t have the same effect as a nationally televised competition, all exposure is a positive step in the right direction.
Just like the content you post on your social media accounts, videos and other viral content can work wonders in promoting your band, allowing you to potentially reach millions of people worldwide.
Out of all the marketing strategies you can carry out, this is probably one of the most difficult to achieve success in. Creating a good viral marketing campaign requires you to come up with and execute a video idea that is out of the box, memorable and compels viewers to then share with friends. For every one video that achieves success and trends worldwide receiving millions of views, there are countless that have failed. However, don’t be discouraged, the great thing about viral marketing is that it’s relatively cheap to do and can be done as many times as you like with a variety of different ideas.
Even if your video doesn’t become one of the most popular videos on YouTube, it doesn’t mean it has been unsuccessful. No matter what number of views your video achieves, even if it’s just 50, that’s a specific number of people who have viewed your video and been exposed to your band. Just remember to put your logo or information into the video that signifies who you are.
This article was written by John Johnston. John is part of the marketing team for Workwear Express, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of workwear and printed t-shirts.