Editor’s Note: Many of today’s artists are releasing a series of singles and foregoing the album format altogether. But whether you are promoting one single, a series of waterfall singles, or an album’s worth of music, the same principles apply.
You made a great record. 12 songs, ready for streaming, sounds amazing. Every single person who hears it says this is your breakthrough. This is THE ONE. This is where you remember that setting up a music release is just as important as making the music. A solid pre-release can take you a long way and get your fans involved and excited. Therefore, in part 1 of this blog, we went over some steps you should take in the months leading up to your release date. You can read part 1 here.
The music’s out! How do you sustain the momentum? While there isn’t an exact recommended timeline like there is pre-release, here are some steps you can take to keep interest in what you’re doing after your record is out.
Social Media Engagement
The easiest one first – keep up the social media engagement you cultivated leading up to the release. The community you’ve built up is the most important thing you have. You started the conversation and now you need to keep it going.
An artist can’t ask for something without giving them something back: Set up some live chats on your social media channels to talk about the new music with fans. People love knowing how something they’re passionate about came to fruition. You can repurpose clips from that chat on your other social channels.
Speaking of, hopefully you filmed some of your recording process, took fun photos and have cool stories to tell. Now is the time to use all of that – even if you posted some of it during the pre-release time.
It’s handy to create a wide variety of video offerings and not just the polished “Official Video”. As much as those can communicate your branding and build credibility, it’s way more important to find a way to connect on a personal level with your potential audience. So you’ll want to think more broadly: live performance videos, clips of backstage shenanigans, interviews, collaborations with other artists – your imagination is the limit.
Now chop those full-sized offerings into bite-sized pieces, highlighting different aspects and angles. For instance, some clips could be focused on an outstanding musical moment, or a favorite lyric or message. Or there might be a particularly striking visual element or dance move. You want to think about what will capture peoples’ attention and stop the scroll.
And don’t worry if you don’t have a massive budget. Lo-fi is in – people appreciate authenticity.
Encourage fans to use your music in their online creations. On all your social channels, post “Use “songname” on TikTok” with a link. Also, feature (or regram, repost, retweet) every single post that uses or references your music. This includes posting about/thanking all the playlists that have added your music.
Consider finding other artists who have the same type of fan base as you do and support each other with posts recommending their music while they recommend yours.
Take the Challenge
Use your own music for TikTok challenges. Look for what’s trending on the TikTok app’s search bar and see if you can tie it in with one of your songs.
Don’t forget YouTube also features shorts like TikTok does. Whatever you post on TikTok you can put there too.
Create New Context
Your songs have way more potential than just the one final mix you release as the single or on the albums you press. Think about releasing music stems (stereo recordings sourced from mixes of multiple individual tracks, such as drums, vocals, and bass) of certain songs to allow fans or DJs to create their own mixes. Ask them to post and tag the mixes, and share them.
Another approach along those lines would be to post live acoustic versions of your songs with links to the recorded version. You never know – your audience might connect even more deeply with a reworked version of the song.
It doesn’t have to be a big spend, but try boosting some social posts each month, or run targeted ad campaigns. There are great tutorials online for the best ways to target different objectives. You could focus on increasing website traffic, streaming traffic, or promoting a specific event like a live performance.
Live performance is a time-tested avenue for capturing and nurturing a dedicated fan base. Whether you book shows in your hometown, regionally, cross-country or abroad, spend time thinking about how to create special moments for your audience (and yourself). Partner with other artists whose music you admire. And then post, post, post. As in – before, during and after. Even if you’re only playing for a handful of people in a living room, it’s another avenue for connection in person, and online.
Hopefully you took advice from Part 1 of the blog and you made sure you were able to capture email addresses via your website. Maybe write a bi-weekly blog or newsletter to your followers talking about a different song on your release, upcoming performances, or offering a peek behind the scenes in the studio. You can also point your email audience towards your store or a subscription service like Patreon.
Press the Press
Follow up with all the press – including blogs, digital magazines or other websites you pitched pre-release – as well as any music supervisors or promoters you may have reached out to. Highlight your amazing streaming or social media numbers or any other success milestones you have achieved. Give them a reason to want to talk to you.
And yes, I am going to plug it: Play MPE is a great tool once you have music to share. They get your tracks in front of tastemakers – in radio, media, music supervision, A&R and curation – that you’d never have the chance to connect with otherwise. It’s a wise investment and one that can pay off for you as part of your overall release strategy.
So, if you’re ready to release or want more information about Play MPE’s offerings, feel free to reach out.