Getting heard as an independent musician is an uphill battle when competing against major label artists with big budgets and teams behind them. However, thanks to the access and reach of the internet, indie artists actually have more opportunities than ever to get their music discovered.
Implementing smart promotion strategies is essential if you want to cut through the noise and build an audience. This article will explore the seven most vital music marketing channels for DIY musicians to tap into. Prioritizing even a few of these can kickstart the growth of your fanbase.
1. Get Your Songs on Spotify Playlists
Spotify dominates the music streaming landscape, with over 422 million active monthly listeners. Scoring coveted placements on popular Spotify playlists exposes your music to vast built-in audiences. Read more about Spotify playlist submission.
Start by researching and following playlist curators who feature artists similar to your style. Get to know their submission preferences and pitch your music personally for consideration. Provide any helpful metrics like streaming numbers or fan engagement rates that indicate existing song traction.
Platforms like OneSubmit allow you to efficiently submit your songs simultaneously across Spotify playlists, blogs, YouTube channels and more. Maximizing the number of playlists your music appears on improves discovery potential.
2. Build an Engaging Social Media Presence
There’s no avoiding it — you need active and updated social media accounts. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok each provide avenues to directly interact with fans daily.
Post an inside look into your creative process through photos, videos and written updates. Previewing snippet clips of new songs helps build anticipation. Livestream Q&As and behind-the-scenes glimpses also perform well in giving followers an authentic view of your musical journey.
Hashtag widely and @mention relevant profiles to extend your reach. Collaborating with influencers in your genre gives you temporary access to their engaged follower base. Even micro-influencers can provide visibility lifts.
3. Launch Your Own Website
While social accounts are crucial, an artist website acts as your digital home base and centralized hub. Your site offers fans a streamlined way to learn more about you, see any shows scheduled, purchase merch or music, and signup for email updates.
Essential pages to build out include an About section, Music page with streaming links, Shows calendar, Shop store, and Contact page. Promote your site URL actively across all online platforms. Use Google Analytics to monitor traffic and fine-tune pages for higher conversion.
A professional site legitimizes you as an artist while providing a consolidated location to direct all marketing efforts toward. Don’t underestimate the power of an optimized online home for your music.
4. Reach Out to Music Blogs
Earning press at online music blogs can significantly bolster your credibility as an artist. Blog coverage also introduces your music to fresh new audiences. But first you need to pitch writers in hopes they’ll cover your latest single or album.
Start by researching blogs focused on music similar to yours. Compile a list of sites that provide media coverage to DIY artists. Find the contact info for editors and writers at each publication. Read more on how to submit your tracks to music blogs
Craft personalized pitch emails for each contact emphasizing why your music would appeal to their readers. Follow up repeatedly and politely to cut through the noise. Provide any assets like bios, photos, videos or lyrics to equip the writer to cover your release.
5. Submit Your Music to Radio Stations
While the importance of terrestrial radio has diminished thanks to streaming’s surge, radio airplay still makes an impact. Finding niche radio stations — like college or independently owned ones — may actually give you decent odds of getting spun.
Similar to music blogs, start by researching smaller stations playing indie artists similar to your style. Discover the name and contact info for music directors or DJs. Send them a personalized email directly pitching your single to include in rotation, tailoring the ask around why you'd align with their format.
Following up professionally but persistently can pay dividends. Offer to give an interview or guest DJ if they play your song. Radio spins add legitimacy and may catch the attention of music blogs or labels.
6. Contact Relevant Spotify Playlist Curators
Today's music discovery happens predominantly through streaming playlists instead of traditional radio. That makes getting placed onto popular Spotify playlists urgent for expanding your listenership.
Research and compile a list of Spotify playlists that feature artists who have similar styles and sounds to yours - the more niche and closely aligned, the better. Then visit each playlist's Spotify page to discover the curator contact info if provided.
Send brief, personalized pitches to the curators of appropriate playlists, providing any metrics or listener data you have to demonstrate existing song traction. Platforms like OneSubmit also allow you to submit to hundreds of Spotify playlists at once. Follow best practices for communicating professionally with curators.
7. Record Eye-Catching Music Videos
The visual medium opens creative artistic possibilities beyond just audio. Music videos artistically showcase your songs while spotlighting visual components of your unique artistry. Casual listeners perceive added context and personality through videos that earn their investment.
Brainstorm video concepts that complement your lyrics or music style (ex: abstract animation for atmospheric song). You can also incorporate a storyline or thematic narrative to further connect with viewers.
Keep productions simple by filming performance-focused band videos if low on video budget. Leverage eye-catching backdrops or editing effects so homemade videos still look polished and professional. Promote finished videos actively across your socials, YouTube and pitching to blogs.
Implementing even a couple smart music marketing tactics that align with your niche can drive meaningful momentum for your independent artist career. Meet listeners where they’re actively discovering new music, via platforms like Spotify playlists and TikTok. Then motivate them to become diehard fans directly supporting you.
What music promotion channel resonates most to help grow your indie artist career? Let us know in the comments what marketing strategy you plan to prioritize next!