7 Reasons Why Music Marketing & Planning Is Vital.
It’s a shame how few artists I know of not only make no effort to market themselves but are completely lost on the concept. In today’s industry where artists in abundance are fighting for attention, marketing and promotion has never been more essential for an artist. Here are 7 reasons to help you grasp the importance of marketing and planning.
By pre-planning your marketing strategy you make clear your way forward. It helps you to know yourself, identify your demographics and know which corner of the industry you belong to. Heavily research your market; find out where your music will be perceived in a positive way and who by. Without marketing research beforehand, you risk the wrong people reviewing your music, wasted time and energy on counter-productive steps and a lack of knowledge of where best to present your music. Awareness of your audience is only the beginning - get to know your audience like the back of your hand.
It’s not uncommon to feel like you're running around in circles yet it’s commonly because of a lack of clear goals and planned engagement. If you know your audience, you can tap into what makes them click and what content they’ll find valuable. Having a clear identity will resonate more with an audience you know and gives you an understanding of the kind of marketing techniques you should develop. You’ll know which of your promotional efforts are working and you can use your knowledge of who engages most to target similar characteristics of people elsewhere who may enjoy your music. It seems many artists see these concepts as trivial details, but you’d be surprised how such trivial details can serve as solutions to your problems.
3. Awareness Of Audience
This is fundamental. The ultimate objective for you as an artist (or anyone in business) is to identify who and where your target market is. Establish a clear and concise identity - the further and narrower in detail you go in on yourself the more you’ll understand your ideal supporters. For example, if you're a hip hop artist you of course know to aim for hip hop fans - but where else might you find them? Perhaps advertising your music to shoppers of adidas clothes online or snapback caps is a good idea. Knowing your audience also impacts how you should post online. Your content should address their worries, fears or pain points, what solution you’re offering and what entices their interest to hook them in and engage further. Everything you do to promote yourself should be based on your knowledge of who you're promoting to.
4. Brand Image
This is an aspect often overlooked by artists/musicians. As an artist, you are a business and branding yourself can be the most efficient means of organisation and presentation. Your brand is your official artist identity (whether that’s genuinely you or an artist persona) and is the display of your artist image. It’s where you will nurture both your image and how you're perceived by the public/consumer. For instance, using a brand logo is an effective way of being recognisable when onlookers associate your logo with you. More than that, it’s good for appearances. It makes you look more professional and like what you actually are - a business.
5. Market Research
In any case, do your research. So much time, money and energy has been spent on problems that could’ve been easily avoided with some research backing up the approaches. In any business you should research your market, your particular identity and your target consumer. It’s often overlooked because market research can be tedious and difficult information to obtain but knowing your market is as essential as knowing your products. Research your competitors and see what they’re doing right or wrong, research events and popular locations to do with your demographics, trends and changes occurring, products that are popular at the moment, etc. Marketing research should never stop.
6. Goals and challenges
Nothing can be as useful for getting things done as setting a deadline that pressures you to get it done by. It’s commonly thought of as unnecessary and pedantic. Goal setting isn’t jotting down your desires in your little diary. It’s practise and exercise to keep yourself sharp. Your goals will develop. You’ll become creative with methods to achieve your goals, the process exercising your persistence. By practising setting goals and achieving them you’ll get an understanding of how and what it is you want to ultimately achieve overall - goals are just steps toward where you want to be.
Of course, be realistic. Set your ultimate goals long term (while long-term ideas will develop, maintain focus on your ultimate goals throughout), then goals of how to move toward those in the next 1-5 years, then set short-term goals of how you’re going to achieve those, then daily/weekly goals that’ll move you forward, etc. Your goals should be thought of based on your overall strategy - stay focused.
7. Self improvement
This is the ultimate benefit. This has to do with your lifestyle - developing new habits and staying consistent in development. You’ll inevitably see improvement to your skills and abilities in your efforts if you stick to your goals - your occupation as a business breeds it. The more you work the more your competitors motivate you to be tough-minded and driven. The more you network the more creative your methods of networking will become, the better your people skills will become. You’ll set yourself some goals, you’ll fail. You’ll set yourself slightly more achievable goals, and you’ll achieve them. General ability will increase until goals that seemed hard become easy. On achieving goal after goal the feeling of progress will be addictive - becoming habits in time.
There’s a difference between typical commercial promotion, such as advertising yourself on TV, and niche based marketing. The niche marketer is arguably more of an entrepreneur - managing their own affairs, busy everyday focused on a tailored strategy. This involves planning how you present yourself while networking (do you have a sales pitch?), collecting contact information and building relationships, nurturing your reputation (are you consistent or reliable?), practising consistency and engaging with different individuals on a daily basis, brainstorming new approaches on how to generate profit (from merch to metrics, etc.), etc. So understand yourself, know your direction, research your market, tailor a strategy for you and use every day as steps closer to where you’re going to be a niche based marketer.
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