Once your music is mixed and mastered and ready to release, it is time to take a breathe and make sure to develop an action plan for your release in order to optimize your chances for success.
What exactly is marketing? In short, marketing is a strategy to generate fans, create some degree of excitement and increase awareness around your release or your event. Marketing of music should be defined with some specific achievable and measurable goals and a timeline that will maximize the opportunity for your creative and commercial success.
Here are 5 Steps to Creating a Music Marketing Plan.
1 Define: The first step to developing a Marketing Plan is to figure out exactly who you are trying to reach and who your fans are. It is important to build a model that allows you and your team to aim your strategy in the same direction. Some examples of this fan profile might include questions like below:
Is there an existing artist the sounds like you?
What age group will your music appeal too?
Does your music appeal to one gender more than another?
Are there lifestyle distinctions that your music will appeal too?
What is your fan excited about or interested in?
2 Analyze: Once you understand your fan, let’s define the market or community your fan belongs too. This will help to define exactly what types of tools you will need to appeal to your fan community. Here are some examples of what analysis will help build your plan.
What genre is most accessible to define your music?
What are other artists in the same musical genre doing that works (or doesnt work)?
What type of content do you need to create in order to reach your fan? (video, photo-shoot, lyrics, logos)
3 Goals: Outlining a set of realistic and achievable goals is vital to your music’s success. Your goals should be very well defined and realistic.
All of these goals should include some sort of KPI (Key Performance Indicator). This is an important word in marketing and refers to some measure of effectiveness. For example, a KPI may be increasing the number of views on a YouTube video by 20%, or perhaps Instagram boosted posts that allow a new audience to be engaged and measured through the Instagram analytics.
It is best to outline your goals and KPI’s on a calendar spreadsheet where you can assign due dates, move items as needed and add and remove KPIs as needed.
4 Action Plan: Now that you have defined your audience, analyzed your market and developed some goals it is time to build an actionable timeline.
As a “rule of thumb” a music marketing release plan should be developed at least 6 weeks (ideally more than 6 weeks) prior to release of music and include specific items that you intend to achieve during the lead up to release, the initial release week and the subsequent weeks.
Some examples of Action Plan items are below.
Release Instagram Stories (multiple dates)
Press Release Serviced
Photo Shoot Completed
Contest #1 Starts/ Ends
Single Released on Spotify
Facebook Advertising Begins
Release Party Event
Many of your Action Plan items will begin in advance of the release as you will need to use these items (like photos) during the release cycle of your music.
PRO TIP: Your Action Plan should insure a cohesive strategy and insure you are using approved content that communicates the same logos, looks and imaging all the way through your intended “Release Cycle”.
Your goals and timeline will likely include 3rd party involvement (for example Publicity) Your Action Plan should be updated and shared with all your release team partners on a weekly basis at least.
5 Budget: This is the most difficult part of the the Marketing Plan. It is vital that a marketing budget be defined. You need to understand what your overall spending goal is in what ways these funds will be used. Some examples of these budget items might include:
Social Media Advertising
If you follow these easy steps, you should be able to build a short and concise marketing plan that includes necessary steps that will insure you identify your audience, maximize your chances for success and provide a measurable metric for what you have accomplished and what remains to be accomplished.
It’s time to get serious about the business of music.