If you’re just starting out with a new band, or going it alone as a solo musician for the first time, it’s worth investigating online opportunities to get your band heard.
If you’ve spent some time away from the music scene, you’ll be surprised by how easy it is nowadays to automate many of the tasks that used to take ages. And even if you are already experienced with online tools, and already have a wide online presence, there may be some tools you’ve overlooked.
Today, we’ll take a look at 15 or so of the most useful online marketing tools for musicians. While making your marketing as wide as possible is always the best approach, it’s also worth remembering that all these tools are like flowers, and must be maintained and cared for.
You can have a killer website, but unless you update it regularly, it will not be effective, and the same goes for every tool you decide to use.
That said, let’s start with the obvious,
Well, duh. If you think twitter is only for celebrity selfies, think again. Having a regularly updated twitter feed should be the first step in marketing your band. Twitter also offers an amazing way of engaging with your fans directly, and quickly sharing information on upcoming gigs.
Another obvious place to start, not least because you probably already have the contacts for a lot of friends anyway. Making a band page on Facebook, and asking your friends to like it, is an amazing way of getting started with marketing.
Instagram is another great tool for musicians, allowing you to quickly share imagery and photographs. This can really help potential fans get a “feel” for your band, and in many cases good graphic design can encourage people to give your songs a listen.
If you’re relatively new to social media, it’s unlikely you’ve got a snapchat account, but trust me – you should get one. This picture and video sharing app is enormously popular among younger people, and could be an important part of your marketing strategy.
The obvious channels out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the tools built specifically for musicians. SonicBids is a great service that allows you to create your own EPK, and submit it directly to promoters. This can be a great way of getting gigs.
Once you start gigging, you need to let people know that you are going to be in town. Bandsintown is a nice tool for doing this, and one that integrates pretty smoothly with Facebook. Your fans can follow you, and you can build up a pretty good community using this app.
A similar app, and one that is also good for letting your fans know you are in town, is SongKick. The two apps are pretty similar, in truth, and it’s hard to choose one over the other, so make sure your upcoming shows are uploaded to both.
Online marketers have long recognized the value of direct emails. Having a program to manage your contact list, and send out timely targeted emails, is a great way of making this process effective. Mailchimp is the most popular program for this, and offers a great range of powerful email tools.
9. Constant Contact
This email management program is similar to Mailschimp, but is also able to integrate with your social media streams. It can also help you to conduct surveys, which can be a good way of keeping your fans engaged.
This is a similar email service to the two above, but is particularly popular among musicians. It is really good at helping you to leverage your database of fans, and at connecting them directly to your online store.
Bandcamp is a way of selling your music online, and is really popular among indie musicians. It makes the process of ordering and downloading music very easy, and streamlines the financial side of things, keeping everything simple.
Soundcloud is perhaps the most commonly used site for integrating your social media with music streaming, and with good reason. The interface is simple and easy to use, and you can quickly upload a load of music for your fans to listen to.
13. CD Baby
And if you want to move away from streaming, and into physical distribution, there’s a service for that too! CD Baby requires an annual fee, but in return you immediately gain access to all major streaming and music sales sites.
I know most of you probably already know about these tools, but I feel like it's important to share at least a little bit. While these are all platforms you can leverage to grow your fanbase, it's also important to remember that owning your own platform is important.