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The BEST 23 ways how to Promote Music Online in 2023

Updated: Jan 13, 2023


The BEST 23 ways how to Promote Music Online in 2023, such as getting music featured in music blogs or on a social media platform when promoting your music online

In today's digital world, there are a multitude of ways how to promote your music online. With so many options available, it can be hard to know where to start.


Marketing is a science, not an art. You can see what is working based on analytics, and replicate a good idea again and again for your new music.


I have seen a lot of outdated articles on the subject of marketing your music. Simply put, often music companies share old data that is no longer relevant.


Fortunately, I have prepared a list of seventeen different ways how to promote your music online which are either free or inexpensive. I decided today I wanted to step up a level by introducing you to a series of aggressive strategies for getting fans which are actually working now and tomorrow. Our marketing agency constantly employs different variations of these tactics to build a marketing strategy out for artists. After years of tests and trials, here are 23 of the best ways to promote your music online in 2023:


1. Develop a presence on social media platforms

Starting with the basics, let's talk social media. Platforms like Instagram and YouTube allow for an easy connection between artists and fans, for free. I would suggest that every independent artist use social media as much as possible. Tease snippets of songs, showcase cover art before your music comes out, go live and chat with viewers. Essentially, do your best to keep your community engaged and interested in what you have to offer.


Having your social media presence is vital for your success. When people are fans, they have to like the way they are seen. If a user likes music they will first see you on social media. Often artists have a hard time creating the content and it’s important.


The success of music is built upon creativity and consistency. The most important characteristic of successful musicians is that they can maintain consistent output at all times. This same logic is very true for social media, as finding a happy medium when posting is key for satisfying your fan base.


2. Connect With Music Fans 1-1

The one-on-one King reigns. In my opinion, 1-1 marketing remains one of the strongest form of marketing. Most people don't like it because it requires time and effort. Harnessing social media by replying to comments and relevant posts or memes is a great way to turn casual listeners into repeat listeners, and to turn repeat listeners into long-term fans.


When messaging 1-1, it don't even have to be your specific fan base at first. Just engaging other users in the comments of an Instagram or YouTube video may result in someone browsing your music. Especially if your page or channel is branded clearly and correctly, to showcase you are obviously a musician at first glance.


3. Leveraging The Waterfall Release Strategy

In the music industry, it's all about getting your tracks heard by as many people as possible. One way to do this is to release different versions of your song, both content-wise and version-wise.


a. Content-wise Waterfall Strategy (Music Videos, Lyric Videos)

If you post the same song on Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, TIDAL, etc. that is a great first step. Why not go even further and upload the song to your social media accounts with lyrics on screen? Or, why not create a low-budget music video with a simple animation software or record a simple video of you and your friends singing and dancing to the track? When done right, these extra steps can help build far more traction to a song for little effort.


b. Version-wise Waterfall Strategy (Remixes, Sped Up, New Featured Artists)

The other way to leverage waterfalling a release is to make edits and variations of your tracks, aka a remix. When an artist posts different versions of their song, they are giving their fans a brand new way to experience their music. This can help keep a fan base engaged and returning over a longer period of time. In addition, when someone comes across a remix that they like, they may be more likely to check out the original version as well.


For example, this can be seen from Lil Nas X's track Old Town Road, which has a combined 2 billion streams across versions on Spotify alone. Old Town Road had three remixes, which greatly boosted the popularity of the record altogether. In the end, the waterfall strategy helped launch him to stardom.


You can implement this strategy easier than you may think. Speeding up or slowing down songs takes only a few seconds, and these versions can unintentionally gain massive popularity on TikTok. Or, you can look for other artists to remix your track with a new instrumental, or with added vocals. The possibilities are endless and exciting.


4. YouTube Placements

Do you have a favorite content creator? Or 2? Or 3? Or 4?


Send them a song that fits will with them theme of the channel to use as an intro or an outro on their channel. Finding YouTubers you genuinely enjoy and think will grow will pan out into the best return on your investment. As if they begin to get more viewers and post more frequently, your song will reap the rewards. Fans of the channel will subconsciously attach a positive connation of your song with the channel they like, which definitely increases repeat listening value.


Now, this may take money to work for some creators. However, this strategy can work for free if the channel has a smaller audience (100-10,000 subscribers.) Regardless, they will definitely appreciate your offer, because copyright in the world of YouTube is a b*tch. Finding quality music to use when editing a struggle that too many creators can relate to, which leads me to my fifth idea for marketing music online, utilizing creative commons to your advantage.


5. Leveraging Creative Commons

There are pros and cons for making your music copyright-free or choosing a form of copyright that will allow others to manipulate or edit your art. For example, an attribution license may encourage an artist to remix your track, or a YouTuber to feature the song in their video. You can learn more about this type of license here.


There are, of course, some drawbacks to releasing your music copyright-free. For example, you most likely will not make as much money from your song if people can just download it for free. Furthermore, having your work available for free might make it harder to get signed to a label or booked for performances.


However, if you are a newer artist looking to gain more listeners and fans, then using a creative commons license can be a great way to do that. By making your music available for free, you're more likely to get people interested in checking it out. Plenty of creators with large audiences are looking for music online which they can utilize for their content. If they like what they hear, they may be more likely to share it with others or even buy your music in the future.


At the end of the day, it's up to you to decide whether or not making your music copyright free is the right move for you. There are pros and cons to both options, so it's important to weigh them carefully before making a decision.


6. Social Media Ads

social media facebook ads for independent musicians promoting music online

When people ask how to promote your music online, social media advertising is always a point of emphasis.


Firstly, social media platforms offer a highly targeted way to reach those who might be interested in your music. You can target people based on their interests, location, and other factors, meaning that you can reach a very specific audience with your ads.


Secondly, social media ads are relatively cheap, meaning that you can reach a large number of people without breaking the bank. Finally, social media ads can be highly effective in growing your fanbase, as they allow you to directly engage with potential fans and build up a relationship with them.


The benefits of social media advertising are clear, but how large is the benefit? That depends on a number of factors, including the size of your target audience and the effectiveness of your ads. However, if you're able to reach a large number of potential fans with your ads, and then build up a good relationship with them, then the benefits can be significant. For relatively little cost, making it an extremely effective tool for growing your fanbase.


We would recommend starting with Facebook or TikTok ads, as those platforms are the easiest to begin with. If you need any assistance with setting up high-performing ads, contact us and we'll be more than happy to assist! Learn more here.


7. Email Marketing

A well-conceived email advertising strategy can help your music get a direct message from a potential audience. There are certainly lesser known methods of music promotion, but a good list of subscribers can be useful. Here are four main ways this strategy can benefit an independent musician.


a. Close Contact

First, it allows the musician to stay in touch with a fan base and keep them updated on new music, tour dates, and other news. This is much easier and more efficient than maintaining a separate mailing list.


b. Marketing Channel

Second, it can be used to promote new releases or merchandise to fans. Having contact information, and a email list of fans that grows over time is a great way to maintain recurring supporters while also tailoring to new listeners.


c. Exclusive Benefits and Perks

Third, it can help build relationships with fans by providing exclusive content or access to VIP events. Additionally, creating exclusive content for your email list could turn followers into lifelong, die-hard fans.


d. Additional Revenue Stream

Lastly, it can generate revenue for the independent musician by selling tickets to shows or directing supporters to purchase merchandise. Email marketing as a channel is very cost-effective, and has extremely high conversion rates. This method of marketing is still relied on heavily by experts and novices alike.


8. Music Manager

Having a management team or professional backing your music career is like having an ally in your corner. While it is ultimately the artist's responsibility to create and release new music, a manager can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the process. They can offer advice on everything from songwriting to marketing, and they can help to connect artists with the right collaborators.

We already went in-depth about how vital a music manager can be when promoting music independently, so for the full article click here.


9. Playlisting

Promote your music with famous spotify playlists or other streaming services with your music online

Obviously, we have to mention the importance of playlisting on streaming services like Spotify, YouTube, TIDAL, Deezer, and Apple Music in 2023.


Playlists can be a great way for independent artists to gain exposure and grow their fanbase. By getting your music added to popular playlists, you can reach a wider audience and get your music heard by new listeners over and over.


Playlists constructed by genre or mood that may fit your music style usually perform the best in terms of high engagement and save rate. These factors should be priorities when searching for the best playlists to promote your music. Pitching your music to relevant curators can help greatly to increase algorithmic performance in the streaming platforms, boosting reach and engagement.


Pitch a song to our vast network of playlists for FREE today. Just click here.


10. Sync Licensing

Sync licensing is a process that allows music to be used in film, television, advertising, video games and other forms of media. A sync license is granted by the copyright owner of the music (usually the composer or publisher) and gives the licensee (usually the production company) the right to use the music in a specific way.


This can help not just increase the popularity of independent artists, but also can provide a variety of other benefits. Here are five we can think of.


1. Provide additional income for an independent musician, which can be used to help grow their fanbase or invest in their music career.

2. Reach a new audience by placing music in film, television, or video games.

3. Build credibility and exposure by having their music licensed by well-known brands or companies.

4. Provide opportunities to collaborate with other artists or professionals in the music industry.

5. Establishes credibility as a professional artist and pave the way for a successful music career.


11. Performance Licenses

Improve your music career on streaming services by earning more money with performance licenses, or being featured in music blogs and music videos

The other type of license that all independent musicians should be aware of are called performance licenses.


Performance licenses can be obtained from performing rights organizations (PROs) like ASCAP, BMI or SESAC. These companies can provide a new stream of income for a musician, as they will pay out rights in addition to your revenue from your distributor.


Essentially, performance licenses allow music to be played in public places like bars, clubs, restaurants and concert venues. This allows for others to perform your music live, which can help grow the credibility and popularity of your music.


12. Collaborations

Collaborations can help promote an artist's work to a wider audience, as well as provide new creative opportunities that can lead to career growth. Additionally, working with other independent artists can help build strong relationships and networks that can be beneficial for all involved.


When it comes to collaborations, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to make the most of the opportunity.


First, it's important to find an artist or artists that compliment your own style and sound. This will help ensure that the collaboration is cohesive and enjoyable for all involved.


Additionally, it's important to be clear about creative roles and expectations from the start. This will help avoid any confusion or conflict down the line.


Finally, make sure to promote the collaboration as much as possible. If the other artist promotes the song as much as you, music fans of each artist are sure to crossover, making it a win-win for both musicians.


13. Become a Content Creator

You want to be a musician, not an influencer. I get that. But nowadays, creating short-form content on platforms like TikTok is one of the best free music marketing techniques. By creating engaging and entertaining content, you can quickly gain a following who will help promote your music to an even wider audience.


Keep in mind, having social medias and posting occasionally is one thing. Posting multiple times a week and staying engaged with your audience and general music fans is the key for content creators.


There are a few things to keep in mind when creating content for TikTok or other social media platforms. First, it's important to be genuine and authentic. Your fan base will be able to tell if you're being sincere, so make sure that your content comes from a place of authenticity.


Additionally, it's important to be creative, original, and personal. Creating behind the scenes content such as showcasing the creative process or teasing your own music may prove more beneficial then following trends.


Ultimately, don't be afraid to have fun with your content. TikTok is all about entertaining people and making them laugh, so make sure that your content reflects that. Have fun with it and enjoy the process of creating videos, and the algorithm will find people that will enjoy the content.


14. Influencer Marketing

There are a few things you should keep in mind if you're thinking about using influencer marketing to promote your music. First, it's important to find influencers who are relevant to your genre or niche. There's no point in working with someone who doesn't have an audience that would be interested in your music.


Second, you need to make sure that the influencers you're working with are actually promoting your music in an effective way. If the person just posts a link to the song, that won't be useful as if they record a video of themself singing the lyrics or dancing and jamming out to the tune. If they are sincere in their content, the results will be more impressive.


Finally, you should make sure that you're offering something of value to the influencers you're working with. This could be anything from exclusive content to free tickets to your shows. Whatever it is, make sure that it's something that the influencer will actually want. Bigger influencers may only accept payment, so smaller creators with a tight, strong fan base is often a better route.


15. Music Blogs

Music blogs are still one of the best ways of how to promote your music in 2023.


Articles promoting your music are a authoritative source that adds authenticity to your brand. Be sure to approach bloggers who write about the genre of music you make, and reach out with your best material.


By writing interesting and engaging articles, music bloggers can help promote an artist's music to a wider audience. In addition, music blogs can also provide valuable feedback and criticism that can help an artist to improve their craft.


In fact, the blog you are currently reading on our website is a promotion tactic we constantly use with underground artists. Submit a song to us today for a chance to be featured in our blog, or for a guaranteed article about your track visit our marketplace.


16. Podcasts

radio podcast for music industry upcoming artists, easy music promotion strategy

This is undoubtably an untapped market for musicians, but when done effectively this is one of the most powerful music promotion techniques.


Podcasts also attract a very devout following, landing a one-time or repeating placement of your song on their content is a great way to get your music in front of a brand new audience. Just make sure that you choose podcasts that are a good fit for your music, and that you offer them a fair price for your ad space.


Or, if the opportunity presents itself, find a good topic you can share wisdom on, and try to be a guest on a show. Schedule a release around the time the podcast goes live, as that is how to promote your music effectively from a PR standpoint.


17. Print Media

Newspapers. Magazines. Posters. Billboards.


These "old" ways to promote music are often overlooked due to the nature of the internet and the digital revolution. However, opportunities to reach a viable audience and maintain a return on investment could be easier with print media promotion.


Consider the cost per ad and whether it is within your budget. Think about what type of publication your target audience is likely to read. Finally, be sure to design an eye-catching ad that will grab attention and make people want to learn more about your music.


With a little planning and creativity, print ads can be a great way to get your music out there and reach new fans.


18. Radio

Speaking of "old" ways of music marketing, radio is still a platform with huge potential.


Although radio connections are difficult to establish, a band or artist can always start with radio ads first. Once an ad plays on a station multiple times, the song can sometimes enter rotation.


Regardless, radio is still a massive platform where there are specifically tailored stations your potential target audience is tuned into. Some stations may be better suited to longer ads, while others may be better for shorter, more concise ads.


Make sure your ad is well-produced and sounds professional. Don't forget to include a call to action in your ad, so that listeners know how to find your music. Then, see how many new listeners you can attract to your apple music profile, and your other streaming services.


19. Banner Ads

Banner Ads are another way of going directly to places your target audience can be found. You can use Google Ads to create banner ads and show them on websites that partner with Google. Your ad will appear on the website only when someone is visiting a page that’s relevant to your business, such as a page about your product or service.


When creating your banner ad, you’ll need to consider both the image and the text. The image is important because it’s what will catch people’s attention as they scroll through a website. Make sure the image is high quality and relevant to your business. The text should be clear and concise, and it should tell people what your business is about and what you offer.


AdWords is a trusted service that allows for detailed targeting features, which can lead to great results when harnessed correctly.


20. Stand out. Brand out.

So you are posting music online to streaming platforms independently, and are establishing a persona online. When creating content you likely have created a "brand voice" or tone that you use regularly. However, we can go even further and develop a real brand surrounding your music.


Why? Well, a strong brand will help you stand out, make it easier to connect with fans, and can attract attention from labels and other industry professionals. Music promotion is easier when a theme or brand is constantly surrounding the core of an artist and their music. Stand for more.


21. Sell! Sell! Sell!

merchandise for musicians and music videos

If you are releasing music independently, it is difficult to make money in the current landscape. It is important to note that established artists don't only rely on plays to make money. With streaming platforms paying out so little per play, big artists utilize various fields to promote and monetize their music online. One example of this is merchandise.


Selling merchandise and clothing is an awesome strategy for boosting revenue when releasing music independently. An idea of some merchandise to sell could be physical goods like t-shirts, CDs, and vinyl. Throw in an artist signature and personal thank you, and that can mean a lot to an invested follower. Offering merchandise for sale on your website is a great way to further grow your brand and connect with fans.


Selling merchandise can also help to promote your music. If you sell t-shirts, for example, fans can wear them to your shows and help to spread the word about your music. You can also sell merchandise at shows or online, as it can help increase influence with good old fashioned "word-of-mouth" marketing.


22. Perform memorable live shows

Next up, live shows. This type of local marketing can create a deeper connection than simply releasing music online. If you’re able to put on a great show, people will talk and your popularity will begin to grow.


When starting, opening for another musician who has a similar style of music can prove beneficial. Their fans will come to see them and, if they enjoy your set, you’ll gain some new listeners. Or, perform at an open mic event for free.


You can also play at local festivals or events that fit your target market. This type of live show is a great way to get in front of a large group of people who may have never heard of you before.


Of course, live shows take a lot of work and you need to have a good plan in place before you can expect success. You need to make sure you’re booking the right venues, promoting your show properly, and giving your fans an unforgettable experience. But if you can do all of that, you’ll be well on your way to attracting some loyal followers.


23. Perform memorable live shows

The last way we suggest for how to promote your music online, is to start by engaging with music fans on a forum.


Be professional yet kind, witty and funny when introducing yourself and your sound.


Make sure to link to your music so that other members of the forum can easily explore your work.


Ask other users questions about their own projects and experiences, as this helps initiate conversations that can lead to collaboration opportunities or even show bookings.


Let creative discussions about sound design or team-up opportunities flow naturally as friendships are formed within the forum.


Join in conversations on trending topics, post regularly and make sure to be “present” when replying — let people know you appreciate them by showing genuine interest in their contributions!


Conclusion


There are a lot of ways to market your music independently, and it’s important to find the right mix of strategies that work for you. These tips should help you get started on the right foot and begin growing your fan base. Remember to always be creative, think outside the box, and stay true to your brand. With a little hard work and consistency, you’ll be able to achieve success.


If you have any questions or want to get in touch, our platform is designed specifically for independent musicians. Feel free to browse our various marketing and management offers, or apply to join our label. We'll be waiting.

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