It may seem like the music industry is all about online presence and social media numbers these days, but don't forget the importance of offline marketing. In fact, there are a number of great (and underrated) ways to promote your music offline without breaking the bank.
Here are just a few examples...
Feel free to click any mentioned section to jump to that specific portion of this article! Let's dig into the best ways to promote your music utilize offline music marketing.
Flyers & Posters
Flyers and posters are a great way to raise awareness about your music in your local community. When creating flyers and posters, be sure to include a brief description or taste of the style of your music so that potential fans know what they can expect.
Flyers and posters work best for promoting your upcoming shows, just be sure to include the essential information, such as the date, time, and location.
Or, if promoting a recently released album or single, you could include a QR code or shortlink so that people can easily play your music on their listening method of choice.
Flyers can be distributed in high-traffic areas, such as concert venues or record stores.
Posters can be hung in highly visible locations, such as bus stops or subway stations.
One of the best ways to reach potential fans is by sponsoring local events and small businesses. This type of marketing allows you to connect with your community and build relationships with other local businesses.
When you sponsor an event, your name and logo will be prominently displayed, giving you valuable exposure to potential fans. You can also use this opportunity to distribute promotional materials, such as flyers and posters.
In addition, sponsoring a small business can help you reach a new audience. Many businesses are happy to promote local musicians, and this can be a great way to get your music in front of new listeners with relatively little cost.
Depending on your genre of music, offer to perform for free on Thursday evenings or Friday nights. A great performance when the time comes can lead to monetary success and word-of-mouth benefits. We'll touch more on scheduled live shows later, but a more relaxed and casual atmosphere at a small business or restaurant definitely has its perks.
Old School Interviews
Interviews on Podcasts or Radio Stations are undoubtably a great way to get yourself heard. However, an offline marketing tactic forgotten by many musicians is utilizing Newspapers.
Newspaper interviews are a great way to get your name out there as a musician and to generate interest in your music. They can also act as a source of credibility, and help you build a relationship with the media and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
In addition, interviews provide an opportunity to promote your upcoming gigs and sell tickets.
Finally, interviews give you a chance to connect with your fans on a personal level and let them know more about who you are as an artist.
If you have a great story or message surrounding your music, definitely consider reaching out to local newspapers that have a pull on your target audience of fans.
Pro Tip: Small to Medium size colleges are often in need of stories in their periodical articles. Reaching out to a local university will be your best bet for your first publication. Then, you can use that content to pitch larger publications, and so on.
Print Media Advertising
We touched on flyers and posters, but what about paying for print ads?
Billboards, magazines, and newspapers are considered "old" ways to promote music and 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.
Additionally, print ads have a certain physicality that can make them more memorable than online ads, which can help a musician stand out in a crowded field.
With a little planning and creativity, print ads can be a great way to get your music out there and reach new fans.
For many musicians, playing live shows is one of the most important aspects of marketing their music. In a live setting, musicians have the opportunity to connect with their fans in a more personal way and to create a truly unique experience. Playing live also allows musicians to build up a fan base in a particular city or region, and create a sense of community around the music.
Live Shows also give fans a chance to see the musician in a different light, as a real person with flaws and humanity. The shared experience from a live show will be remembered by fans, and can influence them to play your music again and again.
Lastly, performing live gives musicians an opportunity to test out new material and to get instant feedback from their audience. Although, this definitely takes some bravery and may not always go how you anticipate it.
In short, playing live shows should be an essential part of any offline marketing strategy for musicians. Contact local businesses and venues to schedule your first gig, or utilize a music manager who can help you land your first performance.
Guerrilla marketing is a low-cost, high-impact way to reach new audiences and build buzz around your brand. It involves using creative and unexpected tactics to generate attention and interest.
For example, a band might play an impromptu gig in a busy public place, hand out free CDs, or leave stickers in strategic locations around town. Or, you could organize a flash mob with local dancers while you perform a song. The time and effort needed to pull this off will be sure to draw a lot of viewers, and leave them with a positive impression of your music. Who knows, videos may be taken, and social media may gobble up the performance. Next thing you know, this offline music marketing strategy doubled as an online marketing strategy as well.
Guerrilla marketing is all about thinking outside the box and coming up with fresh, innovative ways to get people talking about your music. When used effectively, it can be a highly effective way to reach new fans and grow your fan base.
Meet and Greet Events
Meet and greets provide an opportunity for potential fans to get to know you as a person, rather than just an artist. This can be a powerful way to create a connection with someone who might otherwise be remotely interested in your music.
Additionally, meet and greets provide an opportunity to collect contact information from potential fans. This is valuable not only for future marketing purposes, but also for staying in touch with your fanbase and building a community around your music.
And of course, it can be fun to meet people that share a passion for a certain genre of music.
Merchandise is a great way to promote your music and also make some extra income. Make sure to design items that represent your brand well and that potential fans will actually want to wear or use. T-shirts, stickers, and buttons are always popular choices.
Merchandise is notably starting to become more and more a part of online marketing, however, if you keep your merchandise limited and exclusive to certain physical events, you can harness the powers of offline marketing with your clothing.
Offline Marketing FAQs
What is an offline marketing strategy?
Any marketing strategy that doesn't require an internet connection is considered offline marketing. Since there is no way to track customer behavior or interactions with traditional media, you have to get creative to find ways to gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns.
For example, you might offer coupons or discounts to customers who make a purchase within a certain timeframe after seeing an advertisement. Or you might include a unique code in each print ad that customers can enter online to redeem a special offer.
By carefully tracking these and other metrics, you can get a sense of whether the offline marketing efforts are paying off. While offline marketing can be more expensive and time-consuming than online strategies, it can still be a powerful tool for reaching new customers and growing a business.
What is the difference between offline and online marketing for a musician?
Marketing is a critical part of any musician's career, but the approach that is taken will vary depending on the type of music being marketed and the target audience. For example, classical musicians will often focus on offline marketing channels such as print media and live performances, while pop and rock musicians may put more emphasis on online marketing such as social media and streaming services. Each type of marketing has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to carefully consider which approach is best for a particular project.
Offline music marketing tends to be more personal and direct, making it well suited for genres such as classical music that require a high degree of artistry. It can also be more expensive than online marketing, since it generally requires hiring professionals such as graphic designers and publicists.
On the other hand, online music marketing can reach a larger audience more easily and quickly, making it ideal for genres such as pop music that rely heavily on mass appeal. In addition, online marketing is usually less expensive than offline marketing since many of the necessary tools (such as social media platforms) are free to use.
Ultimately, the best approach for a musician will vary depending on the type of music being promoted and the target audience. By carefully considering all the options, musicians can develop an effective marketing strategy that helps them reach their goals.
Is offline music marketing outdated?
Offline music marketing is still a valuable marketing strategy to increase the popularity of an artist. For example, street team promotion with flyers and posters is still an effective way to generate buzz for upcoming albums or tours. In addition, print advertisements can be very effective in targeting specific audiences. For example, music magazines are often geared towards specific genres or demographics, making them a valuable tool for reaching out to potential fans.
In a world where technology seems to be constantly evolving, it's no surprise that the music industry has had to adapt in order to keep up. Of course, in recent years, there has been a shift away from traditional offline marketing techniques, such as print advertisements and radio commercials, in favor of online marketing strategies.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use offline marketing depends on the goals and budget of the artist or record label. However, it is important to remember that offline marketing should not be completely ignored in the ever-changing landscape of the music industry.
What are the positives and negatives of offline music marketing?
On the plus side, offline music marketing can be very effective in reaching a local audience, and it can be a great way to build name recognition for up-and-coming artists. Additionally, offline music marketing is often less expensive than online methods such as purchasing ads on streaming platforms or paying for social media promotion.
However, there are also some drawbacks to offline music marketing. For example, it can be difficult to track the results of print or radio campaigns, and live shows may not always attract a large audience.
However, marketing offline has been a go-to for Record labels and music promoters for years. This form of marketing can be a more personal touch that online marketing simply cannot offer (yet). For these reasons, among others, offline marketing continues to be a popular choice for music marketers.
Should I use offline music marketing strategies with my release?
The decision of whether or not to use offline marketing should be based on the specific needs of the artist or record label. If done correctly, offline marketing can be an effective way to reach new fans and grow your following. However, if not done correctly, it can be a waste of time and money.
By utilizing some of these offline marketing strategies, you can help to build a buzz around your music and reach new fans that you may not have otherwise connected with. As mentioned, offline marketing is often more personal than digital marketing, which can help you build a deep connection with potential fans.
So don't underestimate the power of old-school marketing - it can still be highly effective in today's ever-changing music industry landscape.