Part Two of a two-piece article that aims to break down tools that independent artists can utilize in their digital marketing strategies – all available at their fingertips! Read Part One here.
Develop Your Brand
Marketing and branding is about selling yourself as much as it is about selling your music. Identify what’s unique about your personality, goals, and the specific niche you hope to establish yourself as an authority in. Then, create and promote content on the regular that reinforces your brand.
Let’s look at how you can be consistent with your branding assets, voice and tone in your content, and general social media habits.
Take Advantage of Branding Tools
1. Canva. Every serious musician should have a branding kit and Canva is the perfect DIY tool to make one on a budget.
Your branding kit is your bible for all things related to content and design. To create an effective and consistent brand on your merchandise, albums, and website, always stick to your branding kit.
2. Stencil. This is a great alternative to Canva for non-designers and DIY artists. The tool allows you to create captivating images for your social networks, as well as feature images for your blog content.
You can also use it to create ads for Facebook and Twitter. Once you draw up an image, use any of the custom settings to resize images based on what site they’ll be added to.
Canva offers more marketing and advertising design templates, but Stencil gets the job done fast.
3. Logojoy. When it comes to designing a logo, try Logojoy. The tool guides you through the entire process, comes up with a look that reflects your style, and differentiates you from competitors.
If you want something free and fast, you can mock up a logo using Canva or Stencil. If you want a premium logo but don’t want to pay a designer, Logojoy is a happy medium.
For $65, you’ll get a high-resolution logo of your choice with black and white variations and different file formats so you can update your logo in the future.
Once your brand kit is established, don’t worry about revisiting it to “perfect” it. Your time is better spent on music production, content creation, and promotion.
Define a Content Marketing Strategy
Let’s define content as anything of substance that you can create and promote. This includes your latest songs, blog articles, and social media posts. It also consists of any asset that can attract people’s attention such as interviews, giveaways, contests, downloads, etc.
In the digital marketing world, content is thought of as a magnet that attracts attention in the form of social media conversations, backlinks, and press coverage. This then leads to conversions: product sales, newsletter subscriptions, leads generated, etc.
A well-defined content marketing strategy not only helps you get attention, but it also helps you narrow down your audience. In other words, it can help you identify a niche in the industry that only you and a handful of other artists can carve.
The thought of narrowing down to small audiences scares most musicians, because we live in a world where numbers in the thousands, millions, and billions reflect success.
The truth is however, that you need to win over a small audience and establish yourself as an authority there first, and then work your way up to broader audiences. While your competitors are aiming to leap straight from dozens of listeners to millions, you’re better off taking small steps and progressing further in the long run.
In baseball terms, amateur musician marketers “only swing for home runs.” On the other hand, a musician with a content strategy hustles to get on base by any means necessary. Every piece of content created and shared will lead to a walk, single, double, triple, or home run.
Content Marketing Tools & Resources
- Strategy Templates. Here’s a list of the top 10 content marketing and strategy templates to kickstart your planning process. There are templates for building an editorial calendar, content creation ideas, and more from some of the top digital marketers out there. Pick one and take some time to think through each section.
- BuzzSumo. This is hands-down the best tool to find content ideas, influencers in your niche, and the most relevant websites to promote your brand and content on.
- Quora. Use Quora, the best Q&A site on the web, to find the most popular questions and identify the types of content or music your fans crave the most. Any time you get in a creative rut, fire up Quora and get inspired.
- The Right Margin. Ever struggle to finish writing something? Whether it’s a blog post or a new song, this tool helps you break it down into bite-sized goals which you can chip away at one-by-one.
- Workflowy. Work better and think better using this app for organizing your thoughts and making lists to keep you on track to reaching your goals. Workflowy helps musicians stay productive and efficient.
- Google Drive/Docs. Stay organized and sync every document you’ll ever need for free with Google. This includes spreadsheets, docs, and calendars.
- TuneCore Social. Schedule social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, and more. Check out all the performance data of your posts on different networks, learn what works, and adjust the timing of posts to maximize engagement with your fans.
- MailChimp. Your fans aren’t always logged into Facebook or Twitter when you post something. The best form of communication to ensure they receive the message, and to build long-term relationships, is e-mail. Send news, updates, and offers to your subscribers on a regular basis. MailChimp is an excellent tool for all of your e-mail marketing. They even have specific use cases for musicians.
Final Thoughts on Achieving Success for DIY Musicians
Today’s artists have more low-cost technology and marketing potential than ever before. Don’t cross your fingers and hope you go viral overnight. The overnight success is a myth.
Take full advantage of the resources available, define success on your terms, and keep taking small steps in order to put yourself in the best position to win. Using these digital marketing tools and resources you can get the attention, income, and fan loyalty you deserve.
*[Raj Shah is the Senior SEO Manager at TakeLessons – a site dedicated to providing affordable and accessible options when it comes to learning instruments and languages. Check out Part Two of this article tomorrow!]