Releasing a single is the standard way of releasing music these days. How to promote a single release can vary depending on your goals. but following these few steps can get you on the road to success, no matter what your goal is!
Step 1: Choose Your Objective
Isn’t my objective to get people to listen to my song? No. You need to be strategic here. Singles and music are content used for marketing yourself in a current, trendy way. The ultimate goal is to try and make some money (unless you enjoy just being a hobbyist – then cool!).
Your objective can be all sorts of things.
- Do I want to grow my email list?
- Do I want to build Spotify Pre saves?
- Do I want to get featured on playlists?
- Do I want to actually sell my single instead of just stream it?
- Do I want to grow my spotify followers?
- Do I want to grow my social media following?
As you can start to see here, depending on what your objectives are, it’s going to drastically change how you frame your campaign and promote the song.
I would recommend choosing ONE main objective. Some other things may come secondary to that one objective, but frame everything you do around the main thing. There can be a pre release and post release objective if you’re going for pre saves, obviously you can’t promote that once the song is released!
If no one has told you this, it might be one of the most important pieces of marketing advice you ever get: A confused mind takes no action. Keep that in mind when you are deciding on how to promote a single release.
Stay clear on your messaging and objectives so your fans and followers know exactly what you want them to do. Asking them to do three different things at one time will get poor results.
Step 2: Plan
Depending on what your objective is, build a plan around it. I like to structure my plans around a 30 day cycle.
This usually has 1-2 weeks of pre release planning, and 2-4 weeks of post release planning. All depending on the content you produce and the goals you have in mind.
When it comes to creating a plan there are a few things you need to consider:
- Where am I sending people
- Is this a pre save page? A signup page? A store?
- How am I getting the message in front of people?
- Social posts? Email marketing? Paid ads? All three?
- What can I leverage to reach a new audience?
- Can I partner with a brand or shop to reach their audience?
- Can I create a fun giveaway that excites people about more than just my music?
- Can I team up with other artists to get them to share the release to their fans?
- What assets/team/connections do I need to make this happen?
- Should I hire a playlist promoter?
- Do I need to find a publicist?
- Can I contact blogs and local radio stations myself?
- Do I need a paid ads budget?
- Do I understand how to optimize everything I’m doing to get the best results I can?
Planning is the most important part of releasing anything as an artist. Whether it’s a music video, album, or single!
Give yourself at least 6-8 weeks before the release date to create a plan and bring it all together. Dropping a single and posting “out now on all major platforms” has never gotten anyone anywhere….
Step 3: Create
This is the time to get all of your ducks in a row!
After you have your plan together it’s time to start creating the content you will need for the release.
This can be:
- Social media posts/photos/videos
- Music/Lyric videos
- Song snippets with video backgrounds,
- Quote posts from blogs or other reviews
- Pro Tip: Don’t have any quotes or reviews from blogs or radio? Get reviews from family and friends. It still counts!
- Emails for email series
- Ad copy/creative
- Landing pages
- Giveaway material/rules
- Pre save pages
Having everything prepped in advance will help take the stress out of the weeks before and after the release.
Get creative with what you create! Make it uniquely you!
Step 4: Execute!
This is the fun part! And should be the easiest.
Now that you have your plan and content in place, just follow the steps you have created for yourself.
Keep track of what works, and what doesn’t. Create a google spreadsheet to track everything you are doing, what time you’re doing it, how many days before/after the release it was done, and how effective it was.
Doing this will help you plan for future releases and hopefully make them better and better.
Did something work incredibly well? Then do it again next time!
Did something fall flat on its face? Back to the drawing board and try again next time!
Keeping track of what works and what doesn’t will help you refine the process and take the guesswork out of things in the future. Because let’s be honest – marketing is basically calculated guess work XD Especially at the beginning stages!
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