Marketing a band is not much different than marketing a solo artist. In fact, it should be approached in the same manner, as the band itself is a single unit. Nevertheless, for many just starting out, questions remain about specific tactics or strategy to take your band from obscurity to popularity. Below, I’ve included four practical steps for creating a simple but successful strategy for marketing your band:
The very first thing to do is decide what your objective is for the campaign. Is it build recognition and awareness, to increase your current platform, or sell a particular product? All of that must be decided and is foundational to the work you will be doing in the rest of your campaign. Start with a larger, general idea to help you determine where the team should place its energy, then get more detailed. As a suggestion, your initials goals should be S.M.A.R.T. goals, which stands for: specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound. An example would be, ‘I want to have our record on these radio stations within two months,’ not, ‘I want to perform at the Grammys some day.’ Of course, the latter can be and usually is the ultimate goal for many musicians, but you’ll need to S.M.A.R.T. start first. Additionally, goals keeps everyone motivated and working toward a particular end; once achieved, all can celebrate in the success, and pursue even larger ambitions.
Know Your Audience
In order for your goals to be achieved, you need to know and clearly define who you are trying to reach–your fans. Very specific demographics of who might be interested in the type of music you’re making, whether young or female or urban or educated, will guide every decision with regard to the publications you reach out to, where you post content online, pricing for shows, where you will tour, and even how you engage them. If you’re unsure of who that audience is, look at popular bands with a sign most similar to yours, and assess the types of people they attract at shows and events or their following on social sites. It’s important that you’re directing and targeting content in a way that maximizes your efforts and bolsters the tenets of your campaign.
Craft A Brand
While it’s helpful to find inspiration from artists in your genre or those who’ve come before you, it’s imperative that you highlight what differentiates your band in particular. In doing so, begin to create some tangible, meaningful examples to communicate that difference. At the basic level, that includes a logo, specific colors and/or a unique phrase. In more nuanced way, branding goes as far as style of dress (think, helmets like Daft Punk) or signature moves (ZZ Top’s spinning guitars), these things are how people will remember you, and what they recall when your name is mentioned.
Use All Available Free Resources
In music, expenses pile up; especially when trying manage 4 or 5 people a time. While it makes sense to invest in traditional tools like business cards and flyers, be sure to utilize every possible free option available, from social media to open mic nights or talent showcases. The internet has significantly increased the number of outlets and the overall reach of a given person or group, with content and news to be shared almost immediately with millions of people in a given network. Do your research, learn every hack and tool at your disposal. No need to pay for something you could be doing, perhaps better, for free.