Marketing is everything in today’s music business. Between the increased number of artists competing for attention and the shrinking amount of attention people are willing to give talent they are unfamiliar with, marketing has become the primary focus of most day-to-day music professionals. It would be easy to say that trend will change in the years to come, but the chances are high that the competition will only grow fiercer from here.
A quick Google search for ‘Music Marketing Tips’ will return well over a million results, with dozens more added every week. The vast majority of these articles will offer you some variation of basic social media marketing tactics that apply to any business or personal brand. They will tell you to post regularly, preferably at peak traffic times, and to follow popular trends in an authentic voice. They will also encourage the creation of original content daily, and to make replying to comments or messages a priority.
All this advice is sound and valid, but it’s also what everyone — including your competition — will do in hopes of finding success. Everyone is screaming into the void that is the internet, just like everyone is doing their best to create original content that holds people’s fickle attention for long enough to promote or sell something.
When everyone is doing the same thing the chance any one person or group stands out is virtually non-existent. Social media is good for general engagement, but regarding audience retention and community development, its usefulness is limited.
The solution is, as it has always been, for artists to have their own newsletter.
Before social media gave everyone the ability to connect with anyone, newsletters were essential for creating meaningful artist to fan engagement. First distributed through the postal service before moving online with the rise of email, newsletters offer fans the chance to learn everything new and exciting about their favorite artist(s) without needing to cut through the clutter of the digital space. They provide album and tour information primarily, but they can be incredibly personal as well.
Starting a newsletter is easy. Most artists begin by signing up for a service like MailChimp or MadMimi. From there, artists can generate a shareable link that is then posted to social media (often on a recurring basis) and/or through a specific promotion, such as a song premiere. Fans then click the link and insert their email. All acquired addresses are kept on the newsletter platform, which then recalls the email information whenever a new mailing is created.
Some artists choose to make newsletters a premium offering similar to a fan club. For a small contribution, either one-time or monthly, fans can gain direct access to the latest news and information, as well as exclusive benefits such as music streams or tour pre-sales.
Given the low cost of creation and the potential for a high return on investment, starting a newsletter should be part of every artist’s promotional plans. It’s the one way to guarantee fans know what’s happening in an artist’s career, and it establishes a connection to an audience that no other service can offer (without regularly paying for ‘promoted’ content).
Cut out the middle man and take your relationship with fans into your own hands.