5 Steps to Create a Music Marketing Strategy

An effective music marketing strategy involves defining the following steps:


Ejiro Ojirevwe, Drew Sybil

1/7/20235 min read

1. Develop your brand and tone of voice:

Your brand is your tone of voice. It’s what your company or you are known for. Symbols of the brand represent the idea of your company or personal brand. You could use design logic and come up with an intricate logo to define your brand, or choose a set of words like a slogan that can become the international representation of your brand. But mainly you need to think about what you want to be known for.

What do you want people to talk about when they talk about you and what you do?

Think about your favourite celebrity, brand or persona. What do you like about them? What service do you often use from them? This is their brand. And true fans can also see a glimpse of how they could further their brand; make them more popular. These could also be seen as your business developments, or the firm’s projects that need to be backed and planned in a particular direction (to be consistent with the brand). You want everything you do (what the brand does publicly) to make sense to your consumer.

So think about inviting your audience into your brand by giving them free information. What is your music about? Do you believe people receive or get that from one listen? Do they relate to it immediately? Why not? What could help them better understand the kind of artist you are? And how you express yourself artistically?

This is what we need to emulate to the consumer, to your future audience. And we want our representation to be precise, apparent, easy to relate and to understand deeply.

In other words, you want to craft your musical identity. This consists of your personal identity public to the world, plus what people identify as parts of you in your music. This also consists of how others relate to your music, and what characteristics and actions they do to show that relation to you. That is also part of your brand (what people say about you).

Another route to uncover your brand is through identifying your purpose: Why do you make music? Why do you express yourself the way you do? Why did you decide to launch your music? Your poetics, aesthetics, vision and mission, all outline the human and artistic essence of your brand, which is key in making an impression on your listener. You want your brand to linger and impress on someone a deep sense of who you are. This is how authenticity sells.

2. Find target audience

The second step in developing a music marketing plan is to identify your target market and accurately understand your target audience. Becoming clear on your audience reach depends on how you plan to target them. The common way is to identify characteristics to aim at, such as:

  • Who they are. What do they do for a living? How do they live?

  • What attracts them to your music? What do they like about it? Focus on innate qualities they can’t forget or move past that make your music somewhat addictive.

  • What are their interests and passions? What do they do in their free time? What do they like spending money on as well?

  • What are their favourite media platforms and how do they discover music? Is it through these platforms? Why or why not?

  • Where do they stream music? What are their favourite platforms to share, store and listen to music? Do these platforms have certain features that make it easy for several people to engage with music?

  • Key hint: How does this relate to how you share your music?

If you have a professional profile on Facebook and Instagram, you can use the analytics tools that come with these platforms to find data about your followers such as gender, age, location, and other pages/profiles they like (and thus learn about what other music they’re interested in). You can also look up market data of people in your area. Or skim through research on Google Scholar especially about the reasons behind your consumer’s behaviour.

3. Create your music marketing content

Once you’ve developed your brand and figured out your target market, you can start creating content that’s catered to your audience.

For you, music marketing content is effective when it creates or reinforces interest in your products or services, e.g. your music. But for your fans, they mainly engage with music marketing content because it’s relevant, engaging or entertaining.

Here is a list of the types of content you can use to implement your music marketing strategy:

  • Audio: Music must obviously be the cornerstone of your strategy. Wherever people see your marketing, make your music available. You can offer it as physical products or add your digital products or form of music. Always make your links to stream or purchase available.

  • Video: This includes clips of your music, performances, behind-the-scenes, events, interviews, or simply live streaming the artist or creation of music.

  • Images: photos and other types of images (e.g. event graphics, posters, playbills, social media posts) that represent the brand or emulate the music in this new form. You can learn how to create graphic designs, and use free software like Canva. You can also hire an individual or team to handle your content creation, with your constant direction or brand guidelines.

  • Logo: A logo plays a central role in representing your brand. It should ideally evoke the same feelings in fans as your product, which is your music and cultural identity. It needs to encapsulate aesthetics of your music’s essence, and attract the attention of future fans.

  • Written content: Words tell the story similar to the poetics of your voice finessing the beat in your music. Obvious ways to promote it are promoting key lyrics from your songs. Otherwise readers like to get to know the person behind the art. Through your website and social media, you can promote your press kit, and an ‘about me’ page. A website is also a good home base to generate buzz around all your news and services.

4. Set goals and measure your success

It’s important to define precise goals. They need to be achievable within a certain timeframe. Their required resources and personnel also need to be outlined. Bite-size objectives for each smaller time frame makes it easy to work consistently towards your goals, gaining momentum with each step or task achieved.

This way you’re able to generate progress statistics on how you work, and the effectiveness of each plan. You will also be productive because you have measurable goals that are actively being accomplished.

A key hint to setting targets is knowing what you’re measuring and making sure it actually matters to you. Do you care if you have website visits? Or do you just want your merch sold?

  • If so, then try different methods with a set budget, track their progress and evaluate their progress towards your goals.

  • Then you can end up measuring, e.g. how many visits to your website generates $X because of the amount of merchandise sold.

  • Then you can hypothesize that perhaps your audience prefers to shop through your website than on social media where your merch is also found.

Then you can evaluate the performance of these techniques by requesting more information or feedback from your consumer.

5. Set your budget

Nowadays, the costs are cheaper for music marketing involving building a website or e-commerce store, maintaining consistent social media presence (e.g. TweetDeck, Facebook Creator Studio), publishing music to major platforms, and tools for content creation (e.g. Canva, Affinity Designer).

The main part of setting a budget is understanding your priorities. You need to know why you wish to pay $X to get Y done. Sometimes the reason is timeliness, otherwise it’s for organizational support, or expertise, but sometimes it’s just logistics. Test everything. But focus on outcomes so you never feel like your budget is nonsense.

The budget must cover the expenses, but it should also expect revenue or positive outcomes for your brand and music business. The income generated may depend on time. So that might be a good indicator to look for investors or crowdfunding to help you accomplish these long-term goals. You can also position short-term success within that timeframe to simultaneously generate upfront revenue, something that can cover a lot of start-up bills and costs.

Overall, the budget should leave space for everything you wish to accomplish and what it costs to accomplish it. Leave some leeway for a bit of overspending, or in the cases that prices change from the planning to your execution stage. Also, monitor the quantities of what is being purchased and sold, so you can quantify plans in the future and make bigger purchases if you wish to buy equipment.