Cross-Promotion in the Music Industry
In my 6 years working in the music industry I've received a lot of questions, but none as recurring as how exactly I get the amount of exposure on the music we release. The answer is short and sweet: Cross-Promotion.
Of course, nothing is ever as simple as a two word catch phrase. But Cross-Promotion is an easy and effective way to reach new demographics, and engage with fans that are actually relevant to what it is you are doing. That being said, in order to be able to Cross-Promote effectively, you have to be willing to create quality content that captivates your target audience. Since we are talking about the music industry here, you can bet that people like seeing creative and aesthetically pleasing content!
To make this post as helpful as possible, let me break down the process by Social Media.
1. Instagram & Twitter:
So, here’s the deal— Social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter were originally built for people to share things with one another. Pictures, conversations, ideas, videos. These things are all content-types. And luckily, the sharing functionality on these platforms allows you to reach all sorts of users. But it all starts with understanding your audience.
The question you should ask yourself (and as a musician you probably already know the answer) is: Who are the influencers in my niche? You might quickly find that there are hundreds of them, and you might be inclined to ignore the smaller ones. But DON'T! My golden rule for promoting on any social media platform is: No audience segment is too small to matter.
Once you understand the influencers in your niche, it is likely that you already have a large target audience you can define and reach. Can you guess it?
It's all their followers.
And this is where cross-promotion comes into play. But beware, it requires you dropping that artists ego just a little bit.
The concept is really very simple, and as you read this post you will see the underlying concept is the same for almost all the social media platforms we will talk about. It's taking advantage of that magical share and like functionality that social media is built on. You just released a new track and made a cool video for it? That's great! You posted it to your Instagram and then moved on with your day? Not so great. Because here's the thing. If you have 500, 1000 or 1500 followers you probably reached only 50% of them if you’re lucky. But if 20-other, equally large accounts, would have posted that same content on their story or even on their feed, then your reach would have exponentially increased by 20x. Now I know many of you aren't that into return on investment but 20x?! You can't beat it.
Now isn't it going to be lame to reach out to other people and try to get them to post your content? No! because here's the thing, if your content is quality, people should be ecstatic to share your posts. And yes, you should offer to shout them out in return. That's just part of the game. Remember when I told you to drop that artists ego? Well that's why.
By making sure you are only engaging with other quality influencers in your niche, none of your fans will mind you sharing other people’s content. Simply because they enjoy that kind of content. In fact, they will probably like you more for it.
Just don't get inorganic or spammy with it.
So, whether it's people posting your content on their Stories/Feeds on Instagram, or whether it's people re-tweeting that same content on Twitter. It's all about collaboration and cross-promoting. But it starts with quality content.
2. SoundCloud & Spotify
Now since I've rambled on a little bit I’ll make this brief.
On SoundCloud you find your niche influencers aka artists, and you ask them to repost your latest release. Why would they do that? Because they like you and your music (hopefully) and B you will offer to repost them in return. This is typically called ‘Repost for Repost’
Artists Ego: 'But hey, isn't that like inorganic and totally uncool?'
Your Common Sense: F*** NO it's called cross-promotion. I’m promoting my growth and the growth of others!
Now for Spotify there's this little functionality that gives artists, It's called the Artists Playlist. Yes, you can make a Playlist and feature it on your Artist Page. Do it. Do it now. Why? Because you will be able to add other artists in your niche to your playlist and (you guessed it) ask them to add you in theirs in return. Even just getting them to like your latest release on Spotify will help. Let me tell you why. Spotify ranks your songs by data-points like: How many times was your track played vs. how many people actually hit like? How many people added your track to their playlist? In those playlists, how many people skipped the song or liked the song? That's just a couple of data-points they use. And it might not be a lot at first, but try to manipulate them in your favor so that for your next release you are on the Spotify editorial team’s at radar. Do what you can, and remember: no audience is too small to matter.
There you have it. Pretty simple stuff really but it takes some effort. Nothing happens easy so get to it.
Or you could just sign a track with us and we'll do all these things for you ;)