Keeping on Top of Your Game Between Releases
So you’ve released that album, your fans love it, your mum loves it, their sonic taste buds are satisfied. Exhale, feet up, time for a cup of tea.
Wrong. There’s no rest for the wicked, and you are completely and utterly abominable. In a good way. Wicked. Staying present means you’ll stay ahead, so to help we’ve compiled a short list of questions you should be asking yourself between releases.
How are you maintaining engagement?
At this point, our online world is largely governed by algorithms. At first you might think this is a touch (or a punch) dystopian, but we’re here to tell you there are a good number of upsides to it, if you play it right.
We’ve talked about some of our engagement strategies before, but essentially it’s important that you keep engaging with your audience even if you’re not promoting anything. If your engagement drops off, you’ll have to work double time to drive it back up around release time.
Algorithmic social platforms, like Instagram for example, are much more likely to promote your posts if there is back and forth engagement between you and your followers. Not only does that mean your posts will show in favourable positions for your existing audience, but the platform is more likely to share them with new users via features like the ‘explore’ page. Keep on top of engagement and you’ll be keeping on top of your game.
What do you have to offer?
Know who you are! Are you funny or more socially conscious? What do you / your fans like to do? Think about affiliations and typical interests between you and your audience. Knowing what you have to offer is arguably the most powerful insight you can have - it drives any half decent marketing strategy. The more closely connected your material is to your brand, the more identifiable and likely to succeed it is - they’re your fans for a reason!
Take some time to discover your current market, as well as some markets you might want to jump into. That way when the time comes to start considering release strategies you’ll have a solid understanding of what you, your audience, and your projected audience want or expect.
How are you reaching and engaging new audiences at this time?
There’s tonnes of different ways you can be reaching new audiences between releases. Google hangouts are a great way to directly engage with your fans, interviews are similar but also allow you to bounce off of another potentially influential person, establishment or brand.
However, our hot tip would be to try and think outside of what you normally do. You’ve solidified your current audience through a variety of channels - great - but who are you missing out on, and what sort of channels might they use? Also, review your current approach while considering who it might alienate, or who might be more interested if you tweaked it just a little.
Another great way to reach new audiences is to know who is listening to music similar to your own. Check out those artists, see what their fans are loving, and take inspiration - but don’t copy! Your most valuable asset is your identity.
How are you keeping music in the fold?
Music is a huge industry in which new releases constitute a relatively small portion. There are plenty of adjacent activities for you to market in new channels while keeping music at the centre.
A quick google search is a great starting point when thinking about alternative marketing methods. A few ideas could be building your own playlist, running a remix contest, or jumping on a music-centred podcast.
Whatever it is, maintaining a musical focus will mean you are building your name as a musical figure and will inevitably be an aid for future music endeavours. You want to be known for your craft!
What should I be focusing on to balance my messaging?
Consistency is fundamental to balancing your messaging. This all comes back to knowing who you are. Consumers are comforted by and have confidence in familiarity.
Other brand identity elements might include your mission, messaging, style, logos, typography, and colours. You can edit some things between releases but always stay aligned to the core of your brand.
You may also be having a break to due a holiday period. During these times, it’s really important to understand your audience’s relationship those holiday periods. Be mindful of all of the different holidays your audience might celebrate and speak to each of them. Inclusivity is so important.