Your band is an investment. You've probably already spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on equipment like PA systems, stands, strings, new instruments, and a plethora of other equipment, right? It's normal to put money into something you care about and invest in something that helps pay the bills. So, just as we put money into our equipment and sound, we should also set aside money for marketing our work.
Naturally, this seems like a daunting task, as no one wants to take a gamble on marketing if the outcome is unsure, especially when labels and wealthier artists dump thousands upon thousands into their marketing. But it's actually easier than you think. Even better, it can also be cheaper than you think.
Let's say you only have $100 a month to spend on marketing your music. If you have no idea where to start or how you can get the most bang for your buck, here's how you might want to split up that cash.
Facebook advertising: $25 to $50
Yep, this could eat up half of your monthly budget, but it's an important facet of marketing. The way Facebook's current algorithm works is that posts that aren't engaged with won't appear on your fans' timelines. Even if you have 15,000 fans, if your post gets zero interactions, most of those fans won't even see it. Is this Facebook's way of nearly forcing brands to pay up for reach? A little bit. But fortunately, even $5 or $10 could get you significant reach on Facebook.
There are a few ways of going about advertising on Facebook. One way is to promote your whole page for $5 to $10 a day for five days. Ensure you're drilling down your audience, too. You can target people by interest, so make sure you include your genre, similar artists, and any other important details in your page information.
Another route would be promoting a SoundCloud or YouTube clip that's posted on your Facebook page. This way, you can also rack up on YouTube views or SoundCloud views, too. For $10 a day for five days, your post could easily reach a minimum of 2,000 to 5,200 people each day. Will this necessarily lead to a corresponding number of likes, views, and listens? Potentially! If your content is written well, it'll certainly get some love. And if you can't manage $10 a day, even $5 a day isn't a bad deal, since it'll get you a reach of about 980 to 2,600 people daily.
Google AdWords for video: $25 to $50
Obviously, you'll have to adjust your spend here depending on how much you put towards your Facebook campaign. However, Google AdWords is a great way to invest a chunk of your marketing budget – namely in YouTube's TrueView, which is AdWords for video. This creates sponsored video ads on YouTube which can lead people to your video, channel, or website.
There's also a very easy and efficient walkthrough when creating an ad, which makes this very easy to use and customize. I'd recommend a total of $5 to $10 for five days. Since it's PPC (pay-per-click), you'll only be charged each time your ad is clicked – plus, you get to choose the cap on the amount you spend (i.e., your $5). With this budget of $5 to $10 a day, you can easily achieve up to 1,000 impressions daily.
Website, social media, or EPK cleanup: remaining budget
Let's say you spent $25 between the Facebook ads and Google AdWords, or decided to forgo YouTube TrueView as you don't have a video to push. Now, you have $25 or $50 left over. Think about spending that on a nice graphic set for an upcoming show, or even hiring a strategist to rework some of your bio or copy on your website. Now, I'm sure any designers reading this are cringing at the thought of only working for $25 on design, but for one or two simple social media graphics, or a new cover photo, that's surely reasonable.
A final word of warning: when you start marketing your work, people are going to see it – lot's of 'em – so make sure whatever you're putting out there is clean and fresh. The last thing you want is money spent on promoting a post or video with poor wording or quality. So be prepared!
As a music marketing strategist, Tyler Allen works with an extensive array of artists, labels, music tech, and music retail entities. Tyler began his music industry career with Sony Music Entertainment and RED Distribution, as well as the advertising industry. He is dedicated to giving veteran artists the tools to preserve their legacy, and new artists the tools to begin theirs (as well as everything in between). Learn more at wtylerconsulting.com.