Mixtapes and street albums have become the driving forces behind much of the underground hip hop music we hear today. Indie recording artists use these forms of media as a means to create brand awareness and share music online. Popular mixtape promotion websites such as Datpiff and Live Mixtapes provide and powerful advertising platform for many upcoming artists.
However, as the information highway we know, as the internet, becomes more crowded, indie recording artists are forced to sort through the mountains of information to find out what marketing strategies are proven and effective to promote their music. The following seeks to eliminate this hassle and offer 12 easy tips for promoting your mixtape online.
1. Make Ear-Catching, High Quality Music
The first step in crafting a successful marketing strategy for your mixtape is the music preparation. Professional audio engineering is absolutely essential! Whether you’re playing your music for the President A&R of Sony or your neighbor down the street, your music should be compelling and ear-catching. Be certain that your first impression is always your best.
2. Get Professional Photos
Perception is reality in the music industry. Even if you aren’t a “major” recording artist you should present yourself in that fashion. Professional images and graphic design work for your album cover are a must!
3. Offer Free Music Downloads
Offering free samples of your music is a great way to begin building brand awareness. This is not to say that you should give all of your music away for free! Many artists do this and end up going broke because they do not have a strategic plan behind their free music downloads. Your goal with free downloads is to inspire your listener to action. If at all possible try to gain some form of contact information in exchange for your free download so that you can continue further communications and build a long lasting artist-fan relationship. Other things to consider are selling merchandise such as t-shirts and offering your music free. This adds value to your music and puts money in your pocket.
4. Upload To Free Mixtape Websites
Uploading your mixtape to free mixtape websites such as Datpiff, Live Mixtapes, etc. is an easy, free way to begin your mixtape promotion campaign. Be sure to include all relevant contact information. Make sure that your presentation is professional and that it accurately represents your image.
5. Start A Blog
Starting your own blog is a creative way to draw attention and web traffic to your mixtape/album. Including pictures, music, and related videos can all can help in your promotional efforts. Encourage people to subscribe to your blogs content via RSS so that you can continue to keep them updated on your progress.
6. Submit Your Mixtape for Review
Some music blogs, online magazines, or digital newspapers will allow you to submit your mixtape for review. Be sure that if you are submitting your music that you are doing it in a professional manner. Follow submission instructions and be sure to include a well designed mixtape cover, your best quality music, and all relevant contact information.
7. Start A Mailing List
If you’re planning on having serious success as an indie recording artist, you should be implementing a mailing list into your music marketing strategy. Capturing the email addresses of fans allows you to continue marketing your current and future music releases. It also gives you an opportunity to provide exclusive music, photos, and videos.
8. Post An Ad On Craigslist
Posting an advertisement on craigslist is an unorthodox, but creative way to promote your mixtape online.
Other ways you can effectively promote your mixtape online:
9. Share Via Social Media
Using social media is a great way to spread the word about your mixtape. Remember that social media is all about being social. Indescriminately, sharing links with others IS NOT an effective way to get the word out about your mixtape. It’s usually considered spam.
10. Make Video Trailers
Music videos and trailers/teasers are extremely effective marketing tools for your mixtape, especially on YouTube.
11. Steam Live Videos
If you have a webcam, use live video streaming services such as Ustream, Livestream, or Tinychat to interact with fans and promote.
12. Pay For Advertising
Paying for advertising space is a tried and true method of promoting your music.
The aforementioned tips are just a few of the many ways you can begin effectively promoting your mixtape online. There is no one way to marketing your music. Do your own research and find what methods work best for you.