Learning the harp - how to take the first steps
In this post I talk about the importance of marketing for musicians and at the same time answer the question: How important is marketing for musicians and how does music marketing affect one's authenticity?
Authenticity is a complex and subjective concept. Especially for musicians. But even though the way of marketing has changed over time, it has always been and will always be an essential part of the music industry.
Music marketing can include a wide variety of strategies and measures, offline and online marketing, social media advertising, touring, partnerships with brands or organizations, and much more. There are no limits to creativity. It helps promote your music and reach a larger audience. Effective marketing can help musicians and bands build a strong brand and increase their visibility in the industry.
Let's take a look at why authenticity and marketing are not only compatible, but essential to find the balance between your own point of view and the expectations of the audience:
Music marketing is about reaching new audiences and building relationships with potential fans. The nature of this relationship is critical to marketing success. It can be as diverse as the artists themselves. There are a variety of ways to do this, including social media, collaborations with other (ideally like-minded) artists, and, of course, performances.
The starting point and first goal for musicians should be to build a strong brand identity. This includes the artist name, logo, color theme and general aesthetics. With a coherent and distinctive brand, artists can stand out from the rest of the market and create a memorable image that resonates with the target audience. Yes, even the font you choose can make all the difference.
However, the main goal for many is to generate revenue through their music, merch, and tickets. So the marketing strategies should be focused on highlighting the music and related products.
The music industry is extremely competitive. Many artists feel compelled to adapt to certain trends in order to stand out and gain a competitive advantage. The fear of failure, the desire for success, the pressure from labels or management: the pursuit of commercial success exerts pressure and sets certain expectations to achieve this goal. Who doesn't wish to earn an income from their own art, which would allow them to still make art?
This pressure can lead some musicians to feel that they have to give up their artistic vision and authenticity in order to appeal to a certain market.
The good news first: marketing strategies can be very different, depending on the goals and target audience of the artists, and can follow both traditional and modern approaches. First and foremost, it is not about creating a false image of yourself. On the contrary, successful music marketing is honest and reinforces what your music already says. Marketing strategies that are authentic and consistent with one's own values are more successful in the long run.
A good example here is TikTok. In recent years—and especially during the pandemic—the platform has become one of the big players and has proven that an audience can be found with suitable content. So does the platform need to be served? Content is still king (as the saying goes), but in the long run, one's own branding is more important. If the format of a platform doesn't fit the image of your own art, it's not a must, of course.
Music marketing is a double-edged sword. Many musicians place a lot of emphasis on authenticity and avoid certain types of marketing because they believe it could call into question their artistic vision or integrity. So how does one stay authentic and reach the widest possible audience at the same time?
Clearly define your artistic vision and values and stick to them. This is the key and allows decisions to be made more easily, which is how momentum can be built in the first place. All aspects of music marketing should stay true to your vision. This includes the message, the aesthetic, and the genre or style you want to be associated with.
Long story short: Be creative and make it your own. Your music is unique, so too should your marketing be.
Marketing is an essential part of the music industry and always will be.
The form of marketing depends heavily on the goals and priorities of the artist. It is important for musicians to find a marketing strategy that works for them and is consistent with their values and vision. Music marketing should not overshadow the music itself or compromise authenticity.
Marketing can be an effective tool to help musicians promote their work and build a fan base. Ultimately, however, it is the music itself that creates lasting connections and stands the test of time. For musicians, it's important to focus on their craft and create quality music before turning to the marketing and promotion side of things. Good music production is a solid foundation for success in the music world.
Has this article motivated you? Looking for musicians with whom to exchange ideas on this topic? Or just looking for musicians for a project? Then start your search here at mukken.com. Here on our blog you can also find many other interesting articles about marketing.
Originally published on February 1, 2023, updated on February 3, 2023