23 music marketing strategies for 2023

If you search “music marketing” on Google you get billions of results, and you might wonder which link to choose.

Well, we have scoured through the first two pages of results to create one list to rule them all, ranking each marketing strategy by the number of times it gets mentioned.

With a little serendipity, there happened to be 23.

1. Use social media

Unsurprisingly, the most frequently mentioned strategy is social media. Our top tip is to pick one platform to focus your energies on and post consistently.

If you can commit to once a day, great -> post once a day.

If you can commit to once a month, also great -> post once a month.

Consistency is key. And to help you identify which social media platform might be right for you, music marketer Amber Horsburgh has a quiz you can use.

2. Create a website

Your own website is a place you can connect everything together:

  • merchandise, tickets and music you have for sale
  • tour dates
  • mailing list sign up
  • links to social media

It also helps with digital advertising as you can retarget the people that visit your website and know they are more likely to be a super-fan. See strategy #12 - ‘digital advertising’ below.

You can use website builder tools like Squarespace, Shopify or Wix, to make it much easier!

3. Engage with your existing fanbase

A good question to ask yourself - when did you last speak to a fan?

It’s not just about growing your audience, it’s also incredibly important to develop the relationship with your existing fanbase.

You can do this through a mailing list, replying to comments on social media, running competitions and so on. Whatever makes sense for you and helps your fans feel involved / invested in you and your music.

4. Run a realistic promotion strategy

Running ads can be a great way of speeding up the organic growth you're already enjoying. We're definitely advocates of it!

But we're also big supporters of only doing what is realistic. There's no point blowing all your budget in one day! Our article on how to set a music marketing budget gives you an idea of how to do that.

5. Collaborate with other artists

Collaboration means you can introduce each other to your respective audiences, which is of course mutually beneficial. The ‘collab’ doesn’t have to be with Drake… it can be a friend, or an artist you admire who’s slightly further ahead in their career (or even slightly behind).

Whoever they are, they will have a different audience to you, and it’s a really effective way to grow yours whilst feeling good about helping someone else out.

6. Focus on your Spotify growth

We could write essays on why this should be key in your music marketing activities this year. But we'll try keep it brief for you.

  • Focus on growing Spotify followers not streams - it will be far more valuable in the longer-term.
  • Increased followers also massively increases your chances of getting featured on the elusive Release Radar and Discover Weekly playlists.
  • Finally, avoid a Linktree or in-between page as much as possible! Directing straight through to the platform (perhaps via Feed's deeplink tech) means you can reduce drop off by 70-80%!

7. Have a mailing list

A mailing list is going to be made up of people who are more likely to be your super-fans, even more so than people who visit your website.

Communicating with people via email can help you develop your relationship with them and means that you 'own' the communication channel. If you only communicate with them through social media, you are at risk of losing that relationship if you or they decide to delete their accounts!

8. Pitch your music

This covers blogs, radio, playlists, influencers and podcasts because it’s all essentially the same thing -> you send your music to someone who hopefully likes it and talks about it to their audience.

This is good for the same reason that collaborating with other artists is good, getting access to another audience that is likely to be interested in your music. You can use SubmitHub or MusoSoup to help with this.

9. Perform

We're surprised this didn’t come higher in the list, but it’s not seen as a marketing strategy as such.

Putting on a free show to celebrate the release of your music, supporting other artists, playing festivals, streaming online are all incredibly effective ways to grow your audience and develop the relationship with your existing one.

10. Build a brand

This can help make it easier for potential new fans to recognise you and build familiarity with your music. And avoid them just feeling like they just get sold to when you have a release, tour or merch to shift!

It’s not just the style of music you make, but your brand encompasses everything from the style of photography or videos you make to the language you use in your social media posts. The important thing to remember is to be authentic.

11. Upload videos to YouTube

Part social media, part streaming platform -> with 2 billion users you’d need a very good reason not to upload your music to YouTube.

12. Advertising online

This can be complicated but super effective once you get it right. If you want to make it easy for yourself, use Feed to set up and run your ads for you!

Our platform takes your existing posts and turns them into ads on Instagram, Facebook and, very soon TikTok. It automatically promotes and tests what's working with people who are similar to your existing fanbase.

13. Put together an EPK (Electronic Press Kit)

Like a musical CV, this helps people (particularly those you pitch your music to) get an understanding of who you are very quickly.

14. Release music frequently

There are always exceptions, but it is generally better to release 1 song every 6 weeks, than release 10 songs at once every 60 weeks. Why? You keep front of mind in your audience and, by putting out your work regularly, the algorithms will favour you.

15. Don’t forget the real world

Put up posters / stickers / buttons in record stores etc. Perhaps not used as much these days. But if record labels do it (which they do), then it’s worth experimenting with.

16. Design (and sell) merchandise

People wear clothes, they might wear clothes with your name on them.

17. List your gigs on Songkick

Other platforms are available, eg. Bandsintown or Dice.

18. Launch a crowdfunding campaign

We did a crowdfunding campaign for Feed to help fund the development of our platform but it also definitely helped grow our audience.

19. Film music videos

As we’ve said before: “It doesn’t need to be a £5,000 (or even £50,000) budget (...). Something you shot yourself in the Peak District, for example, is often better, as is an animation created by a friend.”

20. Plan for the long-term

Most of the time, it doesn’t happen overnight. Plan for 3-5 years of consistently putting out music, playing shows and so on before you start to get traction.

21. Build an interactive experience

This suggestion came from a company that offered to build interactive experiences for you, but XR, web 3.0, games and blockchain are all the rage if you have the know how or the budget.

22. Lean in to social media trends

TikTok and Instagram reel trends can be short-lived but by “hopping on a trend” you can have fun and gain a bit of traction.

You won’t necessarily go viral overnight, but by using popular audios and trending video styles you can show your personality to your current following, and be found by those searching for popular content. We love this guy’s approach in particular.