In the ever-growing world of entertainment publicity, reaching thousands of listeners on your upcoming releases require a unique plan. Until your brand is recognized worldwide (i.e. Beyonce), it simply doesn’t make sense to spend the majority of your budget on recording new assets just to release them to the public without a solid strategy. Even so, a plan made up of basic press pitching might not always do the trick to build the worthwhile and engaged fanbase you’re looking for. Thinking out of the box is becoming more important in every quarter as we progress into the age of digital streaming and internet consumption. As a listener, a few Fridays contain enough new music releases to last a lifetime, so how can yours make the cut?
We’ve put together a list of eye-catching tactics to build buzz and excitement around your new release.
This begins with another incredibly important part of music marketing: developing a cohesive brand. Actively participating in the way your fans view your band as a whole is a required stepping stone before you tackle this marketing strategy. Memorabilia in this instance is something that’s brand-specific but still wide-reaching. Developing these assets starts with remembering memorabilia that influenced your childhood. Did you have a sweet set of Hot Wheels with crazy turns? Do you wish you still had that glitter lipgloss from your first school dance? Gather ideas from yourself and your band, create a list, and then brainstorm together how you can turn those ideas into marketing products using your brand instead of releasing yet another t-shirt with your logo on it. Besides being fun and interesting, most of these things become relics that fans will hold onto for a very long time.
A few great examples of bands harnessing this method are the band Sleep On It creating pillowcases that read “Sleep On It” with their logo, Dance Gavin Dance releasing a “Strawberry Milkshake” limited release beer, The Story So Far creating a viewfinder with photos taken by the band, and the list goes on.
2) Limited Edition Prints/Presses
It’s no secret that vinyl has made a triumphant comeback. For many artists, vinyl is the only type of physical copies they’ll release. Some even go as far as releasing cassettes for a real pre-2000’s feeling. Just by themselves, vinyl and cassettes are great ways to release an album since they clearly outlive any other music trend, so use that to your advantage and create limited editions and/or collectors editions! For those who already love to collect vinyl and cassettes, different sleeves or tape designs is enough reason to buy the same album twice. This strategy can be used in different instances, like in a pre-order bundle, a deluxe post-release album, a “B” side album, etc.
3) Harness Your Local Scene
Remember when we mentioned Dance Gavin Dance crafting up a limited beer? Imagine doing that for your band, with your favorite local brewery or your favorite sandwich shop. Sound cool? It’s actually not the hardest thing to do but requires a long process and a lot of dedication. Many local-run establishments love to support local bands that give back to their community in exciting ways like this! Have an elevator pitch ready and ask to speak to the general manager so you can explain why naming a turkey melt after your band Stale Bread would boost their sales and help promote your upcoming album. Brewing a specific beer involves alcohol laws and actual brewing knowledge (to an extent) but most local breweries will go for it if you can promise the product will move off shelves. Another way to harness your local scene is asking record stores to stock your upcoming release in a local section. If they don’t have one, pitch one!
4) Get Fans and Friends Involved
Your close friends and fans are obviously your biggest supporters, and they most likely would love to be involved in your band’s success. Ask your friends to help spread the word about your new album by hosting giveaways, build a scavenger hunt that involves clues leading to free release show tickets, create a drinking game that mocks your band, hire your friend to photograph your band, or commission an artist friend to create the album art or a new shirt. There’s nothing better than involving your other creative peers to promote each other’s work!
5) Give Your Release Show a Twist
Most album releases are complimented by a release show, where you perform your new music live for the first time. With the right amount of promotion and ticket sales, this is an exciting way to throw a party for all your hard work! Consider hosting the show at a non-traditional music venue. Years back, Carousel Kings played the first (and last, for good and hysterical reasons) at a Haunted Mill during the Halloween season for a truly unforgettable show. I can’t remember the songs they played but I will never forget that show. Giving your fans a reason to talk about your show, especially your album release show, can improve your future crowd numbers and build buzz.
Part of succeeding in the music industry is continuing to learn every single day. Being a “jack of all trades” is the norm in today’s connected globe, where all information about pretty much anything can be accessed via the internet. The best thing you can possibly do for your band is to learn about every aspect of the music industry and how you can use it for your advantage. With these branding ideas, you have no excuse to not promote your album as hard as you can!