If your dream is to turn your passion for music into a career, chances are you already know that a band’s job doesn’t end once you break down after a set. If you want your band to develop a fanbase (let alone make money), you must figure out how to promote your music.
Yeah, that’s right. These days, to be a successful musician, you have to learn some marketing 101. You can use many promotion tools to market your band, but here we will focus on niche marketing.
What is Niche Marketing for Bands?
Niche marketing focuses on a specific segment of customers (a niche). For musicians, it’s your audience. Rather than trying to focus all of your energy on advertising to everyone, you laser focus on a specific target audience to increase conversions and improve your Return on Investment (ROI).
One way to think about niches is to think about music genres.
Take rock music, for example. Saying you play rock music is vague. The rock genre encompasses everything from Poison power ballads to The Shins indie rock. However, if you specify that your band plays 80s pop rock, we can expect more Blondie than Disturbed.
If you put an ad out to target all rock listeners for your Cyndi Lauper tribute, chances are you will not get any traction with the hard rock/metal crowd or the classic rock folks. You only want to target those who enjoy 80s pop rock because they are the ones most likely to attend your concert.
The solution for marketing yourself as a musician is to build a niche marketing strategy for your band. Here is a guide on how to promote your music through nice marketing.
Successfully Promote Your Music with a Niche Marketing Strategy
A successful niche marketing strategy relies on understanding your target audience first and foremost. And to better understand your fans, you should have a clear outline of your own band’s niche.
Before we get into the specifics, it is important to remember that marketing to build followers is a better goal than trying to sell music. You want to win people over, and the best way to do that is to offer them something of value.
Once you understand your audience better, you will better understand what will appeal to them and convert them into a fan.
1) Understand Your Band’s Niche
The first step to appealing to potential fans is to wholly understand your band and its own niche. Consider what sets you apart from your competition.
Think about the things you do that are unique. What do you do differently from other bands in your genre? If you look at KISS, it’s fairly obvious what makes them stand out. But you don’t need to wear heavy stage makeup or masks if that is not your image.
Whatever it is that sets you apart is what is going to make your band so appealing to a specific subset of people. And when it comes time to promote your music, you are better off focusing on that small niche of people who are drawn to your “thing,” whatever it may be.
Remember, it is better to reach a smaller fanbase that sings your praises rather than a larger group of people who don’t interact with your content or even listen to your music.
2) Conduct Market Research on Your Audience
The best way to promote your music is to know who you are marketing to. When you know who makes up your audience, you can figure out how to promote your music effectively to those who will be most receptive.
Some things you will want to know about your audience include demographics like age, income, and location. You will also want to know about their physiographics. This information helps you understand who people are based on their values, desires, and behaviors.
You also want to go where your listeners are. Not literally, although it’s a good idea to plan tours and venues around where you already have fans. In this case, you need to know which social media platforms your fans use and utilize those spaces.
Typically you can make some rough assumptions once you know the age ranges of your current fans. If you attract a lot of Gen Z fans, for example, you should be utilizing Tik Tok to promote your music. Tik Tok is currently ranked as the favorite social media platform among teens.
You want to make sure that if you are going through the effort of marketing your music to your audience, they are actually there. Otherwise, it’s like you’re singing to an empty room.
Once you conduct market research on your current audience, you can begin to create personas.
3) Create Personas of your Fanbase
An essential step in marketing yourself as a musician is to create personas of your target audience. Personas are semi-fictional snapshots of what you consider your ideal fanbase. These personas utilize the information you learned while conducting market research to give your marketing efforts more of a tangible target.
For instance, if you are a local indie band, you might create a single persona based on a few people you know are fans of your music.
In this example, our Persona is named James, a local 26-year-old male.
He is college educated with a degree in communications. He enjoys reading, music, cats, and coffee. He views himself as a creative type and is more introverted than extroverted. He is bad at texting back, but he spends a lot of time scrolling Instagram.
This is a very simple example, but by creating personas using known demographics, you get a better idea of where to focus your marketing efforts and better ways to promote your music. From this information, we can assume that our persona James would be more interested in seeing an Instagram post about an acoustic gig at a local coffee shop vs. a Facebook post highlighting Battle of the Bands at a nightclub an hour away.
4) Strategize to Reach Segmentation
Why should you spend all this time doing market research and creating personas? It’s all an effort to promote your music to the people who will be the most valuable to your band.
Once you know which social media platforms your audience uses the most, you can better familiarize yourself with their segmentation tools. Depending on the platform, you can target a more qualified audience through both organic and paid methods.
For instance, if you determine Facebook is a platform to run ads highlighting your next concert, you can use the information you learned from your market research and personas to build out audiences in the Facebook Ads Manager.
If you want to try to get some organic traffic from Instagram, hashtags will come in handy. You can target both ads and organic posts just by having a better understanding of your fans’ interests and behaviors.
Learn How to Promote Your Music to Make Some Money
Even though we already said that your first interaction with potential audience members should not be to try to sell to them, your goal is to make money. Even if you plan on keeping your band as more of a hobby, you don’t want to lose money. And you want to provide something to your most diehard fans.
Once you feel as though you have a large enough audience to sell to, make some merch. Really. If your marketing efforts are successful and you have built an audience that loves your music, give them another way to support your band.
Whether you make a few t-shirts or just want some stickers for an Instagram giveaway, you should be selling merch online.
At MerchBooth.com, selling band merch online is even easier than developing a niche marketing strategy–guaranteed.
Merch Education Content:
How to Promote Music on Tik Tok
How to Promote Your Music with Niche Marketing