Please, don't release your music into the abyss. Here's what to consider when creating a context for your new music release.
There are hundreds of ways to release new music. The surprise release, the exclusive release, the free release, the crowdfunded release - we could go on.
Common for these strategies is the final objective. Often these strategies aim to maximise reach, fan engagement and the subsequent revenue.
Before you decide how you will release and promote your new album, you have to figure out where your fans or potential audience is and how you can engage with them in that space. Then you also have to figure out how (and where) your audience wants to pay for your music.
First Things First
How do you reach and engage with your fans and potential audience? Releasing your music is not just about uploading it on Spotify or wherever else you might want it. That will only make it possible for your potential audience to listen to your music, however, it's unlikely that they will. There are about 20,000 songs uploaded to Deezer every single day - we can only imagine how many is released across all streaming services combined.
Thus, releasing your music effectively does not begin with the streaming services. It begins with building a story around the release, a story the potential audience can and will buy into, in a space where you can easily engage with them. That way, you avoid releasing music into nothing but rather into the community context it needs in order for it to be shared and consumed.
In today’s music market, the story about you and your music is most effectively build and shared through social media, whose algorithms emphasise the visual content rather than sound only. But, promoting your music is not just shouting about it for days on Facebook. It’s about creating and sharing meaningful visual content that helps make sense of your new music.
There are specific types of visual assets that have proven to be especially effective in creating meaningful content for the channels your audience engage with, e.g. cover art, cover art and pack shot animation, GIF based lyric videos, animation music videos, artist and track bios, playlist collaborations. These types of assets can be developed to fit your Facebook cover, Instagram stories, YouTube channel, etc. to optimise the experience.
These are just a handful of the visual assets needed to drive an engaging release campaign across all relevant channels. The challenge is to plan the development of these assets and utilise them in the most effective way, which in this context means; optimised for engagement and relevant for your story.
How do you engage the audience via this story you’re trying to tell? We here at Banders think the best way to do it, is to invite them to help you build that story. Some examples of innovative fan engagement shows how you can drive the most impactful release campaigns by getting your audience to help build the visual content that drives it.
Build Your Campaign Step-by-Step
The first thing to consider before starting to develop visual assets, is the creative direction, style and general ‘mood’ that fit the music release. It is very common to develop a mood board of your inspirations consisting of different images, colours, patterns, do’s and dont’s etc. It’s especially useful to be able to present such a mood board when you need to collaborate with others to develop the visual content. This is where we believe that the 'others' should be your existing or potential audience to optimise engagement.
Secondly, when working with others to develop assets for your release, you need to think about a budget. Do you want as many different assets as possible or highest quality as possible - where’s the balance? Do you want your whole release budget to be spend on the development of visual assets, that you can be share with your audience or do you need to budget for other promotional activities as well? Regardless, you need to set targets in order to monitor your spend and make sure your release is evolving effectively.
Thirdly, when you have the mood board to advise the creation of visual content and the budget to spend doing it, you need to start planning the actual creation and exploitation of it. A good way to monitor the development is by building a timeline. The timeline should be used to guide the lead time of the asset creation, the delivery date and finally the strategy for sharing these assets on the digital channels to accompany your new music release.
One way to easily source and administrate the above steps is through the Banders go-to-market Roadmap builder that you can get started on here. The Banders roadmap is build to engage your potential audience in the actual development and sharing of the visual assets needed. Which means, it’s a tool that helps your source co-creators, monitor the release and engage your audience. This is built to maximise the community context for the new music release, thus allowing you to release your music effectively by getting your audience behind your music from day one.
If you get started now, you will also get free consultation on how to build your roadmap by the Banders team.
Are you not sure how best to begin your roadmap yet? Schedule a call with one of our team members to chat about your development and figure out how where you should begin.
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