A marketing plan is the heart of any profit-oriented business. It doesn’t matter if you are a great musician with a killer voice and rocking beat. If you don’t have an organized marketing strategy, you might also be freestyling in your bathroom. A marketing plan gets your music out there, at the right time, to the right audience, and towards your definite aim. I have meticulously written out the steps you can take in creating an efficient music marketing plan.
This article will explore and expand on the following areas;
- What is a marketing plan?
- Why do you need an efficient music marketing plan?
- Steps to creating a marketing plan
What Is A Marketing Plan?
Proper planning is a predictor of success. Jumping into anything without proper planning is a plan directed towards failure. In our current world, marketing keeps getting wider in scope such that everybody wants to get ahead of others. Planning ensures that the objectives, aims, and goals are explicitly defined. Planning gives direction. Writing a marketing plan is just a way of ascribing focus and oversight to your product marketing.
A marketing plan provides details on the strategy a company or an individual will employ in marketing their product or services to customers. A marketing plan should feature some factors: target market, the value of the brand, the tactics to use, etc. There are some features of a good marketing plan that people commonly refer to as the 7 Ps: price, product, promotion, packaging, place, positioning, and people. You will need to put this at the corner of your mind as I will be taking you through what you need to create your efficient music marketing plan.
Why Do You Need An Efficient Music Marketing Plan?
Creating marketing plans can indeed be very boring and tiring. Most times, we want to act without having to go through the tiring planning rigours. Well, when it comes to music, and efficient marketing plan is not dismissable. You will need a creative marketing plan so that your creative music will not go to waste. Music is all about creativity; creativity makes music, creativity sells it.
An efficient music marketing plan is the pointer that directs you towards your objectives. It gives direction to your strategy. The marketing plan entails everything that will go down before your music could get to your audience. Your music marketing plan will help you avoid uncertainties and eventualities. With an efficient music marketing plan, you will have a clear-cut direction on what you want to achieve with your music.
A marketing plan increases your chances of productive marketing operations. This is because it helps to coordinate and structure activities. It can facilitate the achievement of objectives in the long run. With an effective music marketing plan, you will be able to balance resources together with market opportunities. So, you will reflect on the future of your music systematically with the aid of a music marketing plan.
It would help if you also had a music marketing plan to be the framework for a progressive review of present and future operations. An efficient music marketing plan will help you enhance performance, focus on strengths, and open up fresh opportunities. A music marketing plan will reduce the risk of failure and adverse consequences.
Steps to Creating an Efficient Music Marketing Plan
Alright, here we are! Before we go into the step-by-step guide to create a marketing plan, you must know that it is not spontaneous. You have to set aside some quality time to research the present market structure. Do your homework on your audience, collect needed data, think systematically and strategically.
That being said, let’s get right into it!
Step 1: Establish Your Goals
An efficient music marketing plan devoid of a clear and defined purpose is futile. So, it would be best if you had a question at the back of your mind that your marketing plan will answer. Precisely what do you aspire to accomplish? It is a common saying that when the purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable. So, after you’ve defined your purpose, you then have to establish feasible goals. It will shift your marketing scheme from reactive to proactive.
For instance, if the purpose of your music marketing plan is to sell your latest album, you must have a goal. How many purchases do you hope to reach? What is the time frame you’re giving yourself? Try as much as possible to avoid ambiguity or vagueness while making your goals. Your goal must be explicitly defined, feasible, timed, and measurable. This is important so that you won’t find yourself marketing aimlessly without direction.
Step 2: Define Your Brand
This step is a determinant in your music career. Every music marketing plan you employ will stem from how you have defined your brand. Yeah! It might be convenient to fold your hands and let your music define itself, but I tell you that might not favour you in the long run. You have to take out time to give answers to these questions: who am I? What do I stand for as an artist? It will save you from instability and some confusion down the road.
Of course, you can make some stylistic changes down the road. However, the foundation will always be your answer to the questions above. It doesn’t mean that the outward expression of your brand will not evolve along with your artistry. However, that critical question of why you do what you do should always be there as your foundation, irrespective of how many visual or stylistic changes you go through.
Typically, your music goes through visual and stylistic changes along the line, but your brand is what will guide and define you. Nobody is an island of knowledge. Examine the brand of artist you admire and love. Look at what stands them out. If those things align with your aim and goals, you can use their branding as a template for yours.
Ruminate on what matters the most to you as an artist. Answer these questions:
- What is the driving force behind your music career?
- What are your core values?
- How do you want to differentiate yourself from others?
- How do you want people to feel when they listen to your music?
- What reactions do you want to get from people when they hear your name?
- Conclusively, your brand should properly merge these two things: what you want and what your audience wants.
Step 3: Define Your Audience
This is a question that musicians must answer before thinking of creating their music marketing plan. Who is my target audience? A common mistake among musicians is that they define their brand, their mission, and their drive before they define their audience. That is just like placing the cart ahead of the horse. It is detrimental.
Know your target environment. Determine how many people are in that demography before going ahead with anything. Note that every other thing springs from and depends on your audience. The kind of people you seek to attract determines how you will place or pitch yourself. It doesn’t mean you won’t have a mind of your own. However, your audience must be at the centre of your marketing approach. You can’t use the same strategy to attract both teenagers and people in their 40s.
You might be wondering how you can define your audience specifically. Here are some tips to direct you:
- Determine the demographic characteristics: gender, age, income distribution, education level, marital status, etc., of people that listen to your genre of music.
- Determine your audience psychographics: affiliations, interests, and favourite activities.
By figuring out these two things, you will get a better understanding of your audience. Then, you can make an audience persona. This audience persona is a rough sketch of those you’d prefer to listen to your music; your ideal audience.
Step 4: Define Your Marketing Channel and Tactics
This step is like the actual action plan for your music marketing. What channel, mediums, and platforms will you use to promote your music? Since you can’t just go about distributing handbills, you have to define the most effective medium to market your music.
This reason is why it is paramount to define your audience first. Your marketing channel will be based solely on your audience’s interests. We are in what people call the computer age. Technology has taken over nearly all sectors of life. This fact makes defining your marketing channel easy. All you have to do is find out what social media, websites, blogs, and accounts your audience hangs out on.
Whatever you do, put in mind that every tactic you employ in your marketing plan should be measurable and have a direct link to your goal. Draft out your approach to each channel, medium, and tactic daily, weekly, and monthly. You can try to read relevant books to help you in this regard. Ensure that you monitor and evaluate your efforts minimally once a week.
Step 5: Create Your Reasonable and Realistic Budget
Budgeting is a factor you can’t leave when creating an efficient music marketing plan. The growth of any music career will depend not only on time but also on money. Planning around a reasonable budget is vital. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself making unreasonable decisions borne out of worry or anxiety and unavoidably falling short of your goals.
Estimate the cost of each item on your action plan in terms of both money and time. Look at how much those channels you’ve earlier estimated will cost you. Not everyone will help you for free. Most times, having enough money can make your marketing journey smoother. You will be surprised at how many doors money can open for you in the music industry. Hence, a realistic budget is essential when creating an effective music marketing plan.
I also recommend that you figure out the approximate cost of each of these channels as regards promotion. For instance, you can email a few top targets on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, SoundCloud, and some music blogs. Ask for the cost of their paid promotion packages cum analytics.
You should request the no of views/plays you can expect on average from each promotion. Then you will be able to identify the “cost per view/listen” (CPV). This CPV will be a crucial metric when you distribute your marketing budget.
Step 6: Create Your Music Marketing Plan
After going through these processes, as mentioned above, you can now proceed to create your music marketing plan. An ideal marketing plan is more comprehensive than what a musician needs. Hence, you skip the unnecessary sections like a mission statement or SWOT analysis.
I advise you to stick to the following when creating your music marketing plan:
- Marketing plan
- Goals: Primary goals and Secondary goals
- Core skills
- Target audience
- Audience persona
- Brand: Values, Aesthetic, Musical inspiration, Slogan/motto
- Marketing channel and budget
Note that all these things have been discussed extensively in the previous steps. All you have to do is bring them together to form your effective music marketing plan.
If you meticulously and diligently follow these steps, I’m sure you now have an efficient music marketing plan. You are giving your music a chance to reach its target audience without overshooting your budget. Yeah! It might take a lot of effort to put the plan together, but the results are worth your while. Remember, if you fail to plan, you’re merely planning to fail. So, put in the required effort into marketing your music and enjoy the benefit in the long run.