How to use advertising to promote an album online

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Releasing music can be a liberating feeling. After spending months in the studio now is time to release what you’re working on. There are lots of ideas floating around the internet about how to promote your music and it can get overwhelming. But in this article I'll share with you my experience with one. Advertising.

Advertising is paying a publication to drive traffic to your iTunes page. This with the hope of converting that click into a paying music fan. Using advertising can give your album or single a boost in awareness. If done successfully you can make back your initial investment. If done poorly you can loose money and become frustrated.

In July 2012 I released a compilation called “The survey riddim” a dancehall album with various artist singing on the same beat. There are a few things I did which is simple and easy for anyone to do.

Pick a medium to reach your ideal music fan

To get started you’ll need to pick a medium that will reach the fans of your music that will actually buy it. For this release I wanted to target persons in the USA. The site I made an agreement with was fusemix.com. Fusemix.com is a Christian lifestyle blog. They post news and updates about music and Christian entertainment in general. So it was a good fit to try. I knew one of the guys working with the site. This made the promotion deal happen.

The banner ad was just a smaller version of the album cover with the words buy now on iTunes with a link to the iTunes page. It cost me around $US30 for the banner ad for one month.

Have a goal for your ad

For advertising to work you must have a realistic goal in mind. At the time I didn't have any goal. This was due to my inexperience with marketing in general. This banner ad was just an experiment. So if you plan to spend say US$500 on advertising. Keep the cost of producing the album in mind when you set your goal. IF your production cost is $1000 – $3000 then your sales goal can be $3500.

This target will help you to know whether the ad is working yes or no. Once sales reach your target, anything above that would be profit. This will make your efforts fruitful. And you have the money to make another album or at least pump more money into promoting it.

Results from my ad

Looking back at it now proved that the ad worked. I never knew back when I ran it because I didn’t know much about marketing. I was just trying random stuff and it wasn’t consistent. Running the ad on a Christian entertainment blog was the perfect fit for my compilation. The result  was close to $US100 for a ad that cost $30 that ran for 1 month. The investment was worth it and I should do more of it. So I missed the opportunity to push the release even further and get the most out of it.

Lessons

For a marketing campaign to work you need to give it more time. I would run the campaign for at least 3 – 6 months to give the ads more time to produce the results I want. As well as expand the amount of sites I use. The issues with reggae gospel is that their is no dedicated music blog for our genre so going broad in terms of entertainment, lifestyle, urban gospel publications are the perfect fit to find out audience.

In addition to blogs using social media sites to advertise can be added to the mix as well. Just try them out and see what works for you to reach your goals.


If you have ever used advertising to promote your music let me know how it goes in the comments below.

Comments

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