Wow – 2020. We’re entering a brand new decade, and often it can feel very overwhelming to keep up with the ever-changing new music industry. That’s why we have compiled a list of 20 Music Marketing Predictions for 2020 to help get you started!
Strap in because we’re going to cover everything from social media and branding to networking and Spotify playlists!
Music Marketing Predictions for Social Media and Websites
Director of Social Media & Design
1) TikTok – The New Music Discovery Platform You Never Knew You Needed
From dance challenges, to riff challenges, to lip syncing – TikTok is a total music hub for music marketing this year. Joining in on some of the sillier stuff is fun and can help grow your page, but promoting your music on here is essential. There are over 500 million users on this platform just waiting to hear your tracks. Create a new dance challenge for your song, make a funny skit surrounding your lyrics – just have fun with it! Make sure to use relevant hashtags as well as trending ones. And ALWAYS use #fyp to get on the For You page for maximum exposure.
2) One-Page Scroll Websites Are IN
2020 is the year to ditch the pages and navigation bar. Data is showing that users are more likely to scroll on the first page they see rather than click around your website to find what they’re looking for. If you’re married to having a navigation bar – that’s fine! You can have that navigation click auto-scroll to the section on your one-page site that the user was looking for.
3) Use IGTV to Help Grow Your Instagram
With Instagram’s 2019 update of their Explore page, it is easier than ever to find an IGTV channel. There isn’t much SEO that is involved in these videos – so your best bet is posting as much as possible with relevant titles. Happy posting!
4) Micro-series Keep Your Audience Engaged
Keeping your social media audience engaged is harder than ever with all of the new algorithms. A micro-series is a great way to keep your followers coming back for more. Select one day a week that you’ll post a part of your series (Instagram Live, an IGTV series, posting covers for #musicmonday, etc.). Make sure to mention when your followers can expect the next one so they’ll be sure to tune in!
5) Audio is EVERYTHING
In this audio-driven world, podcasts are thriving. Pick a key pillar of your brand (it doesn’t even need to be about music!), and come up with a podcasting strategy. Post these weekly or bi-weekly on all streaming platforms and promote them to your audience on socials. You didn’t hear it from us – but podcasts are starting to beat out tracks on some streaming platforms, so get on this train early while you still can! (PS: We use Libsyn to publish our podcasts to all platforms at once).
Music Marketing Predictions for Artist Development & Branding
Vice President, Branding Specialist
1) EPs Are Your Friends
To help develop your artistry, dropping smaller projects compared to full length albums will continue to be the trend for music marketing in 2020. Your audience will be given a better chance of digesting your project and giving it the attention it deserves because of the smaller track list. There is no music law that states artists have to drop a full length album after their debut EP. Some of the most successful and groundbreaking artists in the industry have created a strategy out of dropping multiple EPs with 5 songs or less.
2) Different Branding for Different Projects
Having a specific color story and branding style is important for every artist, but for this next decade, it’s time to give each project a life of its own. Changing up your color story, your font style, your clothing, and other branding strategies according to each project is an easy way to make a statement and remain memorable.
3) Connect with Other Artists
So many musicians come to us and say “How do I open up for *insert mainstream artist here*?” The answer is you have to work for it. To have a successful career, you can’t skip steps, and chances are the openers for Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish have been working towards that spot for 10+ years and likely had to open up for artists that no one has ever heard of at a bar that no one ever goes to. So, make connections NOW. Form relationships with other artists in your city and at your career level so that when they gain some traction and need an opener – you’re their first choice!
4) Build Your Mailing List
Most artists are going to read this prediction and skip over it, but the truth is your mailing list is the only thing you “own.” The Instagram followers that you’ve worked so hard to get can be taken away from you in an instant, but the mailing list you’ve built is yours. Most of the time, the fans who will buy your merch, stream your tracks, and buy tickets to your shows are the fans who subscribe to your mailing list, not the fans who like one of your tweets on Twitter. Put your energy in the right place this year.
5) Expand Your Markets
Start to think out of the box this year about what markets you can bring in with your music. Your genre and location are the traditional markets that each artist can bring in, but what else? What hobbies do you love? What communities do you take part in? Utilize these groups of people who, if given the chance, would fall in love with you and your music.
Music Marketing Predictions for Newsletter and Networking
Marketing and PR Specialist
1) Use Music Conferences To Grow Your Network!
This year make it a priority to go to as many conferences as you can! The industry professionals who show up to Music Conferences are there because they want to help and share their knowledge with you, so don’t be afraid of snagging some one-on-one time. That being said, these professionals are not at your disposal 24/7 just because they decided to attend the event so remain respectful of their boundaries and their time. If they are on a business call that is NOT the time to approach and try to connect, but if they just got off stage from their panel and you really resonated with something they said? Go for the introduction!
Try your best to make a genuine connection in person, they are typically much more open to establishing or continuing a relationship if they remember who you are and like you. You can have the best art in the world, but if you have a bad attitude people are not going to want to work with you. (P.S. Make sure to do your research BEFORE the conference. The people who are speaking at these events have worked hard to establish themselves. Walking up knowing who they are and what they do helps them know that you’re serious and have done your research – besides, everyone likes to feel special sometimes.)
2) The 24 Hour Rule is Your Golden Rule
When networking with industry professionals or other musicians, grab a business card and follow up via email within 24 hours of your connection. We cannot stress how crucial this is! You want to connect electronically while your shared interaction is still fresh in their mind. Don’t just leave their business card sitting on your desk collecting dust and email them weeks down the road when you need something. Networking is ALL about creating and nurturing relationships. Remind them who you are and what you talked about so there’s no question about who is emailing them. It’s better to cover your bases and have them say “Yes, of course I remember you!” then sit there trying to figure out who you are. As always, keep your interaction short, sweet and to the point. (You can share your card with them if you have one, and while they almost certainly will not use your business card to initiate contact with you it is a way of showing you are prepared, serious and have your brand together. Since you are most likely going to be the one following up, make sure you get theirs!)
3) We’ll SEO You On The Blog
Your SEO is the way people find your content online. You want to make sure that you are using your specific keyword enough, but not too much, in each post. The magic number is between 6 and 8 times per blog post/article. Yoast is our preferred SEO system for support here at CyberPR. It integrates nicely with WordPress and has free and pro versions to help you maximize your traction and define your keywords! If your website is not hosted by WordPress, here is a list of other SEO optimization resources you might find useful!
4) It’s All About The Hook
So you’ve spent all this time growing your mailing list but just like you need a catchy hook in your single to grab listeners, you now need a catchy subject line to grab readers of your newsletter! In our fast-paced consumerist society, attention spans are dwindling quickly. The more captivating your subject line, the higher your open rate will be. The higher your open rate, the more sales you will make because despite all of the stress on social media, your Newsletter is still where the majority of money can be made – this is where your superfans are. Your subject line is the first thing your subscribers will see and you want them to WANT to read it. For tips on how to construct a good subject line, check out this article on Hubspot.
5) Create A Consistent Schedule For Newsletter Blasts
There are different arguments for how often you should be sending out your newsletter or posting on different platforms when consulting different music marketing outlets. The one thing we like to stress here at CyberPR is regularity! Sure, in theory it sounds great to say you will send out a newsletter each week, but that’s not mandatory for success and for some people it just isn’t feasible. The most important part is that you construct a regular schedule that is realistic for you to stick to. If you release a Newsletter every Wednesday people can start to look forward to this because they know what to expect from you and when! Can’t handle a weekly newsletter? Don’t sweat it. Maybe releasing one on the first of each month is a better system for you! It doesn’t matter how you build your schedule all that matters is that you build one and stick to it. If you just send out random blurbs, people are never going to be able to get into a groove of keeping up with you and you will probably get lost in their inbox.
Music Marketing Predictions for Mindset, Marketing & Spotify
1) Educate Yourself on All Thing Spotify
Often we’re shocked go to check out an artist’s online presence and discover that they have ignored their Spotify. It is not only your job to keep your profile fully updated but it’s also your job to understand how to submit to the Spotify Playlist Curator and how to run a Spotify pre-save campaign What is predictable is that more things will need to be mastered in 2020 that will be Spotify related so keep checking back here on this blog for updates.
2) Remember Your Thoughts Are Powerful
This advice is not really cutting edge for 2020 but it is absolutely essential to your overall success. If your mindset is negative and your inner voice says things such as “I’ll never make money” or “That band sucks, they don’t deserve all the accolades they get” you need to check yourself. Try instead to think “I may not be making the exact amount of money at this moment that I desire but that will grow”. And if you know an artist or band who is succeeding say to yourself “That’s for me!” not “They suck” – your thoughts are powerful and if your mindset is negative your outcome will be as well.
3) Make No Mistake – We Live in A Singles World
We know you are really proud of the 11 tracks you just recorded and you want them all out in the world now – but don’t let your impatience sabotage a good, long-term strategy. Singles are how the music bloggers and playlisters want to accept music. This will compound as playlists continue to be the way new fans discover music and platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, etc. grow. You must teach yourself to release and market your music as singles. Of course you can bundle them all up and release EPs and albums too but only after you have released multiple singles first.
4) If You Don’t Control Your Fans – You Don’t Control Your Career
We touched on this earlier but it is worth repeating – you know you don’t own your Instagram feed right? You do know it is owned by Facebook (yep, the same company who may have allowed marketers to manipulate foreign governments to weaponize it and use it against us on a global scale) So, why are you so invested in it? Instead of spending endless time face-tuning and searching for the perfect angle and hashtag clouds – get down to brass tacks and build your email list.
5) You Should Also Build Your Text Message List
You may have noticed a lot of artists including OneRepublic, The Jonas Brothers, Paul McCartney, JoLo, Kehlani, Cage The Elephant (and hundreds more) started asking fans to text them. Why? Because this is the most direct and effective way to communicate one on one with superfans. Think about your percentage of email newsletter opens vs. how many people text you back – see :)? To get started check out Textedly. Yes it will cost you a few bucks, but your fans are yours to keep forever (unless they change their mobile numbers).
Thinking about a Marketing Plan for your next release? Jamie and Jenn are your go-to gals. Click the images below to schedule a time to chat with them.