Stage 1 involves attracting people’s attention to your music and social media accounts. Stage 2 involves engaging and nurturing your followers and subscribers to build a strong relationship with them. Stage 3 involves monetising your music and the people that you have attracted and nurtured into loyal fans.
“Anything that can be measured can be improved” – Michael Dell
At each stage of the funnel system, there are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that you can monitor to track results and analyse the performance of your music marketing campaigns.
This helps to identify which marketing activities are producing the best results so you can focus on improving them and eliminate activities that are not working.
Keys to Success
A successful music marketing strategy requires four key components: good music, unique branding, fan personas and a variety of promotional content.
There are many definitions of good music online, but I believe good music is music that is enjoyed by the fans and is also mixed and mastered to a high-quality sound.
A unique brand is a presentation that tells an authentic story about you through your music, a biography, stunning photos, music videos, active social media accounts, quality graphics, a user-friendly website and any other content that promotes your musical talents, personal beliefs and values.
The purpose of a unique brand identity is to stand out from the overcrowded music scene and become the centre of attention.
A fan persona is a detailed description of your target audience that clearly describes the common characteristics of the people who are most likely to enjoy your music and like your personality.
It tells you their demographics, psychographics, favourite artists, hangout locations and any information that can help you reach and connect with them.
You should know where your target audience hangs out, what motivates them to listen to your style of music, and how they discover and consume your style of music.
A variety of promotional content should include storytelling pictures, videos, blog posts and messages that appeal to your target audience as described in your fan personas.
For better results, all your promotional content must be high quality and tell your story to evoke a strong emotional response.
“Organize around business functions, not people. Build systems within each business function. Let systems run the business and people run the systems. People come and go but the systems remain constant” – Michael Gerber
The 3-Stage Music Marketing Funnel System
Stage 1: Awareness – Attract People and Create interest
The first stage of the music marketing funnel involves attracting a new audience that has never heard of you to know about you and your music.
The aim is to get the new audience interested in your music and your personality. Having well-researched fan personas will help you attract the right people who are most likely to be your fans.
You should focus all your marketing efforts on attracting only the people that fit your fan personas.
To attract a new audience that fit your fan personas you should distribute and promote your music and promotional content on platforms that your target audience use.
To reach your target audience you can run paid advertisements, get featured on blogs/magazines, get your music played on the radio, get interviewed on TV & Radio and/or get your music on streaming playlists.
If you make RnB music, for instance, your target audience is most likely to be found on RnB music blogs, RnB radio shows and RnB playlists.
Another effective method for reaching your target audience is to collaborate with music industry tastemakers and social media influencers to creative promotional campaigns.
To measure the success of Stage 1, the KPIs to monitor are the number of people reached, new social media followers and new website visitors. You should also monitor the number of music plays and video views, blog/magazine features, radio placements, playlist placements and interviews done.
Most social media platforms have built-in analytics that allows you to monitor the KPIs mentioned above. You can also use analytical and social monitoring tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixels, Sprout Social and HootSuite.
Stage 2: Nurturing – Build a Strong Relationship with Your Fans
The second stage focuses on building a strong relationship with your new audience and followers to turn them into obsessed, loyal fans.
You can achieve this by creating music and promotional content that appeals to them and evokes strong emotional responses in them. According to the scientist Dr Joe Dispenza, people tend to remember things and moments that evoke strong emotions in them.
When you consistently arouse people’s emotions, you develop a strong connection with them and thus likely to get them obsessed with you.
You want to get your fans thinking and passionately talking about you all the time.
To evoke your fans’ emotions, it requires a deeper understanding of their psychographics. You need to know their personalities, interests, beliefs, values, opinions and lifestyle.
If you have existing fans, you need to understand what they love about you and your music. You can learn this and their psychographics by reading their comments, interacting with them and doing surveys/polls.
This wealth of information will help you to continue making great music and creating valuable promotional content that your fans enjoy consuming.
Ideas for valuable promotional content include blog posts about your personal experiences, behind the scenes video shoot, pictures/videos doing fun things, pictures with fans, lyric videos, cover songs, interviews and playlists of your favourite songs.
You should consistently distribute and promote your content on your social media accounts and any other platform that your fans use.
You should also grow a mailing list by collecting email addresses of your fans and use it to share more exclusive and personal content with them.
The best way to grow your mailing list is to offer your fans something valuable for free in exchange for their email address. Example of things that may be valuable to your fans includes free song downloads, discount codes for tour tickets and free gifts.
Running contests and competitions is another great method of engaging your fans and collecting their email addresses. You can make them sign up to your email list for a chance to win something valuable.
To measure the success of Stage 2, the KPIs to monitor include social media engagement rate, number of new mailing list subscribers, newsletter open rate, newsletter click-through rate and returning website visitors.
You should also monitor the number of social media mentions, comments, shares, retweets and website bounce rate.
The Planx engagement calculator is a great tool for calculating social media engagement rate on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Twitch. The recommended mailing list management tools include MailChimp, Aweber, GetResponse, ActiveCampaign or Drip.
To create landing pages for collecting emails you can use Leadpages, Unbounce, Instapage or your website.
“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing” – W. Edwards Deming
Stage 3: Monetising – Convert Your Fans into Paying Customers
In the third stage, the main goal is to make money and a lot of it. Your music and fans are the assets that you must use to make money.
Everything you do in Stages 1 and 2 must be strategically aligned to help you make money in Stage 3. Don’t invest your time and money on things that won’t yield any income.
You can monetise your fans directly by selling them your music, merchandise, concert tickets and getting them to stream your music consistently.
You can also make money from businesses and brands who want to reach your fanbase or entertain their audiences with your musical talents. Live venues and event promoters will book you for live performances.
Companies who want to promote their products to your fans can pay you a lot of money to endorse their products. The more fans you have, the more money they are will to pay you. They benefit when your fans buy their products.
Music licensing and synchronisation is another great source of income. Getting your music placed on TV shows, movies, documentaries and commercials can generate anything from £1 to over £100,000.