The Most Powerful Marketing Strategy For Music in the World & How To Implement It

I don’t think that Burstimo has talked about this powerful marketing strategy for music enough. 

How We Chose This Topic

The importance of this topic came about from a chat last week within the Burstimo team about how we can help artists to get a break.

We started at the absolute ground level and asked the question “How did you discover the artists that you love and want to go and see live?”.

We went around the room, and everybody gave the same answer.

Discussing the most powerful marketing strategy for music

It wasn’t Spotify.

It wasn’t Instagram or YouTube

It wasn’t radio or blogs

It was that a friend told me about them! That’s how we all became fans of our favourite artists.

That answer is so powerful as it gives you an end goal if you want to make it big time and sell out stadiums, you need to know how to instigate word of mouth.

 So today’s article is about the power of word of mouth when it comes to music marketing.

Why is this one marketing strategy for music so powerful?

Word of mouth works exceptionally well for music (and most industries really) because you trust the opinion of that friend who is telling about that artist and it is social proof the artist already has fans.

Upon finding the artist or track, you will listen to it with a completely different mindset to if you were just browsing through a playlist and stumbled across it.

Because your friend told you about it, the chances are you will listen to the whole track, and if you like it, you might listen to more tracks and find out more about them (if your friend hasn’t told it to you already).

When you get told about an artist, and you like them, it makes you feel comfortable sharing it too. As people naturally have a sheep mentality of if they see other people doing things, they feel comfortable doing the same.

In this regard, if someone tells you about an artist and you like them because your friend has recommended them and talked about them, you feel comfortable sharing it with more friends.

It won’t make you look stupid, because you know other people are talking about the artist and you are comfortable sharing your discovery.

Now certain personality types are more likely to tell others about their discovery before anyone’s ever told them and they just found them on Spotify. Those people are great. You do want them in your fan base. 

But the majority of the population need to feel comfortable saying something to someone else knowing that someone has already said it to them.

4 Tips to Successfully Implement This Marketing Strategy For Music

Here are four tips on how you can instigate word of mouth into your content and give yourself the best chance of breaking as an artist. 

Tip One: Inject Personality into Your Content

As an artist, you have to remember that its not just the music that people are interested in, but who you are and what you stand for.

Even amazing content in ads, Instagram profile or TikTok can fail if you cannot express who you are within that content. People become fans when they feel a connection. They might not get you straight away but need a few touchpoints for them to decide that they like you and want to talk about you.

Think about the last artist or content creator you really liked. How many times did it take you before you told someone else about them?

Even if you didn’t discover them through word of mouth, but on Spotify, you still would probably need to play a few songs, find out what the artist is about for two or three weeks before you feel confident enough to recommend them to a friend.

Having a strong personality and passion will make people want to come back and revisit you and is organically going to promote word of mouth.

Don’t be afraid of going extreme. You can be extremely relatable or extremely unrelatable where people idolize you. By picking an extreme, you are more likely to get attention and get people talking about you.

Tip Two: Live for the Live SlotsĀ 

Band playing live

Get yourself some live gigs. Obviously easier said than done at this time of writing, but after lockdown get out there and get in lots of live performances as people love talking about people they have seen perform live. Again, it is about connection, when people see you live you are building that connection and in all likelihood, they will come and see you again and next time bring their friends. When they initially tell their friends, they are planting seeds on your behalf.

If your performance is good enough, people will talk about the night because that’s what people do in conversations. People talk about events that they went to. So if a friend says what did you get up to at the weekend? 

You don’t say I discovered a great artist and listened to them on repeat all weekend. 

You talk about experiences; you talk about what you did outside of the home. You don’t want your life to sound boring to your friends. So you talk about what shows you went to, whether it’s bragging whether it’s a great experience, it doesn’t really matter. 

Your friend will ask ‘Who did you go and see?’

And when you tell them, they will probably look up the artist to see who you are raving about. 

Tip Three: Give People Something To Talk About

You can give people something to talk about, and it can be music related or a publicity stunt.

You could go and film a video in public, giving an impressive performance playing the piano in a crowded train station, which would make great social media content that people can share and comment on.

The best example of a publicity stunt I can think is Oasis. Maybe you have seen the Netflix documentary about them?

They had a big concert in the Netherlands, for which they had to take a ferry to reach. Their manager told them that this show would be their break.

What ended up happening was they started a fight on the boat, and it was with a big group of people. They got arrested and thrown off the ship (but got to their destination).

However, as they were arrested, they got sent straight back to the UK and no show! Their manager was furious.

Social media wasn’t around then. But the incident was covered by the newspapers and radio. Everyone knew that this band called Oasis from Manchester had been arrested for a brawl on a boat.

It was this incident that gave Oasis their break. Everyone wanted to know who they were, and they went and listened to their music, but also that brawl also represented their personality.

People got invested in their story and their personality from there. That publicity stunt did match what they were about as a band. 

And for me, that is the perfect example of things you can do. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying go and start brawls in shopping malls and wait for media fallout. Instead, think about what your brand is about and things that might get people talking about you and potentially news coverage.

Tip Four: Make People Feel Like They Know You

If you feel like you know someone on some kind of personal level, and you’re proud or identify with what they are achieving, you’re going to tell your friends about them. 

Again, like the experience of attending a live show, it’s kind of like a brag. So you want to be able to say, I know this person, and have you seen that they’re an artist that is breaking in and their followers are going up. 

So don’t be aloof with your content.

  • If people comment. Reply.
  • If people DM you. Reply.
  • You need to be able to have a conversation with people.
  • DM every new follower with something bespoke.

Make them feel like there is a conversation to be had, and that they can get to know you.

No, they’re not going to talk about you straight away from these actions, but when you release music and content, you’ll build up more of a rapport. They will keep seeing you come up on their social media feed.

Something to note is that you will appear higher on the feeds of those you have DMed and engaged with and also the same applies to Instagram stories. So, by DMing and having conversations with multiple people, you will expand your reach organically. 

But the main point here is that people feel like they know you, and they will introduce you to more of their friends and family and talk about you more. 

What are you going to do to make this marketing strategy for music work for you?

Let us know in the comments and be sure to visit again soon for more music marketing articles or our YouTube Channel for a whole host of ways to break as an artist.


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