How to Use Growth and Traditional Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Artist Profile

Strategy in general, and marketing strategies in particular, are key for artist development because they keep everyone on the artist’s team aligned and working together towards future goals. While traditional marketing can be thought of as ‘one-off’, growth marketing strategies are grounded “in finding repeatable and scalable campaigns or processes that drive a marketing outcome”. Here’s why it’s becoming increasingly important to apply traditional and growth marketing strategies to building your artist profile. 

Growth marketing strategies are about creating a funnel of ‘sales leads’ of interested fans who you can nurture towards purchases of your music, merchandise, tickets, and so forth. Typically in the music industry, this is thought of as building your subscriber database, however, it’s rare to see thought as to how to grow this subscriber database applied beyond an email capture on the artist site. 

In order to define and create your funnel, you need to understand your goal. Let’s consider the goal of capturing newsletter subscribers in a broader sense: A targeted user sees an ad for a Livestream on Facebook > they are directed to a website landing page > they make a ticket purchase. This sequence could end here or it could continue. Here’s what it might look like if you further define your funnel: New fan makes ticket purchase > Newsletter Subscriber Pop-Up Window > Fan Subscribes > Start Email Welcome Series > Retargeting ads begin online. 

You’re not limited to just one funnel. You can apply this thought process to your YouTube account (for example, subscriber prompts on cards at the end of your videos) and other creative tactics. However, with your funnel’s clearly defined you can focus on growing your database of quality leads, which is where your more traditional marketing strategies will come into play. By concentrating on sharing exceptional content, growing followers, and optimizing engagement you’ll have the opportunity to share who you are as an artist - and a burgeoning audience you can market to just like in the funnels outlined above.

In terms of your traditional marketing strategies, first, ensure your artist brand is defined. Creating brand definition is one of the most definitive acts of artist marketing. Your artist brand is the essence of who you are, whereas marketing is the message you use to build awareness for your brand, products, and services. A brand is a promise of consistency to fans, and it should be demonstrated in everything you do to help reinforce that consistency. While a brand is certainly reflected in a logo, your fonts, and color choice, above all else those brand assets exist to reinforce to fans what they should expect of every interaction they have with you. 

With your brand defined consider your content. Content pillars help to further create brand definition. There is more to you than being a songwriter or producer, as humans, we’re all multi-dimensional. This is why a musician should never just talk only about music. Fans invest in you because they’re invested in you. This means in addition to sharing your music, your merch, and your touring news, you should also share your views on the world: what makes you tick and what’s important to you. Ideally, you’ll want to ‘fill’ 4-5 content ‘buckets’. With music and promotion forming two of those buckets, it’s left up to you to determine what defines those remaining. What do you stand for? Who is important to you? What do you advocate for? 

This content marketing tactic of defining and producing content that fills your content buckets specifically helps to grow your followers. Followers are important because they are ‘fans’ who have expressed an initial desire to interact with you, creating more opportunities for engagement. These followers (or fans) also have the potential to become your customers as they hear news of music releases, merch, or touring which you’ve shared with them across your social media. Just as importantly, they represent an opportunity to build your owned data and ad audiences as they engage with you more across multiple platforms. 

Implementing marketing strategies that encourage your followers to engage with your brand content online is key because the more engaged a follower is, the more likely they are to move through the funnel from ambient fan to engaged fan to mega fan. Furthermore, somewhere between the transition from ambient to the engaged fan is where you will see an upswing in email subscriber rates. Your goal is always to be moving fans further down the funnel, engaging your followers with content that delights, or targeting them with ads that have a specific goal outcome (such as further building your owned data).

In doing all of the above, break down your long-term goals into more manageable, measurable short-term goals. For example, your goal might be to grow your subscriber database by 50% this year. In order to achieve this, what mix of the above tactics will you apply to ensure success? Ensure you tie your goal of growing your artist profile to specific numbers, otherwise, they’re empty goals and the numbers have no relevance.

Lastly: MEASURE, TEST, MEASURE, TEST, and then do it all again. Eg., A/B test Subject Lines and Ad Creative to see what versions fans respond to most, research best posting times on socials to see whether scheduled times impact your engagement, or review your store data to see what fans are searching for (and then market those products). Both growth and traditional marketing strategies are most successful when you not only define your goals but when you measure and test the success of the tactics you apply to achieve those goals.

Growing your artist profile is rarely an overnight occurrence. It takes perseverance and a combined approach using digital marketing tactics including content, social, email, retargeting, SEO, and paid media. However by building your artist profile using a combination of traditional and growth marketing strategies you’ll continue to establish yourself as THE preferred source for what your fanbase indicates they need.

Author Bio: Dayna Young has 15+ years of global experience in music, entertainment, and leading creative teams to success. She is the Founder of Fred & Augustus and an expert in music marketing and digital artist development. Ultimately, what gets her up in the morning is the knowledge that she’s creating opportunities for artists.

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