Music Promotion Vs Marketing
By Harrison Welshimer
There tends to be a good deal of confusion between promotion and marketing among musicians. This article is designed to clear the waters.
I think of promotion as the what. This what is often associated with a product or show/event. The message is quite simple. It explains the what, when, where and price with a call for action at the end.
For example, let's say you're on Facebook and you want to let your fans know about an upcoming CD release show. Your message will sound something like this, "Hey guys, it's been a whirlwind 3 months, but we are stoked to announce the new album is ready. We want you to celebrate with us at the Bluebird Theater on August 30th! Buy your tickets here" (hyperlink "Buy Your Tickets Here"). Simple, short, and it has a call to action.
Marketing, on the other hand is more like messaging. It's not the "shout out" that promotion is. Think of marketing as your why. Marketing explains your reason for doing what you do, saying the things you say, playing the style of music you play.
Now, I'm not saying you're going to get on Facebook and explain why you play music every single day - that message is for your bio, press release kit, etc. But in your daily interaction with your fans, the message you send should always be in character with the band's beliefs, ideals - it should match the brand and image you've created.
An example is the band I manage, Petals of Spain. They have a very holistic view of life and their messaging reflects that. A post from them sounds like, "What positive experience did the universe give you today? We felt incredible synergy during our rehearsal today. Please, share your experience."
The best uses of promotion and marketing are when you use them together. When you have something worthy of promotion, combine the message and the "shout out." Using our two examples above, it could sound something like, "What positive experience did the universe give you today? We felt incredible synergy during our rehearsal today. The vibes are strong for a great show at the Bluebird Theater on August 30th. We want to share this energy with you. RSVP by clicking here."
In summary, think of music promotion as your what. It revolves around a selling point and asks for action. Music marketing is your messaging. It's your why and gives people a reason to care.
For more information on effective social media marketing, I encourage you to read "Online Music Marketing Tips" on my blog, MusicMunch. If you have any questions, please visit my website MusicMunch.com for band and artist management help.
Alright, see ya' at the next jam!