Here are the first 50 ways to promote a single that came to mind (in no direct order and definitely not in order of importance) –

  1. Lyric Video
  2. Create recognizable artwork
  3. Debut the song at a show before it’s released
  4. Lock in the right premiere partner
  5. Give the song to your super fans early via text
  6. Moving visualizer with the artwork (never static)
  7. Get YouTube promoter channels to post it
  8. Shoot a music video
  9. Create a trailer and or behind the scenes content from the music video
  10. Send out a modern press release to friends and press contacts
  11. Design a t-shirt or other merch for the single
  12. Utilize social banners to direct traffic to the song
  13. Capture live footage at a show and repurpose it with the single in the background
  14. Utilize a press partner to do a social takeover at the shoot
  15. If it’s an acoustic song, create a remix. If it’s a produced song, create an acoustic version.
  16. Regardless of the above point, commission remixes
  17. Redeliver the single with a new feature
  18. Shoot a video of how the song came to be (can also capture this in real time i.e. Songs from Scratch)
  19. Create a studio shoot (i.e. In the Room)
  20. Instastory that swipes up
  21. Get influencers to post the song or a video with the song in the background and tag the artist
  22. Get the single synced in TV, movies, advertising, etc.
  23. Annotate the lyrics on Genius
  24. Send the fans an e-mail newsletter
  25. Write a catchy headline and seed it with the press… Something that will grab attention. Here’s one that got me a year ago.
  26. Do a pop-up show to perform the song in a public or private location
  27. Send the song to DJ promo lists to get it played in the club
  28. If you’re not on a label, find a radio promotion partner
  29. Take out a billboard that makes onlookers double take
  30. Make an artist playlist and put the song at the top
  31. Submit your song to playlist forms and relevant curators
  32. Send a message to fans via PandoraAMP and set as focus track
  33. Set as Spotify’s Artist Pick
  34. Utilize SubmitHub to reach more blogs and get feedback on the single
  35. Exchange soundcloud reposts with other artists
  36. Shazam the song from the artist’s profile with a message
  37. Run digital ads against similar artists
  38. Go live on instagram when the song premieres
  39. Do a contest to reward sharing
  40. Create memes utilizing pop culture moments
  41. Shoot collaborative content with influencers specifically geared around the message of the single
  42. Hire a publicist
  43. Write a list of the 50 most important people in your network (could be friends and family at first) who need to hear the song and will support the movement over time. Share it with them.
  44. Find creative ways to express gratitude to those that support the single
  45. Do a listening party
  46. Encourage fans to create UGC around the single with specific calls to action
  47. Identify priority international markets and a strategy to reach fans there
  48. Incorporate it into the tour name
  49. Pick a release date that markets itself, like Smino’s album release date being his hometown’s area code.
  50. Make sure the story of the song has THE SAUCE… Not just a headline, but an actual shareable story directly tied to the brand identity and the career the artist aspires to have. If it makes people curious, it can build an artist brand – Here’s a great example.

The bottomline is checking all these boxes and securing each and every opportunity will only be as meaningful as the talent of the artist, the quality of the song, and the X FACTOR behind why people should care. You must hook them.

So what did I miss?

Our company has a release template we follow for each single / ep / album release. I didn’t refer to it to write this post, but I am interested in what’s missing from above – What’s been your best or favorite single release tactic? Looking forward to hearing from you!

One Comment

Alekblik
alekblik
June 29, 2018 1:07 am

We’ve established a sticker marketing campaign through an artist’s live performances. Each show comes with the release of an exclusive sticker, only available to the first selected number of fans who purchase tickets. Looking forward, we hope to create a culture around these stickers (like baseball cards) and utilize them as a means for fans to reflect on their experience at each event. We believe the value of a collection will help our artist’s audience feel as if they are part of the growing movement. As more stickers are collected, it creates a memory of the journey, together.

Using this model, we’re interested in developing a similar strategy for each song release.

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