What makes a music release stand out?
Interviewee: María Muñoz
Project Manager at Melboss & Head of the Trends & Content Department
What’s the most important thing to do on release day?
Launching a song is not an easy task. For many, the thought of having to plan a complex release for a song, EP or album can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to understand everything that goes into creating and launching a project, before diving into it.
Music promotion does not start from the day of its release, but weeks or even months before. It’s essential to take the time to build a social media following of truly engaged users who are eager to consume your music. Be sure to nurture that community of fans who deeply enjoy your music.
The strategy that arises prior to the release should reach its peak on launch day. This can be done by sharing the new single with your followers while optimizing all your streaming platforms and social networks to get the most out of them.
Let everyone know that you are ready to “change their lives” with your new music!
What’s your favorite way to set up a single release?
Each release must be treated differently – I like to compare it to the work of a tailor.
The main thing to take into account when planning a release is having a clear story to tell.
Storytelling is a vital part of building a brand as an artist or band. The objective is to “sell” a musical product – to do so, it is necessary to connect with people, offering them something else. We, humans, yearn for stories.
To achieve this, we must delve into the artist’s mind to collect the entire story surrounding a song. Some questions that can help us are:
– What inspired you to write this single? Was it in response to something significant that happened in your life?
– In what personal and professional state were you when you wrote it, and where are you now?
– What ideals do you intend to transmit through this music?
When piecing together a story, it is important to focus on truth and honesty. Your story is part of who you are; it is the reasoning behind everything you do.
Is it important to follow trends when releasing a single?
The music industry’s marketing machine is heavily geared towards young people, who respond favorably to new trends in culture. Likewise, musicians are members of society like everyone else and respond to social trends in the same way.
Despite the importance of keeping up with what the public is interested in, it is also important to stay true to yourself and create your own brand. Every trend has an origin – there is always a person behind each of them. Therefore, it is essential to also be able to generate new and innovative value propositions that people can join in the future.
Is the genre of your song important when devising a release strategy?
There is often an overlap in an artist’s genre influences, which makes labeling a song with only one genre quite tricky. For musicians and producers, this opens up the freedom to be creative when making music and not be bound by the limitations of the genre. Nowadays, listening based on mood is more and more preferred, instead of sticking to a specific genre.
Taking this as a starting point, we must analyze the potential audience for that music to understand their tastes and behaviors, and thus create a strategy appropriate to their needs. What does someone feel or want when listening to my music? How can I reach these specific people in the most optimal way?
In your opinion, what are the 3 most effective ways to promote a single?
There are countless ways to promote a single. However, for emerging artists with fewer resources, there are 3 key steps that should always be followed in order to maximize the potential of music releases:
1. Set up real-time notifications for your followers or fans
It is useless to generate marketing tactics for social networks, without making sure that they are truly reaching your audience. To do this, consider methods of notifying followers of new releases in real-time: a live stream on Instagram or TikTok, earmarking a specific budget to promote posts to ensure they are not escaping the algorithmic traps of social networks, etc.
2. Music networking
Ask your friends or close people for support! Although it seems like an obvious strategy, many artists sleep on it, unaware of its potential.
Chances are you have friends in similar-sounding bands or within your particular genre and scene. Personally inform your fellow musicians that your release day is approaching and ask if they would be willing to share a link and/or track with their fans and followers via social media. You can also offer to do the same for them when they release new music.
Similarly, you are likely to be a member of Facebook groups, forums, instant messaging groups… Be sure to share a link with these people on launch day and encourage them to pass it on. Just make sure that those people you contact have a predilection for your musical style or have friends who might be interested in your new music.
3. Drive engagement with a custom action
How do you get people to truly connect with and engage with your music in a more personal way?
Contests and challenges are a great way to drive organic engagement and draw attention to new releases. You know your fanbase better than anyone, so be sure to tailor your strategy specifically to what you think they’ll interact with.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when brainstorming. For example, if your song revolves around the city of Paris, invite your followers to share photos or videos of themselves in “the city of love” with a custom hashtag. Anything fun and engaging will capture your fans’ imagination and get them excited to participate.
As well as the concepts themselves, the prizes really run the gamut. Something as simple as a custom video, concert tickets, merchandise or exclusive access to music content, is probably enough to motivate fans to participate.