Music marketing that actually works: the anatomy of a successful Show.co campaign

Effective music marketing tools
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8 tips to creating an effective Show.co music marketing campaign.

Last year CD Baby bought Show.co, a company that makes really great online marketing tools used by artists on Universal, Sony, Nettwerk Music Group, and more — and we’re making these tools available to CD Baby clients for FREE.

To market your music through Show.co:

  1. Log into your CD Baby member account
  2. Look to the right-hand side of the account dashboard
  3. Click on “Free Marketing Tools!”

Once you’ve created your account you can use Show.co’s suite of online marketing tools to:

  • Grow your Spotify following
  • Build your email list
  • Boost engagement on YouTube and SoundCloud
  • Host contests and giveaways
  • And much more

Where to begin?

I think that increasing your number of followers on Spotify is a good first goal for almost any artist. So start by testing a “Social Unlock” campaign where people can follow you on Spotify in exchange for “unlocking” some kind of special content.

This is an easy way to get a feel for Show.co, and you can use a single campaign to build both your Spotify following AND your email list, since anyone who doesn’t use Spotify can opt to give you their email address instead.

The images in this article illustrate this type of campaign in action. The band Smalltown Poets ran a “Social Unlock” campaign to build their Spotify following and email list.

So what kinds of content can fans unlock?

Almost anything you can dream up, including:

  • an MP3 or FLAC download
  • a PDF
  • an unlisted video link on YouTube or Vimeo
  • a hidden URL
  • a special Spotify playlist
  • a coupon code
  • free merch
  • VIP access to a live stream
  • tickets to a concert or meet-and-greet

When Ignition Records uses the “Social Unlock” tool to give away concert tickets, box sets, and meet-and-greets for clients like OASIS and Noel Gallagher, they often see crazy high conversion rates in the 80-90% range.

Show.co offers effective music marketing tools

In the campaign pictured above, Smalltown Poets saw a nearly 25% conversion rate, which — for those of you who aren’t in the marketing world — is impressive; so you don’t have to be a star artist or a household name to use Show.co successfully.

You just have to find a fun way to turn casual fan interest into action.

Show.co makes effective online music marketing easy if you keep these things in mind:

  1. Create curiosity — “Check out my new song” isn’t a very compelling call-to-action on its own. You need to build something extra into the message: urgency, humor, mystery, etc. Think of how your campaign can tell a part of your story or fulfill a fan’s desires, not simply trade a piece of content for a follow. For instance, Smalltown Poets’ campaign promised to unlock a live track on SoundCloud with the message “Hear the song that got us kicked off the stage!” How can you not want to click through?
  2. Focus on clarity — The description of your campaign and the call-to-action shouldn’t leave any room for confusion. If you want someone to follow you on Spotify in order to hear the song that got you kicked off stage, say “Follow us on Spotify to hear the song that got us kicked off stage!” Before you post a campaign, ask yourself whether or not a complete stranger would have all the information they need (right there on the campaign page) in order to take interest and take action.
  3. Enable email-capture on your campaigns whenever it’s available — Not everyone is active on Spotify, YouTube, or SoundCloud. No sense in turning those fans away when they get to your campaign page. Instead, allow them to leave an email address!
  4. Test your campaigns against one another — As a CD Baby client you can create as many campaigns as you want, and you can have ANY TWO of them active online at once. Play around, put a couple campaigns up for a few weeks or months, look at your Show.co analytics, measure results, make adjustments to existing campaigns, or use what you’ve learned for future campaigns.
  5. Pictures are important — Show.co is an elegant platform, so we give you an easy way to look professional even if you don’t have fancy photos; but visuals are huge when you only have a matter of seconds to make an impression online, so the better the imagery you bring to the table, the more likely your campaign will drive conversions.
  6. Choose an image that is very light or very dark in the center— When you design a campaign, you’ll upload an image that is displayed as the background for the campaign URL. The text for your campaign (for instance, “Follow us on Spotify to hear our new album before it’s released”) is displayed in the center of the page OVER that image. You can set the text to be white or black, but in order for it to POP on the page, you want the text to contrast with the portion of the image directly behind it.
  7. Play with the “blur” settings on the image — To add clarity to your messaging, you can blur the image behind your text, just for an extra bit of design control.
  8. Promote the campaign — Once you’ve published your campaign, tell the world (or a targeted portion of it) via social, email newsletter, your website, etc. If you’re seeing high conversion amongst your existing audience, consider paid promotions that can spread the campaign to a wider network.

Hopefully the above info gives you a basic foundation for building successful music marketing campaigns through Show.co. It might seem like a lot, but our tools are really intuitive, so get in there and play around!

CD Baby artists: start using Show.co today for free.

Not a CD Baby artist? Subscribe to Show.co HERE — or distribute your music through CD Baby and get Show.co for free.

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