While musical talent, great editing, and persistence are key to making a good album, you can’t deny the marketing component and promotional efforts play big roles when you want your album to make it big.
While doing some research for a blog post about music marketing, I stumbled upon a document titled Musically Made in 2015 containing some marketing cases, called The Year’s Best Music Marketing Campaigns.
To my surprise, this document contained cases from different genres, not only highlighting “mainstream” music. To spark your interest, I’ll be highlighting some cases from Bring Me The Horizon, Frank Carter and Iron Maiden. You should definitely still download the original document to read how Avicii used Instagram to promote his new “Stories” album, how One Direction used mobile activations to find their “loyal fans” or how Taylor Swift promoted her album Bad Blood by allowing users to upload a selfie and merging it with the single’s cover image. They may not be your thing musically, but there’s still good stuff there marketing-wise.
Bring Me The Horizon
With a team of 4 people and a campaign budget “Between £ 10,000 and £ 25,000”, RCA Records (Sony Music Entertainment) used Spotify to build awareness around the release of That’s the Spirit.
Eight days before the release of the new album, they released clips of new songs on Spotify, supported by a homepage takeover. This resulted in a few cool numbers:
- An increase of playlist following by 116%
- 140,000 Twitter engagements
- Homepage takeover was seen almost 2m times
- 2.6m streams in one day
After having officially formed for six months, Frank Carter and a team of 6 members used over £ 25,000 to promote the release of Blossom.
Frank Carter already had some fame from playing in Gallows and Pure Love, so the main goal during this campaign was to create awareness for loyal fans by targeted social media posts, giveaways and their own mobile app.
In a second wave, they tried to make a personal connection between the fans and the bands by conducting a Twitter Q&A, focusing on intimate concerts and venues, doing in-store signings during the release week, and releasing limited-edition, multi-colored vinyl releases.
They didn’t mention a lot of numbers in their case study; they only mentioned that their mailing list increased by 3,000 submissions. Another notable number is the audience demographic: 25% female and 75% male!
The marketing team for Iron Maiden’s The Book Of Souls album consists of 2 members. They had £ 25,000 at their disposal and focused on video teasers, because they wanted to retain as much mystery as possible around the release.
T released 19 clips, which gathered 1m views during the first day. A few weeks later - when the album was released - they were #1 in over 24 countries. This campaign also had a notable skew towards the male demographic at 75%.
New Order, the English new wave band formed by the remaining members of post-punk group Joy Division, had a team of 13 people and over £ 25,000 to their disposal to promote the release of Music Complete.
The team, formed by members of Mute Records, Out Promotions, Pias Records and Band2Market, started to promote the album by launching a pre-order on Chris Evans’ radio show on BBC Radio 2. They focused on hardcore fans first, building out slowly to the casual fans and new audiences. They used social media, remarketing tactics and a strong press campaign.
The band gained over 1m new likes on their Facebook page, 16k new YouTube subscribers and 40k new Spotify followers. What about the demographics? 86% of their audience are males.
Last, but certainly not least; Whitesnake’s The Purple Album campaign. The team, consisting of 8 The Orchard members and 2 Frontiers Music members, used a budget between £ 2,000 and £ 5,000. Their main goal: build a bigger Whitesnake fanbase and activate the Deep Purple fanbase.
They started the campaign with some rebranding, animated splash banners, and a hashtag wall. Secondly they posted some retargeting pixels on their homepage, which they used to push pre-orders and video premieres. They chose to not only use YouTube to release their videos, but they also posted them on Facebook. They did this mainly because of their large German fanbase where GEMA creates licensing issues (though this will no longer be an issue: https://www.thelocal.de/20161101/youtubers-rejoice-gema-lifts-block-on-youtube-videos).
They advertised on Facebook video, search, YouTube pre-rolls and banners which drove 1.5m impressions and 250k video views. This resulted in a successful re-marketing campaign to over 90,000 people.
During a last wave, the band setup a hashtag #PurpleAlbumWS where their fans could win some exclusive prizes.
- 8,000 digital album sales
- 1.5m album streams over 8 months
- 2m YouTube viewers
- 1.5m ad impressions
Other Album Marketing Campaigns?
As you’ve noticed, all the bands mentioned in this case study already had some fame. I’m certain most of these techniques wouldn’t work when you’re applying them on bands that haven’t collected even 1000 likes yet. Let us know via Twitter or Facebook in case you’ve got some cases for that target audience!