How to Successfully Promote Your Single (20-Day Plan – Single promotion)


Step up your single promotion game by following these simple-to-use steps to promote your latest release and get results faster

There’s no denying that we live in a speed-driven society. When we’ve made up our mind about something, we want it fast and now. This has been the way for every product or service that consumers are after. The same goes for your fans and your music. So what better way to also deliver your music quicker and digitally more digestible?

Promotion is the backbone of your new single's success. And, unless you have a big label behind you where money is no issue, the ability to promote your release on your own is going to be the most important skill you’ll want to acquire.

Without PR people and money to run a media campaign, it all falls back on you to make sure your latest release is heard by as many people as possible. Most people will believe it requires a full-blown and professional record label to successfully promote your new single but nothing could be further from the truth!

This 20-day single promotion plan will be split in half. A 10-day plan before your release and a 10-day plan after your release.

Read on to learn how to successfully promote your single by yourself which doesn’t require you to break the bank (In fact, it won’t cost you much at all) and it’s fast. The following steps will help you to get started on your own and on the right foot.

Day 1. Photoshoot

Single promotion tip 1

Try to get at least 10 pictures, pick out the best ones and choose 10 pictures for during your release. So in other words, create content and start to use them in the lead up over the next 10 days. Instagram and Facebook are great platforms for this. A great idea for Instagram would be to create a hashtag for your release.

Set a target. Where can your audiences be found? Think about Youtube or Spotify. If most of your listeners are on Youtube, start targeting Youtube. Post your first picture.

Day 2. Banners and graphic design

Whatever social channels you’re on, start creating banners to put on top of your profiles. Spread the word about your release date on anything else in the style of your font and the colours of your brand. The banners and messages can be changed according to your personal preferences. 

Post your second picture.

Day 3. The story so far

This is the part where you recap everything that has happened so far. This is also for new visits to your channels by visitors who don’t know about you yet, this is a good opportunity to make a brief introduction and a recap video with your music. We see this happening a lot on tv series like on Netflix

Day 4. Playlists

This is a really important day on your single promotion checklist.

Spotify curates their own playlists and being on one of those playlists is an amazing way to get your music out in front of new listeners and gain new fans. Adding your music to a Spotify playlist requires around a week of time, and you’re exactly a week away from releasing your new single.

Spotify is more than just a music-streaming website. On Spotify, people can follow your Spotify page and it has an algorithm, so it’s just like any other social media channel. However, there are three different types of playlists: personalized, editorial and listener. Detailed information about these playlists and how to submit your music can be found by checking out Spotify’s promo guide.

Day 5. Graphic design release

single promotion tip 5

You are now 5 days away from releasing your new music. This step is one of the most crucial ones before your launch day. With your artwork, you’re spreading the word about your release, and psyching people up leading up to your release date so they have something to look forward to and be excited about.

Because you might be dealing with fans from different time zones, it’s important to release your artwork on all your social media channels and three times on this very same day and remember to always include a call-to-action. To get the best exposure about your exciting release date, start thinking about releasing artwork for a few days after your artwork day as well.

Day 6. Press release day

Today is your press release day. Or in other words, it’s time to start getting some media attention. For most of you out there, this will be in the form of radio, newspaper, magazines, blogs and vlogs. If you’re just starting out, try to think about a local radio station and smaller newspapers. Lots of local radio stations are more than willing to play new songs on their stations. 

Before thinking about approaching radio stations, newspapers and magazines, make sure you have a press release package ready that contains your story with all the details and artwork besides your new music.

Day 7. Ad strategy

single promotion tip 7

Your ad strategy depends on your budget really. If you would go back to day 1 you can see you’ve set targets and know where your audience can be found. From your cash flow, you should be able to see how much you’ll be able to spend. Social media goes a long way and will be very helpful here. With a little bit of money, you’ll reach a large potential audience. 

Boosting a post is one possibility but it’s highly recommended to start experimenting a bit with ads on Facebook and Instagram. These social platforms are extremely helpful for musicians. Include a clear call-to-action in your content and ad. A daily budget of $5-$10 is highly recommended.

Day 8. Influencer day

Get people to talk up your release. Contact people to make "I'm listening to this in the car" style videos. 

It’s probably likely that you as a consumer read reviews before making up your mind about for example a purchase. In music, it’s not much different. You read reviews about a band or artist, you’ve listened to a few songs, checked out their website and so on. Here’s where influencers can become relevant in music promotion: an influencer reviewing or talking about a newly discovered band or artist makes new listeners more willing to like your music because of something they’ve seen, read, or heard from an influencer. 

Day 9. Prepare for launch

Delegate the to-do list. Make sure everyone has a target and knows what they are doing and when.

Get everyone together who is involved in the launch of your new music which is tomorrow. At this very moment, it’s about all your targets, your deadlines and your team is organized. 

Day 10. Launch day

single promotion - tip 10

The big day is finally here. Since this is the launch day of your new music, make sure the song is live, otherwise there is nothing to promote. The next thing that needs to be done, is a lyric video on Youtube with your latest release. A lot of major artists have started doing this as well on their actual release day. The importance here is to psyche your fans up to come back tomorrow for the official music video. So today you only release the lyric video with your music that comes out on your launch day.

On this same day, you will also contact people individually to ask them to listen to your latest release and to share or purchase. The next step is to update your profiles and website. Today you will also follow up with influencers and possible radio dj’s. To wrap up this day, a great idea would be to organize a give-away contest during the next 7 days. Think for example about VIP tickets to your next gig.

Day 11. Official video

Today is an exciting day for you as an artist or band. You released a lyric video yesterday in support of your new single and today is the release of the official video.

You’ll start pushing this especially on Youtube but also on Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok. Another important thing to do is to have a new photoshoot and get enough content ready to be used in your new artwork for the following 10 days.

Day 12. Performance video

The following days will be all about your videos. We’ve covered a lyric video and the official one. A lot of big and major artists with big labels have started to use a strategy of pushing out different kinds of videos to support their latest release. This ensures that you as an artist will have enough content on Youtube. So today, you will release a video of performing your new single live. Once that’s done, you’ll promote that video on all of your social media and request everyone to like and share.

Day 13. Fan/animation video

You are now well underway. Your new single is coming out and you should be on your way by now to hit your targets. Content is still king here, especially on Youtube. Many major artists and labels are promoting the new single with animated videos or fan-curated content videos. Animation can be quite expensive so if this is not within your budget, try to gather at least fan-submitted content and make it into a video. Fan curated content can be in the form of your fans lip-synching or best reactions to your video. Invite your fans to submit their own videos and put it together in 1 video that you will promote on all of your social media channels.

Day 14. Cover video

There are a lot of good artists and musicians out there on Youtube. Another great idea for a video is to ask people to perform a cover version of your song. A lot of these will have a strong presence on Youtube and loyal followers. As a favour, you can tell these people you’ll post and promote it on your channels. A collaboration like this will be a win-win situation for both collaborators and both of you can touch on other fan bases. It’s a fast way to grow your audience even more.

Day 15. Breakdown video

This kind of video is a great way to show to your audience how your song came together. This video doesn’t have to be long at all. Videos like this can show your audience how the song is put together and can highlight different instruments like bass, drums, guitar, keyboards and vocals. It shows how the song was made and will give your audience an impression of how it would be like to be in a recording studio during this particular song. If your song has a great bassline, it could attract prominent bass players or people interested in bass to like your music. This is yet another great way to grow your audience.

Day 16. Behind the scenes video

We have 4 days left out of our 20-day plan. Apart from just releasing the official video, releasing a behind-the-scenes video allows your audience to have a peek behind the curtain and see what they wouldn’t otherwise get to see. 

Along with showing your audience a different side of you and bringing them into your world, videos like this will give you extra video content and more time between your social media posts. 

Day 17. Target the DJ

Find the DJ who promotes local acts and blast them with emails and social media mentions during their show.

Your new single has been launched for about a week by now but that doesn’t mean your local radio station will follow you like a lost puppy. Radio stations get tons of requests, but to stand out there is something called peer pressure.

Radio stations exist because of the listeners, and when there is peer pressure, no DJ would want to lose its listeners so it’s very likely that the DJ will play and promote your song after enough pressure and attention.

Day 18. Pop-up gig

Turn up somewhere and do a live performance that wasn't advertised. This is a great way to make some noise on social media and get people talking about you.

Day 19. Promote the pop-up gig

This is part 2 of your pop-up gig you did yesterday. This is the part of promoting your spontaneous performance on your social channels.Push out media from the pop-up gig. Think about making a video with shots of your performance and the audience. A few examples of the audience shots could be people singing along and bobbing their heads.

Day 20. Thank yous

Genuinely thank everyone who has helped promote the new release. Make it memorable so that they will hopefully talk and post about it. This in turn can spike up your presence again on social media.

20 Day Single Promotion - Wrap-Up

In conclusion, single promotion done correctly is the backbone to the success of your new song. This way, you'll be able to reach more listeners and find new ones too.

At Indiy, we believe artists should have complete ownership of their content. 

We are an online marketplace for musicians, the place to buy and sell your music.

More additional information about single promotion your music pre-release can be found here.


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