You’re in the studio hard at work on your next group of songs and it’s been taking up all of your time. That’s all well and good but the problem is that if you don’t begin to plan your release strategy in advance you may be caught with a bunch of songs with no idea how to promote them. This won’t happen to you though, because you’re thinking about your release campaign in advance.
How To Plan A Campaign
A release campaign is nothing more than a battle plan of everything that goes into promoting your music when it’s ready to go. Of course, the big question mark here is when to begin. The answer, of course, is as soon as you can.
“But I don’t even know what my/our first song is going to be!”, you’re probably saying about now. Not a problem, since the specifics can be filled in later once your plan is developed. Without getting too specific, let’s look at what this campaign entails.
1. Determine the release date, And backtrack 2 weeks – Determine the release date as far into the future as you can, as that sets the timetable for everything else below. After you’ve determined that date, look 2 weeks before your release date because that’s when you’ll have to submit it to a distributor like CD Baby, TuneCore, or directly to Spotify. It takes about 2 weeks before it actually gets posted to the public, so you have to account for this time lag first. Not a problem, since there’s lots to do in the meantime.
2. Plan your video production and post-production for the 2 weeks before release – Ideally you’d want 3 videos for each song – a lyric video (which is fast to turn around), a produced music video, and a making of/behind the scenes (very fast to produce). Go without the production video if time and budget are an issue. You’ll use the time in between the song submission and the release to create your videos.
3. Plan your newsletter support – You’ll probably want 5 emails going out to your fans – the first one a week or so ahead of the release announcing it will happen, one on the official release day, and one for each video release. These don’t have to be long (especially the ones about the videos) but you want your most ardent fans to know that they’re available directly, and an email for many is the best way to do it.
4. Plan your social support – Along with newsletter announcements, you’ll also want to make announcement posts on your social network accounts as well. Keep them short and informational, and be sure to add a link to your music and a photo or graphic to each one (add a video where you can). Some of these could come on in-between days from your email announcements. Think these out in advance so you don’t get caught at the last minute wondering what to say and when to say it.
5. Plan your external support – If you plan on using a PR person, best to get that in place well in advance too. Even if you’re doing it yourself, you’ll still need time to write at least 2 press releases (one for the music and one for the videos) and maybe a follow-up to individual bloggers/writers.
6. Make a calendar – Now go mark up a calendar with the release dates of all the above so you’ll know exactly when each one will take place.
7. Now do it again – If you’re doing it right, you’ll be releasing new music every 4 to 6 weeks, so repeat and repeat the above some more. You may not have as many videos or newsletter emails for each release but best to know that in advance too.
In a future post we’ll look at what a campaign entails in more detail.