Why Marketing

Why Do You Need Marketing?


Most artists invest heavily in creating their product, but little in marketing it. When they do, they market to their friends. And then they're disappointed when their new release doesn't do very well.

Marketing means getting your product in front of the right audience at the right time so that they buy or engage with it.

Without marketing, your potential audience will never hear about you. A great song with poor marketing will always lose out to a competent song with great marketing.

The good news is it's never been easier to reach your audience - especially at scale. The bad news is that, unless you know what you're doing, you'll more likely get it wrong than right.

The role of Digital & Social

Digital Marketing is best used as part of a holistic marketing strategy that covers all the relevant bases that can contribute to your success. While these are obviously different for every Artist, all good music marketing strategies will use Social as the hub around which it all turns.

This is because music is personal. When Triple J in Australia recently ran a “You Choose The Playlist” day recently, what we heard on the radio was completely different to what the station usually plays. This reflected what people were actually listening to.

Everyone's radio station is unique

Streaming has won. With the help of Artificial Intelligence, we explore our own peculiar tastes. Getting to the people who may like your music depends entirely on correct use of Social Media.

Why Social Media works for Artists

Social Media is the perfect medium to target and reach an audience. This is because Social Media newsfeeds are uniquely tailored for each individual user. No two people on earth get the same newsfeed.

If you can place your music on the right newsfeeds – people who are likely to like it – you can easily build an audience.

Whether you want to get signed by a major label, to tour with your band, or to have an indie career, Social Media is the platform that can help you build the audiences to get you there.

Whatever path you choose, it is important to be clear about what you want to achieve because the strategy is quite different for each goal.

Social Media needs Artists

Social Media works for artists because, not only can you target and reach a very specific audience, but all Social Media platforms rely on and reward reliable Content Creators with exposure and visibility.

In other words, if you can engage your audience with content that they like, Social Media will reward you by showing more of your content more often to similar people.

This is how you build an audience and, if you know how to make them stick, a fanbase.

There is no silver bullet

There is no fast-track to Social Media success. While you can easily buy Likes and Followers for $100 per thousand, doing so will not only be a waste of money – those "people" will never earn you a cent – it will actually harm your page and your promotion.

Facebook, Instagram and YouTube's algorithms can spot the fakes a mile away and they don't like them. Not only that, but all music industry professionals know how to find out how many of your page likes are fakes.

Lots of fake likes may impress your mum or your friends, and may even make you feel better, but they're just vanity numbers which will turn round and bite you in the end.

The real potential of Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing is much more than organic posting, Although building a strong organic Social Media presence is essential, it is not the end of the story – not by along shot.

Real Digital Marketing uses Ads on Social Media to reach people who don't yet know you but who are likely to like your music. This is called Psychographic marketing.

Correct use of Social Media Ads not only reaches people who don't yet know you, it also builds a return path between you and the people who like your music. This is important because that's how you build a fanbase – by growing a list of people who like your music and you can contact again and again.

Howling Horse's proprietary FanFunnel© digital marketing system is tuned to put the power of Social Media Advertising to work on your music.

Copyright © 2021 Howling Horse Pty Ltd

Why Marketing

Strategic Fan Growth Services

Fanbase Building

Howling Horse's proprietary FanFunnel© marketing system is a digital adaptation of the classic Sales & Marketing Funnel, tuned to the music scene. It uses psychographic marketing techniques to identify and engage with your audience to build a community of real fans of your music. This is both effective and cost-effective, as you are not wasting money on an untaregted approach.

Spotify Follower Building

Spotify's algorithmic playlists Release Radar, Daily Mix & Discover Weekly are programmed by Follower growth rates. An Artist with steady Follower growth is more likely to be taken up algorithmically and to receive editorial playlist considerations. Our proprietary Spotfiy Follower Growth system builds this key metric for you.

YouTube Subscriber Growth
YouTube Subscriber Building

YouTube's algorithm rewards consistent Subscriber growth above all else. Individual video views are important, but transient. If your art includes video, we can assist you in producing engaging content that we can optimise across all channels to grow your YouTube subscriber base.

Tactical Services

TikTok Campaigns

  • TikTok's algorithm is based on an affinity model
  • Different to Facebook/Insta connections model
  • Looks for patterns in the user's engagement
  • Very promising way to build an audience

Reddit Campaigns

  • Authentic, community-based channel
  • Can add significant reach
  • Tricky to get right
  • Good barometer of authentic appeal

Spotify Playlist Pitching

  • Careful matching of tracks to lists
  • Individual, personalised pitching
  • Leverages our good relationships
  • Works best with Follower Growth strategies

Copyright © 2021 Howling Horse Pty Ltd


Exclusive Custom Reporting

Reporting You Can Use

Great reporting is hugely important to us. As your strategy is put into action, we will get real-world feedback in response to what we are doing. This is where digital marketing kicks serious butt - you can establish a direct line between you and your market. We will work with you to make decisions and choices based on what's coming back at us from your Audience.

Sample Howling Horse Reporting Screen


To keep you in touch with the results as they come in, you will have direct access to Howling Horse's exclusive, custom Results Reporting.

These reports highlight the most important metrics that you need to keep an eye on. These include

  • Spotify Follower Growth
  • Instagram Follower Growth
  • YouTube Subscriber Growth
  • Facebook Page Likes Growth
  • Prospects in the Funnel
  • Amount Spent
Personalised & Relevant

There's no need to decipher generic geek-speak when you want to check how you're doing. We reckon knowing how you're doing is pretty important. So we make clear, relevant information as accessible and meaningful to you as possible.

Some recent Results

Facebook and Instagram

Here are some randomly selected results from recent Howling Horse campaigns.

This artist focused on Facebook and Instagram growth.

Instagram Fan Acquisition Results
Instagram, Facebook & YouTube

This artist aimed for broad growth across Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

Facebook, Instagram & YouTube Results
Instagram Focus

This artist focused on Instagram.

Instagram Results

Copyright © 2021 Howling Horse Pty Ltd

Reporting & Results

5 Things You Should Never Do

1. Prioritise Creating Over Marketing

Imagine a boxer training every day for a big fight. Sweating on the gym floor, bleeding on the bench press and crying in the locker room, only to not turn up to the fight. Many Artists will spend years writing, producing, mixing and mastering a Song only to slip up on the most important step, getting that song HEARD.

The unfortunate truth is a poor song with great marketing will always outsell a great song with poor marketing. Although Writing, Producing and Publishing are the necessary first step, the equally important and often overlooked second step is finding that song an audience.

2. Overthink and Underdeliver

In 1997, Guns and Roses went into the studio to record their 6th studio Album, Chinese Democracy. And after 11 years of Producers, Guitarists, Studio Hire and tens of millions of dollars the album was finally released in 2008. Unfortunately, all this time and money didn't translate to sales, and the Album was a commercial flop. Many things were to blame for this infamous shipwreck, but the stand-outs were overthinking and poor promotion.

Oh, the endless hours I spent as an artist tweaking the kick drum level and thinking that was the key to my success. As if turning it up 1.23 DBs was going to open all the doors for me.

As an artist, we all understand the delicate balance between Quantity and Quality, but more often than not, being a perfectionist-creative leaves us far short of Quantity. This attribute, much like an RPG character stat, comes at a cost. Marketing is about Consistency. To become an active presence in the Digital world, you must be reliablly and regularly productive.

3. Get Seduced By Vanity Numbers

Marketing success is not an event, it's a process. It takes time and effort. Any get-rich-quick scheme will not produce anything, except that it may actually harm your brand.

Vanity numbers fool no-one. Anyone who knows anything will always check the validity of your Social Media numbers and can do so in minutes. This includes radio stations and labels. Your Social Media is either real or it's worse than useless – you will be discredited on the spot, no matter how good your art.

It's also important to know the difference between transient numbers – like streams or views – and important numbers, like followers or subscribers. Streams and views matter, but followers and subscribers matter way more.

4. Say "Watch this Space.." "Listen to my new.." "Check out my.."

How many times have you logged into Facebook and seen a friend's band asking for likes and shares on their new song? This seems like the central strategy for lots of indie artists. Release a song, post a link on Facebook and Instagram asking for shares, and then laying back to watch it circulate the Profile Pages of your friends and family.

Although grassroot campaigns have their benefits, a beggar's approach gets a beggar's outcome. Not only does this approach come across as desperate, but the only shares you're likely to see are from your friends and family. This is a double-edged sword as it not only equates to minimal exposure, it also sends the Algorithm's AI the wrong message.

5. Target your friends

This is one of the biggest psychological hurdles emerging Artists trip on. Who are you trying to communicate with? Who is your Audience? What is your goal?

All our social media feeds are flooded with friends posting pictures of them eating at nice restaurants or standing in a line, smiling to camera. Ask yourself, would you follow your friends if you weren't their friend? Would their content be as entertaining or engaging if you didn't know them?

If your strategy is to harness the friends and fans you already have, then posting touristy pictures of yourself giving the peace sign at the Eiffel Tower is perfectly acceptable. If your goal is to grow your audience and encourage engagement from new fans, then you can't post for your friends - you have to produce content that talks to your Audience.

Copyright © 2021 Howling Horse Pty Ltd

5 Things Not To Do

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