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How I Promoted My New Album

jeudi 27 juin 2019, 12:13 , par Passive Promotion
In a recent How I’m Promoting My Music This Month email newsletter (subscribe here), I mentioned that I was working through a long to-do list to promote my new album. Several subscribers emailed to ask for a copy of that list. It’s full of abbreviations, acronyms, and other indecipherables, so I figured I’d break it down here.
The items are mostly specific to my situation, and as such, this isn’t intended as a how-to guide. Instead, think of it as a brainstorming session. You’re likely to find at least one or two new weapons to add to your arsenal.
Keep in mind that I started promoting about two weeks before release, with no aspirations of mainstream press coverage. This is more of a “get my shit together” list than a legit campaign.
Have your expectations been sufficiently lowered? Alright, let’s get started…
Optimize Bandcamp tags. I surveyed similar releases and put together a list of tags that accurately describe my music, that also match the genre names in Discover. For example, “synth pop” is a subgenre of Pop, and “synthwave” is a subgenre of Electronic. Why there’s a space in one but not in the other is beyond me.
Send teaser email with artwork. Sam Todhunter, art director at NewRetroWave, designed the cover art. He’s well known in the synthwave scene, and many of the outlets I promoted to are familiar with his work. As soon as I received the final artwork, I sent out individual emails to about 30 YouTube channels, blogs, and radio shows to show off Sam’s latest and to let them know the album was coming their way soon.
Ask about vinyl on Facebook. I’ve never pressed vinyl and I’d really like to, but I didn’t know where to start, so I joined the Synthwave Vinyl Collectors group on Facebook and asked for their advice.
Submit to LANDR. You know them for their automated mastering service, but they also do distribution.
Create teaser video for Bandcamp Pro, YouTube, Patreon. I put together the following video in iMovie with animations by Beeple, uploaded it to YouTube, and set it as my intro video on Bandcamp and Patreon:

Ads on teaser and single. I ran Google Ads to run on YouTube for the teaser video, and for the static cover art video for the lead single, “The Future You is Forever”.
Compose pre-order announcement. I enabled pre-orders on Bandcamp, and announced it in an email blast, a Patreon post, and on socials (which I pinned on Twitter and Facebook).
My first #synthwave album is available for preview and pre-order, with cover art by the amazing @SamTodhunterArt! I really poured my heart into this one, and would deeply appreciate it if you took a minute to listen at https://t.co/S8Oa6qAx8D pic.twitter.com/tgptJrTQ8i— Brian Hazard (@colortheory) August 29, 2018
Send private streaming emails with Dropbox link. I planned to use Bandcamp’s private streaming feature to share the album ahead of launch, but the option wasn’t available. An email from Bandcamp support explained:

Private streaming currently isn’t available for pre-orders, but that’s something we may consider for the future. If you don’t want to deal with track/album codes, you could instead create a duplicate private copy of that album and then send out private streaming links to that copy.

I went ahead and created download codes and emailed them individually to my pitch list of about 80 outlets, nearly all of them synthwave-specific.
Update Show.co for site embeds. There’s a Show.co player in the sidebar of Passive Promotion, in the middle of the homepage of colortheory.com, and on the about page of my mastering site. The advantage of using Show.co versus hosting the audio myself is that their player streams through SoundCloud. I typically get around 3K plays per week between the three embeds, and I’d just as soon have that reflected in my play count on SoundCloud.
Update bio on site. My old bio, while professionally written, was long and unfocused. I borrowed bits of various earlier bios and composed a few new sentences of my own to create the compact version that currently appears at colortheory.com.
Submit to NRW. NewRetroWave is an influential network in the synthwave scene, that only accepts submissions during short windows of time, every few weeks or months. They featured a couple of my songs on their WeRuleNation YouTube channel, but never the main NRW channel, where 20K views is all but guaranteed. Still, they dutifully PayPal me $0.19 or so every month as a share of advertising revenue.
Update YouTube song titles and direct to Bandcamp. Most of the album tracks had already been released as singles, but I spent a solid 100 hours reworking them for the album, including recording all the vocals again from scratch. I went back to each of the YouTube videos I made for the singles, appended “Single Version” to the title, and linked to the Bandcamp pre-order in the description.
Approach Lipstick Crush. Remember how I asked about vinyl on that Facebook group? Several people referred me to Lipstick Crush, a new synthwave label that has so far reissued four classic albums on vinyl. I emailed, and Adam wrote back that they aren’t taking on any new artists at the moment. It’s okay, I can wait…
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