• Joshua Jankowski

A checklist to help prepare your next music release, part 2

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

Since people first started using Feed, I’ve had various conversations with artists about all the different tasks they need to complete in order to effectively release their music. Things like: when to upload to your distributor, when and how to start marketing, or pitch for a Spotify playlist.

This article distills those conversations, and adds in our experience from running our label archForm, and working at others like Transgressive and Warp. It’s a checklist to work through when you’re planning a release, to make sure the song or album has the best introduction to the world.

Part 1 looks at creating a timeline, writing a press release, and starting to contact journalists, radio stations and playlist editors.

This is Part 2, and covers social media strategy and release day itself.

🙾 Set up any online profiles you don’t have yet

When: 2 weeks before release

In addition to things like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, it’s worth considering the following:

🙾 Plan your social media campaign

When: 2 weeks before release

This is another part of the process that deserves it’s own article, but the topline is that two weeks before release is a good time to start telling your fans that something is coming.

You can create cryptic teaser posts that hint at the release date, or go for something more upfront, but it’s important to start building up expectation of a release soon.

Subscribe to our mailing list at the bottom of the page, and we'll let you know when a more complete post about planning a social media campaign is up.

🙾 Think about digital advertising and set up Facebook Ads Manager

When: 2 weeks before release

Another one for its own article, but there are a few things to get ready on Facebook Ads Manager in preparation for digital advertising through Facebook or Instagram.

This is the part of the process that Feed can help with though, so many of the points below will be handled automatically when you create a Feed account.

🙾 Convert your Instagram account to a professional one if it isn’t already

🙾 Set up retargeting audiences of anyone that has engaged with your Instagram or Facebook accounts

🙾 Set up lookalike audiences based on those retargeting audiences

🙾 Begin to promote some of the teaser posts about the release

This helps to make sure that all your fans are aware the release is coming, and gets things moving on growing the pool of engaged people that you can retarget when the music is released. Feed can set-up those audiences and start to promote your best posts automatically to make sure this happens.

Subscribe to our mailing list at the bottom of the article to be notified when we publish a more complete blog post about using Facebook Ads Manager.

And find out about Feed here.

🙾 Follow up

When: 1 week before release

Anyone you’ve been in touch with about your music (blogs, playlist editors, radio DJs etc), don’t be afraid to follow-up and send a reminder. If they haven’t replied, it doesn’t mean they haven’t read the message, or even done what you asked for. Until someone actually tells you to stop emailing them, don’t be put off - persistence is key.

🙾 Updating your social media accounts

When: on release day

🙾 Set the release live on Bandcamp, SoundCloud and YouTube

🙾 Update your profile photo so that it’s the same across all your accounts

🙾 Update your cover photo so that it’s the same across all your accounts

🙾 Make sure the link in your bio on each social channel is your smart link

🙾 Post to each of your social channels (including personal ones) about the release

🙾 Set the release as your Artist Pick on Spotify

🙾 Share the release with your followers on Bandsintown

🙾 Follow up again

When: on release day

Same as the previous ‘Follow up’ section, remind people you’ve contacted about your music that it’s out today. Some playlist editors and radio DJs only want to hear from you once a track has actually been released, so make sure to make a note to contact these people on release day.

🙾 Start promoting your posts

When: just after release

It is best practice to start this when you begin to talk about the fact a release is coming soon - you may even be using Feed already. However, now is definitely the time to make sure word is getting out there about your new music.

Without using Facebook’s ad tools (or Feed!), it’ll be very hard to reach all of your existing fans, let alone new ones, so targeting the retargeting and lookalike audiences you’ve already created will help with this.

There might be a lot to do, but there are just so many opportunities to get your music out online

This isn’t an exhaustive list, and I’ll add to it over time (I’m thinking about sections on a website and mailing list already), but if there’s anything you think that’s missing please let me know.

If all these different tasks don’t get completed for your next release, don’t worry - many only need to be done once, so you should hopefully have more time for areas that got overlooked previously.

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