Marketing the Old Fashioned Way Using the Four P's
When I wrote an article on how to start your digital record label, I received a few questions on how to actually market your label when all is up and running. There are various ways of marketing your releases and I made a list to help you. Since I am a marketing student I will break it down to you in 'old school' marketing theory. Marketing basically exists from product, price, promotion and place.
Product looks obvious, but some labels totally get this aspect wrong. They release tracks just to scrape in a few hundred bucks and deliver no quality at all. It's obvious that you need to release quality, but also have an eye for what appeals to people and which artists are hot at the moment. Sign artists who have build a nice catalog on Beatport and who frequently release and remix. You have a great chance to sell releases that appear on your label. Do not go for the quantity which nine out of ten labels churn out, but focus on quality music. Now the next one might be tricky, but it works. Instead of releasing four original tracks from one artist, try to get remixes by various artists. This causes Beatport to link these artists to your label, so there is a bigger chance DJ's visit your label page. (and potentially purchase a few tracks) The more artists you have on one EP, the more eyesball will see your label. They may even subscribe to your label!
Unfortunately you can not tweak your price so much. However, on Beatport you have the opportunity to set your tracks as an exclusive or just regular release. I recommend putting them in an exclusive status for at least two weeks. If a DJ really wants your track, they will buy it regardless of it being exclusive. Plus, the tag 'exclusive' gives your release a silver lining, and believe it or not, it will attract more sales.
Promotion, ah good old promotion. Spamming on MySpace, Facebook and Soundcloud is what many labels believe promotion is. Promotion goes a little deeper then shoving down your promo bullshit trough everybody's throat. For starters, print the logo of your website on ten shirts, wear them to the gym, wear them when you are out playing and put them on when you go out clubbing. Sounds easy, but many people neglect the easy promotion. What you will absolutely need is a solid website displaying your catalog, contact information and whatever you feel is necessary. Make sure people can find you! Gather a list of email addresses of all well known DJ's you know, and approach a few which you want to send releases. You can use a so called 'promo pool' for this which many websites offer, but that will cost you money. The feedback you receive from them is neat material to showcase on your website and MySpace, but it's even better to collect this to get featured on Beatport! That's right, none of the positions of Beatport are sold but given away purely based on feedback from DJ's, artists, exclusivity, appearance on vinyl. There is even a chance you can find a video or two of superstar DJ's playing releases from your label! I had DJ Tiësto and Richie Hawtin playing tracks of my artists and the video's to show for it. You can use social media such as Twitter and MySpace but make sure you address the right people when you are promoting your releases. None of your family members is interested in your brand new release, so stop spamming them on Facebook! (sorry mom, sorry dad) Beatport offers various RSS-feeds for your label. Exploit them and hook your RSS-feed up to Twitter. Whenever a release hits the Beatport shelves, spread the news trough Twitter, Delicious, Reddit etcetera. Beatport has a nice 'share release' button in every release. Use it!
Place is a hard point when it comes to selling digital products. It's easier to define place when selling physical products. As far as place goes, I would say try any digital music portal out there. Beatport, iTunes, Juno, maybe even try the newfound NowTraxx! The place you use to distribute your tracks is quite important. For selling electronic dance music I'd pick Beatport anytime, but you could try other portals as well. Expand your reach and be appealing to your target audience.