22 Proven Ways To Promote Your Music Online

Promote Your Music Online

Want to learn how to promote your music effectively? I’ve got you covered.

These days, success in the music industry is all about marketing. There are a lot of artists out there, and the best way to cut through the noise and grow is to go all in on self-promotion.

With that in mind, I’m going to share 31 ways to promote your music online that actually work

I’ll include some battle-tested methods that are proven to get results, as well as lesser-known, creative strategies that I’m sure you won’t have tried yet. Here we go…

1. Create your own online store

Before you do anything else, step one is to build your own online store. This is the place where you showcase who you are as an artist, and also where you sell all your music and merch.

Your store will serve as the final destination for all your promotional efforts. Because when you promote your music online, you’re ultimately hoping all the new fans you reach will find their way back to your website and buy your stuff.

The best way to build your online store is with Sellfy. It’s built for artists and creators, so it’s super easy to use and makes it easy to get everything set up in minutes.

Create online store - Sellfy

You’ll have full control over everything, including how your site looks, your product catalog, checkout, etc. And Sellfy doesn’t charge any transaction fees, so you keep 100% of your profits.

Plus, Sellfy even has a built-in print-on-demand catalog, which comes in super useful if you plan on selling merch. 

You don’t have to buy any stock upfront—just upload your designs to white-label products in the catalog and start selling. Sellfy will print and ship orders for you as they come in, then bill you afterward.

2. Distribute your music everywhere you can

Next, you’re going to want to distribute your music everywhere you can online. I’m talking streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, online stores, Bandcamp… the works.

The more places you can get your music, the easier it will be for people to find and listen to them.

A lot of these can be covered with platforms like DistroKid. It acts as your music distributor and submits your music to dozens of stores and music streaming services for you, so you only have to upload your tracks once, and you still keep 100% of your earnings.

Distribute music - Distrokid

3. Launch a YouTube channel

YouTube has always been one of the best platforms for artists in terms of getting exposure. So at a minimum, you should have your own YouTube channel where you upload all of your songs.

Launch a YouTube channel

Because YouTube is a video platform, it helps to create a music video to accompany each of your songs. But if you don’t have the budget/resources to shoot a whole video, you should still be able to put together a basic lyric video.

Aside from your music, you can also post other videos to YouTube to help increase your reach, like interviews, behind-the-scenes tours, rig rundowns, live streams, YouTube Shorts… you get the idea.

There are lots of ways to promote your YouTube channel to get more views on your music videos. But the most important thing is to use eye-catching thumbnails and titles that get clicks.

4. Get your music featured in playlists

A lot of music listeners discover new music through playlists. So naturally, getting your music featured in popular playlists in your genre can be a huge win.

You can start by pitching your music to Spotify’s editorial playlists through your Spotify for Artists account. If the right person sees your pitch and likes it, and you can featured, it can bag you thousands of new fans.

Featured in playlist - Spotify

Aside from editorial playlists, you can also try pitching to curated playlists made by other Spotify users and labels. Check out our guide on how to get music featured on Spotify playlists for a step-by-step guide.

5. Create your own playlists

Struggling to get your music into existing playlists? The next best thing is to make your own.

Curate a bunch of popular songs from other artists that you think your target audience will listen to and compile them into a playlist. Then, sneakily add your own tracks into that same playlist.

You can do this on Spotify as well as YouTube and other streaming services. The key is to make sure you name your playlist something descriptive that people might also search for. For example ‘R&B music to listen to at the gym’, or ‘chill music for long drives’. You get the idea.

6. Start a TikTok trend

TikTok is probably the best social media platform for artists to promote their music right now. 

It has huge reach and the algorithm is pretty generous in that you don’t need to have a large existing following for TikTok to share your content far and wide, so it’s relatively easy to get thousands of views organically compared to other social networks.

The best way to go about promoting your music on TikTok is to start by picking out a short, 10-30-second clip from one of your tracks. Then, share a few videos every day using that audio clip in the background. 

That’s how Lil Nas X blew up. He made a meme account on TikTok and started posting funny, short videos with Old Town Road playing in the background. 

TikTok Trend - Lil Nas X

Whenever one of those videos went viral, hundreds of thousands of people also heard his song—and other creators started using it in their videos too. As a result, his fanbase grew insanely fast.

7. Share your music on Instagram

After TikTok and YouTube, Instagram is probably the next best social media platform to promote your music.

Add a link to your music in your Instagram bio, then start sharing content to grow your followers organically. 

Aim for a good mix of content including photos, Reels, Stories, etc. Like TikTok, it’s a good idea to use short clips of the best bits from your songs in your Reels.

8. ‘Steal’ fans from your competitors

This is one of the most underrated ways to promote your music: Find people who make similar music to you and engage with their fans.

You can start by asking yourself who your musical inspiration is. Then, go to their Instagram profile, click on one of their recent posts, and look at the comments. 

The people who have left supported comments here are your target listeners. Because you know that they’re already listening to music similar to the stuff you put out and that they’re so invested in that music that they’re already engaging with their favorite artists.

Follow as many of these commenters as you can, like their posts, and generally engage with them. This should prompt them to check out your page to see who’s followed them and liked their stuff.

If they like what they see/hear, they might then seek out more of your music online and become regular listeners. That’s the goal.

9. Engage in online communities

Join online communities you identify with. Ideally, these should be communities full of people who share the same taste in music as you hang out. I’m talking music-related Subreddits, Discord servers, etc. 

Get involved in these communities. Hang out, make friends, and build connections. You don’t need to promote your music directly—just focus on building genuine, organic relationships. If you’re putting out good music, the people you meet online will find it and listen.

10. Add links to your music everywhere

Make sure you’ve added links to your music everywhere you can online. 

For example, add a link to your website in your email signature. That way, every time you send an email in the future, you’ll also be promoting your music.

You should also add links to your bios on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, TikTok, X… basically everywhere you have an online presence. This will all help people who you meet to find their way back to your music and ultimately, help you to grow.

11. Live stream on Twitch

Live streaming can be another great channel to promote your music. 

People who watch your live streams can connect with you in real time through live chat, which is much more intimate than just watching/listening to the stuff you’ve already recorded. So naturally, it helps foster deeper connections and build a more loyal fanbase.

Twitch is a great place to start streaming, but you can also go live on TikTok, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Kick.

Live Stream - Twitch

The other great thing about live streaming is that viewers can donate, so in addition to promoting your music, it can also help you earn money at the same time.

12. Create an electronic press kit (EPK)

Your EPK is like your music resume. It tells important people like booking agents, reporters, and labels what you’re all about. 

If you’re serious about promoting your music, these are the people you’re going to want to reach out to—so put one together. Your EPK should include things like your bio, music, photos, contact information, live footage, etc. 

13. Run an outreach campaign

Once you have an EPK, you can run an outreach campaign to pitch yourself to places like music magazines, reviewers, labels, radio stations, etc.

Usually, the best way to do this is through email. For example, you could start by compiling a list of popular music blogs in your genre, and grab all their email addresses.

Then, compose a friendly email in which you reach out and ask them if they’d be interested in reviewing your latest track, and send it out to each of them. Make sure you personalize all your emails for each recipient and attach your EPK.

14. Run paid ads

Promoting your music organically is great if you can pull it off, but don’t be afraid to invest in paid music promotion alongside your organic efforts. Mixing both usually generates the best results.

For example, if you’re a brand new artist, you might want to consider running ads on Facebook, Instagram, or SoundCloud Promote to get some initial social proof and juice your play count stats. 

This will help give you some initial traction. And when people find your music organically in the future, because you already have lots of plays/followers, they’ll be more likely to give you a shot.

15. Run a social media contest

Another cool way to promote your music is to run a social media contest. The idea is to offer something people want as a prize—like tickets to a concert, a package of your music & merch, etc. 

Then, set it up so that to enter, entrants first have to follow you or like one of your songs on Spotify.

You can set your contest up easily with SweepWidget. And if you don’t have anything good to offer up as a prize, you can also partner with brands who do.

Social Media Contest - SweepWidget

16. Score sync placements

A sync placement is when your music is licensed and used in a film, tv show, game, commercial, or any similar production. If you can land one, it can get you tons of exposure.

Take Malia J, for example. She was virtually unknown until her cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit was used in the opening credits of the Marvel blockbuster Black Widow. But following the movie’s release, her cover received millions of views on YouTube.

Sync Placements - Malia J

Submitting your music to music libraries is the easiest way to score sync placements—producers often scour them to find clips they can use. You can also work with sync agents or publishers to land bigger and better placements.

17. Build a real-world fanbase 

It’s a good idea to build a real-world fanbase before promoting your music online. It makes your online marketing strategies more effective because they bounce off your existing fanbase and get amplified.

How do you build a real-world fanbase first? Well, the simple answer is to play shows. Every time you finish a set, plug your website and social media. You could even hand out cards with QR codes that people can scan to find your music online.

18. Use street marketing techniques

Following on from above, street marketing can be a great way to build that real-world fanbase that will help you get more out of your online promotional efforts.

Get out in your local area and hand out fliers, coupons, and cards promoting your music. Good places to target include pubs and bars, student halls, music venues, music stores… wherever your target audience might go.

19. Build an email list

Every time you release new music, you can promote it over email by sharing it with fans via your monthly newsletter.

But for that, you’ll first need to build an email list. A good way to do that is to set up a download gate—listeners who stream your music can only download it to their device if they opt-in to your mailing list.

If you haven’t decided on an email marketing platform yet, I’d recommend signing up for a free MailerLite account. It’s free for up to 1,000 subscribers and includes quite a few advanced features you’ll need. All on the free version.

20. Start a podcast (or be a guest on someone else’s)

Start a music-related podcast to showcase your personality and gain new fans. Or if that seems like too much work, pitch yourself to existing popular music podcasts. And if you land a guest appearance, use the opportunity to plug your music.

21. Collaborate with other artists & creators

Reach out to other artists with a similar audience to you to explore collaboration opportunities. For example, you could repost each other’s tracks or collaborate on a joint track. This is a win-win as you both get to reach a brand new audience and boost your exposure.

Aside from other artists, you can also collaborate with other content creators, like YouTubers, streamers, or music industry influencers.

For example, Post Malone has appeared multiple times on the popular YouTube talk show Good Mythical Morning. This has helped Post to reach new music fans who might not have otherwise heard his music.

Collab with others - Good Mythical Morning

22. Hire a PR professional or team

All the methods we’ve covered in this post are ways for you to self-promote your own music.

However, there comes a time when self-promotion will no longer cut it. Do you think big-name artists like Kendrick Lamar or Beyonce do their own marketing? I don’t think so.

If you’re at the stage in your music career where you’ve already built up a decent grassroots following and you’re ready to invest in your success, it might be time to consider hiring a PR team to help. 

They can handle the marketing side of things for you so that you can focus on producing great music. And they often have the connections needed to make it big in the industry.

Final thoughts

There you have it—22 ways to promote music online.

These methods should help to get your music in front of new listeners. But if you want those listeners to keep listening, you’ve got to give them a reason to stick around. 

That’s why the most important thing is to focus on making great music. If you get that part right, promotion will be much easier and more effective.

Ready to learn how to start making money from your music? Check out these 31 ways to make money as a musician.