The Anatomy of a Successful Music Marketing Campaign

Last year was acquired by CD Baby, the world’s leading online distributor of independent music. CD Baby has made’s suite of marketing tools available to all their clients for FREE. The following tips were written for CD Baby artists as an introduction to running an effective music marketing campaign, but they apply no matter how you’re accessing

If you’d like to use for free, sign up with CD Baby, offering distribution to outlets such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon; YouTube monetization; music licensing; CD and vinyl sales; publishing administration; and more.

8 tips to creating an effective music marketing campaign.

Artists (and their management teams) on majors such as Universal and Sony have seen conversion rates on their campaigns run as high as 90%. But you don’t have to be a star or household name to use successfully. You just have to find a fun way to turn casual fan interest into action.

For instance, the band Smalltown Poets combined an intriguing call-to-action with a quality band photo in a “Social Unlock” campaign that yielded an almost 25% conversion rate (which, for those of you who aren’t in the marketing world, is still very impressive). makes effective online music marketing easy if you keep these things in mind:

  1. Create curiosity — “Check out my new song” isn’t a very compelling call-to-action on its own. You need to build something extra into the message: urgency, humor, mystery, etc. Think of how your campaign can tell a part of your story or fulfill a fan’s desires, not simply trade a piece of content for a follow. For instance, in Smalltown Poets’ campaign, they promised to unlock a live track on SoundCloud with the message “Hear the song that got us kicked off the stage!” How can you not want to click through?
  2. Focus on clarity — The description of your campaign and the call-to-action shouldn’t leave any room for confusion. If you want someone to follow you on Spotify in order to hear the song that got you kicked off stage, say “Follow us on Spotify to hear the song that got us kicked off stage!” Before you post a campaign, ask yourself whether or not a complete stranger would have all the information they need (right there on the campaign page) in order to take interest and take action.
  3. Enable email-capture on your campaigns whenever it’s available — Not everyone is active on Spotify, YouTube, or SoundCloud. No sense in turning those fans away when they get to your campaign page. Instead, allow them to leave an email address!
  4. Test your campaigns against one another — Play around, put a couple campaigns up for a few weeks or months, look at your analytics, measure results, make adjustments to existing campaigns, or use what you’ve learned for future campaigns.
  5. Pictures are important — is an elegant platform, so we give you an easy way to look professional even if you don’t have fancy photos; but visuals are huge when you only have a matter of seconds to make an impression online, so the better the imagery you bring to the table, the more likely your campaign will drive conversions.
  6. Choose an image that is very light or very dark in the center— When you design a campaign, you’ll upload an image that is displayed as the background for the campaign URL. The text for your campaign (for instance, “Follow us on Spotify to hear our new album before it’s released”) is displayed in the center of the page OVER that image. You can set the text to be white or black, but in order for it to POP on the page, you want the text to contrast with the portion of the image directly behind it.
  7. Play with the “blur” settings on the image — To add clarity to your messaging, you can blur the image behind your text, just for an extra bit of design control.
  8. Promote the campaign — Once you’ve published your campaign, tell the world (or a targeted portion of it) via social, email newsletter, your website, etc. If you’re seeing high conversion amongst your existing audience, consider paid promotions that can spread the campaign to a wider network.

Hopefully the above info gives you a basic foundation for building successful music marketing campaigns through It might seem like a lot, but our tools are really intuitive, so get in there and play around!

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