I know how tough it is for an indie band to find the funds to put up flyers around town, print promotional CDs, etc. That’s why I’ve come up with 5 marketing ideas that could either be copied, expanded upon, or used to inspire more creative juices to come up with some clever marketing tactics of your own. Not saying these ideas are anywhere near perfect, but if you’ve got the balls to give them a try, let us know how they go! The point is to get creative.
Custom Wristbands for Venues
You know those wristbands you get when you go to see a concert or go out to a club at night? Venues pay to have those printed and shipped to them. Why not approach a local music venue and ask if you can supply the wristbands to them in exchange for letting you put some advertising on the wristband?
You can get about 750 wristbands printed for $50 from different places online. See if you can put your URL, a discount code for a CD, or even a show advertisement for a show you’re playing at the exact same venue in a week’s time. Think outside of the box and try and drive some traffic back to your website or get people out to your shows.
Custom Coffee Sleeves
Along the same lines as the wristband idea, you can approach local coffee shops to see if they’d be interested in letting you supply their coffee sleeves for a week or two. You can order sleeves for about $.10 each, meaning you’ll hit about 500 people with your band’s name. Make sure you leave some promo copies or free download cards by the register as well.
Receipt Paper Promotion
This one may be the cheapest of all and will require a little bit of leg work to make the idea not so cheesy. Try and team up with 3 or 4 other local bands and make a “Best of XYZ City” music compilation album that features new tracks from each band that aren’t available anywhere else yet. The point here is to not just make the album a pack of existing songs, but something that both new and old fans will like. Put the album online for free.
Next, see if you can team up with a local record store or business in the area who caters to your fan demographic and ask them if they’d be willing to print an “ad” for the compilation album at the bottom of their receipts. You’ll provide their receipt paper and they’ll give a shoutout to 4 different bands with a link of where to download. Receipt paper costs $10 for a pack of 12 rolls, which will last most businesses about 2 weeks or so.
It’s in the Bag
Similar to the last idea where you promote via receipts, this one involves putting a piece of paper in a customer’s bag after they finish paying. Here in town there’s a record store that puts a flyer that says “Like RECORDSTORENAME on Facebook for exclusive deals on new vinyl.” After talking to them, they were interested in the idea of a band paying for nicer promo cards to be used inside the bag they hand to customers with their purchases in exchange for letting the band put a free album download code on the back of the card.
Assuming you’ve got a halfway decent music video on your hands, you can advertise it on Youtube in your city. Google Adwords really aren’t all that expensive and allow you to advertise directly to your desired target market. I’ve never really given a guide on how to use Youtube Adwords before, so that’ll have to be some research on your end to get things operational.
If all is done correctly, you can advertise to people within 20-30 miles of your hometown who like similar bands for about $.05-$.10 per view. Get enough views of your video going and you’ll likely get a few more people out to your shows in the future.