How do you promote and market your own music on SoundCloud? This is my practical no success guaranteed-SoundCloud guide with my learnings. In short: SoundCloud music exposure is about tags, playlists, interaction with other profiles and driving traffic to other platforms. Am I completely wrong and out there? Do you have a tip about promoting your music on SoundCloud? Please make a comment!
A fading music platform (in my opinion)
If I look at the reach I can get from the platforms where I promote my music, SoundCloud is weak in comparison to Facebook, YouTube and Bandcamp. A quick look at the statistics for my band Soliloquium reveals a few thousand plays per song since the album was released. I don’t really see much unique functionality in SoundCloud today, so I prefer to view it as a compliment to the other music platforms. Who knows though, I could be wrong?
Tags are extremely important
Tags and other types of metadata are essential in helping listeners to find your music, both through Google and SoundCloud search. Most facts about your band is something you can put in a tag, and use to get search exposure. A sneaky SEO method (that kind of screws up your titles) is to put the genre in song titles and playlist titles. This also works on Bandcamp, but I would never do it since I want my songs properly named.
Save your songs, don’t post the whole album at once
One great tip if you release an album or an EP is that you don’t post the whole thing at once. Since followers and tags have a constantly updated feed, posting one song per week or so is a good way to get a better presence. This tip also applies to YouTube.
Playlists are a good way to get some extra reach on SoundCloud. If you make a big genre playlist featuring your songs, chances are it ranks high in search and draws in fans of the style searching for new music. This strategy can also work on YouTube. Also, don’t forget to make your albums into playlists. Note how I added genre, year, country and record label to the playlist title for SEO value.
Multiple SoundCloud accounts
Whether or not you’re a musician who plays in multiple bands, creating several SoundCloud accounts is a good idea to extend your reach. A natural way to do this is to have profile for your band(s), as well as a personal profile. This allows you to cross-post your music on the different accounts: for instance you can do what I did in the image above; share your cover version from your personal SoundCloud on your band account.
My SoundCloud setup:
The groups are gone, and with them promotion possibilities
Sadly, SoundCloud took away the groups, which was a great way to promote music. Much like on Facebook, the groups were your own little searchable realm where you had full control of content to a niché audience. I had a growing group for the genre of my band, death/doom metal, that was taking off when they decided to remove it. No, I’m not bitter at all..
Like, comment and follow similar music
A good way to gain some visiblity, as well as some good-will from bands and musicians, is to like, comment and follow similar artists. Popular songs are a digital mire of comments on top of eachother, but if you play underground music or find the right timing it’s a solid way to expose your music on SoundCloud.
Drive traffic to Facebook, Bandcamp, YouTube and your homepage
There are opportunities to drive traffic to other platforms all over SoundCloud. Don’t forget to fill in something in the homepage field: either your Facebook, Bandcamp or homepage URL. You can also put links in the individual songs or playlists. On my cover tracks I usually take a screenshot as album cover, and provide a link to the YouTube playthrough.