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Now Is The Time For Back Catalogue Marketing!

Back Catalogue is one of those hidden gems most musicians neglect. For once, after the release cycle is over, you are probably super fed up with the material.

However, Back Catalogue marketing is the secret Santa you have no idea you need! Why? Read On!

Back Catalogue marketing is the secret Santa you have no idea you need!

Here’s the thing, there are so many marketing rumours flying around the music industry that you hardly get to hear them all. One of those very persistent trends is to release a Christmas song.

By all means, releasing a Christmas song can be a good idea. However, you need to take this advice with a pinch of salt.

You might wonder, why? Well, it all depends on your audience targeting research and what you’ve found out here.

Audience targeting research to the rescue!

For example, if your main audience is located in New Dehli, releasing a Christmas song might not cut the mustard. However, if the main audience is living in London and you cover the latest John Lewis Christmas ad song (i.e. Lily Allen /Keane in 2013) the story is different.

Also, it always depends on the genre of music you’re doing. In fact, if you are a rapper a soft Christmas song is probably not what your fans expect of you.

Nevertheless, it’s coming close to Christmas and you feel that you haven’t pushed your music enough so far? Before you go complete panic, there’s indeed something you can do.

Back Catalogue marketing!

Hear me out. This might sound like the most boring advice you’ve seen so far.

However, studies have shown that 36% of Spotify listeners come from User-Generated-Playlists. That means those playlists that normal people create with their favourite music.

Here’s the kicker. In case you don’t have a big release coming up before the end of the year. (Well, you are reading this post so probably not 😉 )

You kind of only have your ‘old’ material to do marketing on. Hence, only ‘old’ material to make User-Generated-Playlists happening.

Back Catalogue, back catalogue, backcatalogue

Why do I write ‘old’ in quotation marks? Because the beauty of Back Catalogue marketing is that you make ‘old’ look like it’s brand ‘new’!

How can you achieve this? First things first, make sure all of your music is happening properly to streaming platforms like Spotify.

For this, you need a digital distributor who will deliver your old tracks into streaming platforms. This is important because most music discovery is going over DSPs (digital service providers).

Now, make sure that you are aware of any historic events that are coming up. Perhaps it’s your bands 20th birthday? Use this as an excuse to post about this event and the music connected to it.

What was the best performing hit back then? Did you play a tour along with the album release? Perhaps you can run a city fan challenge with all the stops of the tour.

Use your ‘old’ material like it’s new’!

The basic principle with Back Catalogue marketing is to use your ‘old’ material like it is ‘new’. This works especially well if your band has been around for some time.

You can see brilliant examples here by The Beatles. The team took to Instagram to rebrand and remarket the old material to a completely new generation of fans.

Another way of making use of ‘old’ material is to use ‘new’ platforms. You can head over to TikTok or Triller. Here, you can have unlimited space of remarketing your material to a whole new audience.

Again, make sure to always do a target audience research.

Here’s the thing: the closer you are to your fans the better you know what approach works on what platform. However, prepare to let go and test new things out.

Top tips for Back Catalogue marketing

  • Be aware of key moments and anniversary dates to promote with throwbacks etc. and encourage fans to be part of the conversation.
  • Make the DSPs aware of key dates for support for relevant tracks.
  • React to pick up with tracks from third-party exposure (e.g. cover versions/ tracks being performed live/syncs) to promote the reach to a wider audience.
  • Replicate activity across all platforms and keep the aesthetic consistent.
  • It’s essential to have your archive and all your catalogue resources logged chronologically
    *source: Claire Byrne

Important to realise, your marketing is never bound to a release schedule!

One thing that is important to realise is, your marketing is never tied to a release schedule. Of course, if you have a brand new album out you surely want to market this. However, in this fast living streaming age an album circuit is not the same length that it was ten years ago.

That means, always have your eye on Back Catalogue marketing. For one thing, it can really help you communicate with your fans if there aren’t any ‘news’ to share.

What is more, you can really drive up engagement with a clever fan-challenge or a re-release of an old hit with a new twist.

Nobody keeps you away from re-recording your best performing track in a string arrangement.

Also, using your old material for marketing purposes is also really cost effective. That means, if you manage to sell this music again, your profit will be much higher.

This is crazy, with the vinyl hype still being on, you can even repress old vinyl favourites that went out of stock! Pop the music onto a new coloured vinyl with a nice new sleeve and bob’s your uncle!

There you have it, tips on why to do Back Catalogue marketing!

This is crazy, in 2020 with all the pandemic trouble we had in the music industry, there’s still marketing you can do!

Having an open mind is essential for Back Catalogue marketing. Don’t dismiss ‘old’ material just because you’ve already release it.

Spin it around and reuse it, the fans will love it!

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