The importance of planning your marketing year in advance
Planning for the long-term can be incredibly daunting, especially when you are in the earliest stages of your career. But, it is important to understand that planning ahead is incredibly important for a number of reasons. With the New Year upon us, now is the best time to plan your schedule for the year. In this article, we’ll look at the most important reasons for planning your year in advance.
Let’s imagine that you have two great tracks ready for release. You schedule one for January 14th and the next for January 28th. The buzz around your music is at its peak and your audience loves both of the new tracks. But what next? You haven’t planned your year and you have no more music to drop any time soon. You don’t have any campaigns on the way and your social media goes quiet. Fans wonder what happened to you, why didn’t you release more music? Why weren’t you performing at festivals? This is the kind of PR disaster that comes from lack of planning.
In order to get the most out of your releases, you should plan a calendar that keeps your output consistent. Many producers struggle to look past tracks that they have already produced. It can be difficult to plan future tracks that you haven’t yet created, and it can also be incredibly daunting. When doing this, be careful not to overwork yourself by overestimating how many tracks you’ll produce this year. Look back at your previous work, how many tracks did you make last year? When were you most productive during the year?
By estimating how many tracks you’ll release this year you ensure that your music output is consistent. This is important as the second you stop releasing tracks, your brand loses traction and your audience loses interest. That doesn’t mean you need to release a track every two weeks. It simply means that as soon as you finish promoting one track, you need to be ready to tease the next one with previews and hints. Even if your track isn’t being released for a few weeks, you can prime your audience and pique their interest by hinting.
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Every artist has that eureka moment when they put together a winning campaign idea that is sure to create interest. It is important not to rush into making that campaign a reality. Instead, take the time to think about when during the year that campaign would provide the most value for your brand. Is it a campaign that could gain you votes in the DJ Mag poll? Does it tie in perfectly with one of your tracks? Is it based on a specific season? Make sure that you plan your campaigns to go live at the best time in order to provide the best results.
By planning your calendar in advance you’ll also realise the times during the year that you don’t have anything planned. Standalone campaigns are a great way to fill the gaps in your calendar and put yourself back in the spotlight. For example, you may have a month with no releases planned, you may be spending time in the studio. With a situation like this, you could choose to run an exciting competition offering fans the chance to win a priceless item or time in the studio with you. These kind of campaigns don’t usually tie in with a release but are ideal for keeping conversation going surrounding your brand when your release schedule is quieter.
For every track and every campaign, you’ll need to spend money in order to generate clicks. Many artists make the mistake of being so excited about their first release of the year that they overspend and are left with no money for advertising for the rest of the year. It is important not to confuse this with your overall budget, which should be completely separate. At the beginning of the year you need to decide how much money you’d like to spend this year on your marketing, and then distribute those funds across your content calendar.
This is a great way to make sure that you don’t spend way more than you intended through the year. By keeping control and planning in advance you ensure that you spend your preferred amount of money and dedicate resources effectively across your campaigns and releases. Spending all of your money and creating great interest at the start of the year but not following through is incredibly damaging to your brand and limits your success. Make sure that even the last track you release this year is going to receive the right amount of budget to enable it to shine and reach as many listeners as possible.
Planning in advance can be stressful but ultimately provides a great deal of security. By planning everything now, you can focus on your creativity instead for the rest of the year. A structure will help you to keep on top of deadlines and be as productive as possible, plus it will enable you to manage your stress levels by limiting overworking. When you plan a structure you’ll soon realise whether you have enough ideas and campaigns for the coming year. If you don’t, take the time to plan what you’d like to do to allow your brand to truly shine this year. Don’t be swept up in your creativity, take the time to effectively plan.