When should you expand your music brand into foreign markets?
In the current environment of the electronic dance music industry, most producers tend to focus their marketing efforts on their own country and where the majority of their fanbase is. Of course, this is a great idea when building up the foundations of your career. However, with multiple opportunities around the world to expand your music brand, international expansion seems to be an activity that’s often overlooked.
By expanding your music brand on an International scale, it allows you to be less dependent on the consumers within your home country to sell tickets or stream your music. Plus with more countries falling in love with your music brand, it provides ample opportunity for touring the world and performing at venues in multiple continents. Likewise, you can tap into markets that have different seasons. For example, Australia & New Zealand have their summer in December. What’s stopping you from releasing a summer anthem just before Christmas and then targeting your marketing efforts at countries in the Southern Hemisphere?
But more than anything, the reason for going global is the potential within the music industry for expansion and growth. With the opportunity to collaborate with people in South Korea, Brazil, Australia and many more countries around the world, the opportunities are literally endless for growing your music brand.
Firstly, you have to ask yourself if the product (your music) will sell well in the culture that you are targeting and how to integrate your music into that country. As an example, Justin Bieber gained a lot of fans in South and Central America by releasing a Spanish track called “Despacito” with Luis Fonsi. Gaining over a billion streams, it significantly increased Bieber’s presence across the world.
Also, you have to remember that people within those countries are going to be looking at your social media updates. If you don’t speak the native language, hiring a translator will be crucial to maintaining online success within a certain territory. This is because Facebook now has a feature which allows you to write a post in multiple languages.
Once these questions have been answered, it’s time to prepare the international expansion of your music career. The best place to start is by writing down a list of goals and ambitions of what you hope to achieve within that territory. Do you want to play stadiums? Do you want to be at the top of the Spotify charts? Whatever your reason, ensure that your actions match your ambitions.
Next, establishing a network within that territory will significantly increase your chances of becoming successful. For example, you’ll need to know booking agents, bloggers, social media influencers and popular artists within that country which have a lot of influence.
Finally, understanding the social media environment of a particular country is extremely important if you wish to be successful there. For example, China’s government has blocked access to Facebook & other western platforms. Therefore, you would need to develop a comprehensive strategy on platforms such as WeChat & Weibo etc. We’ll discuss the strategy behind those particular platforms within a future article.
At the end of the day, international expansion isn’t a decision that should be taken quickly. However, if your career is at a stage in which expanding is beneficial, it’s certainly worth the effort – providing you execute well.