Organic buzz is the kind of hype that leads to an explosion in a artist’s popularity. It gets music fans talking and forces people in the music industry to pay attention.
Generating organic buzz is important because it helps reveal a fanbase and demonstrates a demand for your music, which will catch the attention of record labels and artist management.
The industry is always on the lookout for new talent, but nobody likes taking risks with money and resources on the line, so labels and managers want to be as certain as possible before taking on a band.
If you have the talent, artistic originality, and desire to succeed, then it’s time you start strategizing as to how to generate organic buzz for your band and build your fanbase as quickly as possible.
First and foremost, build your foundations correctly
Marketing savvy aside, you and your music have to be worth talking about. Music fans are quick to judge new music, but remarkable talent and creativity will win them over.
To understand how artists generate organic buzz, let’s reverse-engineer the process. Listeners might share a song on social media, or spread the word in some form about an exciting new musical act because they feel compelled to do so; what is that spark? Or that bit of magic that draws people in? Is it a great song, an innovative sound, captivating lyrics, impeccable studio takes, or a photogenic image?
The answer is, it’s all of the above, and more.
You will have to put in the work behind the scenes to ensure you are an outstanding cohesive product, and one that ticks all of the boxes. No amount of touring, press, or investment can bring you success if you haven’t got what it takes to begin with.
Produce exceptional visual content
Focusing on creating engaging visual content to accompany your music will maximize its potential for online success.
Simply put, today it’s just harder to capture people’s attention and imagination due to the ever-increasing volume of content out there, and the growth of video platforms that promote shorter lengths of content such as Instagram and TikTok.
If you have some great visual content, but lack a large fanbase, you can pitch your video content to a media partner or promotional YouTube channel in order to achieve substantial views and reach new fans. There are countless dedicated music YouTube channels that accept submissions from bands within their genre or niche.
Achieving high streaming statistics and view counts are bound to catch the attention of the industry, and they are key metric indicators of substantial growth. Video can help you get there, so spend time figuring out how you can make more of it.
Pull off a killer live show
Organic hype doesn’t necessarily depend on achieving viral online success. Delivering an outstanding and entertaining live show will get music fans talking in no time.
People love to talk about music, and there is something intrinsically validating about discovering the next big thing at a concert—and usually that happens for support artists opening for big headliners on arena tours. Word of mouth spreads, and it is possible to work your way up to that level playing increasingly larger shows over time.
That said however, this doesn’t mean it’s worthwhile to perform at every single show that comes your way. Discriminate (in a good way), and choose to perform at select shows that you can be sure will generate a good turnout or offer you some other value. The last thing you want to do is saturate your performances—choose quality over quantity when it comes to playing shows.
Attract new fans and keep them excited
As an artist you want to stay on people’s radar, without appearing desperate. Ultimately, people want what they can’t have, or what’s just out of reach. So to create buzz you’re going to have to find ways to engage with your fans whilst keeping them on their toes, always wanting more.
People want something fresh and exciting. There is nothing exciting about generic online statements such as “check out our music here…” on social media, or the usual “thank you so much, this next song is…” at your show.
There are so many more engaging and thoughtful ways of promoting your music online. I have seen many artists offer cryptic clues and Easter eggs that offer fans a sneak peek at new music. These can range from solving a puzzle or guessing a password, to finding hidden text in images, and these teasers truly get people talking.
Music fans also want to be a part of a community that feels exclusive. Utilizing mailing lists as a method of keeping fans in the loop with exclusive content, or rewarding your following or gig attendees with early access to new music or limited edition merchandise can make a huge difference.
Increase your artist’s perception
It might seem like a catch-22, but you’ve got to have fans to build fans. In a sense this is somewhat true, as music fans always want to jump on board the hype train, and everyone’s got a case of FOMO these days… Use it to your advantage!
Faking it till you make it does work when applied correctly—it’s about creating the illusion that your bigger than it really is. And there are numerous creative and intelligent ways you can help to do this. You wouldn’t want to shout from the rooftops that you performed to an empty room the other night, or that you failed to sell any merchandise.
Instead, think about how you can create an alluring charm around your brand that highlights the positives.
It’s important to mention that you should never create a fake fanbase by buying social media followers or video views. Everyone can see through this and it looks foolish on your part. It becomes clear and obvious if you have 100,000 views on a music video with virtually no comments or likes. Besides, it’ll be even more obvious when nobody comes to your show.
If you get an opportunity to support a popular artist for a sold out show, make sure to hire a filmmaker to capture the footage and use it for a music video for an upcoming release. Give the impression that this massive audience is here for you.
Lastly, offer some guest vocal spots on your next album to singers and soloists that have greater visibility. This sort of “name drop” can often make a difference.
Music fans want to listen to exciting new artists, and there is a strong feeling of validation that comes with knowing they hopped on the right bandwagon—to be able to say they “saw that band back when nobody knew who they were!”
Generating organic buzz is all about being hot and on-trend, and in order to do this, you have got to convince people you could definitely be the next big thing.
It’s one thing to get your music heard by new audiences, it takes more work to mobilize them to support you. Are you ready to do that work?