How does Soundcloud promo work?
Over the past 2 years we have grown our artist collective to 600.000 real Soundcloud followers. We’d like to share how we and how our artist have grown their Soundcloud to significant numbers and promise to provide key information on how to get your carreer started with Soundcloud Promotion that really matters.
Over the course of the past decade Soundcloud became a necessary platform for artists in electronic- and black music, and pretty much any genre for that matter. Especially for you and other ambitioned producers! Through extensive promotional work with and for many up-and-coming artists we have developed advanced knowledge about how to promote music and their creators on the platform.
We have supported and promoted some of them from the very beginning of their career, taking artist accounts from zero to more than 80k followers, and gaining millions of views all while simultaneously expanding the ‘The Gentle Fox’ network to 600k+ followers. You may be familiar with the much of the following points however if done correctly and strategically our approach will add much value to your career.
1. Set up your profile carefully
The first impression of your profile also is the most important. Not only listeners but also label representatives, network owners, managers or other artists will judge you on this. On both: The visual impression; and of course even more important: the Sound, your music. So make sure your Soundcloud profile and banner pictures are in adequate quality, in corporate identity to your music/image and of course: the right size to be displayed correctly.
Have a look at the exact sizes HERE
Also don’t forget to add your social media handles and website (if you have one) and add a greeting and/or links to the bio… Or don’t! There is no strict rule on how to set up your profile. It’s about following your unique style and having a uniform strategy.
A side info right to the beginning of the guide: The better you make the ground you’re working on, the cheaper your promotion ultimately will be because your conversion rate will become significantly better. There are many ways to show who you are on your profile. Make it count!
2. Upload music
Soundcloud is a social music streaming platform. What matters most is your music! It’s good to start uploading and releasing music as soon as possible in your career but not before you are 100% confident with how it sounds. Undoubtedly it will be much more challenging to promote your music when it’s not of a high quality. You will either spend a lot of time or a lot of money on Soundcloud promotion only to have very low outcomes once you try driving traffic to poor productions.
Good quality music will be shared further. Excellent music promotes itself once you give it a little push in the beginning. That’s the ultimate goal when the music does its own work and goes ‘viral’.
2.1 Checklist for a Soundcloud upload
1. Ensure your basic information is added clearly and correctly to get your name out there once your work is shared.
2. Write your name in the title. Soundcloud will tell you there is no need to but otherwise your artist name (the term to be remembered) will appear only very small when your track is getting reposted or shared for example.
3. Set a genre! It diminishes about where your track will pop up on the charts or hot&new once your listeners are picking it up. This will drive more traffic again. Unfortunately sometimes Soundcloud doesn’t take the genre from your settings and diminishes it automatically. Thus you won’t show up where you want to. Sorry that we can’t help here, we’re facing this issue ourselves. Sometimes Soundcloud works very slow on their trouble shooting.
4. Upload a good quality artwork. (Well, you knew that.)
A nice artwork will be more likely to be clicked and a more clicked uploads will get you more listeners.
5. Make sure to have your keywords appearing everywhere: In the description, in the tags etc. Keywords can be a useful tool once picked carefully. You gotta find the right term that fits your music. A term that is not used by huge artists yet but still remains relevant. Means people are searching for it.
The easiest way to make use of keywords are remixes or covers. Read below why streams and plays of reworks sometimes skyrocket!
6. Making use of the buy link should be a key point of your Soundcloud promotion strategy! This is your chance to get your listeners enganged in the way you want them to. Once you upgraded your profile you’ll also be able to change the name from “buy” to “stream” or “free download”. Whatever your intention is. Also, disable Soundclouds free download button. This will lead to nothing! Again, read more about how to use free downloads effectively in your Soundcloud promotion strategy below!
3. Free Downloads
Free downloads became very very popular on Soundcloud and are supposed to be one of your key strategies when it comes to Soundcloud Promotion. It’s the key tool to gain new followers on the platform and also to get likes and shares from your listeners in exchange. Over the past couple years, many young businesses formed to provide so called free-download-gates. These are tools providing the infrastructure to exchange follows, likes & reposts with your music. You can set up these tools to make your downloaders follow you on Soundcloud or other relevant platforms like Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. Our favourites are Click.dj and Toneden because you’ll also be able to make people follow your Spotify profile or even your Spotify playlist. Both have free and pro plans. Definitely make free downloads a strategy of your Soundcloud Promotion!
We’re currently also working on a project with ID experts that will provide further options on how to handle your Soundcloud and promo. Once we’re ready to launch you’ll be the first we’ll introduce it to. Just drop us a mail.
4. Soundcloud Reposts – key to successful Soundcloud Promo
Reposts are a very important feature that makes Soundcloud a SOCIAL streaming service. This is why Soundcloud may be the most important platform for new artists and producers. It makes you not being dependent on the labels or official streaming representatives. The group of people we call gate-keepers. There are four ways to get reposted and fuel your Soundcloud promotion:
- A listener just likes your music and hits the button.
- You force people to repost your track when they want to download it free.
- Pay for your promo
- Trade reposts with other artist and channels
4.1 Are Soundcloud reposts still effective?
Indeed since many listeners have moved from Soundcloud to Spotify or other music streaming services, reposts aren’t as effective as they were before. (Which is one reason why we have lowered the prices of our campaigns) The reasons for this development are versitile. Users may have not found their favourite music on the platform anymore, Soundclouds mobile app never became a useful tool, neither for artists nor for fans. Spotify’s or Apple Music’s concepts are just better. Undoubtfully.
Anyway, Soundcloud definitely is a very important tool for young producers and artists. Set up your Soundcloud promotion strategy right and follow clear promotional goals. You can’t collect fan data such as email-adresses, location, gender and age on Spotify. You may track it on Spotify for Artists but you cannot remarket them.
So if your goal is to get closer to your fans, to identify your listeners and built an actual audience, reposts are still effective!
4.2 Our Soundcloud Promotion Campaigns: From reposts to organic reach
You probably noticed that also we at “The Gentle Fox” do Soundcloud promotion by selling reposts (to a max of 600k followers). Of course only once we favour the sound of the submitted track and it fits our accounts. We and our artists also invest a lot in Soundcloud reposts of other networks. This is how it has to be seen: An investment in your carrer. The music business isn’t very different to other businesses and we simply don’t live in a world where everything is free. Just imagine all the time, work and money that has been invested to give you this platform to spread the word about your music. For us it was and is a necessary part of our Soundcloud promotion, without it expect that everything will take incredibly longer time. If this sounds interesting to you feel free to have a quick look at our promotion packages / repost campaigns at Promote. In case it doesn’t – no problem. Continue reading and get the most out of this online music promotion guide 🙂
Here is how you’ll grow from Soundcloud Reposts (https://youtu.be/cxj0HntHpLM):
4.3 Repost Trades / Free Soundcloud Promotion
You’d like to get your tracks promoted free? Well, nothing in this world really is for free. People or campanies who have grown a sicnificant number of followers worked their ass off for their reach. They invested huge amounts of time and money to get to this point. But you don’t always have to pay money in exchange for reach. Once your tracks start to get traction and your follower count rises you’ll be able to trade reposts with other artists and channels. Simply, you repost their track to your followers and they do the same for you.
When working this strategy, make sure to not repost multiple tracks at the same time as it will diminish each tracks reach. Also try to keep the number of reposted tracks as low as possible and only repost quality music. Thats how we schedule our reposts as well at The Gentle Fox to guarantee our artists the maximum engagement from our promotion.
Also if you don’t work this way your fans may feel you’re spamming and ultimately unfollow you.
Oh and one last info about this: Do not buy fake followers or plays. NEVER!!
Every professional in the business will identify your fake numbers immediately and you loose all credibility. Also is just doesn’t make sense, you’ll spent money without having anybody listening to your music.
5. Originals vs. Covers / Remixes
After learning the basics of today’s Soundcloud promotion let’s take a deeper dive into the different types of content. As this can be a key info for the growth of your following.
Typically originals will be the content of most value to you. We all know its way harder to create a great original track than flipping existing -already proven material. Your very own music will also be the content that is interesting for label representatives and are the victims of your creativity and artistry. All in all this is the content you are most passionate about! However to start your career you have to attract an audience and it is best to start with remixes and covers. These retakes are a great way you can use to your advantage to improve your skills. But also to narrow down who is your target audience and to gain followers, likes, email addresses etc. Cover songs and remixes are a great way to reach a large amount of music fans through organic reach!
5.1 Benefits for your Soundcloud Promotion
If you choose to remix or cover popular tracks your Soundcloud promotion will profit from two things:
The songwriting is already proven by a large audience and people tend to click terms that sound familiar. The second and even more important factor is: Popular tracks getting searched. Once your remix is well produced, you’ve set the right keywords and you placed your track in front positions, your reach and your plays will skyrocket. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of plays. Even millions aren’t unfeasible!
Inevitably this will feed your account with new followers to even better promote your next release. And Soundcloud is the platform where this strategy works best because you’re allowed to put the original artist in the title (Distributers won’t approve such titles on any store like Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play etc.).
If you want to follow this strategy make sure to choose the track to remix cleverly. It doesn’t make sense to just remix the most successful track because it’s getting searched the most times. You have to locate a track or a keyword that is well searched but for which front positions are reachable for your promotion capacities.
So, you identified a great new track with a lot potential to become real big and there is no upload on Soundcloud yet. Or some with only very streams. It’s time to get your hands on the music, produce and record. You can be sure that many competiting producers are on a remix of the song as well so better be fast and upload as soon as possible. Once uploaded make sure to give your remix or cover a massive push in the beginning to claim the first position on search results. Try to get as many reposts as possible, make trades, buy reach. At the moment when your track is listed #1 you’ll be paid back dozens of times.
Imagine how much you’d have to spent for 10.000 plays A DAY!! If your horse is on the right track, worked a solid remix or cover and gave it the right push in the beginning you can lean back and count your plays and new followers.
You have worked your way from paid or traded reposts to organic Soundcloud promotion.
For a long time Soundcloud has been the place for Dj mixtapes and uncleared remixes or bootlegs. Unfortunately and fortunately this time is over. We highly discourage you from uploading illegal content to your profile. Soundcloud has initiated a 3 strike policy and once you get the third alert your profile will be immediately deleted. You really don’t want this to happen to your investment.
Make it your own work!
Make sure to recreate parts you cannot clear and buy the necessary , licences, its not as half as expensive as you think. Just have a look at easysonglicensing and you’re safe for only a few bugs. You actually don’t need a licence for Soundcloud and not even for Spotify but once you wanna monetize your upload you have to distribute the track and your Distributer want to see a proof that everything goes the legal way.
You should earn back money you invest in Soundcloud Promotion, don’t you? Soundcloud has been gradually improving its payout policies, which are still in its infancy stage, as such you need a substantial number of plays to earn. Soundcloud is not even completely monetized as they are still figuring out their commercial/advertising agreements around the world. With 1,0€-1,5€/1000 plays, the payouts are quite meagre compared to Spotify for example.
7.1 How Monetization on Soundcloud works
Notwithstanding it still makes sense to aim toward monetizing as this will improve directly and indirectly as your following grows. Ultimately you will see a return on your investment.In terms of monetizing there are a few more possibilities. You can partner with a service like “Repost Network” to get your content monetizable (they take 30%). Or distribute your tracks through CDBaby, Tunecore or, and this is the service we use ourselves, Routenote or other companies who have Soundcloud on their distribution plan. The cuts depend on the service but you usually got more for yourself than by going through “Repost”. Routenote really made the difference for us and most of our artists the past year. You always have a direct contact to talk to and it usually works very fast. (If not don’t hesitate to follow up!) The dynamic pricing is another plus.
Make sure to only monetize content that you’re allowed to distribute otherwise you may run into bigger trouble. Monetizing originals is always fine for sure. For covers you’ll need to buy a license. And it is quite cheap, check out easysonglicensing as mentioned above. And make sure to read all necessary info in this great article on Ari’s Take.
The whole team over here at the fox hopes this article will help you to push your Soundcloud promotion up on the next level and fuel your stats to the sky. If you have questions or you think we have missed something please drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready to get your tracks pushed to up to 600.000 Soundcloud feeds? Have a look at our promotion packages and we’ll get you new listeners and new fans.
All the best,