The student market is a lucrative one for musicians, and many top bands started out whilst at Uni: Pink Floyd, Queen, The Pixies… They all created whilst studying. So, how do you tap into the student market, and convince them to like your band?
The majority of students follow current trends; I remember conducting a training session and literally everyone there said that their favorite artist was Stormzy. Obviously, that’s just one music genre so if you’re making deep house I’m not suggesting that you convert to grime! But it’s all about making sure you appeal to students and get their attention – the specifics of how you do that is down to you and your band’s style. Think about trends on social media to make yourselves more popular than every other Tom, Dick and Harry.
Look Like the Real Deal (and sound it)
Just because students like to get loose, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be taken seriously. The majority of events you do are always going to be scrutinized by this demographic, and they are constantly waiting to be impressed! Therefore, when you’re creating social media accounts or websites ensure that they look professional. Get some promo photos done by an actual photographer; you could even use a student which will cost you less. Make sure you get a decent logo done too, you don’t want to look unprofessional – it’ll backfire and you’ll just look like amateurs.
Use The Student Unions
Student unions are the go-to place for students, especially first years. Any business wanting to promote in the SU has to pay up to a grand for a stall but the SU bars are always looking for bands to perform. This will allow you to get out in front of new people and get your music to a student audience. Give out some free CDs and merchandise to give away (students love free stuff), then make sure you book a gig a month down the line. If your CDs made a good impression then hopefully they will have played your tunes at pre parties and got their mates into it so there will be a bigger crowd watching you!
Social media is the key! Memes, hashtags, short videos – you need to make sure you’re getting enough content out there so that everyone (not just students) stay engaged with what you’re releasing. Obviously the music has to be good, but staying relevant is also important. One of the best things I’ve seen bands do to create hype on social media is vocal covers of trending songs – easy and cheap to do, and people like listening to new versions of their favourite tunes.