Advertising | Social Media Marketing
Hello! My name is Bryce Hanson and I am a Senior majoring in Communications with an emphasis in Advertising and Social Media Marketing. Growing up, I have always had a passion for listening, playing and writing music. I began playing the piano when I was four years old and started composing music when I started high school. Music has always been my safe space and something that I can always lean on to make me happy. When deciding on what I should do for a senior project, I quickly realized that combining my music with digital marketing techniques would be a perfect use of many things that I have learned in my college career.
About the Project | The Music
The album that I created to use with this senior project is titled Finding Our Infinity. Finding Our Infinity is an idea that came to me during the peak of the recent pandemic. Feelings of isolation and loneliness surrounded many of us. As we were forced to be secluded from others, social media and other forms of technology became our primary way of communication. The meaning around “Finding Our Infinity” is that we can find our purpose in life, no matter how alone we may feel at times. There are infinite possibilities out there in a constantly expanding and infinite universe. For me, finding my infinity at the time was falling in love with someone who made me believe that anything is possible and that I am not alone, even if I am thousands of miles away from them. The 11 songs written, recorded, mixed and mastered as an album tell my story and encapsulate feelings that myself and many others felt during this time. My overall goal for this project was to reach 5,000 monthly listeners. I am pleased to say that I surpassed this goal.
The first step after organizing my music as an album was to create album artwork for it. I accomplished this by using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. I used a copyright free image of the sky from Pexels and a couple to form an outline of my design idea. Using custom water color brushes, silhouette tracing, wrinkled paper effects, shading, shadowing, recoloring, and font customization, I was able to make my idea come to life. I created four designs with each one being a variation of the first. I posted all four designs on my Instagram story and had everyone vote for their favorite. The first one was the most popular and the one I decided to use for the final album artwork. I also created two vinyl designs using the original album artwork designs that I made.
Research and Pitch To Stores
The second step following the music creation was researching online platforms and stores to host my music on. I researched over 100 online stores and decided to pitch my music and artwork to 58 companies total. I chose these companies based on how popular they are, my personal opinion of them, overall reviews from their consumers online, and compensation possibilities from each. I used an independent label from the UK called Ditto Music to distribute and pitch the album to editors. After 2 weeks of waiting, I was pleased to see that my album was accepted by all of them. Below is an image of all of the online platforms that the album can be found on along with a screenshot of the submission to the independent label.
After the album was published, I began working on a website. Having a website was an important part of launching my music. I wanted a place where people could stream the music, view the videos that I create, see the artwork that was designed, and read summaries for each piece of music. Not everyone uses streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, so a website is a great way to expand to more audiences and obtain a higher reach. In the end, the website was made to be a part of my smart link, a link that my presentation QR code would redirect people to as well as people that visit my Instagram profile. To create the website, I used WordPress for the base structure of the code, Spotify embed code to add previews of the music, and SquareSpace to host it and make subtle visual tweaks. All of this code integrated together and there were no copyright violations. All of these programs are compatible together and have exporting options for the code. Analytics for the website will be collected in the future because it was not added to the smartlink during the social media promotion portion of the project. You can visit the full website using the button below.
Before creating and posting social media content to promote the album, I wanted to construct a smart link. A smart link is a link that is able to house all important links that I want to share with my audience in one convenient page. I used Linktree to create this smart link. My Linktree smart link includes links to my album on the most popular streaming services (Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Pandora), the website I designed, and the videos and audio that are available on YouTube. The QR code that I made for my presentation takes everyone directly to this smart link for easy access to the musical project.
Social Media Posts
Creating social media posts, specifically for Instagram and YouTube, was how I met my goal of 5,000 monthly listeners. Using an organic approach, I created both shorter and longer videos, shown as reels on Instagram, with appropriate hashtags related to my music. These hashtags allowed for reach to audiences far beyond my followers. I posted each of the videos I created mainly for Instagram on YouTube as well so that they could easily be viewed on this blog post. All of the cinematic footage was obtained from Pexels under their “Free to use” license where attribution is not required and modification of the footage is allowed.
Creating and posting social media content was great to get my music heard by more people, but I would not know if I met my goal if I didn’t collect data. I was able to collect data from three sources: Ditto music (the independent label), Spotify for Artists, and Instagram’s Creator Tools. Below are images of the most important analytics collected from these sources.
Posters for Presentation
These are the posters I made for my tabletop display for the project. They show the name of the project, the album artwork with the QR code containing the smart link, and the process steps of the entire project.
This was an amazing opportunity to feature my musical work and also exhibit my knowledge of graphic design, editing, web design, advertising and social media marketing gained over my college career. In the future, I hope to continue to grow my skills in these areas along with music creation and production. Thank you for taking the time to read my project and witness the work that goes into musical projects such as this one. Cheers!