If you’re an artist, you know the challenge of getting your social media going. Finding people to follow your project is one thing, but these days, getting your fans to engage with you is harder than ever before, thanks to all the content out there. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Thankfully, you can use tools to get the most out of your audience, which can also benefit you greatly as an artist and get your music out to even more people. Welcome to the world of download gates!
What is a download gate?
A download gate is a system that allows you to trade an interaction with a fan for a free download. It can be something as simple as asking a fan to leave an email address or something more complicated, like asking them to repost your track to SoundCloud. Download gates automatically take the fans through the motions and provide them with the download link.
Why should I use one?
Download gates can help you significantly marketing-wise. It’s a great way to start collecting emails for an email list, or to help your track reach as many ears as possible. Giving away free downloads also gets your work to more DJs who can play your music. More advanced download gates can take fans through a multi-step process, asking them to follow you on multiple platforms or to take several actions.
What are the options?
To make things easy for you, we’re going to look into two different options.
Hypeddit is a music-focused marketing platform that hosts free downloads for artists. There is a free version that allows you to add one “follow” step to your gate. This means that you can connect Hyppedit to your Soundcloud, Spotify, and YouTube, and trade a download for a follow. While this is a great first step, we recommend going with the pro plan ($10 USD a month). The pro plan allows for multi-step gates and email collection, both of which make a huge difference in the marketing effectiveness of your gate. For example, you can offer a free download to your fans in exchange for their email address, and a follow on Spotify. By using Hypeddit properly, you can create a well-rounded marketing strategy for yourself and kickstart your social media fast.
Check out Hypeddit's tutorial series below to get a clearer idea on how the platform works:
Toneden is a marketing platform that has a music focus and can also be used for event marketing. Toneden.io also has a free plan with similar restrictions, meaning you can’t use all the available social media platforms for your gate. Paid subscriptions start at $50 USD a month. While much more expensive, Toneden offers an advanced marketing suite, which allows you to control Facebook ads and create customized branding for your download gates.
Check out Toneden's official tutorial on creating a download gate below:
For an artist who wants to give away some music and get some interaction in return, we suggest you go ahead with Hyppedit’s pro plan. The pro plan is easy to work with and generates fast results, and is much more affordable than Toneden’s basic plan. However, if you’re looking for a full-on marketing solution and are interested in diving deep into the world of online marketing, Toneden may be the solution for you.
Final thoughts on download gates
Keep in mind that it’s not easy to create a customer journey. You won’t be able to convert everyone who wants to download the track, as they may be opposed to sharing their information or interacting with you on socials. These fans will probably find a different way to download the track, and that’s to be expected. What’s important is that you’re using free giveaways to actively generate growth on your socials, instead of just giving away a file and hoping for the best.