There used to be a time when DJ’s were only limited to playing gigs at the club and making remixes. The industry which has come decades further was really a small one initially. No one ever thought of seeing DJs being the mainstream or mainstage act. But it’s happening now.

Thanks to the digital media and internet which helped so many artists come forward without investing too much.

Ever since the internet got cheaper and consumption became universal, the brand started fighting each other to win the race. Internet is one of the greatest tools we have to market and brand a product or service or an idea. It’s a free parking zone for you to play and implement your ideas. Whether you are a content creator or a product designer or just a normal employee. Your social media account is something that people go and search for in the first place. Well, this is how the Internet has transformed everything.

This article written by us is a case study of famous Dutch DJ and Electronic Music Producer Hardwell.  Who changed the scene in many different ways. He is called the pioneer of the Big Room House and Progressive House for a reason. This article will focus on every aspect of Hardwell’s effective marketing strategy.


So with this, we start with our first point that is.

1. Release Lots Of Free Quality Content

The industry was already growing when Hardwell started and everything was just starting to become digital. There were a lot of forums and websites where you could upload your stuff and get feedback and talk to people. Hardwell harnessed the power of the internet back then looking at the future and decided to go into his own way of giving his bootlegs, mashups, remixes, and originals for free. Which of course was a brilliant move because everybody had to buy music back then. And free music was not available. So people used to search a lot of free downloads and being the smartest in the game Hardwell understood it and played the game very well.

This, in turn, was good marketing for him as well.

2. Mass Distribution Of Content

Hardwell was not only using the internet as a channel but the mass distribution of content using TV, Radio, Stores was also there. All the famous radio shows use to play his tracks. He built a good reputation with the broadcasters and record label back then. Which in return helped him to distribute his music. So this way he was able tap the offline market and got his music available to all in an easy manner.

Availability is one of the greatest concern when it comes to marketing. If it is not easily accessible then it will not be probably consumed by most of the customers.  Hardwell knew it back then and this is why he decided to push his content as far as he could. So that he could actually get some attention. And offline methods also did wonders for him.

3. Using Download Gates

Everybody is using the download gates these days. They are so popular that every upcoming artist on SoundCloud is using it. Not just that, a lot of companies are also making a profit because of it and some are also paying to the artists for using their gates.

Hardwell used it back then when twitter and all other social media platforms were growing with a massive pace. Since, he wanted to create a fan base and also wanted to give something back to fans. He used download gates which had it’s massive impact on his career and helped him grow as an artist.

4. Viral Content For The Breakthrough

Hardwell says “You just need one piece of viral content to breakthrough”

Hardwell and his team understand the power of content creation very well. Every festival he plays, every visual his team creates is amazingly crafted so that people can relate to it and enjoy. Few examples –

  • Apollo becaming the biggest hit
  • The Pokemon theme played by Hardwell at Ultra Europe 2016 went viral
  • The song sally from his album ‘united we are’ which was praised and also hated
  • The legendary bootleg of Show Me Love which went viral  

All these are some of the best examples of viral content. He still says we just need one piece of viral content to breakthrough.

5. Start Your Own Platform

Hardwell started his own record label and radio show in order to help other upcoming producer and DJ to showcase their talent. To this day he hasn’t stopped and is continuously helping other producers shines.. His label is counted among one of the best labels in the industry right now. And his radio show is always booming.

By starting his own platform Hardwell didn’t just get promotion but, he also was able to help people by giving them a chance to showcase their talent.

6. Collaborate & Grow

Collaboration is one of the best things which can happen to any industry. Nowadays not just companies but also music artists work in collaboration to release records. This, in turn, gives them the opportunity to tap other artist’s fanbase resulting in absolute reach and success.

If you see Hardwell’s case, collaboration is something which brought him to lights from many different angles. His collab with Tiesto, Makj, Henry Fong, Maddix and more absolutely gave him the edge that was needed. He was able to tap into the fanbase of other artists and made his music reach beyond the boundaries.

7. Release High or Epic Quality Content

Content marketing is of huge importance now. The videos, audios and all other stuff scattered on the internet has some amount of value. But being able to use it efficiently is something that opens the doors for brand to market and grows.

Talking about point no.4 here.

The content his team builds is of huge importance. The video’s, the after movies and show vlogs, really makes everybody dream to become the next big thing. His content is inspiring, positive, and full of emotions and tapping this area has been helping generating profit as well as social media shares.

So good quality content is important.


Ever realized how Hardwell is super quick at everything? Just for example – Back to back dropping releases after releases.

When big room house was becoming the face of industry Hardwell saw the opportunity and started producing big room house and was releasing songs after songs which in return built him a reputation in the big room music community but also his experimentation and hard work made him lead the league.

He was a leader in most of the things though. And it’s just for music Hardwell and his team is huge risk taker. They always keep their level up with new technologies and techniques which is new in the market. This makes them innovative and creative at the same time.

9. Give Back To Fans (Release Premium Content For Free)

Well’s this has been learned by every artist in the scene. And is most popular in case of EDM. Giving stuff for free is a good way of keeping your fans engaged. As well as it builds a hero sort of reputation.

Hardwell knew it right from the beginning and gave away some his major tracks like his Apollo Edit and many other tracks for free. The same was done with Hardwell’s imprint Revealed Recordings.

It’s a good way of giving free and quality stuff to your fans to keep them happy.

10. Increase Your Engagement With Your Fans

Hardwell was one among the few artists who started using chatbots in order to engage with his fans. Using bots helped him to reply to his fans instantly and helped them feel warm. The effective use of bot helped him grow even further because when you are an artist as big as Hardwell people expect a lot from you. And who knows what could turn into a new opportunity.

With a fanbase like Hardwell, it’s really difficult to keep up with everyone but the rightly built chatbot that his team made made it possible to have a high engagement rate.

A lot of more case studies are coming soon. 

Enjoy !!

Free Download – Hardwell Kick Samples