7 bright ideas that can help musicians to get heard & boost fanbase leveraging Instagram
Instagram, today, is one of the most popular social networking platforms used by individuals and businesses alike to showcase their talents and products. It is versatile and offers a variety of tools that can be used to create brand awareness for all kinds of professional avenues. Artists, in particular, find the platform most enabling for creating an online presence.
As a musician, have you considered how you could incorporate Instagram into your marketing strategies? After all, your art by its very nature is audio-centric, while Instagram is more suited for visual content. To figure out if IG can boost your online presence, firstly ask yourself a couple of key questions:
- What makes you believe Instagram would work better for you over the various audio-sharing sites available?
- Are there others from your niche whose online marketing strategies you would like to emulate and learn from?
- Is visual-based content sharing in keeping with the kind of music you create?
- Is your audience demographics likely to be active Instagram users?
- What is your budget for IG promotions?
Once you have done your initial homework, you will be surprised to know how well-suited Instagram already is for you, no matter what music you make. Now that you have the confidence to use the platform for building brand consciousness be prepared to adopt a flexible approach to your marketing plans. Prepare to observe your insights, and act accordingly to attract your target audience. You will, for instance, need to work hard to grow traffic within IGTV views and Story views as they create the most audience traction and boost your visibility. That said, you can employ several other techniques to reach out to your target audience as well.
Here are several suggestions how you can use Instagram to widen your fanbase and get heard as a musician:
Convert Your Page to a Business Account
The first thing to do is to create the right kind of account. If you are new to Instagram, begin by creating a Business Account. If you are already on Instagram, check your account type. Convert your personal account into a business account if you are using the former. This is to ensure that you can make use of all Instagram features available in your country. The range of tools available on Instagram’s business accounts for marketing and promoting yourself is extensive. You will also find it easier to monetize your account and sell your music via Instagram in addition to growing your fan base if you operate a business account.
Even as it provides better tools for promoting your music and connecting with your fans, a business account on Instagram does not require any additional technical know-how to operate. Its ease of use is at par with that of a personal account.
In addition to providing features like insight analytics and direct contact buttons, a business account lets you link your Instagram handle to your Facebook artist page so you can leverage the audience reach of both platforms simultaneously. Make your account public for it to be discoverable by anyone on Instagram’s large user-base.
Create a Complete Profile Including A Bio with A Back Link and Call-to-Action Buttons
Your profile is your business card on Instagram. Tailor it to be eye-catching but at the same time ensure you have put all relevant information out there.
Here are a few tips on creating a powerful bio that is sure to invite casual surfers to check your content out and perhaps even convert into an active follower of your account:
- Describe who you are and what your music is in a condensed yet impactful manner. This is like a sales pitch for yourself as a brand. Don’t just tell your audience what music you play, make them want to hear you.
- Although space and character length for completing your bio is not very big, you can use it wisely to optimize your Instagram presence.
- Use language and tone to speak to your target audience but remember not to violate Instagram’s policies.
- Provide contact information for potential customers and fans to get in touch with you.
- If you are looking to perform locally, providing geolocation will enable your account activities to show up more prominently on the local users’ feeds.
- Provide a working link to a webpage that showcases your talents:
- You could provide your official website here or link an e-site where your music can be bought or downloaded from.
- You could rotate this link to feature news articles on your music, reviews, upcoming shows and events, or any other important information linked to your music.
- You could use this space to provide a link to a landing page that consolidates all relevant links in one place should you wish to offer more than one URL as a go-to space for your audience.
- Choose a Profile Photo that represents you as a brand. This could be a photo of yourself, your band in action, a logo, or an album’s artwork. Use something that the audience can visually associate with you as a musician. If you use several social platforms, it is a good idea to keep your profile photo uniform across the sites.
- Add call-to-action buttons that allow your audience to book your services or reserve seats at a gig event directly through Instagram if the feature is available in your location. Instagram allows you to place buttons that lead to transactions via scheduling partners. So, you will need to create an account with the scheduling site as well. Furthermore, you will need to link your account to your Facebook business page.
Choose Photos and Videos with Care
You must keep in mind that your account’s purpose is to boost your music and grow your fan base. Hence, post your stories, ideas, and photos accordingly. You do not always need to put your music up as posts. Here are a few tips on how you can give your account a professional look that will also keep your audience engagement up:
Keep the narrative flowing. Sometimes thinking of your Instagram posts as pieces on a storyboard helps in organizing what you want to present to your fans and in what manner. Provide your audience with behind-the-scenes insights, and let them see your hard work. Post about your crew, technical partners, work schedule in addition to information and footage from main events and gigs.
- Caption your posts. This will humanize your content and generate a context for curious explorers. Captions can lead to relevant hashtag ideas and help you experiment with tags until you find the right ones to bring maximum organic engagement to your posts. Write captions that encourage your viewer to leave a comment or tag someone. You will notice a sharp increase in organic Instagram growth in both audience reach and engagement.
- Post about your experiences, failures, attempts, and goof-ups. Post selfies with fans and allows fans to tag you in their photos and footage of concerts they may have attended.
- Think of the aesthetic persona you want to build in public. Use high-quality images and videos, and remember to be consistent in your presentation as an artist. Build yourself a visual persona your target audience connects with.
- Edit and compose your photos and videos with care. Remember that a good post has good lighting and relevant subject positioning. The visual need not be a professionally taken one, but it should speak to the audience.
- You can even use different days of the week to post around set themes, hobbies, and other aspects of your (or your band’s) life. This can bring traction from audiences of various merchandise and community interests. You will be surprised at how many unlikely places you may find a fan for your work.
Make the Most of Insta Stories
Instagram Stories and Highlights are competent to share quick updates and take your audience behind the scene. Collect surveys and opinions and even votes. In fact, Instagram lets you customize this space with a range of free stickers and add-ons to make it as engaging as you wish to.
The Stories and Highlights feature of Insta business accounts draws the most audience traction. So be sure to leverage this to your advantage. In addition to posting videos as regular posts, use the stories space as well to post:
- Short snippets of your performance;
- Important dates and event;
- Promote tutorial videos;
- Showcase your instruments and gear;
- Moments from rehearsals and backstage;
- Generate public votes and opinions.
Your Stories would disappear within 24 hours of being posted but can bring a huge audience to your profile in that span. If you want the story to remain for a longer duration, create a highlight.
Insta Stories do not get curated in the manner of regular posts. A different set of analytics tracking also governs their visibility. You can use the Stories to experiment and try out new ideas like hosting monthly games and polls, gathering quick feedback, or share music links.
If your follower count is over 10,000, Instagram lets you embed clickable links into your Stories. This allows your fans to “swipe” and directly to the page the link connects to. You can use this feature to sell new music or tickets to upcoming shows rather conveniently.
Because Stories disappear, you can use this space to give your audience teasers, so they will want to come back for more content. This is thus an excellent promotion space for upcoming work. Stories also have the advantage of letting your fans message you privately via DMs.
Image Credit: Templates vector created by freepik
Utilize the Space of IGTV
With IGTV, you can post longer videos that can be watched at leisure, just like any video channel content. This is a great space to:
- Create performance presentations;
- Talk about your music-making process;
- Explain lyrics;
- Present short music covers;
- Share live gigs and video streams.
Using Instagram Live Videos is a great way to engage with viewers. The direct interaction is likely to turn viewers into followers and active fans. You do not need a big budget to go live unless you are delivering a performance using a phone with poor audio quality.
- Host Q&A sessions, interactive workshops on various aspects of music like sound production or song-writing, and schedule your live shows to use the video features of IGTV to your advantage.
- IGTV follows the long-form immersive video presentation mode, which means the video takes over the entire screen space. Your IGTV content can be shared in the manner your Stories and regular videos and posts are. Your audiences, too, can leave comments and likes on them in the same way.
The key to successful IGTV streams is to be consistent in your posting schedule and responsive in your audience interaction. If you begin hosting videos on a regular schedule, you will draw more viewers to your content. Let your audience anticipate what the next episode will hold, and you will have your audience returning more regularly. As a musician, you know your forte, and you must optimize your stage presence to grow your fan base using the video options Instagram makes available to you.
Promote Your Music with Collaborations and Paid Services
It is not enough to grow your audience – you must utilize all available avenues to sustain the organic growth and keep the momentum of exposure high to create the brand awareness you aim for. Cash-out on niche marketing – this all is about figuring out how to stand out from the crowd to attract sponsors, labels, and production companies besides the general audience to your music. To give your career an organic boost, study what attracts your targeted fan base. To be able to reach out to a bigger audience pool quicker, consider:
- Collaborating with fellow artists;
- Getting your music endorsed by influencers;
- Partnering up with companies that sponsor gear related to your music production;
- Performing live for trending social causes and campaigns;
- Purchasing promotions like target-centered ads and posts.
Doing the above will help you gain visibility in a larger audience demographic and enable you to tap into new revenue sources. A more organic audience means more exposure and a higher likelihood of selling your music. Working with others can bring profits as well as promotion to your account.
Be Promptly Responsive to Audience Engagement
Do not just create and promote music through your posts. Engage with your audience to increase audience engagement. People love to be heard, understood, and given respect no matter what the context. Here are a few ways you can win the hearts of your audience:
- Reply to queries and comments. Whenever people DM or publicly post on your profile, respond with gratitude and warmth.
- Respond to negative comments with composure. Do not ignore comments that snub or put you down but do not pick fights either. Keep your responses dignified.
- Work audience feedback into your music. Show your fans you are making music for them by incorporating constructive criticism in your work.
- Create appreciation posts and shoutouts for your fans. Let your audience know they matter.
- Honor request posts as you would on stage during a live performance or streaming. Talk to your audience, greet them and acknowledge them.
Now that you have a reasonably comprehensive idea of using Instagram to engage with and grow your fanbase go ahead and give yourself the edge you need over your peers. These tips are guaranteed to leverage Instagram to build you up as a name to reckon with in the music industry.