The music industry has changed immeasurably over the past two decades. Once upon a time, a musician’s fate and path to success was totally dictated by record companies and labels. These days, a musician may be able to chart their own way, using social media as a springboard and an ongoing marketing tool, and Instagram is a great place to do this – if you know how!
Here are ten notes on effectively promoting your music on Instagram:
Your Instagram profile
Let’s start with the basics – your Instagram profile – and your photo. You need your photo
to express exactly who you are as an artist. Think about the image you want to present; does it capture the spirit of your music, your message, and who you are as a person? Think about colours and tones, and whether you want a headshot, or a full-length pose.
You have 150 characters to write your bio, so think carefully about you want to say! Who are you, what do you do? What style and kind of music do you perform? Your bio may be one of your most important creative exercises, so make sure you get it right!
You’re only allowed one so make it count. Jeremy Bell-Lewis, a marketing manager at Top Writing Service says, “Keep a weekly or even daily eye on your link and make sure it is up to date – do you want to link to a live gig, a giveaway, or something cool on your website? Keep changing it up – your link is the perfect stepping stone to your fans.”
The grid is all about the visual, and visuals and music go together perfectly, right? So, use your creativity. Check out the grids of musicians you admire – what are they doing? Compose shots of you performing, recording, relaxing in the garden, playing with your dog – whatever you want – it just has to be visually appealing. You can also post videos, of course, which brings us onto….
You can record vertical videos lasting 15 secs to 10 minutes long – of you performing, recording, writing lyrics, or sharing a montage of a day in your life. Make your videos both fun and engaging, and relevant to your audience.
Stories can be a more ad hoc and casual – after all, they only hang around for 24 hours! You can post funny photos and videos, run a poll, or ask fans to ask you a question. Make sure to use text and stickers to add fun and interest and post a few times a day if you like; keep supplying that content so fans want more and more! Martin Longwell, a business writer at Study demic and Simple Grad, says, “Stories are a great tool to say something snappy and fun and really hook your fans in. See what other musicians are doing and have fun with it!”
One of most useful tools on Instagram is going live. Record yourself performing – of course – or you could talk about what you’re working on, a piece of good news, your ups and downs in the music world, or have someone interview you about something you want to share.
Think carefully about which hashtags you want to use; although you are allowed 30, some commentators say only use 5 or 6. Look up what other artists have used, and experiment with how many work for you and your engagement.
Don’t forget, if you have the budget, you can pay to promote you posts, via Facebook Ads Manager. Stick to your budget and monitor your results!
Make it personal
Above all, be yourself and express your music in a way that really showcases you. Give fans a peek into the life of the real you. You are your best marketing tool!
Visibility, exposure, and fun – Instagram could be the perfect platform to highlight your music, what kind of an artist you are, and forge a musical path to fans. The ten steps above could see you playing your own tune on Instagram – that people are going to love!
Christina Lee is a marketing manager and a business writer.
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