Words by Kavina.
Next time someone asks where your music audience hangs out, you might want to check that they aren’t referring to your online audience before mentioning the pub. At a time when it’s crucial to have fans who support your music by interacting and purchasing, you’ll have to get to know their online habits to meet them with the goods.
If you want leads that lead your social media base from follower to subscriber, a higher conversion rate from browser to stayer, and loyal customers who hang out to see what you’re going to do next then stay with us, and get comfortable with the term ‘analytics tools’. Because, it’s how we knew you wanted to read an article on this topic, and they aren't going anywhere.
Social distancing changed the way we participate in music
Most of our interactions have been on the internet of late due to obvious pandemic reasons, though impressively, musicians adapted to and overcome the limitations of a wiped out live music scene, and built a whole industry avatar online. Live Music Online became the spot where musicians could launch full albums, host listening parties, live streams, and drive new merch sales which would have come from the earnings of touring, and we don’t see the world turning back.
Social media IS your music market
There’s one place you can reach your fans for certain, and that's on social media. With the amount of screentime that fans get in on the daily, they’ll learn about you through browsing and accidentally stumbling, long before they discover your music at a live gig. Youtube was the most visited site after Google for 2020, streaming sites subscriptions made up a huge part of global music sales which increased to $21.6 billion, and record companies have invested in a surplus of artists over the past year, most of which were sourced from social media blowups. Welcome to your future. You’re a full-time music marketer now. So don’t hate the player, become one.
Is your online performance worthy of a standing ovation, or is it reaching an empty room?
We’ve got metaphors for days, and metaphorically speaking, your online performance is only noteworthy if it’s reaching an audience who is listening and clapping back. In this case, that means interacting with your content and your music in whatever capacity that is going to help you reach your offline career goals - wow, that’s some perspective.
We don’t promote our music just because we’re muso’s with a secret passion for marketing, but without it, we wouldn't be able to reach crowds around the world and get those recorded studio albums into the ears which will pay for the hard work, and spread the good word. If you’ve got a follower count but no music sales, or web traffic but no one is signing up, picture likes but no comments, then the quantity might be there, but you need to address some quality issues.
Knowing your audience will make the marketing life you didn't sign up for, worth it.
It’s not all about how to get fans to buy your music or watch your latest video, there are core reasons for why humans do everything. Why are they watching your video in the first place? What in their lives caused their browsing journey to end with your music? Was it boredom? An energy booster? Work from home life has given them more time to engage and now they want a chat?
What’s the lifestyle for the countries where your customers live and what issues are they dealing with right now? Get to know your customers' pain points and lifestyle choices and you’ll gain an understanding of the WHY behind your customer's habits. Then you can create content that is suited to their lifestyle, and run ad campaigns that will motivate their choices, instead of just getting scrolled past. Whether it’s stripped-back living-room performances like James Blake or Q&As about the new album. What do your people want?
To do all this, you’re going to need your new BFFs - some analytics tools.
Luckily we’ve learned that the number one place that your audience is consuming music is via social media sites, which have exceptional built-in analytics tools, as well as your good mate google analytics to handle the rest of your web traffic and email data. With a bit of study on how to use the data collected you’ll be ready to officially enter the strategy part of your music marketing strategy - you get it now? Create performance reports, see your marketing budget at work, optimise content where strategies are paying off, and in the end, save your time, money, and effort.
WARNING* We are now entering stealth mode, tracking via analytics (google, Instagram, Spotify)
Review your analytics then create a better strategy
Demographics and psychographics aside, your SMA’s will provide accurate data highlights for how and where from, your audience most interacts with your posts, down to the last sip of coffee they had at Starbucks on the corner between college classes(idk that’s what kids do in LA right?). Measure the effectiveness of existing ad campaigns or create your first one by interpreting the data and pinpointing the goals you have for your social media presence. Different content works better for unique events, such as photos for launching products, personal videos for broadcasting news, and performance material for selling a new album or tour.
Talk to your customers about what matters to them most and deliver music to them in the way they respond to it - whether it's using Youtube videos or TikToks which are especially popular in Asian countries.
Certain social media sites will give you better results than others because of an untapped audience you weren't targeting, or you may have a surprising email reception because your monthly newsletter you send out captures your disarmingly witty personality - another tool in your arsenal. Track them down, and get them there. It’s not creepy at all…
Facebook Ads combined with powerful analytics tools are a winning combination
First of all, if you’re not using Facebook Ads, then you definitely should be because a quick google search will give you the straight facts, which are that Facebook still dominates the social media space with 2.8 billion followers, 200 million more than Instagram.
By using some of the highest-rated analytical tools(we’ll get to Facebook pixel in a sec), Facebook has excelled in ‘targeted marketing’ by analysing factors beyond your run-of-the-mill demographics, even measuring performance against competitors' customer base data. By building a specialised audience, you can then save time and energy trying to reach those with a low conversion rate. And power up your strategy to boost a niche audience that wants your product.
Become an Ad Campaign pro with Facebook pixel
At the risk of sounding ‘sales pitchy,’ installing Facebook Pixel on your website pages to track and create custom audiences, is the best way to get bang for your buck from the money you’ve invested into advertising campaigns. The analytics tool will track audience participation on your site by using events like time spent on pages viewed, scroll depth, search, add to cart, and purchases, then measure the correlation between these events and your ad campaigns. By tracking events, you can optimise ad campaigns and retarget an audience that has visited your site before, and ultimately fill the gap which will convert passersby into subscribers, true fans, and buyers of your merch.
What that means is, if your fans are led to your site to buy merch after vibing with your personality on TikTok videos, or were led to purchasing new music after your recent performances, you’ll then have the keys to personalising the videos used in your ad content to match or drive fans actions. BADABOOM.
So how do you put these SMA’s to work?
Great, now you’re a social media analyst and it’s time to sit down and run the campaign that’ll be presidential election-worthy/or just get this album out. Besides copying what the competition is doing, and finding your audience, it’s going to take some trial and error to find what works. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and get your mug on these videos and reels, everyone is doing it and they seem to be getting places.
Take the time to sit down and learn how to read analytics so you can see ideas instead of problems when reading the results. Could you solve an issue for your fans? Or get involved in a cause that’s close to their hearts? Use the language that works for them, embrace cultures and find out where else your online fam is hanging out when it’s not with you. That’ll probably answer some questions on how you can lead them back to your content.
Be yourself, first and foremost, and last but not least.
Only compare yourself to your other music fam when it helps to find out how you can do things better, otherwise, it'll all become very James Blake and Finneas in that new music video of his. Everyone's journey is entirely unique, and personality accounts for a lot. So when you're adopting a persona that's impressionable to your fans, don't give up everything you're about in order to fit an image that you think sells just because Social’s sell. It's just more complicated than that, even if we are dealing with data and stats.
If your persona doesn't fit with everything you're about, fans are perceptive enough to pick up on the vibe, so remember, even though you're trying to catch more fam, the best way to do it is as being the Honey that you are... was that too cute of a finisher? Whatever, I'm running with it.