Tips for Promoting Your Music on Instagram

Why should you be using Instagram to promote your music?

So, you’re a music artist on Instagram – but have you been using your Instagram Stories and IGTV to their maximum potential? Instagram Stories and IGTV are seriously effective in growing your fanbase and helping showcase who you are as an artist. So we’ve put together this Instagram guide for artists with our top tips for using IGTV, Instagram Stories and Instagram Highlights to promote your music.

Why should you use IGTV as a music artist?

IGTV gives you a chance to post longer form content

If fans love your music, a minute just isn’t enough for them. IGTV is a chance for you to share longer music videos, drop your latest freestyles, do acoustic covers, share your opinions and experiment with different types of content that ultimately entertains, inspires and connects with your fanbase. You can also use it to repost other people’s content, like interviews or events you were involved in. (Make sure you have the rights to do this!)

See below how Sam Fender reposts his features with BBC1, Amazon Music and British Red Cross. You get the sense that he’s out there making waves, and you can watch this content without leaving his page.

IGTV gives you room to create content more regularly

This is a chance to have a recurring piece of content like a series or themed episodes that fans will recognise and come to expect from you on a regular basis. It drives engagement and expectation.

See below the QuaranTEA with Tori Kelly and Quarantunes series by Emiko developed over lockdown, which continually drove engagement to their profiles and got them reaching new fans around the world. Tori’s series particularly rippled out into YouTube, where thousands of new screen recordings containing her live sessions have been uploaded.

IGTV gives you a chance to experiment with different kinds of content

Longer form IGTV content helps you break physical and emotional barriers on social media to let people in. Your fans get to see where you live, what you look like when you’re off-stage or out of the studio. Think about how you feel when you see one of your favourite artists givings an intimate living room session. Especially over the lockdown period – it made us all feel less alone.

Check out how Anderson.Paak uses his Instagram Stories to showcase dances with his son and other aspects of his home life.

 

4 Top Tips for using IGTV as a music artist:

1. Make sure you optimise graphics for IGTV.

By optimise, we mean make sure that things like your cover image and captions or subtitles (if your video has any) are the right size for IGTV and won’t get cut off.

2. No need to reinvent the wheel every time.

What this means is, if you’ve already put time, effort and energy into creating content, you can chop it up and post it to every platform. Repurpose your IGTV content and post it on other platforms like YouTube (or vice versa). Content, baby, content!

3. Don’t stress if your content isn’t polished and slick like other huge artists on Instagram.

The substance is what counts! Fans actually love seeing real and raw content, so do what works and is easiest for you.

4. If you do a collaboration (whether or Insta live or not) post it to IGTV, as it’s a chance to widen your reach.

Make sure you post the video to your feed to get more eyeballs on it. Don’t forget to tag your collaborator. Their love on your post will ripple out and receive engagement from their own followers. Tori Kelly always posts her QuaranTea with Tori series to IGTV after she’s gone live.

 

Tips for using Instagram Stories & Highlights as a Music Artist:

Your Instagram Stories are a space for impromptu, on-the-fly, daily life content and passing thoughts or quick riffs/bits that might not fit on your feed or that tell your fans a little bit more about you. Don’t worry too much about having an ‘aesthetic’ – the most authentic stories perform the best. Here are our top tips for using Instagram Stories to promote your music:

  • Boost engagement using stickers on Stories

Your Stories can help boost engagement by using stickers like Polls, questions and help get feedback from your fans. Stories can also incentivise people to listen to your music. You can also repost fans and keep on driving that sense of community.

Check out how Loyle Carner uses question stickers now and again to engage with his fans – it feels natural, he doesn’t take it too seriously and you get to know his sense of humour. As a result, you feel more emotionally connected with him.

  • Use it to showcase merch and upcoming gigs

You can use your stories to drive that sense of community and help boost your income streams or provide quick information – like when your next gigs are/will be, how to get tickets, how to buy merch and more.

Example: See the variety in Miley Cyrus’ highlights below – she has one for festivals and another for merch. The merch story includes a swipe-up link to her shop.

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  • Pin those magic moments to Stories

While your Stories disappear after 24 hours, highlights gives you an opportunity to pin the best moments to your profile. Interviews, performances, green room moments, studio sessions, album releases… you name it. Give your fans the full ‘360’ on your creativity.

  • Showcase different sides of your personality beyond music

The reason music is so universal is because it’s relatable. People want to relate to the artists they love. Highlights can give you an opportunity to share different aspects of who you are and what you do and help reach your goals (sell merch, more digital streams, etc) – it also shows different sides of your personality or hobbies outside of music – even a side hustle like cooking or drawing. 

Example: Joy Crookes (below) uses her highlights to share meaningful recipes and does an on-the-fly cooking step-by-step on her Stories

 

If you’re in music, Instagram is your friend

Your Instagram might be on point already, but make sure you’re taking full advantage of all the tools and functions that the social media app has to offer to music artists. As an artist, it’s the ideal social media platform for sharing new music, speaking directly to your fans, and showing your community different sides of your personality.

Do you need help with your socials?

Some of these tips might seem simple but we’ve seen some awesome growth and engagement results by implementing the exact steps above with the artists we’ve worked with. If it all feels a bit overwhelming, try not to worry. Baby steps! If you’d like to chat to us about helping with your own platforms, why not check out what MLKD can do for you?

MLKD Creative

Author MLKD Creative

MLKD is a social media marketing agency that helps brands and artists scale up on social media, whether that’s through actionable strategy or culturally relevant content.

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