I want to preface this post with two very important thoughts. Basically, you’ll need to consider the following before you dive headfirst and spend valuable time marketing your band on Instagram.
And to go on a quick tangent, I’ve shared 3 tips to marketing your band better on Facebook. It’s worth checking out if you’re looking to up your game on the Facebook platform.
But back to Instagram for a minute. You need to ask yourself the following:
What is your goal? – Are you looking to get people to go to your shows? Are you looking to market your latest or upcoming album? Are you looking to find new people to listen to your music? Maybe it’s a combination of all of the above. Whatever it is, you need to prioritize your goals or figure out what exactly it is you want to focus on. This will help determine the tips you utilize the most and where you focus your efforts.
Is this the right place / right time? – I wrote about a great quote I heard at Digital Entertainment World Expo in Los Angeles back in January of this year. Here’s the quote from Brian Harris Frank in all its glory.
It’s all about “getting the right message to the right consumer at the right time.”
With that in mind, you need to determine if your fans are even on Instagram. Is this the best place to communicate with current or potential fans? Do a bit of research and analysis. You may find that your fans or potential listeners are hanging out elsewhere.
So let’s assume you have your goal in mind and you know you have plenty of fans and potential fans on Instagram waiting for you to communicate with them. Here are my tips to get the most of using the platform.
Utilize Your Profile URL
Let’s start you off with a simple one. To be fair, it’s simple but EXTREMELY effective.
Too often, I see a band using their profile URL and sending people to their website or different social media channel. And that’s oooookkkkkkkkk. But your fans don’t want to be redirected from site to site. The strategy of tossing people around to your various social channels is not a great one. You end up right where you started.
You need to treat your URL like a step in a call to action. If you have your latest EP being sold on a site like Gumroad, a page on your site, or at the very lest iTunes, you’ll want to use this URL to guide fans and new listeners to a place where they can hear your music.
While links don’t work in photo posts, you can guide a user to your profile and have then click on the URL. It’s a fairly common tactic and most users don’t get confused in this process. In fact, it’s been proven to be a highly effective way to get users to click on a link.
In fact, I use this whenever I write a new blog post, release a podcast, or want to send people to a specific campaign I’m working on. As you’ll see below, I used the URL to send users to my most recent podcast of Everything Rad with Michael Estrada of Be Still Kid.
Get Your Fans to Help
This is a fun one. And it’s extremely helpful because fans loving being part of the action. In fact, I think we all have that “look at me, look at me” mindset from time to time.
Designate one day per week to share a photo that a fan has taken of a live show, meet & greet, etc. When doing so, make sure you tag them in the photo you post. They’ll be super excited that you’re sharing their photo and will probably tell their friends to check out their 15 minutes of fame.
I’ve found that the best way to find photos in this category is for your band to come up with a designated hashtag. Keep it unique. And when playing a show or meeting a fan, show some enthusiasm and ask them to hashtag it properly so you can find it.
Don’t Forget About One-on-One Connections
One of the best campaigns I ran is when I set aside 10 minutes a day to search hashtags and leave a comment on people’s photos letting them know I’ve just released an EP they may be interested in. And this can either go super great or turn out extremely ugly. It’s all in how you approach this tip.
The last thing you want to do is write a super generic / spammy comment. Remember, your goal is build an actual connection. Do whatever it takes to make the comment feel genuine. In fact, it should really be genuine!
I made it a point to only comment on 10 photos per day, but comment on photos that I actually found awesome. I left a comment with why I found their post awesome, let them know I released an EP, and gave them a special promo code that I was giving away to musicians only. And I made it extremely easy for them to follow instruction. The link was in my profile. Remember tip #1?
It worked wonders. I converted between 30%-40% of the people. Now, I communicate with them monthly when I send out my monthly email campaign.
It’s all about long-term relationships. And there’s no shortcut to this. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not a huge commitment – especially if you have 3 or 4 guys in your band. Separate the work on a daily basis.
It’s your turn now. What have you done with marketing your band on Instagram? What’s worked wonders for you? Share your tips below!