Instagram is one of the best places to promote your music in this digital age, where millions of users are scrolling through social media every single day.
The crowd on Instagram is overall young, loves to consume new songs, videos/pictures, and is ready to share your music if you're talented enough to grab their eye and their ears.
So how will you stand out among the hundreds of posts they see daily? And how will you encourage Instagram's algorithm, which often overlooks a big chunk of content, to place your music content in front of people in the first place?
This may all seem overwhelming, but there are a few tips I want to share with music makers out there who want to engage their current audience and spread their music brand to new potential fans that can become big consumers of their releases.
One major drawback of Instagram music promotion is that the platform rarely allows you to add a link for people to be able to click in order to visit your website or your music streaming profile.
One major spot that you can add a link is in your biography, so you want to make sure this section of your profile is the best that it can be to explain who you are and make the link that you focus on tempt people to click on it.
Don't just add a link in your bio without explaining who you are and encouraging people to click on that link! Try not to waste that link spot by putting a link to someone else's website or to a location that isn't promoting your music in the most effective way.
Hashtags are a good way to get your current fans engaged in your content and catch the eyes of those on Instagram who like to browse topics by hashtag. A few musical hashtags, including #MusicMonday and #BehindTheScenes, are common among creators and have proven to improve engagement.
When posting your new songs, you want to be sure to add hashtags like these:
#newmusic #newmusicvideo #newsong #newEP #newalbum #newCD #newclip #newtrack
It's a good idea to include your genre in the hashtag as well. For example:
#newrock #newhiphop #newrnbsingle #newjazz
You can also include other things like the year, the season, or the mood of the song to get people's attention.
#newsummersingle #newalbum2021 #newbreakupanthem
The important thing here is not to go overboard. Also, try to avoid hashtags that are too specific or too complicated for your fans and potential fans to understand. Some music lingo is way too detailed to work in hashtag format.
If you're posting a cover, you won't want to miss out on the engagement opportunities that will come along with hashtagging the post.
Make sure to put the song title and the artist's name as a hashtag. This way, the people who love that song or artist will likely push play to hear you sing.
#BeyonceCover #SingleLadiesCover #Beyonce #SingleLadies
If you're a singer posting some content from an interview or behind-the-scenes clip, try to focus your keywords on the most exciting part of your interview. Don't just put the tag #interview, many will find that boring. Think along the lines of the following:
#ExclusiveStory #MusicVideoDrama #ImFreakingOut #HowIGotSigned #DiddyHuggedMe #WhenIFellOffStage
As a music maker, you want to switch your profile type over to a Professional profile on Instagram if you have not already. With this type of profile, you have access to your post insights (analytics) as well as the qualifications to use paid Instagram marketing.
When you use analytics to your advantage, you can use trends to see what type of posting schedule works best for you, which marketing methods are working, what types of posts are getting your best engagement so that you can make more of it, and much more.
Influencer marketing is all the rage these days when it comes to the digital marketing world, especially in the realm of social media. While all types of brands are swarming influencers for their chance to be promoted, musicians have a unique advantage when it comes to this type of promotion.
When you are looking for people to reach out to for influencer marketing requests, make sure you are considering influencers that get real engagement and don't get duped by those who have gotten fake number boosts.
It's also a good idea to find influencers who have an audience of followers who are likely interested in your genre and style of music. You don't, for example, want to reach out to a classical music Instagram page if you're trying to promote your rock band.
Submithub has a pretty good selection of social media influencers that are willing to promote independent music artists that they like.
One of the easiest ways to boost your visibility as an artist is to use the live feature on social media platforms. While it may seem like a daunting task, a weekly live performance or show is suggested by many music marketers in order to keep current fans really engaged.
For those who want to take on the challenge of going live regularly, consider putting up posts that will promote and remind people of your upcoming live event so that people will anticipate seeing you at the top of their app at a certain time.
Speaking of a certain time, be sure that you are going live at a time of day and week that is feasible for a large majority of your listeners. While you may get a random creative wind at 4 am on a Wednesday, not many people will be there to support your live feed.
Very similar to Instagram influencers that will often allow artists to pay for promotion, there are a ton of Instagram pages out there that are dedicated to posting new music from famous and up-and-coming artists.
Many of these pages are also accepting song submissions, which can make for a great marketing opportunity. Some offer free promotions, while others may charge a small fee.
For the best types of music promotion posts, you will get a featured post on the Instagram promotion page as well as a shout-out in the post that will lead new fans directly to your page, where they can follow you and consume all of your content.
For a pretty great list of pages that are promoting music in particular, check out this list from Feedspot. For the best results, inquire to pages that match your genre and style so that you can get approved for promo.
For those who have converted their profiles into a business account, you have the option to pay to get your posts in front of potential new fans and buyers, which has worked really well for many brands out there. This is why you often see promoted content while browsing through your own feed.
While this is one of the very best choices for Instagram promotion, it is just not feasible for more musicians out there who don't have the budget for this type of promotion, so don't feel bad if you want to skip out on this method.
While many artists don't have a budget to constantly run paid promotions on Instagram, I would suggest considering a small paid campaign for your new album and song releases to give you an extra push in visibility.
Instagram rewards its users that post daily, and you may not show your post to many people if you happen to only post once every few months or so because they give more reach to those that are known to feed them content more consistently.
I myself am guilty of only posting here and there, but I've noticed that my musician friends who post close to once a day or more, are always rewarded with a higher spot on my home feed when I log in to scroll through my timeline.
If you are the type to browse through IG daily already, why not post way more content in order to gain the trust of the algorithm? For those who are used to posting on other social networks instead, consider just bringing those posts to Instagram as well.
Not sure what to post that will really get a ton of engagement? Try to think of posts that ask for your followers to get involved, including surveys, contests, and quizzes that they will be hooked by.
You can post inspiration, past work, future goals, jokes, shocking (but tasteful) news, and anything that your followers can relate to that will get people to interact with your page and show Instagram that your page is one that is buzzing. When you get more engagement, you get better visibility.
People are used to seeing the same types of things online or hearing the same types of material when playing music. If you want to grab someone's attention and halt the way they regularly process media, try doing something out of the norm with your posts.
One idea is to have unique cover art you promote on your social channels and other music marketing efforts that look like no other art that anyone has ever seen.
Another idea that many professional musicians use is that they upload multiple images one their overall profile grid to create a large form of visual art to promote their latest song, video, or album.
While stories go away after 24 hours, they are still a great way for musicians to keep their current fans up to date with what is going on in their world and nurture that connection that is present.
Links can also be added to stories, which was not always a thing that was available for all Instagram users until recently when they lifted the 10,000 follower requirement they had in place.
This, coupled with the ability to add music to stories, makes this type of post one of the best ways to promote your new music releases to those that are already locked into your page as fans and followers.
In order to add a link to your stories, you will want to use what they call on their platform a "link sticker."
Instagram is the place people go to when they want to see things that put on heirs of perfection. Those who aren't even trying to be famous in any industry are running their profiles like they are professional models who are worth millions of dollars.
As a music brand yourself, you need to make sure you can compete with these everyday people as well as others in the music industry who are somewhat showing off. Are your posts visually enticing enough?
If you are a music artist looking to gain fame and attention on social media, you don't want to limit yourself by posting boring, run-of-the-mill, everyday things with average quality. While your friend can get away with a simple post of their morning toast and tea, you need to come harder for your posts as a business brand.
Your professional photos need to rival pics of those who are in the music industry. Your vacation photos should look like you are on an expensive world tour. Even your family photos and videos need to have some flair, or they can get lost in the mix.
A lot of people go crazy with the following random thing in order to increase their own numbers, but simply following and engaging with people who have a similar interest can easily get you new followers/fans.
Oftentimes, when you follow someone new, they check your picture and bio first. Imagine if you were following a few people a day, and they all saw your amazing picture with your bio and link to your music!? You'd get hits and potential new fans.
Take it a step further and follow people that are doing your type of music in your area. Reach out to them via DM to introduce yourself and engage with their content. Networking is never a bad idea in the music world.
Engaging in people's social media posts with likes and relevant comments is a good way to slowly nurture a relationship, whether they are strangers from across the world or musicians you may have been introduced to in person.
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her recent collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!
If you are in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her services page. As an Amazon Associate, Yona Marie earns from qualifying purchases. Amazon and other affiliate products are recommended to genuinely help readers and keep this site up and running as well.