Influencer marketing plays a huge role in the music business, and while capturing the attention of an influencer may seem like sheer luck, there's a science to it, just like anything else. Here we look at a step by step guide.
Guest post by Anand Srinivasan
Influencers play a major role in defining your success in the music industry. Take Justin Bieber, for example. Ten years ago, he was one of thousands of kids making videos on YouTube. That was until people with a following much larger than his liked and shared his videos till he was spotted by a talent manager.
While this may seem like a lucky break, it is worth pointing out that influencer marketing is in fact a science and can be replicated. Here is a step by step guide on how you can go about marketing your music with the help of influencers.
Step 1: Content is king
No amount of influencer marketing is going to help if your content is not great. The first step in the influencer marketing process is to produce content that is your absolute best. Find local critics who can help you identify flaws and edit your content to make sure that the music you have in your portfolio is the best you have got.
Step 2: Identify your platforms
Not all influencers exude the same level of impact. Also, their influence is often restricted to specific platforms or demographics. Before you begin hunting for your influencers, it is important to identify the social media platforms you would be marketing from. Those in the music business frequently choose Facebook, YouTube and Instagram besides the niche music forums to be seen. So these are some sites you could focus on.
Step 3: Build an influencer database
This is perhaps the trickiest part of influencer marketing. If you are a relative newbie in the music business, then you cannot expect to be seen by the most powerful and influential people in the business right away. Influencer marketing is a long-drawn process and the objective should be to get exposed to social media users who are “above” you in terms of influence.
To do this, visit each of your targeted platforms and discover social media users who like and share content that is in your genre. For instance, if you are into metal, you could explore Instagram hashtags like #metallica, #metal and so on. This will give you a list of posts from users who target the same demographic as you. Build a database of such users along with a count of their posts, followers and following.
Once you have a master list of influencers, identify a list of influencers you can reach out to begin with. These are likely social media users who have the same level of followers as you (or a tad higher).
Step 4: Create an influencer marketing strategy
Once you identify the list of influencers for your outreach campaign, the next step is to create a unique strategy for each of these social media users. These strategies can broadly be classified into one of the following heads:
Barter - These are campaigns where you offer to promote each other on your platforms. This way, the influencer gets visibility among your users in exchange for your exposure on their platform. You can also find bartering opportunities with users who are not music producers themselves. You could, for instance, tag a local guitar store for providing you with a guitar for the music you are playing. You can then ask this store to share your post with their followers for exposure.
Organic - These are music lovers who like to discover and share new finds. With the right kind of content, you could reach out to them to try your music. Such users tend to share such content with their followers simply for the love of it.
Paid - Sponsored posts are the most effective means of influencer marketing. This is because you can afford to be shared by influencers who have much larger following than you do. This of course costs money and is only possible if you can afford to pay for these campaigns.
Step 5: Maximizing reach
Internet users submit several million posts on their favorite social media channels every minute. This has made a social media news cycle extremely short. This is not a good thing from an influencer marketing perspective since the ROI on your campaign is limited by the number of people who view these posts in the short duration.
In order to maximize reach, look at reaching an audience beyond the influencer’s network. This is possible through engaging with people in your influencer’s network. One study showed that liking, commenting and following a user often results in an impressive 34% followback on Instagram. By engaging with people commenting on the influencer’s post, you are in a position to not only gain this user as a follower but also potentially be seen by others in this user’s network.
Another way to maximize reach is through the use of hashtags. Bots constitute a huge chunk of activity on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. These bots play a big role in influencing what real users on these platforms see and engage with. A lot of these bots are programmed to engage with posts containing specific hashtags related to the bot developer’s industry. By using hashtags generously, you stand a chance to be liked and followed by these bots who are, in turn, followed by real people.
As noted earlier in this article, influencer marketing is a continuous process. The steps above should help a music band get noticed by more people and this helps raise your profile. As this happens, it is important to revisit these steps above to reach out to new influencers who are larger and more powerful. This is vital in building a large social media presence which can over time define your success in the music industry.
Author Bio: Anand Srinivasan is the founder of Hubbion, a project management app.