How To Promote Your Music on Instagram

In years gone by artists required a marketing budget almost greater than the cost of their studio time to promote their latest album, usually followed by an extensive touring schedule and relentless press engagements. Thankfully, these days there are far more options for you to get your music out there and reach new audiences that would otherwise go untapped.

It’s easier than ever to set up a website on the cheap where you can host your latest releases, generate a mailing list for sending newsletters or build a social media following larger than a sell-out stadium gig. Social media takes guerrilla marketing to the next level as you’re able to break into new audiences, share as much or as little of your creative process as you like and make a big noise about your new sounds.

However, as so many like-minded musicians are trying to break through at the same time it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. With that in mind, here are some top tips if you’re wondering how to promote your music on Instagram.

How To Promote Your Music on Instagram 2

Claim Your Username



Everyone seems to be on Instagram these days, and with millions of photos and videos uploaded every minute, it’s a platform you don’t want to miss out on. The first thing you want to do when setting up your Instagram account is to claim your name.

Once you’ve selected a band name, make sure you can secure either the same or similar handle to it as soon as possible. Your username is the easiest way for people to find you on Instagram so make it simple for your fans to locate your page and help you promote your channel going forward.

Complete Your Profile



As a predominantly visual channel, you want to make sure your Instagram account looks the part. Choose an eye-catching profile photo, either a band shot or your logo, to let fans know they’re on the right page.

Writing a good bio is also recommended to make sure that you’re picked up in searches. Outline a bit about you, your style of music or even consider short promotional messages such as “Touring Now” or “New Release Out Now”. While you can use hashtags in your bio, keep it limited to one or two of your best ones.

Link Carefully



Unlike most social media channels, Instagram does not allow you to link out from individual posts. You get one link and one link only, which appears below your bio, so make sure it leads to a valuable page such as a link to buy your latest record or view your latest tour dates.

Using a link shortener such as bit.ly or goo.gl can help you tidy up long URLs and allow you to see how many people have been clicking through from your Instagram page, so make sure you’re keeping an eye out on which link types drive the most clicks.

Do Your Hashtag Research



Hashtags are an integral part of getting your content to reach new, untapped audiences. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post, so use a varied range of them to make sure you’re hitting as many audiences as possible.

To find the best hashtags to use, using a tool like Hashtagify can help you sort them by the number of results and give you a good idea of the number of people you could be reaching. Make sure you mix it up a bit though by pairing more generic tags with more targeted ones to get a good balance between a general Instagram audience and more dedicated music fans.

Do Your Content Research



Before you start to post away, it’s a good idea to do a bit of extra research into what content works best for bands and artists similar to you. Take note of whether video, photos or carousel type posts are driving the most engagement and how their overall visual style looks to you.

It’s also a good idea to consider what content they’re posting too, whether this is a behind the scenes shot in the studio, downtime between gigs or just showing off your instruments. Showing a personal side of your band helps to give fans a better idea of what you’re like away from the stage and can help massively with driving engagement.

Plan Your Own Content



Your own content output should keep your fans coming back for more, so it’s crucial to get this right. Using your content and hashtag research from other accounts plan your content carefully with a mix of single images, carousel posts, videos and even short clips like Boomerangs.

As with all social channels, it’s important to post regularly, but not too much. Sticking to a schedule of when you can post helps to keep you in a regular pattern of uploads so you can spread your best posts and keep your engagement levels consistent. If you think you might struggle to get to your phone in the middle of a busy week, consider using a scheduling software like Schedugram to automatically send your posts for you at set times.

How To Promote Your Music on Instagram 3

Be Social



One of the aspects of social media that makes it so worthwhile for musicians is that you’re able to connect with fans one-on-one in a way that breaks down the barriers of years gone by. That’s why it’s so important to engage with fans on your page and keep active. This can be from replying and reacting to comments, liking posts from other accounts or even doing a collaboration with another user’s account. The more effort you put into fan interaction, the better your results will be.

Experiment With Stories



Instagram Stories have really taken off over the last year or so and gives you a great way of sharing multiple posts on a similar theme without clogging up your feed. You can do a Q&A with fans, share your latest studio antics or show a day in the life using your Stories and link back to other websites, mention other accounts and add unique effects and overlays to mix it up. Whilst Stories normally disappear within 24 hours, by pinning them to your profile your fans can view them at any time in the future. This is great for showcasing big events or themes that you want to re-visit.

Repost Good Quality Content



Unfortunately, Instagram does not have a native post sharing function like Twitter’s retweet, so sharing good quality posts back to your followers isn’t as straightforward as it could be. However, by sharing these top posts you can drive more engagement without having to spend more time creating your own posts.

You can use an app such as Repost to copy the description and the image itself with a handy watermark to let your followers know that you’ve shared this from another account so you don’t put anyone’s nose out of place.

Get More Followers!



Whilst it’s always better to have a smaller audience of dedicated fans over a huge number of followers who don’t interact with your posts, you want to start building your audience as soon as possible to get your music into new audiences.

There’s no quick wins to getting more followers but if you start to target some of your key hashtags and comment, like and follow similar accounts who are posting really good content and follow the rest of the tips above then you’ll start to see your follower numbers ramp up.

3 Artists Who Are Killing It On Instagram

Diplo

Diplo Instagram Whilst he’s probably most famous as the co-creator of electro-dancehall trio Major Lazer, Diplo has worked with and produced some of the biggest names in pop over the last decade or more including M.I.A., Robyn, Madonna and Die Antwoord. Over 4.7 million followers lap up Diplo’s posts of his huge gigs, studio time and travels around the world so it’s a great place for any aspiring musician to get some ideas on how to run their Instagram account.

Questlove

Questlove Instagram The multi-talented Questlove is a DJ, producer and percussionist, amongst many other skills. Whilst he’s best known as the drummer and joint frontman of Grammy Award-winning band The Roots, who also serve as the in-house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Questlove’s Instagram account has become a hot-favourite for fans.

Never scared to mix it up a bit, you can find posts on his favourite records, eclectic musical influences, behind the scenes shots and hard-hitting social commentary with engaging captions and conversation.

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran Instagram Like him or loathe him, there’s no doubt that Ed Sheeran has made an absolute killing from a tiny guitar and a loop pedal, selling out huge stadium shows all around the world. So much so, that he takes the exact same photo of him kneeling down on stage in front of the crowd at every show he plays. Mix this up with some insight into life on the road, rubbing shoulders with celebrity friends and the odd cat photo and Sheeran’s Instagram is onto a winner.

In Summary



It takes a lot of effort to promote your music across Instagram and not every method will suit every artist. However, the musicians who are doing it right all have similar traits. Engage with your fans by posting down to earth and insightful content, make sure you keep your profiles active and don’t be afraid to shake it up.



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