As a musician, marketing yourself is a huge element of success. You’ll likely have a personal brand that is channeled through your music and may be one of the major reasons that your fans like your music. But incorporating a strategy such as an influencer marketing for musicians will definitely level up your brand.
Here’s What You’ll Find:
- What Is Influencer Marketing?
- The Benefits of Influencer Marketing
- How to Use Influencer Marketing as a Musician?
- Final Thoughts
Marketing exists to get that brand out to listeners, new audiences, and event managers. Marketing is there to help you to grow your music brand and business.
Because of the highly social nature of music and music recommendations, influencer marketing can be an incredibly valuable tool for any musician looking to scale up their brand and audience base. This is your go-to influencer marketing guide!
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that relies on a so-called ‘influencer’ promoting a product, service, or brand. It can be a great addition to a strong social media strategy for brands. Influencer marketing is sometimes called partner or affiliate marketing.
An influencer is an individual or account whose content and followers make them an expert in their niche. Influencers generally have large followings, although ‘micro-influencers’ can still be very useful partners within a niche, even if their following is small.
What matters when using influencer marketing is the focus of the influencer account and the link between their audience’s interests and your brand.
Additionally, Influencers are typically associated with Instagram, although TikTok and YouTube have their fair share of influential figures that have secured deals for influencer marketing with big brands.
There are a few ways in which influencers might share your music with their followers. They may approach you and ask to share your music. However, influencer marketing generally focuses on planned partnerships where you’ve had some input. They may:
- Review or listen live to your music
- Use your music in the background of a video
- Write about your music in a caption
Using influencer marketing is a delicate balancing act between the influencer’s creativity and the needs of their client. The right influencer-client partnership will be respectful of both and reach a collaborative creative vision.
The Benefits of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing works when a brand collaborates with an influencer within their niche. For musicians, it’s not usually enough to just work with a ‘music’ influencer, unless the account is very large and is known for promoting a wide range of music.
What you’ll likely want to do is to identify influencers aligned with your genre or style of music. This is because their followers likely enjoy this type of music and so are more likely than fans of other genres to listen to your music and become fans.
Because of this, a lot of brands are turning to influencer marketing to better target a new audience. These are some of the major benefits of influencer marketing:
- Personal: recommendations from influencers are more personal than from advertising, meaning audiences are more likely to trust them and follow up on them.
- Community-based: influencing is about building a community, meaning influencer marketing can help to increase word-of-mouth recommendations as well.
- Visual: most influencer marketing is audiovisual or photographic, so it’s a great opportunity to gain visual exposure and recognition for your music.
- Virality: social media is the place where things go viral, particularly from popular creators, meaning your music has the potential to reach a huge audience.
Like any form of marketing, you need to plan carefully before taking on an influencer marketing partner. The first step is to understand how to use influencer marketing as part of your exposure strategy.
How to Use Influencer Marketing as a Musician?
Influencer marketing is a fantastic tool in a musician’s marketing arsenal if used correctly. It’s best to start by exploring how to use it and make it the most successful campaign possible.
Do Your Research
Research is the most important step in any marketing strategy. At the beginning of your influencer marketing journey, you need to know how to find affiliates and how to identify which affiliates are best for your brand. There are a few major steps that you can take to do this:
1. Know Their Content
The most important thing about your potential influencer partnership is the type of content that your partner will make about your brand. Get onto your chosen platform, log on and get searching!
Once you have a list of potential partners, look into:
- The content they post.
- The genre of music they cover.
- The frequency of posting.
- Their engagement rate (engagements/followers X 100 = engagement rate (%))
- Whether they offer any special posts or customer interactions e.g. seasonal customer appreciation gifts or giveaways.
This will help you to avoid wasting time with influencers that don’t fit your brand.
2. Know Your Goals
It’s best to have just one or two identifiable and measurable goals when it comes to an influencer marketing campaign. A lot of work goes into maintaining a positive brand-influencer relationship, so you’ll want something to focus all of your efforts on.
Digital asset management solutions have proven to be excellent for brands’ contact centers. If your goal is to grow your audience of venue and event managers, then you might benefit from asset management solutions and a center for all of your communications to track them all and not miss out on opportunities through poor organizations.
3. Know Your Values
You should know your brand’s values and ethos and make sure that your influencers align with them.
Not doing so can cause poor communication and a breakdown of your professional relationship with your influencers.
4. Know Their Services
Not all influencer services are created equal. You need to start by identifying which services would benefit your music and goals the most. Some popular examples include:
- Giveaway programs
- Referral programs
- Advertising programs
Take referral programs as an example. Have a look into referral program examples to see whether previous brands in your niche have had success with it and what changes you might like to make. This way, you can be prepared when you go into discussions with a potential partner.
Most people think of Instagram as the platform for influencers, and it’s certainly popular among certain demographics. However, it’s not the only platform where influencers reside!
Youtube and Tiktok are increasingly popular for video influencers, which might be more suitable for musicians, depending on your goals. For example, a popular Tiktok creator might make your music trending by using it in a video, which might be more effective than a silent Instagram post.
If you decide to use influencer marketing across different platforms, you might want to use a tool to keep track of them. Alongside marketing planning tools, you can make use of the Google suite to track campaign success. For example, Google parallel tracking can be useful for this type of marketing.
What is Google parallel tracking? It’s a way of keeping track of ad clicks and site visits from different locations, including social media.
The benefit of tracking social media clicks is that you can isolate the success of your influencer marketing campaign in terms of how many people are being driven to your site as a direct result of your campaign.
Plan Your Budget
Like any other marketing campaign, influencer marketing typically involves payment in exchange for your influencer’s services. It’s generally true that influencers with a larger audience cost more than those with a smaller one, but there are always exceptions.
What is more important than audience size is relevance to your niche or genre. Your budget should reflect this and work to the pricing of the most relevant influencer, not the pricing of the most popular.
Your team finance plan needs to be solid and contain contingency for additional services that could be beneficial to you, including giveaways and additional coverage.
Make sure to regularly review your budget in line with other activities. You should avoid focusing all of your finances on influencer marketing at the expense of your other marketing and engagement efforts.
Sometimes marketing campaigns don’t work out the way that you plan. This is the nature of business and doesn’t make your campaign a failure – this is the way to learn for next time!
If you find that your campaign isn’t working for your brand, you’ll need to work out why. One of the ways in which you can do that is through regression testing.
So, what is regression testing? Regression testing is a way of testing individual parts of your campaign for weakness so that you can improve your influencer marketing campaign without overhauling parts that are working.
Always remember to communicate with your affiliate partners before making major changes to your campaign to maintain a good working relationship.
Influencer marketing is a great tool to grow your business digitally and create new connections in your industry. Influencers can introduce your music to a whole new audience and can help to grow your following.
Influencer marketing should be used as part of a marketing strategy. It can usually work well alongside other Instagram marketing strategies and a strong sales funnel. So, before jumping into influencer marketing, make sure to do your research and find the right partner and service for your brand.
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About the Author
Sam O’ Brien – Chief Marketing Officer, Affise
Sam O’Brien is the Chief Marketing Officer for Affise—a Global SaaS Partner Marketing Solution. He is a growth affiliate marketing expert with a product management and design background. Sam has a passion for innovation, growth, and marketing technology. Sam O’Brien also published articles for domains such as Demio and PandaDoc. Here is his LinkedIn.