The relationship between fans and artists has been transformed by social media, with your music's consumers now craving a higher volume of content and a more intimate connection with the creator than ever before. Luckily, this can work to your advantage as a musician, provided you know what type of content to churn out.
Guest post by Joel Sadler of Beatchain
So if you haven’t posted anything in months (since you tried to push them towards your last EP, perhaps) and are hoping your fan base will share/buy/stream your next release or show… you might not get the results you’re looking for!
In this article we’re going to talk through 10 types of content to keep your fanbase warm, engaged and growing! Some on this list take a lot of planning and effort to produce, while others are ideal solutions for when you’re struggling to find something to post.
Let’s start with some of the more complex ones.
1. The Music Video
Your music video is the showpiece of your artist content. It’s probably the one that takes the most time and organisation to produce, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive.
If you’re on a budget, it’s safe to dispense with the green screen, background actors and giant rideable wrecking balls. You can film it anywhere you want (within reason) and sync it to your high quality studio audio. Interesting locations will normally buy you a few more seconds of the audience’s attention!
Keep it as simple as performing your song in front of a couple of cameras. Alternatively, you could choose to go more abstract, or tell a story in your video.
Or if all that sounds bland to you, you could choreograph a treadmill dance routine like OKGO. The possibilities are endless!
2. Content from Live Shows
Live shows are great for picking up pictures and footage of you in action. Ask your friends/family/stranger/inconsequential band member to record some of the show and snap some pictures for you on their smartphone.
You can then use this content to show your absent fans what they’ve missed. Live photos are also really useful for your website, social media banners/cover photos, and as artwork to promote your future shows.
Don’t worry too much about the audio or picture quality in your videos; you just need to capture the vibe in the room!
3. Cover Songs
Yes, we know… you’re all about being original. But you can absolutely leave your mark on someone else’s song!
Cover song videos tend to be incredibly successful for picking up new fans. They work best when you take a song from a different genre, and do it in your own style.
We think this is because our brains don’t like processing too much information when we listen to new artists - the tempo, the voice, the instruments etc. - and so using a familiar melody and lyrics provides an “anchor” from which the listener can decide if they like your sound or not.
When it comes to advertising content to potential fans, we’ve found covers on average pick up new page likes at half the cost of original material!
4. Behind the Scenes
More than ever before, fans want artists to “let them in”. This can take many forms: You could let them see into your creative process, watch the band having fun together during rehearsal, or observe how you pass the time while travelling or backstage. Let your personality shine through!
This sort of content can be the difference between fans loving your music, and loving the people who make it! Once your fanbase really cares about you, they are more likely to support your career by streaming your songs, sharing your content and turning up to your shows!
5. Show/Tour Poster
Let your fans know when you’re performing live, even if it’s just an open mic! Text-only posts are easy to miss, so it’s best to prepare some artwork or a poster with the dates and venues.
If you keep your Media Library stocked up with photos, you can make one in in seconds using Beatchain’s free tools, and schedule them to go out to your social media channels.
6. EP/Album Promotion
It’s easy to scroll past a single post about a new EP or album, so prepare multiple posts using a variety of media to push people towards your new tracks.
Avoid text only or link-only posts as these are easy to miss. Use different photos of the band or artist with a link to the release to keep the imagery fresh.
It normally takes a couple of plays for a song to start to ‘grow’ on people, but you don’t want to be putting out the exact same post 5 times! Make use of your music videos, Spotify embeds, album artwork (with the track playing behind it), and acoustic/non-studio renditions of your songs to get it stuck in their heads.
7. Get Recycling
Never be afraid to recycle! If your content was well received a year ago, use it again. Get on board with the themed content, whether that’s #throwbackthursdays, #waybackwednesdays #twelvedaysofxmas or whatever excuse you need!
Get editing and repurpose your old photos and videos to steer fans to your mailing list, tour dates and more. Cut up your old music videos with the free tools in the Beatchain app and help your newer fans discover your back catalogue.
8. It’s not all about the music
As we touched on earlier, it’s important that your fans care about you as well as your music.
Artists are no longer expected to be mysterious and out-of-reach. Fans are now more inclined to support people who are relatable and human like them, with hobbies, passions, guilty pleasures and vulnerabilities.
Don’t be afraid to share aspects of your life outside music, whether that’s having fun with friends, hanging with your pets, or supporting a cause close to your heart.
Just remember to do it in moderation!
9. Blogs and Vlogs
Alright, so nobody really blogs anymore. But if you’ve got a cool story about how your band formed, or you’ve just hit a milestone in your music career, or you want to share the meaning behind some of your lyrics, try putting together a Vlog or short interview for your fans. You could even get them to send in their questions in advance!
Once again, this is all about becoming more relatable and familiar to your fans, and getting them to buy into your ‘brand’.
10. Go Live!
It may seem a little daunting at first, but live-streaming is a great way to get your message out there and engage your fanbase. Facebook and YouTube will even send notifications to your fans when you go live, which is something you don’t get from your other content. It’s incredibly interactive and gives fans a chance to ask you questions about your music, your interests and everything else.
Just make sure you have a steady internet connection before you start!
Striking the Right Balance
Your social media following is key to advancing your career in music, particularly if you’re an independent artist. That’s why you need to get your mix of content right, and build a good relationship with your fans.
In order to avoid appearing too pushy and “salesy”, we recommend that no more than 1 in 3 posts is trying to get them to buy or stream something. Remember, they don’t follow you on social media just to be sold to!
Make posting a regular habit, and try not to overthink or wait weeks for something ‘postworthy’ to happen. Use the Launchpad within the Beatchain app to get a steady stream of content out to your social media pages, and watch where the gaps are in your scheduling. You can also keep tabs on how all your posts are performing from the insights dashboard.
So if you want an engaged, supportive fanbase, remember:
- Keep your content varied and balanced
- Give them a chance to like you as well as your music
- Just get on with it!
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