How to market better by defining fan demographics

Every band and artist wants more people listening to their music, but how can you tell who actually wants to hear it? In this piece, we dig into how to define the demographic of your audience, and thereby better target your marketing efforts.

Guest post by Sarah Beth Perry of With the Band. This article appeared previously on Soundfly’s Flypaper

All artists want to get their music into the hands of more fans, but the real challenge lies in how to properly target potential fans with your marketing campaigns. With the rise of social media, fans are spread out all over the world, and they want to feel seen and recognized by their favorite artists.

I want to help you better understand your fanbase by analyzing the demographics of fans who you interact with both online and in person.

There are so many ways to learn more about your fanbase, and this can be vitally important for knowing what your fans want to see. We use the following methods at my company, With the Band, to help create marketing campaigns for major artists like the Jonas Brothers and Kacey Musgraves.

Once you analyze your audience, you can then create your Average Fan’s Profile. You can then use this profile to help make business decisions such as where to tour, where to spend your time on social media, and more. This profile will constantly change, and this information will help you to know how to evolve as an artist as well.

Why Is This Important?

Creating a fan profile helps you better understand your fanbase and how to cater your content and strategies towards them. By learning your target fan’s demographic, you will be able to make better decisions about which platforms you spend the most time on, how to best communicate with your fans, and figure out where you should play more shows.

You want to go where your fans are — meet them there. When you are able to be there for your fans in a way that is specifically tailored to them, it helps them to feel noticed by you, and it’s as if you really know them well. This will only help to continue a sense of community within your fanbase. When fans feel connected with you and each other, they are more likely to market your music to others, buy merchandise, and drive ticket sales.

Use Your Social Media and Streaming Analytics

Analyze profiles of fans who have made comments or have liked your posts to see what type of person is engaging. Look on all your social media and streaming platforms, as well as hashtags to get to know your fanbase. Some of the many platforms that offer analytic information about your fans include Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and Spotify.

Instagram will be most artists’ best analytic source. First, make sure your Instagram account is either a business or creator account to gain access to your Instagram analytic dashboard. You must have over 100 followers to gain access to this dashboard, but once you have this setting turned on, you will be able to view age, gender, and recent activity.

Social media channels can also be helpful in a more unique way. Fandoms have a tendency to work together to get something trending, and one of the best places to see this can be Twitter. If you have a new single coming out or have been teasing a new project, a great way to learn more about your fans is to start a hashtag campaign and follow it. See what fans interact with your tweet and posts and use the hashtag the most, and you will learn what they are most interested in.

It can also be important to recognize the cities where you are most popular. Spotify can be a great place to see where most of your listeners are coming from based on their city. It can also tell you who else your fans listen to, which will give you a more complete idea of the style of music your fans tend to stick with.

Some more detailed information could be found by looking back on past social posts to see which ones have gotten the most engagement. If your fans are more likely to watch a video as opposed to scroll through a carousel, then you will know what the best tactic is for your next promotional push.

Analyze Fans at Your Live Shows

Analyze your crowd at a live show. Notice, do a lot of them wear baseball caps? Is a certain brand associated with this type of person? If you notice a particular clothing item that is popular with your fans like baseball caps or tank tops, write this down! Then the next time you order merch, order the clothing items that were popular within your fanbase.

If it looks like almost everyone has bought a certain item of your current merchandise, order an updated version of it for the next tour! Fans like to have keep-sakes from each tour, and if you can keep a specific product within your merchandise, fans will want to collect the same piece of merch from every tour they are able to see.

This can also be an incredible way to seek out sponsorships. Pay attention to what fans are eating and drinking in the audience as well. If you notice that many fans in your audience have purchased beer, it could be a great opportunity for you to partner with a brewery.

Knowing your fans is important to them of course, but it will also help you tremendously with making strategic decisions.

[HYPEBOT EDITORS NOTE: Be sure to also consider data from Bandsintown For Artists Insights. This live-focused analytics platform (see above) is available free to every artist with a Bandsintown For Artists account.]

Create Your Average Fan’s Profile

Create a fan profile based on your fanbase demographics. (Use social media and Spotify analytics to gain insights.)

Ask yourself these questions to create your average fan profile:

  • What is your fan’s average age and gender?
  • What are your fan’s interests?
  • What other artists does this fan listen to?
  • Where does this fan live? (country, state, city)
  • Where online does this fan spend the most time?
  • Where in person does this fan spend the most time?

By creating this fan profile, you are able to consistently show them what they want, which will make fans feel special, while also growing your fanbase and increasing engagement with existing fans.

Using your fans’ data to make better business decisions will help you grow an even bigger audience, but be aware, this is definitely not a one time exercise! Make sure to analyze your audience every 3-6 months and take note of any trend shifts in your fanbase. In the same way that artists are constantly trying new things and evolving, fans are too.

It is important to pay attention to changes in fans’ habits, age, lifestyle, etc. in order to continue your artist evolution in a way that best works for your fans as well. When fans feel special, they want to share that! Fans will promote your music as much as they can if they know that each and every fan is appreciated.

By paying attention to what your fans want most, it will only help to further your career and spread your music globally.

Share on: