If you want to promote your music on Instagram, read this post. Some people see music promotion as an art form. To do it right, you need to craft an image, create a little mystery, and get people interested in an artist that maybe no one has ever even heard.
Others see music promotion as a hustle where music is a product and you pay someone to hype it with little guarantee of success.
It may be neither of those things or a combination of both. What it definitely is, however, is something that takes work and determination to do right.
Music promotion is not a new thing, people have been trying to market artists and sell songs since the Tin Pan Alley days. The difference today is that technology has given a big advantage to the artists. Artists are no longer at the mercy of unscrupulous record labels and publishers. There are no gatekeepers to decide who is worthy of radio and video play and press coverage.
That’s not to say that artists don’t need help. It’s good to make connections and rely on other people to help spread the word about your work. It’s perfectly acceptable, even encouraged to use services such as influencers to get you trending (more on that later).
Some of the newer technologies that have made music promotion more accessible are streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, YouTube Music, and Apple Music. For social media, in the early days there was Myspace, but today there’s Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and whatever new one will pop up next.
As an artist looking for exposure on social media, you need to know how to promote music on Instagram.
Instagram is a photo and video sharing service. It was conceived as a check-in app by software engineer Kevin Systrom and computer programmer Mike Krieger. Originally called Burbn, the two entrepreneurs felt their app was a little too similar to Foursquare so they shifted focus to the photo-sharing aspect and renamed it.
The first Instagram post was published in July of 2010. Today the app has billions of registered accounts and “Do it for the gram” has even become a well-known statement. Of course, somewhere in that timeline, Facebook bought the company which certainly helped raise its profile.
You download the free app just as you would any other and create an account (or several). You can also log in through Facebook. The app works with iOS and Android. It’s designed to be used with mobile phones but the desktop version has improved over time, and as of recently, you can even upload photos and videos this way.
There are a few things to keep in mind when creating an account to promote music on Instagram.
Your profile page is the hub for connecting to your photos, videos, Stories, and Reels. It’s also where you can see your followers as well as the accounts you are following. You can change your settings from this screen too.
Since your profile page might be the first thing someone sees, it’s important to make a good impression when you promote music on Instagram. That said, choose a good username. Your artist name or the name you perform under is an obvious choice. You are limited to 30 characters, however, so if you have a really long artist name, you may have to shorten it a bit.
You also want to pick a good profile image which could be a logo, group photo, or a photo of yourself if you are a solo performer. Your profile image will appear next to your name whenever you post to your account or comment on someone else’s plus it will show up in other feeds all over the platform so choose an image you’re comfortable with seeing a lot.
You can also add a link to your website, Spotify, or another hosting site. You’ll also create a bio. There’s a 150 character limit so there’s no room for fluff, you need to get to the good stuff right away. You can make changes at any time to this info by clicking on the “Edit Profile” button at the top of your profile page.
Most bands and musicians have, hopefully, thought about their band’s image before they start to promote music on Instagram. That image includes the graphics you use on your releases and extends to your social media presence. That aesthetic is informed by their style or genre and the message you want to deliver to your audience. For example, a Goth band that sings songs of doom and gloom probably won’t be posting pictures of kittens and rainbows (unless it’s done very ironically). You should think about your style and keep it consistent across all your social media and streaming platforms.
Now that you have a profile the best way to gain followers is to stay active on the platform. That means not only posting to your own account but following and interacting with others.
Now's your chance to grow your audience by posting amazing content. That could include photos and videos of live shows, backstage at live shows, pictures of band members interacting with fans, and anything related to your work.
Posts can be funny or poignant memes, anything you think your audience will relate to. Consistent posting takes a lot of work but it’s worth it to stay top of mind for your audience. You’ll need to pay attention to what your followers respond to and give them more of what they like. The important thing is to be engaging, consistent, and make sure you’re leveraging as many content formats as possible -- IG Stories, Reels, IGTV, etc..
And one pro tip -- Instagram is heavily investing in its new Reels feature. For this reason, Reels are most likely to go viral and reach a new large audience. Take full advantage of this while it lasts.
As in all things, it's good to plan ahead. This will save time when you’re scratching your head trying to figure out what to post on any given day. That can lead to indecision and crappy postings or no postings at all.
Set a schedule for days you want to post. Every day, every other day, or just four or five times a week, do whatever works best for you. Plan out the types of content you’re going to post, mix it up a bit, throw a few teasers in there for upcoming posts or live events and keep it interesting. Try to use as many content formats as possible -- for example on Instagram, that means Instagram Stories, Reels, TV, etc. Utilizing more formats helps you get more reach from the algorithm.
Hashtags help posts get traction, so use them. You can add as many as 30 hashtags to your post, but no need to go overboard. Keep it to 10 or 20 and that will help you build your following. Put the hashtags in a separate comment on the post (not in the original post itself).
Choose your hashtags carefully. Make sure they align with what your account is all about. You want your followers to eventually stream your music and buy tickets to your live shows, maybe even buy merch. Tag your genre, your city, and your album. It’s OK to tag similar artists too. You can use an online hashtag generator to get ideas. It’s also helpful to add some takes in the replies instead of the post itself.
Instagram is not link friendly, but there are tools that can be used as workarounds for this. For example, Linktree allows you to put all your links onto one page. That way you can list the Linktree URL in your bio and it will lead users to links to all of your pages that could include a fan page, hosting site, record label site, or personal website. That said, you’ll still have to tell your followers to click on the link in your bio for more information.
Instagram Stories are another popular feature of the platform. Millions of users view them every day. They’re great for promoting new songs, videos, and live shows. Show off your new guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, or post from backstage at a show. You can use location tags and hashtags to generate views and your fans can reply to the story and DM you (make sure to reply or you may lose that fan). Stories only last for 24 hours, although you can always find them in your highlight.
Another great feature of Stories is that you can add your songs to them. You need to be set up for Facebook and Instagram through your digital distribution service, but once that’s taken care of, it will appear in the “Music in Stories” audio library where every user can use it in their own stories.
If you’ve got the money to spend, consider advertising with Instagram Ads. To do so, go to the Ads Manager and create a campaign. You’ll choose an objective then fill in the details. The Ads Manager will make some suggestions to help you meet your goals.
For artists, it’s best to drive listeners directly to your Linktree or Spotify song. You’ll be able to set your budget. And it’s not a bad idea to test the waters before you commit a lot of money to a single ad. You’re competing for attention with similar ads so you need to select your target audience wisely and it may take a few tests before you find one that works best for you.
Don’t worry, Ads Manager guides you through the process so it's not as complicated as it may seem. Once your ads go live you can track how well they do. This allows you to make adjustments if certain ads underperform.
So, now you have a better idea of what it takes to promote music on Instagram. Not too difficult, but if you’re also using other social media platforms to get the word out about your work, it can be time-consuming. And when you take into consideration all of the other things that go into your career such as booking concerts, tours, and interviews with radio and press. And don’t forget you’re also writing, recording, and releasing singles and albums.
It can all get a bit overwhelming so it’s OK to get help from other people and collaborating with an influencer is a way to get that help. An influencer takes a big chunk of the marketing off of your shoulders and a company such as SpaceLoud makes collaborating with influencers individuals easy.
SpaceLoud helps create relationships between artists and influencers so they can promote music on Instagram, TikTok, or any other social channel you like. We do this to help both parties grow their careers. When you put the power of an influencer and their large following behind the promotions, there’s really no limit to the audience you can reach. You may even go viral.
It’s a symbiotic relationship that creates benefits for all parties. As an artist, you gain exposure for yourself and your music. When an influencer either shares it directly with their followers or uses it in a video or stories on Instagram, that can increase interest significantly. As a result, people can follow you directly, engage on your page, listen to your tracks and become your newest fan. Ultimately, it could lead to an increase in streams and ticket sales and that’s really the goal.
For the influencer, it’s a good way to create content. The more quality content they create the better they can grow their own followings across multiple platforms to help them promote music on Instagram. That leads to more exposure and money-making opportunities.
And of course, SpaceLoud benefits because we charge a very reasonable fee for our services.
An influencer is someone who shapes trends and tastes. They are people with big followings on social media and that means they can promote music on Instagram. Their followers look to them to find out what’s hot in music, fashion, and popular culture in general. They also help brands sell a lot of products. They are a big part of marketing and they have a lot of power in a lot of different industries.
For artists, influencers inform the tastes of their followers when they promote music on Instagram. It’s no mystery how influencers find artists to hype. Behind the scenes, chances are there’s a relationship already there.
SpaceLoud builds these relationships and makes it easy for artists to find influencers to help them get the word out.
When you sign up for an account on SpaceLoud you’ll create a campaign for whatever you want to promote. That could be the release of an album or single, a live show, or the start of a tour. Next, you’ll need to find influencers to work with. You can browse through a list and select people that already work with artists similar to you or you can open your campaign up to bids from interested parties.
When setting up your campaign you’ll choose which social media channels you’d like influencers to use so choose someone who will promote music on Instagram for you. You’ll set the date for the start of the promotion so you can coordinate it with your release or tour dates. You’ll also set the price.
Interested parties will submit a proposal. Once you’ve accepted a proposal, the influencer will start the promotion on the date you specified. As proof of their work, they’ll upload screenshots of their posts which will include info on clicks, views, likes, and shares. They’ll need to post this before getting paid from an escrow account where your money is set.
The best part of using Spaceloud to promote music on Instagram is that you are always in control. You set the amount of money you want to spend on a campaign and you select which influencers to work with as well as what social media platforms they use. And it’s all done on the timeline you specify.
Once the campaign is over you can judge for yourself whether it was a success or not. Either way, you can make adjustments going forward. You can also leverage those new followers by engaging with them directly.
Many artists are influencers in their own right. They may not know it, but people look to them as tastemakers. If you think you’ve got what it takes, you could also make money when you promote music on Instagram.
When you join SpaceLoud as an influencer you choose the artists you want to work with by submitting proposals to the ones you’re interested in promoting. It’s easy to become a SpaceLoud influencer so sign up today.
As a songwriter and performer, you want to promote music on Instagram and reach as many people as possible. That doesn’t mean you’re hungry for money and fame, it’s because you’ve created something you want to share with the world. With so much music out there, sometimes you need help in reaching that goal. That’s why SpaceLoud exists, to help artists get heard. The process is simple. Join now and get your music heard