The power of TikTok to break artists is well-documented. In 2021, the reach of this video-sharing platform grew by a significant margin. According to TikTok, roughly 430 songs received over one billion video views in 2021. That’s a threefold increase over 2020’s numbers which were already staggering. Of these 430 songs, some of the more popular tracks saw views exceeding the 20 billion mark. In short, TikTok offers an unprecedented opportunity for artists to get heard. This also means that TikTok influencers are a great way to promote your music to a larger audience.
Social media holds the power to break artists that was once reserved for radio before being overtaken by MTV and music videos. The communication landscape has changed since the birth of MTV in the early 1980s, but the effective combination of music and images to promote artists remains unchanged. What’s different now is the control given to the artists themselves. It’s not the artist and their respective record labels who are paying for expensive video shoots. It’s a community of platform users who create and post content. They choose which songs to use and this levels the playing field for artists.
In 2020, 90 songs that played on TikTok made it onto the Billboard Hot 100. That number nearly doubled in 2021 to 175. This has given unheard of exposure to previously unknown artists like Tai Verdes whose song “A-O-K” trended its way on the Billboard Hot 100 last year along with artist PinkPantheress whose combined Spotify and TikTok streams were in the hundreds of millions. TikTok’s biggest 2020 stars dominated the charts last year as well. For example, Megan Thee Stallion climbed to number one in 2021 while Doja Cat hit number two.
TikTok is a true community that brings artists and creators together. Many times, or perhaps most of the time, these collaborations happen organically when a TikTok user chooses a particular song and that combination creates a viral moment. The result is exposure for both parties. It’s lightning in a bottle for many aspiring artists.
With so much potential to generate streams and revenue, of course, artists want to crack the code themselves. One way to do that is to find TikTok influencers to help promote your music. We’ll get to that a little later. First, let’s take a deeper look at what TikTok is and what it can do for artists.
TikTok is a video-sharing platform. That’s the company in one sentence, but it’s also a community of one billion monthly active users as of January 2020. And music is at the heart of it. It’s also a platform that allows new artists to get discovered. For established artists, it’s a place to showcase new songs. It’s also about the fans who use songs by their favorite performers as soundtracks for their own creations.
TikTok has also become a major force in the music industry. As the platform’s reach expands to more and more users, so does its power to break artists and create stars. It’s a trendsetter and tastemaker that introduces songs, artists, and sounds to new audiences all day every day. It’s a no-brainer that up-and-coming singers, songwriters, and bands would want to take advantage of this opportunity.
There have been many notable TikTok moments in 2021 (Sea shanties, glitchpop, hyperpop anyone?). While sing-alongs to old sailor songs were unexpected, even giants like Taylor Swift have used the platform to stay in touch with their audiences. Many artists use TikTok influencers to help them achieve their goals of gaining a wider audience.
Anything goes on TikTok and the next trend or artist can come from anywhere in the world at any time. Some of the artists who broke out big in 2021 include Amaarae, Baby Tate, bbno$, CKay, Cochise, Doechii, Eyedress, Feid, Jay Wheeler, Kali, Magdelena Bay, Måneskin, Navos, PinkPantheress, RealestK, Shygirl, TisaKorean, and YungManny. As well break-out artists from 2020 (The Kid Laroi, Tai Verdes, Tate McRae) continued their reign on the platform.
So, if you didn’t know about the TikTok influencer effect, now you know. The question is, as an artist, what are you going to do about it?
Here are a few more mind-blowing stats about this video-sharing platform:
TikTok users spend an average of 858 minutes on the app every month. The app has been installed on devices over three billion times globally. Those numbers made it the most popular iPhone app download in the US in 2021 and the most popular download overall across the globe in both 2020 and 2021. Entertainment is the most popular category with over 535 billion hashtag views.
Another stat to be aware of is the TikTok average age demographic. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 50 percent percent of adults in the United States between the ages of 18 and 29 use the app. That makes it a great way to reach 18-29 year-olds which is a huge potential audience for your music.
According to a study conducted by music data provider MRC Data, 75 percent of its users use the platform to discover new artists. Sixty-three percent of study participants said they hear music for the first time on the platform. Fifty-four percent reported that they hear about new music from friends and family, so that begs the question, where are their friends and family hearing about new music? It’s very possible, even likely that these people are finding new music from TikTok influencers.
Ok, now you know a little bit more about the impact TikTok continues to have on the music industry. You were no doubt already aware of the platform, these numbers have hopefully made one thing crystal clear: if you want to raise your profile as an artist, you need to be on TikTok. And it’s not just TikTok you should use. Consider all video sharing platforms and social media apps as well.
The problem is, it can be hard to keep up with every new app and trend. That’s why partnering with a TikTok influencer is so beneficial for busy artists. Influencers stay on top of this stuff so you can concentrate on your music. They share the load because they are out there working for you. They can really make it happen for emerging talent, but more on that later.
Here are the nuts and bolts of TikTok. When you download the app from Google Play or Apple’s App Store and set up your account, you are now one of the billions of users. You can use the platform to fill your feed with creative videos or you can simply observe the content posted by others. As an artist, however, you’re going to want to create content for the platform.
When users create videos they can choose to add music to that 15-second clip. That means that clip and that music will start showing up in the feeds of other users. When someone likes it, that can prompt other likes as well. Enough likes and it could go viral.
In addition, if other content creators use your music in their videos, you increase your exposure again. Others may respond to your music by creating videos where they lipsynch your songs.
When others see it they might do the same. This type of hype feeds itself and in many cases, your music could be featured in a clip that goes viral. Using hashtags also increases your chances of exposure. Before that can happen, you need to make your music available on the platform and it helps to enlist the help of TikTok influencers.
A third-party service such as CDBaby or Ditto is required before your music is available for use on a TikTok video. After you sign up with one of these digital distribution companies, your music will be added to their respective libraries. This makes your songs available on music distribution on platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.
It’s easy to record and edit a video on the TikTok app. You can edit together different clips to create your video. You can also stop and restart recording which allows for changes in location and wardrobe. It’s also easy to record a video to a particular song.
There are a few things to keep in mind when making your songs available on the platform. Here are some of them to help you get started. Influencers already know this stuff, by the way.
1. Know Your Audience
How do you know your audience when they haven’t heard of you? You can’t. That’s why you should make it about that potential audience and not yourself, the artist no one has heard of… yet. The fun in TikTok is the participation of its users. They will decide how to use your music, so let them. You need to encourage users to use your stuff. And again, influencers are very helpful in this part of the process. They can make it about them, but you’ll gain the exposure as well.
2. Get to the Hook
The beauty of TikTok videos is that they are only 15 seconds long. That can also be a challenge. It means you have to get to the goods quickly. So, make sure that you get to the hook fast. TikTok loves catchy songs with easily understood lyrics that can be sung along to.
3. Use Memes
Memes rule the internet universe to be sure to take advantage and use them in your clips. Funny, memorable, whatever theme you choose, just make sure it matches your song in spirit. Influencers are pros when it comes to selecting the perfect meme, which is another in a long list of reasons to partner with one to promote your music on TikTok and elsewhere.
4. Be a Follower
If you’re going to break through on TikTok, you’ll need followers, and the best way to get followers is to be a follower. That means you should follow other artists as well as breaking trends. Don’t forget to follow influencers too, you’ll need their help if you want to go viral. Reacting to other TikTok content, especially with a video response is a good way to get more followers.
Working with other artists is a way to increase exposure for both of you. Recording a duet is a good way to do that. There’s huge potential for crossover with both audiences. Working with an influencer is also a way to increase your audience and your reach considerably.
6. Find a TikTok Influencer
Give yourself the best shot at exposure by working with a TikTok influencer. SpaceLoud makes the process easy. Keep reading to find out how.
1. Ignore Your Back Catalog
If you’ve been at it for a few years, then you may have amassed quite a library of songs on your own. You’ve probably advanced as an artist since those early years, but don’t judge the younger you too harshly. Consider those older songs for distribution as well. You never know what is going to appeal to people.
2. Forget the Hashtags
Do NOT forget to use hashtags. In other words, USE them. All the time. Get creative with them. Hashtags cast a wide net. TikTok influencers are hashtag masters which is another reason to partner with one to promote your music on TikTok. A single hashtag can make the difference between that tree falling in the woods that no one hears and that clip that blows up with a big, big bang!
3. Be Stingy
Spread the love. Don’t limit yourself to TikTok. There are many other social media and video-sharing platforms out there and new ones will come along soon enough. Just because TikTok is enjoying big success right now, there’s always something new ready to take its place should it ever fall out of favor with fans. So, don’t forget other channels such as YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram Stories.
4. Be Passive
The first DO on this list suggests that you should not make yourself the center of attention. While that’s true, that doesn’t mean you should sit on the sidelines. On the contrary, you want to engage your audience as much as possible. Providing your followers with contests and challenges is a good way to do that. Dance routines and lip-synching are ways to get your fans to create content that promotes your music.
5. Be Fake
Authenticity rules on TikTok. There’s no need to be flashy or use a gimmick or even worry about having high production values. Just be you and let your music and your followers do the rest. Or better yet, let a TikTok influencer do that work for you while you remain your humble and original self.
A social media or TikTok influencer is a person who shapes popular opinions and starts trends and keeps them going. They are individuals who work hard to get large followings on social media. They then leverage this reach to make money promoting products and artists. They use their influence to help companies break through to new markets and they do the same thing for artists.
Influencers are a big part of internet culture and they rarely do anything on a whim. In fact, they partner with companies and have pretty detailed marketing plans to promote brands. Influencers aren’t a new thing in marketing, but social media has increased their reach.
Influencers don’t spend their time looking for new music to promote. They’re already busy promoting. It’s up to artists to take the steps necessary to partner with one of these social media darlings. That’s where a company like SpaceLoud comes in.
SpaceLoud connects artists and TikTok influencers. We facilitate these relationships to the benefit of both parties. These relationships help the artists we work with by growing their followings. More followers mean more opportunities to convert to sales. This can be downloading more music, buying merchandising, as well as concert tickets.
This also benefits influencers by giving them opportunities to create more content and grow their own followings. The more followers a TikTok influencer has the more they can increase their opportunities to generate revenue.
Finding a TikTok influencer is easy with a SpaceLoud account. It’s free to start your search.
The first step is to create your account. You can search for an influencer yourself by browsing through profiles or you can create a campaign that brings them to you. The campaign will display the details about your music and how you’d like to promote it. When an influencer feels they would be the right fit for you, they’ll reach out to you.
What are you waiting for? Get your music heard by a larger audience. Pair up with a TikTok influencer and grow your audience. SpaceLoud can help you just as we have for many other artists. Join now and get your music heard!