Brand Engagement: Defining Brand Engagement can be ambiguous; some companies simply define a Like on Facebook as engagement, whereas others only count actual sales as engagement. Therefore it’s important to define your overall objectives, how your brand interacts with these objectives and how you can measure and improve engagement to ultimately reach your deliverables!
Every producers goal is to grow and succeed, sharing their music with the world. With the ever increasing prevelence of social media, it is increasingly vital to have a strong digital marketing strategy in order to make that happen.
There are many roles within the Music Industry for producers, such as engineering, ghost production or being a fully fledged artist. Each provides unique marketing challenges and different target markets (the 18-34 marketing being key for Music producers and they are the most likely to be on social media). This rings especially true for Artists looking to share their music with the world and create a strong brand around what your music. Instagram fits into the equation as a piece to the digital marketing jigsaw (with a strong reach among 18-34 year olds, only second to Facebook), allowing a user to deliver throughout online marketing channels, such as Online PR, Viral Campaigning or Advertising. The usage of these channels feeds into the creation of a Brand identity, which customers interact with. Engagement is the term Marketeers use to measure how often or how strong customers are interacting with your brand.
What does this all mean for producers and the use of Instagram?
Instagram is a strong option for artists to consider to engage fans. With the competition fierce (Over 18 million posts for the hashtag “#DJ”), optimising your brand can help you standout: With nearly 500 million users and a unique platform for sharing visual content, it provides an opportunity to create a deeper connection, strengthen brand identity and create personal insights. This means that the customer journey is enhanced and more engaging, meaning fans are more likely to come to your shows and buy your music and therefore get you more bookings. as Smart Insights/Dave Chaffey puts it: A digital marketing strategy is a consumer strategy.
This blog will aim to provide a few tips to maximise the usage of Instagram to build meaningful and quality brand engagement, but also some negative points to avoid.
- Create quality content -> Create Brand recognition and engagement
Sounds simple, but the first tip is to start by creating quality content. By creating high quality content, fans are likely to continuously re-engage with you as you start to build a strong brand relationship with them.
An easy way to start creating quality content is to create content you’d personally enjoy: think what content your taking in from others.
Instagram revolves simply around pictures and video. For producers, there are many content choices you can share, such as these (Taken from Danny Savages guide to Instagram for DJs)
Content message on Instagram is different than to say Facebook and Twitter. Facebook and Twitter relies on how shareable the post is to extend organic reach (share, retweet) whereas these options aren’t prevalent on Instagram. Instagram fits into a marketing strategy to extend your offering simply beyond releases and mixes, to build a relatable persona and brand and engage your fans.
Producers should use Instagram to offer further content to their fans and create a personal connection with them. This means, rather than post continuous promotional content, aim to post content which is personal and engaging instead. This will likely reinforce your brand in a way which when they come across promotional material (maybe on another social media network) they’re are more likely to respond to the call to action. Furthermore, Instagram is limited when it comes to sharing links. This means that promotional material directing them elsewhere (e.g. Beatport) is likely to be unsuccessful.
As well as this, Instagram continues to evolve and allow new content types. Similarly to Snapchat, you can now share stories and highlight them on your profile, or stream live content and interact with fans. Consider using all types of content to maximise its impact and engage with your fans.
2. #Hashtag strategy
Hashtagging on Instagram is a vital way to extend your reach and find new fans. It provides a way to showcase your content to new fans who are interested in the overall hashtag topic you’ve selected. In comparison to Facebook or twitters sharing or retweeting, this is your way of extending you reach to new people.
On Instagram you are allowed up to 30 hashtags per post, and its worth using all of them. Here are some points to keep in mind:
- Keep hashtags relevant: You may want to include general hashtags on Instagram you may have seen such as #like4like or #instadaily, however these aren’t relevant and will not find you new fans interested in your content. Try hashtags that include location, genre etc. As well as this, Keep to hashtags that people may be searching through!
- Engage with the Hashtags you select: Hashtags provide a great way of finding potential fans of your content, think of it like a filtering method. Maybe they are other producers/DJs, maybe they are label managers. Like & comment on their posts and engage with the community. This can lead to them also checking your content out and following you!
- Avoid using bots: Organic growth will likely mean a far stronger level of brand engagement. You may come across services which basically seek out similar individuals and aim to convert them to follows, however what you’ll find is instead of engaging others, you’ll disengage them and have less impact from your posts
- You can post hashtags in your own comments rather than in the description. This can make your posts look “cleaner” or more “professional”
Read more on Hashtags:
3. Create a business profile and use Insights to optimise Engagement
Since Facebooks takeover of Instagram, you can now create Business pages which provide call-to-action buttons and give you unique access to Insights on every post or story. This can help you gather an idea of who is consuming your content and how you can engage them.
Insights allow you to see when your followers are most active, what gender they are and what age range they are. This should give you a strong indication of when you should be posting in order to provide the highest utility to your followers. This data should be reviewed and brought into your strategy and carefully considered. You can monitor how this data changes based on your frequency of posting, or how much your reach varies from post to post. This data can also help you understand what content is particularly effective. Taking note of when your promotional material goes down particularly well, or when you share a funny post, or wether your video received much engagement will be a response to this kind of data.
This section will provide data evidence of wether you content strategy is working. Use it to review what is working, what isn’t working and what you can change
As well as this, you can potentially combine insights from tweets and Facebook posts, to identify you core audience, looking of trends to which they are responding across platforms. This kind of insight can help modify your brand positioning, your frequency of content… anything you choose to review!
Short blog on Insight metrics: How to use Instagram insights for Business
4. Don’t ignore Instagram Ads as a Content Strategy
By linking your instagram to your Facebook page, you not only gain insights but you can also create cross platform sponsored posts. These allow you to use calls to actions and links to elsewhere.
Consider the customer journey, you’ve just released a track and you want the maximum amount of people reaching the Beatport order page in order to purchase. You’ve built hype amongst your following by showing previews, artwork, crowd reactions etc now you want to capitalise on this. Consider posting a short clip using your track and using a sponsored post in order to extend your reach and include links.
Some points to consider:
- device: increasingly, people are using the mobiles to consume content. In general music may not sound great on these devices (unless using headphones), so will they likely purchase thanks to what they’ve heard?
- Cost: if the response or targeting is ineffective this can be costly. always keep in review regardless of budget size wether you are achieving what you intended.
- Targeting: if you have used your insights to build an idea of your target market, you can use this customer identity to reach further fans – again review to make sure results are as expected
Find more info on Instagram Ads:
5. Use Instagram to cross promote content across social media
- You can link your Twitter & Facebook accounts so you can post content across each social. Consider doing this when the content works for those platforms as well – This increases reach as your socials have different bases, but also reinforces content to those who see it again (This can be good or bad, depending on if the content is good or bad)
- Link your Facebook to kickstart your followers: If you haven’t already, link your Facebook and follow your friends. Yes, there may be one or two you’d rather not follow, but you can unfollow them after. This method means your are likely to be followed back due to your personal relationships and they are most likely to have the strongest connection when you are getting started with building your following
- You can share on key link on your profile page – In the “website” section. This can be whatever you want, but make it the most important link you have (A personal website) or a link you have provided a call-to-action from in an earlier post (such as free downloads)
Brand Engagement is a topic you should be considering throughout all your marketing decisions in order to achieve profitability, growth and success. Marketeers are constantly looking for ways to measure and improve Engagement but this entirely depends on the Brand – Customer relationship.
For producers, Instagram provides a channel of communication which suits the content provided: Music videos, release artworks, live videos, stories… Therefore optimising your marketing strategy to provide great quality content and create a highly engaged Instagram fan base can allow you to cut through the noise and stand out.
Hootsuite Social Media Management. (2018). The Complete Instagram Hashtag Guide. [online] Available at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-hashtags/ [Accessed 7 Jan. 2018].
Savage, D. (2018). A DJ’s guide to Instagram – Danny Savage. [online] Danny Savage. Available at: http://dannysavage.com/instagram-for-djs/ [Accessed 7 Jan. 2018].
Socialdraft. (2018). A List of Optimized DJ Hashtags for Instagram to Get More Engagement. [online] Available at: https://socialdraft.com/dj-hashtags/ [Accessed 7 Jan. 2018].
YouTube. (2018). Hashtags On Instagram (Secrets 99% Of People Don’t Know). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxcrUeRepNE [Accessed 7 Jan. 2018].