How to get music fans is not about numbers.
Getting on a popular playlist, going viral on TikTok, or getting featured in mainstream media is not, and should not be the end goal.
At Burstimo, we’ve got artists onto massive playlists like New Music Friday, R&B UK, Spotify and Chill… If you name a significant playlist, in all likelihood, Burstimo has placed an artist on it.
If every artist got their break or charted as a result, that would be amazing. But unfortunately, that is not the reality of the situation.
People are listening to your music if you get playlisted, but that does not mean you have tonnes of fans banging down the doors to buy tickets to your show and merchandise.
Everything you do should aim to gain fans
This article will show you how to get people to buy tickets to your gigs, and engage with you on every social media post, as well as stream all your songs.
If you have real fans that rave about you, you do not need to depend on social media or streams as these fans will always be there (your forever fans) and they’ll do a lot of the hard work for you; gaining you exposure through word of mouth and sharing your content across platforms.
Music marketing is not just about boosting numbers (unless we are talking real fans) or getting a track to go viral. You can find plenty of other articles and videos from us about how to get your music discovered. The three main ways we recommend are below, with some related videos:
Get on national radio: How to Get Played on National Radio
This article is going to take you beyond the music discovery techniques described in the above videos and what to do next on each of those platforms to create ‘forever fans’, not just followers.
How to get music fans: radio play
National radio play is an incredible opportunity for any artist because the audience is not going anywhere. It is an excellent way to get your music discovered and for earning money as well.
However, just because someone’s listened to your track on the radio, it doesn’t mean they are instantly going to be one of your forever fans.
You might be relaxing, or driving (hopefully not both at the same time), listening to your favourite genre of music and just enjoying the music.
You want people to remember you, then actively go off and find out more about you to see if they like your other songs and your vibe.
You want people to stream your songs, follow you on social media and hopefully, buy tickets to see you live, thus becoming: a ‘forever fan’.
How to create fans from airplay
Now, you are not going to be able to target everyone who was listening that day and time on that particular radio station. Still, what you can do is create very specific ads by targeting an audience and what shows they listen to.
An example from the UK might be the Jack Saunders show on Radio 1 – he plays mainly indie rock tracks.
If you got played on that show, you could create an ad that targets BBC Radio 1 and indie rock as the audience would be more likely to listen to the Jack Saunders show.
You could run an ad saying ‘as heard on…’ with a BBC Radio One logo and a picture of Jack Saunders, and this would provide you with a bit of genuine credibility, persuading people who see that ad to engage. You could even include a clip of your reaction to being played on the radio.
The most important thing is that you are targeting the right people by selecting the radio station and show.
This ad will give them the chance to hear your track again and interact with you on Facebook, Instagram, or wherever you choose to run the ad.
This allows them to engage with you and have the option of listening to your music again and again.
Another approach is to try targeting people who like other artists that were played on the show that day, and suggest listening to you by directing your link to Spotify or social media.
If you do direct people to social media, you must ensure that everything is up to date and it is packed with good content and not a ghost town, otherwise you are practically throwing your ad spend down the drain. Provide them with something that is worth seeing and adds value.
Specifically, make sure your bio is good, include some good highlights and have stories running every day.
How to get music fans: streaming platforms
Many of you reading this have probably been on playlists already, whether that be an editorial or a branded playlist. By a branded playlist, I mean a playlist that isn’t owned by an individual, but by a brand, such as a blog or a YouTube channel.
The majority of music consumption comes from streaming platforms now, which is good news for artists because it means you can get people to listen to your music much more easily than in the past.
Your chance of being discovered is also much higher.
But you have to remember, listeners are not necessarily fans.
Of course, you want people to listen to your music, but you need them to go somewhere else to engage with them.
On streaming platforms, they are just listening and may not even know your name.
From streamers to dream fans
You want people to end up on your social media channels as that is your opportunity to capture them, engage, be super personal and make them your ‘forever fans’.
First, make sure that you link to all your socials from your Spotify profile, as anyone curious about your music will look at your profile and choose a social media channel to find out more about you.
Again, this does mean that your socials have to be up to date with regular content added to them. That high-quality content cannot be just music, as they have listened to your music on Spotify, so you need to offer something different.
Make it personal, or show them behind the scenes so they can see what you are all about. Your content is your brand.
To get people from your Spotify to your socials, you can run ads targeted to people who listen to particular playlists.
The easiest ways to do this is to do the “as seen on” approach, or create a screen recording of you going through the playlist and clicking on your song.
From there, you can target people that are fans of other artists in that playlist. For example, if you are added to a pop playlist, you can target an audience that likes Dua Lipa, if she is on the playlist too.
By targeting another more well-known artist, people are more likely to view your ad, and the playlist acts as credibility.
You want to use streaming platforms to get new fans, not just listeners. As a result, You should be concentrating on ways to create more engagement.
Your followers might come from Spotify, and they may follow you on social media, but they are not fans yet! You need to pull them in.
This most effortless way to engage with people is through DMs and even better than that – engage people with voice notes on DMs!
It is straightforward to do, faster than typing and super personable!
So, with every new follower you get, message them or send a voice note. It can be as simple as ‘thank you for following and I like your profile’. Don’t overthink it, but show them that you’ve taken a moment to view their profile or find out something about them.
Likelihood is, they will be touched you left them a personal note and so they are more likely to become engaged.
Another way to successfully engage with fans is to reply to as many post comments as you can. On top of that, we would strongly recommend using stories as it’s a great place to be for artists at the moment. You choose to be more professional in your main feed, but in the stories, you can be a little more playful and keep the content raw.
Plus, there are additional Instagram features like polls and Q&As which you can utilise to get more engagement.
This is the journey you want to take someone on who has discovered you via Spotify or any other streaming platform, so they become not just a follower, but a ‘forever fan’.
How to get music fans: social media
People might discover your music via YouTube, or if you’ve gone viral on TikTok, or even from a successful social media ad.
However, going viral unfortunately does not guarantee getting fans. Going viral simply means that one video you did really blew up, but no one is necessarily coming back for more.
The usual reason for this happening is that there is no consistent theme. For example, if we did a food challenge on our Burstimo YouTube channel and it went viral and got 2 million views, the audience is irrelevant to us as they are not music fans.
It’s the same for artists – if you make a piece of content or something with your music which goes viral and it has nothing to do with your brand, or you as an artist, it probably won’t gain you the fans you are looking for.
It’s just numbers. You could look at it like getting put on a playlist that is not your genre.
The answer here is consistency. You need to employ a consistent theme that means people will stick around for more.
It’s all about the fans
Music discovery is difficult. It’s hard to get your music out there. But the most challenging part is keeping people’s attention and turning them into fans. So make sure you’re doing all of these things in this how-to article to capture your audience, keep them engaged and turn them into ‘forever fans’.
How will these engagement tips help you? Do you have anything extra to add? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you.
Be sure to explore all the music marketing tactics, tips and techniques here on our blog and our Youtube channel to find the ones that resonate and fit your personality, style and music. And let us know how you get on.