In this new series, we’re breaking down 7 parts of the marketing journey that independent artists like you will need to master throughout your career. In the last one, we talked about understanding your market and perspective audience. In this second piece, we’re talking all about the fans. Here’s the scoop…
Marketing Journey for the Music Industry Part 2: Understanding Your Fanbase
The Importance of Nurturing Your Fans
Your fans are the heart and soul of your journey as an artist. Understanding how to pinpoint where your fans are located, what they want to see, and how to connect with them as deeply as possible is a vital point you have to hit as an artist.
Once you know how to pinpoint details about your audience, you have 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. It makes them feel seen, as if you really know them on a personal level.
This connection helps to nourish 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.
How can you find them?
There are so many ways to learn more about your fanbase. Last year, in a guest post by Sarah Beth Perry, she broke down some of the methods her company, With the Band, uses to create marketing campaigns for major artists like the Jonas Brothers and Kacey Musgraves.
She explained, “Analyze profiles of fans who have made comments or 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.”
For most artists, Instagram tends to be the best analytic source in the game.
- To use it, you have to 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. For example, 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.
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Create Your Average Fan’s Profile
Creating a fan profile based on your fanbase demographics is the best way to dig deep.
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?
This information is available on pretty much every artist platform in the game. From Spotify for Artists and YouTube Analytics for Artists to Instagram and social media analytics, these platforms have all this information and more specifically for artists to access.
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.
When it comes to developing and strengthening your audience, it’s important to understand which aspects of your strategy are working for you and which parts are falling flat. Having access to data that shows you where your streams are coming from, which streaming platforms are performing the best, and even which social media apps are creating the most engagement are all things to pay close attention to.
With the unbridled support of your fans behind you, you can go anywhere.