TikTok started as Doyin + Music.ly, so it always had roots with musicians. Viral music on TikTok now can make or break a musician. Music marketing strategies are usually too traditional to advise on social media music marketing. But the rise of TikTok makes proper music marketing campaigns essential. It makes sense how it spread in popularity—everyone likes to sing and dance. But not everyone is musician-level material. A lot of making content is good, clean creative fun, and TikTok captures it perfectly. But what about when you're a music marketer on the platform, trying to figure out how to leverage its huge base of engaged users to promote artists from your label? Where do you start when you want to learn how to get your music viral on TikTok?
How do you promote music on TikTok when people are so scattered, on platforms you don't understand? You could have the hottest track or musician in the world, but if you can't distribute it, who's going to care? People don't buy music anymore, they sit through ads to stream it free. Chances are they won't listen to music beyond when it's popular anyway. As a music marketer, you understand how of-the-moment music is by its very nature.
People want the upvote: They want the cream to rise to the top. This is due to three elements: mainstream popularity is more common, it's less work (they don't have to search for music), and it's true that great music coincides with massive popularity at times.
Tool for discovering music: Once you're plugged into TikTok, you'll understand how well it works as a tool for creator discovery. That person who writes incredible songs and has seven views? You could be managing them by keeping open ears.
Music marketers and labels to promote: Put out good recommendations for music and you'll be rewarded. If you truly have good taste, you have nothing to worry about promoting talented unknowns on TikTok. Social media music marketing boils down to you delivering what fans of your genres want.
Advertisement: TikTok has immediate and obvious potential to Big Business as a promotional tool to reach the coveted 18-24 age demographic. You set your budget and launch your campaign like any other, with a minimum daily spend of $20 and $50 for Ad Group and Campaign Level sets.
In one word: be active.
Jump right into the deep end. It's going to take an attack from all angles to get momentum built up on a platform that takes a fraction of a second to swipe you down in the algorithm.
1. Value authenticity: Celebrities aren't real. Endorsements aren't real. Influencers are normal people who developed a platform. The music you promote and the musicians themselves need to have their own strong identities, and their fan base will form around that. Authenticity is synonymous with bravery, with being inclusive and happy with whoever you are as a person. These are positive values to attach to any brand. The problem arises in lack of popularity; not everyone can become popular on their own. Some need the help of influencers to get off the ground.
2. 15 TikTok-friendly seconds: Grab your best quarter of a minute and put it on full blast. Ideally, you want people to add the music to their own videos, spreading a snippet of a song around the one billion users active monthly on TikTok.
3. Create challenges: Everyone likes a good challenge like the classic ice bucket. Create a new one that goes viral, backed by music from your label, and people will start searching for that sound.
4. Leverage duet & stitch: Attaching yourself to the end of a video or making your own with a viral one playing is a great way to create your own content easily while hopping on a trend likely to boost interaction.
5. Build a niche or community: It's easier to get a niche community to respond with high engagement than it is to try to get low engagement from the mainstream, in many cases. This is because it's easy to stand out as a big fish when in a small pond. Be yourself, never everything to everyone, and you'll gain traction if you provide quality content.
6. Collaborate with influencers: Influencers have already built their audiences. They have the fans you want to hear the music you need to promote most. If you can afford to pay promotion fees to influencers, this is an instant way to boost credibility and drive traffic to the music of your choice.
7. Use relevant hashtags: Generic hashtags for video content are easy to find. They might be necessary, but you can also get a lot of traction by using smaller, more niche keywords.
8. Stay on top of your TikTok analytics: When you land on a content formula, or influencer collaboration that works well, don't take it for granted. Always closely monitor your TikTok analytics.
9. Consider the entire customer journey: it takes time to discover music on TikTok, then become motivated enough to find it elsewhere and listen to the entire track and other tracks from the same musician. Where are your customers when they first reach your promoted music?
10. Use TikTok-focused platforms: Upload and optimize the music you're promoting with platforms like TrendPop.
Promoting music on TikTok isn't a casual undertaking. You need to be consistent and genuinely involved in the platform's community. Stay positive, be brief, use captions and audio, remain authentic, and do so consistently, and you'll build traction on TikTok as a music promoter or musician yourself. How to promote your music on TikTok comes down to you finding out what works best for your audience and you as a content creator.