This year has been a hectic one for the digital landscape. Elon Musk’s trailing changes to Twitter/X, TikTok being a large part of a political cold war, In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, staying ahead means understanding the dynamic shifts in social media algorithms, optimising ticket sales strategies, and fostering organic engagement. If you are a musician that wants more people to hear your music, you are a music marketer, too!
1. Social Media Algorithm Shifts
We’ll be covering the suspected algorithm shifts this year for each individual platform. The platforms aren’t always very upfront with their algorithm changes, so this is from our observations of working with them every day. Unfortunately, they’ll continue to change, so if you see a consistent drop in engagement, it’s worth checking and seeing if there is any discussion around algorithm changes online!
Facebook’s algorithm continues to prioritise meaningful interactions, emphasising content from friends, family, and groups… Not great news for us with “Pages”. We must focus on creating engaging, shareable content that sparks conversations and engaging with the conversation when possible. We think Facebook is one of the best networks for advertising in terms of performance, so growing an audience on Facebook should be a key part of your ongoing digital strategy.
Instagram saw a massive boost in Reach for Reels, noticeably last year, but this summer, we saw this organic boost disappear with Reels becoming monetised, with a huge decrease in reaching people outside of your followers. We would still recommend this content if you are comfortable making reels, and you should employ creativity and storytelling to captivate audiences. Utilising interactive features on Stories, like polls, quizzes, and countdowns can boost engagement, too.
Honestly, with all the changes that have happened this year? We wouldn’t be surprised if the best thing to do would be to switch to posting cat photos. If you have been regular users like us, you’ve probably noticed the drastic changes. What X is still great for, is conversation and building relationships with your community on this platform. You can focus much less on polished content here, and chat with people, if you think it would add value to your “brand”.
The current algorithm on TikTok is great for growth promoting engaging, entertaining, and authentic short-form video content, but we have seen a drastic drop in reach compared to 2022 indicating the algorithm has changed and the mega reach days of hundreds of thousands of views from an unknown (and the infamous ‘heat’ button) are over. If you’re posting content that people are engaging with, the engagements can start a snowball effect until you have a piece of viral content. Keep an eye on old content. TikTok can still show older content to people, so keep on posting and compounding your views. Anna Lapwood’s TikTok is a great case study of consistently high views not happening overnight. Embrace trends (without forcing it), leverage music and effects, and engage with your community to boost discoverability.
You should prioritise high-quality video content (not necessarily 4K or 8K, we mean the CONTENT), optimise titles and descriptions with relevant keywords, and maintain consistency to enhance visibility on the platform. Classical music is one of the best ways to be discovered via YouTube. Think about this; someone wants to hear a specific piece by a composer. If you have uploaded a live performance of this specific piece, this video will be likely to be shown, especially for more obscure pieces and composers. Lately, we’ve been seeing smaller accounts with high-quality content being recommended to us on different accounts. We’ve seen accounts with four videos (albeit, good quality content) with hundreds of thousands of views. If you’re sitting on performance footage, now might be the perfect time for uploading it to YouTube!
2. Ticket Sales Strategies and Counteracting Last-Minute Purchases
We’ve been generally seeing a LOT of late ticket purchases for concerts, sometimes with a quarter of the tickets being bought on the day of the concert! Sure, pleasant surprises are nice, but this can be daunting for institutions, orchestras and musicians who rely on ticket sales for the ability to create their next project. To counteract this, we suggest creating incentive for purchasers to make their purchases early, to secure a certain amount of tickets sold, such as offering early-bird discounts, limited-time promotions, exclusive access, or bundled offers. Encourage early commitment, which should naturally reward your most loyal audience members.
3. Building Organic Relationships and Avoiding Overselling
Something we’ve noticed, particularly for the larger scale artists and organisations, is a lot of selling. Often, we see this results in your engagement being less, which (as our earlier point of algorithms has said) leads to your content reaching less people. Engaging with audiences on organic social platforms involves nurturing relationships without solely focusing on sales. Authenticity, transparency, and value-driven content are the most important, above selling. Sure, one or two posts for a particularly special concert, as long as you can offer some more insight beyond “buy tickets to my concert, I promise you it will be special”. By striking a balance between promotional and informative content, brands can avoid overselling, fostering genuine connections with their audience. Your organic audience is following you because they already like you – they don’t need to be convinced to come to your concert by the Wolf of Wall Street, they just need to be informed of it and presented with an idea of the music to expect. Humanise your brand, so sales happen naturally from your organic audience. There’s always additional digital advertising that can be done for the budding “Belforts” out there.
Digital marketing knowledge thrives on adapting to changes, requiring you to navigate algorithm shifts, optimise ticket sales strategies, and cultivating authentic connections with your followers. Embracing these changes and implementing thoughtful approaches will empower you to thrive in an ever-evolving digital sphere for 2024! And if you want some help navigating this sphere, give us an email or a call!