TikTok Music Marketing: How to Promote Your Music on TikTok
Whilst Meta’s Facebook and Instagram are still the largest social media platforms in the world – they are expected to hit 2.1 and 1.28 billion monthly users in 2022 – TikTok is predicted to be the third-largest player in the social media world with 755 million monthly users in 2022.
TikTok has seen an impressive surge in growth, having netted its 1 billionth user last year at a much earlier stage than either Facebook or Instagram. However you slice it, Tik Tok is here to stay and for bands considering their marketing and social media strategy for 2022, it would be sensible to have Tik Tok as a central pillar.
In this article, we are going to look at TikTok as a platform, examine what makes videos grow organically as well as explore the TikTok promotion programme, Tik Tok marketing and how to use TikTok to promote music.
What Is Tik Tok?
To the uninitiated, TikTok promotion is a video-based social media platform where users can upload videos. Unlike YouTube, the Chinese-owned platform is geared towards short-form videos ranging from 15 seconds to 3 minutes.
In its early days, Tik Tok was known for videos of challenges and lip-syncing – in its purest form these were often fun and innocent pieces of content such as mastering specific dance moves to songs but on the more controversial side, challenges such as the ‘birdbox challenge’ where users filmed themselves driving whilst blindfolded (sadly with some fatal conclusions).
Today, content on TikTok is far broader. Dancing is still a factor (at the time of writing, the latest trends are nodding your head along to Drilla or swinging your hips from side to side along with Rod Stewart’s If You Think I’m Sexy, but there are also loads of other content creators like LadBible uploading funny videos, Red Bull showing extreme sports, celebrities like Dwayne Johnson offering a window into their lives and sheepdog farmers showing how they train their dogs.
TikTok Song Promotion
From a music perspective, some artists such as Ashnikko have built their fanbase on Tik Tok promo, by sharing all kinds of content including new song ideas, behind-the-scenes footage, live Q and A’s and even just random little thoughts – they’ve then leveraged this fanbase to grow into other forms of media. It’s worth checking Lil Nas and his channel, with millions of users.
Other artists have used TikTok promotion as part of a wider strategy to reinforce their image – Justin Hawkins of The Darkness has a really fascinating channel where he listens to, plays along with and comments on releases by other artists.
One of the strengths of TikTok, both for users and for creators, is the ease of proliferation across the platform. Whilst you can follow specific accounts, the news feed is presented in two different flavours: “Following” and “For You”. The “Following” stream is exclusively for content from followed accounts but the feed actually defaults to the “For You” stream.
The For You stream is a mixture of followed and unfollowed accounts where the algorithm suggests new content to the user in an infinite-scroll format. This makes the platform incredibly interesting to users and the more time they spend on TikTok, the more the algorithm learns what kind of content works best for that user.
Similarly, it means that for creators, using TikTok music promotion has a much greater potential for organic growth and increased views for content. Beyond just the ease of proliferation – TikTok is also incredibly valuable to creators because of the nature of the platform.
Unlike Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the content on TikTok is all video and each piece of content fills the entire screen and the video is simply looped until the user scrolls on. These are significant factors because it means that TikTok occupies much more of a user’s attention than its competitors.
It is much harder to silently scroll through TikTok whilst watching the TV as many users on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram do, and because each video fills the screen, the next item isn’t there, tempting the user to scroll on – so the user is effectively forced to pay some attention to the video they are watching in order to make a judgement on whether to continue watching.
As a brand owner, you should think about TikTok advertising and TikTok for business, where you can create specific videos to engage with your active users and provide some added value. The platform offers the perfect opportunity for TikTok music promo – whether that’s through TikTok influencer marketing where you submit your music to TikTok influencers, or using TikTok paid promotion to promote your song on TikTok.
Top Tips For Success in TikTok Music Marketing
- Be your authentic self
- Connect with other musicians
- Hashtag wisely
- Get your song pitched to influencers
- Think laterally – you don’t have to follow the herd, you can think of innovative ways of standing out from the crowd
- Stitch or duet with other artists
- Did we mention being your authentic self? TikTok loves to keep it real, so bear this in mind
How To Go Viral On TikTok
Going viral is often the holy grail of social media strategies. It’s easy to understand why going viral is a positive thing for building brand awareness and exposure for artists & their music on TikTok. The views can rocket to multi-million video views and the resulting attention from that huge bank of interested people can translate into some pretty significant sales.
TikTok’s penchant for dance-based challenges makes it extra tantalising to musicians for the royalties alone, as huge numbers of people film themselves dancing along to your song on TikTok will be huge for your target audience, so it is a valuable way to promote song on Tik Tok.
But going viral is kind of like being cool – as soon as you try too hard, it becomes impossible. That said, there are some things you can do to help make your videos gain greater organic (unpaid) proliferation through the platform and increase your follower count.
#1 – Post Regularly
There are a lot of different opinions on what constitutes regular posting. Some guides to TikTok recommend posting 3-5 times a day, others suggest that at least once a day is a good rule of thumb and in his BBC Introducing Masterclass, TikTok’s Head of UK Artist Partnerships, David Mogendorff, suggests 3-5 times a week.
However often you post, one thing is clear – the more you use the platform, the more it works for you (and of course, there’s the added bonus that you start to learn what kind of content might work best for your channel).
#2 – Stay in Your Lane
Having a niche is a really good thing, especially when it comes to mass media. If you can focus on a specific group of people that seek out and are interesting in your content, then not only will you see your follower count grow with people looking for the kind of content you provide, the Tik Tok algorithm will then suggest your content to other users into the same kind of thing.
This doesn’t mean all your videos should be the same – in fact, it’s good to mix it up within the framework of your niche to keep your content interesting – however, it does mean that if you are posting funny cat videos one minute, love songs the next and political rants the moment after, you may not see the organic growth and additional followers you might expect if you pick a niche and stick to it.
#3 – Hashtags
Hashtags work a little differently on TikTok compared to how they work on Facebook – rather than users following specific hashtags, TikTok uses hashtags to categorise your content. This is why it’s useful to stick to a niche because your channel and content become associated with a specific niche category of videos and from there the algorithm can suggest your content to users that will react positively to your content. There are also hashtag challenges to follow that can lead to your music going viral.
There is a trending tab on TikTok which can give you some early insight into the latest video trends and trending hashtags. Some guides to TikTok suggest hijacking the trending hashtags and adding them to your video, however David Mogendorff (UK Head of Artist Relations at TikTok) suggests that it works better to try to keep your hashtags in line with the content you are producing as that allows the algorithms to work for you more over the Longer-term.
#4 – Duets, Stitch and Comments
There are some cool features when posting videos that are geared toward collaboration and interaction:
The Duet feature on TikTok allows users to take your video and create another video of user-generated content alongside it. This can be a great tool for people who want to sing along with you and post a reaction to your video.
Stitch allows users to take a portion of your video and incorporate it into a new video that they are creating again. You can enable comments on your content and replying to them can also drive engagement in your video.
A video with a high interaction count will do well when it comes to proliferation as the algorithm can easily establish if the content is interesting to the users of the platform from how much they comment, stitch or duet the video. It’s worth checking out the creator tools on the app to see just what you can do.
TikTok Promotion Paid – Does Tik Tok Promotion Work?
In addition to the organic reach, you can achieve with your content, there is also a Tik Tok Promoter platform called “Ads Manager” which allows you to pay for prioritised reach in the feed. You can upload and manage your ads from the Ad Manager webpage on a computer or you can also promote directly from within the app.
In either case, there are loads of really excellent resources for small businesses and creators to boost your marketing strategy, including overviews of how promotion works and examples of good content that businesses have used to achieve results on the platform and convert to website visits.
Like with other social media ad offerings, you can set your budget and how long you want your ad to run and monitor your progress in the analytics. If you are looking to trace how effective your ad is in driving traffic to your website, for example, you can also install a TikTok pixel on your website which tracks traffic from TikTok to your website and can give an indication of how effective your ad campaigns are.
If you are wondering is TikTok promotion worth it, when it comes to Tik Tok song promotion, one thing to bear in mind is your music must be licensed to TikTok in order for you to use it on the platform. This is something you can arrange through your digital distributor but it essentially means that TikTok has the relevant copyright permissions to use your music on the platform.
To check if your music is available if you search for your music in the ‘Sounds’ section of the app, you can choose your song to add to a new video then your music is licensed correctly.
When it comes to promoted music Tik Tok is not in itself a marketplace – i.e. you cannot sell your music (either digitally or as physical CDs, etc.) on the platform. However, you can use TikTok content to generate interest in a release or use it as a jump-out link to Spotify or a platform where physical records can be purchased.
As a side note, think carefully about what you want your promoted content to look like – users have become very adept at spotting ads a mile away and as such pay less attention to content that is obviously an ad.
This is where it can sometimes be beneficial for your content to sit comfortably alongside the content generated by other users of the platform, you can often achieve more reach with a video that looks natural than you can with a full-production ad.
How To Promote Tik Tok On Instagram
TikTok promotion is really well integrated with Instagram – when you create a video the option to automatically share straight to Instagram is baked in. This can be really useful if you are sharing your content to multiple platforms because if you upload a video to TikTok and automatically share that content to Instagram, TikTok automatically adds a logo and an end screen that highlights your TikTok handle – promoting your account on TikTok.
This can be more beneficial than simply uploading the video to Instagram directly because it also highlights to your followers that you have more content on TikTok and as more and more users move from Instagram to TikTok, it can be helpful to translate some of your following from one platform to the other.
As a tip, it is great to promote your TikTok content on Instagram but it is also important to make sure you have independent strategies for each platform. Having exclusive Instagram and exclusive TikTok content with the odd video that appears on both allows you to make sure your content is more appropriate for the specific algorithms of each platform and this also gives your followers a reason to follow you on both TikTok and Instagram (and of course, the same logic applies for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as well).
TikTok Promotion Campaigns
If understanding how to market music on TikTok seems a bit of a minefield, there are TikTok Music Promotion Services that can help you negotiate TikTok music influencers and take away the mystery of how to get your song on TikTok. For example, you don’t want to try to pay TikTok influencers to use song.
Instead, you sign up for a campaign with a music marketing agency – which has a network of TikTok accounts or TikToker contacts, so takes the stress away of finding influencers. They then pitch your song to their network, and some of those influencers may decide to use your song in their video, which means that their followers will hear your song and in turn, you get the promotion
That Was Our Guide To Promoting Your TikTok Content!
So that should answer the question of how to promote music on TikTok. TikTok promotion is a great social network and a tool with a huge amount of potential for musicians. The best thing you can do is spend a good amount of time on the platform to learn what content works and what kind of content is appropriate for it and have fun making videos and experimenting with formats of your own videos to find what works for you and your audience.
It’s also worth spending a little time with the Ads Manager resources as there are some really good tips and tricks there. Of course, here at Music Gateway, we can guide and help you with TikTok promotion every step of the way. If you’re wondering does promoting on TikTok work or how to promote your music on TikTok effectively? Get in touch today!
Do I need to have a TikTok account to use the TikTok promotion service?
It isn’t a necessity to have a Tik Tok account as long as your music is licensed with Tik Tok and approved to be used on the platform. It does always help to have an account as you can engage, be tagged and therefore more potential fans can find you!
Do I need to have a large TikTok or other social media following to use the TikTok Promotion service?
No. We hope by using our promotional service that we can increase your social following. Already having a decent following is always a bonus in getting your music out there, but it isn’t a requirement to get involved.
Will using TikTok promotion make me go viral?
Our ultimate goal is to get your amazing music heard by as many people as possible. Some of our campaigns have gone viral in the past however we can’t guarantee that it will happen – we’ll certainly do our very best!
Will I still earn the rights to my music?
Do you take a commission for any sales made from videos?
Your distributor will collect revenue based on the use of your music, meaning you will get paid each time your song gets used in a video.