Life During Quarantine: Creative Marketing Tactics For Artists

April 6, 2020

By Kevin Cornell

Our on-going Life During Quarantine series is aimed at providing both solace and strategy to the TuneCore Artist community.

We’re all in this together, and there’s not a whole lot of us that can draw on any other previous experience like it to cope. While we struggle with the cancellation of shows and tours, the inability to get into the studio or rehearsal space with collaborators, and in some cases face financial instability in the light of COVID-19, it’s helpful to remind ourselves that we’re not alone. While you don’t need to be opportunistic in a time of anxiety, you can stay busy and productive in ways that help your fans realize they’re not alone, either.

So far we’ve covered topics like live streaming concerts, trying out new creative endeavors, and just staying sane while indoors. In an effort to provide some relevant marketing tactics during this time, we’re looking to some of our digital store partners and social media platforms to spark a bit of creativity while in isolation.

Maintaining Your Release Plan

Maybe you’ve been working on a release plan in the days, weeks or months leading up to this pandemic. Is it time to postpone? Is it time to power through? What should you consider?

While only you will be able to decide how to move forward in a way that is most beneficial to both your growth and the actual release you’ve got lined up, but some factors to consider:

  • If you’ve got an engaged base of fans online, and you’ve found no challenges communicating with them and creating content across social channels, move forward with your plans!
  • If you’re an artist who thrives in the physical format (whether it’s vinyl or cassette), postponing your upcoming release might make sense. Of course, temporarily focusing on digital single releases may be your best way to holdover if you’ve committed to campaigns or marketing budgets.
  • Keep an eye on streaming trends. It’s important to make yourself flexible in the coming weeks and adapt accordingly.

“Mood Playlists” Focus

While getting your music added to any playlist on a streaming platform is exciting – whether it’s edited by official curators or third party influencers – now is a good time to zero in on some of those ‘Mood’-inspired collections.

Think about it: your fans, and potential new fans, are spending quite a bit of time at home right now. Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer are chock full of playlists that aim to capture a certain mood for the listener, and as you likely know, these can be an incredible tool for discovery. 

Whether it’s purely the sound/vibe/energy your release is conveying or you’re writing very literal lyrics to capture the moment, there’s plenty of playlists catering to specific moods that your songs would fit into. And remember: listeners end up on these playlists because they’re relying on music to reflect how they feel in that moment – it’s a very real connection.

Utilize Your Platform Features

With so many fans in the house staying put, listening to music to escape or provide a soundtrack to their days and nights, now is a good time to get familiar with your options for updating your streaming profiles and building followers.

Start by encouraging your social followers and email list subscribers to take the extra step of following your artist page – since we know all fans listen to music differently, provide a variety of links.

From there, take the time to get familiar with features on Apple Music for Artists and Spotify for Artists. A good example is the Canvas feature on Spotify where you can create visuals – now would be a great time to showcase your in-home music process/set-up, or even begin taking art submissions from fans to be featured there.

Perhaps the easiest way to utilize those platforms is to create your own playlist of songs you’ve been digging lately or all-time classics that inspire you. Show off your diverse taste and creative influences.

Explore Social Further

Whether it’s a social media channel or a music platform you’ve distributed your songs to via TuneCore, there are new and of-the-moment ways to connect with fans in a fun way.

Posting more frequently may be something you can try, and if you haven’t yet, start learning about how to take advantage of social ads. Now is a great time to practice and experiment with what you think might work to catch eyeballs. You can start at a low budget and monitor your engagement results.

Some streaming platforms have ‘Challenges’, like Anghami’s “Wash Your Hands Challenge” (where fans can apply artists’ songs to videos of them washing their hands) and of course TikTok has regular #hashtag challenges that users can participate in. Explore what’s happening and trending out there – then develop a plan to encourage your fans to get in on the fun with your song. Search for trending or unique hashtags that you think you can have a good time with and invite your fans in on the action – or create your own!

Got passions outside of music? Whether it’s cooking, visual art, movies, video games – use these as a way to connect with your base on social media. There’s a good chance they’ll be able to relate.

And of course, be sure to read up on our tips for live streaming concerts and small performances for your fans here. But while we’re at it, be sure to focus on ‘The Essential 3’ below – Stabilization, Lighting, and Audio.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s social media platforms or music services, now is the time for artists in quarantine to try some new tactics around promotion. There’s no need to feel opportunistic about this: your fans are home, too – why not let them know we’re all in it together and give them the gift of entertainment in the meantime?

For more creative marketing tips checkout the Creative Marketing Playbook here.

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