There’s been plenty of news about the long-awaited return of live music since the pandemic began, but in the interim, the digital landscape has changed quite a bit. TikTok has continued to shift to the forefront of social media usage for Gen-Z, along with the ever-present Instagram. Surprisingly, people seem to be opening and engaging with email marketing more than ever before. So what does this mean for promoting a tour? A lot, actually. A huge part of what I do on a daily basis at Feature.fm is helping artists and their teams stay ahead of the curve on digital trends to help propel their promotional efforts and careers. We know that touring is a big part of that. So, here are my top tips to help build and maximize your strategy the next time you hit the road.
Leading Up to Tour
You’ve locked in your tour dates, congrats! Now, it’s time to get your fans excited that they finally get to see your amazing live show. In the lead-up to hitting the road, you want to make it as easy as possible for your fans to find all the key details on your upcoming tour.
First and Foremost, Build Out Your Promotional Strategy
Planning is paramount for success when executing a promotional strategy. Be sure to define responsibilities among team members and create content roll out plans for social media. Outlining your budget for any promotional costs, such as ad spend, merchandise, etc., is also crucial. Not only to avoid cutting into tour revenue, but also to keep track of resource allocation for future promotions.
Set up an Artist Bio Link
The handy “link in bio” has become one of the most important areas of social media real estate for artists and businesses alike. By setting up an Artist Bio Link, you can make the process of promoting your tour a lot easier by keeping tour dates, merchandise, and new music, easily accessible. No need to switch out links each time you want to promote something new on your socials. Essentially operating as a microsite, link in bio tools can potentially increase referral traffic to secondary platforms, like your Artist Spotify or ticketing partner, by up to 15% (via Pars.ly)
Reach New Fans by Joining Concert Discovery Platforms
Bandsintown and Songkick are both great concert discovery platforms where artists can share all their upcoming concert dates. With millions of registered users on each, they offer an untapped audience of live music lovers who could be your next biggest fans. You can also coffered by services like Feature.fm to easily share with fans or add to your Link in Bio.
Add a Personal Touch with Email Marketing
Compared to social media, email marketing often takes a back seat in the artist’s promotional tool kit, despite being one of the most widely used channels of online communication. Take a direct and personalized approach by creating engaging email updates to keep your fans informed about your tour. You could also use the opportunity to build your subscriber list by offering special incentives for fans to sign up, such as early access to ticket sales.
Give Fans a Glimpse of Your Live Show
Remind your fans exactly why they need to catch you on tour by posting a video of you performing. You could splice footage from a past concert or even film a special behind-the-scenes preview from a band rehearsal session. With video content typically leading to higher engagement rates, be sure to also include a call to action in the caption directing fans where to buy tickets.
Get the Word Out Far and Wide With Social Media Ads
When run correctly, social media ads or “boosted posts”, can be a highly effective strategy to increase ticket sales. Offered on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook, social media ads are relatively easy to set up, cost effective (ranging from a $0.50 - $2.00 cost per click), and offer hyper segmented targeting to help you reach the right audience. I recommend running geo-targeted ads for cities from your tour route to boost awareness of your upcoming show with locals.
You’re on the road, now what?
You planned and executed an awesome pre-tour promo strategy to get tickets selling, and you’re finally on the road. The fun isn’t over yet. Keep your fans engaged and part of the journey with the following tips.
Get Creative and Reward Fans With a Contest
Contests are a great way to reward loyal fans and encourage social engagement by incentivising certain actions. Take a fun and creative approach such as asking concert goers to share and tag you in their favorite photos from your show. Not only does this help keep your tour top of mind for your followers, but it can also help expose you to new fans. Just be sure to adhere to contest guidelines per platform and region. We’ve made this process a little easier with the launch of our new contest tool. A high customizable bio link microsite where you can ask fans to take action like following your Spotify for a reward.
Make it Immersive with a Tour Themed Playlist
Bring your fans into the experience by creating a tour themed playlist to share with them. You could include the songs you’ve been listening to whilst on the road or even boost streams on your own catalog by making a tour setlist playlist. You can now make streaming truly immersive thanks to Spotify’s Canva tool where you can add video, 2D or 3D graphics that are shown when specific songs are being streamed. Loops of video filmed on the road could add a personal touch.
DANIEL SANDER is the Chief Commercial Officer at Feature.fm, overseeing the commercial strategy of the company. Having been with Feature.fm since 2014, he has had the opportunity to work personally with hundreds of artists and music marketers to understand their needs and translate them into viable business solutions. Influencing nearly every aspect of the company, Daniel is responsible for shaping and launching Feature.fm’s product offering, identifying market trends and ensuring smooth operational efficiency. Dan is also a hobbyist musician and has prior experience in corporate banking.