Guide for Artists and Music Professionals: How to Promote Music on TikTok
TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms ever. TikTok has over 500 million active monthly users, and its popularity among music fans continues to grow each day. For music professionals looking to promote their work, this is an exciting platform to explore. But how can you create engaging content on TikTok and effectively promote your music? In this guide, we’ll discuss the basics of promoting music on TikTok, plus tips to help make your content stand out from the crowd. From creating eye-catching videos to finding the right hashtag strategy, read on to learn our top tips for promoting your music on TikTok!
What is TikTok?
As one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, TikTok has become a go-to destination for music lovers and creators alike. But what exactly is TikTok?
In short, TikTok is a short-form video app that allows users to create and share 15-second videos set to popular music. The app also offers a variety of editing tools and filters, which users can utilize to create unique content.
Since its launch in 2016, TikTok has amassed a large and dedicated user base, particularly among Gen Zers and millennials. In fact, the app has been downloaded over 2 billion times worldwide, making it one of the most popular social media platforms today.
The TikTok Algorithm Explained
The TikTok algorithm is a mystery to many users, but it doesn’t have to be. In this section, we’ll explain how the TikTok algorithm works and how you can use it to your advantage.
The TikTok algorithm is based on a number of factors, including the number of views, likes, comments, and shares your video gets. However, the main goal of the TikTok’s recommendation engine is surfacing content that is interesting in one way or another — regardless of the number of followers or audience of the content creator.
When the video is uploaded on the platform, TikTok will pick a small sample of viewers and show them the video to test it out. If it does well among that small group of users, the algorithm will proceed to show the video to a bigger audience. And then, the cycle repeats.
This algorithm allows TikTok to take a video uploaded by a regular user, non-influencer, and spin it to thousands or even millions of views. Any user on TikTok has a chance to get millions of strangers to engage with their video. Everyone can produce potentially viral content.
What about songs, audios and hashtags?
While TikTok is mostly known for its fun and lighthearted content, the app has also become a powerful tool for promoting music. In regard to make songs or hashtags popular on TikTok, the logic is slightly different. The “For You” recommendation algorithm responds to the sheer number of times your audio track is used within a compressed time frame.
Thanks to its massive reach and engaged user base, TikTok offers artists and musicians an unparalleled opportunity to connect with new fans and promote their work. You “just” need a great volume of users creating content with your audios. No matter who.
TikTok for Artists and Music Professionals
So how can artists and music professionals leverage TikTok? Well, the first thing that you have to understand is that when you approach TikTok as an artist, there are quite a few paths you can take, that all ultimately lead to the same end goal.
If you’re an artist looking to establish a presence on TikTok, your aim is likely to draw listeners towards your music. To that end, the videos you post must include references to your music while conforming to the platform’s profile. Rather than simply uploading clips of your tracks or glimpses into your studio sessions, it’s worth noting other platforms are more suited to such content. On TikTok, success requires mastering the algorithm; short, eye-catching and entertaining posts are key for connecting with large audiences.
Growing Followers and Views – The Basics
Here are some tips for you to consider if you want to maximize your chances of going viral on TikTok:
#1 Feature Your Music
It’s very important that you let all of your active followers on TikTok know damn well what you’re up to outside of the platform because you’re using TikTok to promote your music. You don’t need to be too obvious about it (like “New Single Out”). However, if you’re creating native TikTok content, you can use your own songs as soundtracks.
Remember the goal: get your songs out there.
#2 Do Not Spam and Be Careful Not to Get Banned
For a setting of authentic interaction, TikTok blocks spam-ish, offensive, or harmful content. If the platform notices any of the following, it will ban the account, so avoid it as much as you can:
- Hashtags that are banned
- Delete a lot of content at once
- In one sitting, following and unfollowing many users
- Copyrighted material used
#3 Use TikTok Pro Analytics
As a free feature, TikTok recently launched a proprietary analytics dashboard for all creators on its platform. In addition to tracking profile and video views, TikTok Pro lets you track follower dynamics, demographic information about your audience, and get insights on your videos to determine which ones work best. You can switch to a TikTok Pro account by going to the Manage My Account tab and clicking on Switch to TikTok Pro.
It’s highly recommended to upgrade to Pro as soon as you start posting content since the app starts tracking the day you switch.
#4 Make Use of Hashtags
It is probably the most important factor when determining the relevance of a video. If you choose popular hashtags, your content will likely appear on TikTok’s Discover and For You tabs more often. TikTok’s algorithm will likely take into account the hashtags to determine what your video is about — so give it plenty of room to work with. Check out the Discover tab to see what hashtags are popular right now.
#5 Challenges & Trends
I’m sure you’re aware of how TikTok is a platform made of trends and challenges. To grow your own account, you will need to capitalize on these successes. Consider joining in with whatever is popular at the time, as long as it fits within your content plan. You must be consistent – don’t overstretch yourself by producing content that doesn’t adhere to your strategy. People who are interested in entertainment or just browsing go to the Discover tab to see what’s trending, so you’d want your videos to show up there as well.
Getting Your Songs Trending on TikTok
In the music industry, TikTok trends and challenges can give artists immense exposure to promote music on TikTok. There is still a lot of competition in the space around TikTok trends and challenges, but it is still a game for everyone. If you manage to combine the creative idea with the right music, it won’t even cost you anything. But let’s start there. This is our step by step guide to launching a TikTok challenge.
Creating a Successful TikTok Challenge
If you’re an artist or music professional looking to promote your music on TikTok, you’ll need to create engaging, creative content that will capture the attention of users. Keep in mind that TikTok is all about short-form, quick-paced content, so your videos should be concise and to the point.
One way to get your music trending on TikTok is to create challenge videos. These videos typically involve users attempting to do a certain task or dance along to a song. By creating a challenge video for your song, you can encourage users to listen to and share your music with their friends.
Spend Some Time on TikTok
You should spend some time on TikTok if you’re planning to use the platform as part of your marketing strategy. TikTok is a very particular platform with a unique feel for content. You can use that experience in the later stages of planning your viral TikTok campaign by understanding which content is popular and why.
Pick Your Best Moments
Now that you’re ready to start thinking about your next challenge, it’s time to get started. On TikTok, 15-second clips work best. That’s not a set rule by any means – but shorter content is what really holds users’ attention on the app. For example, TikTok suggests using videos that are 9-15 seconds long as a best practice for in-feed ads – and there’s no reason to think that will change when it comes to your upcoming challenge.
If you have the time, think about the music you like and try to find a few 15-second videos that could go viral. There are many things you can do well on TikTok, like surprise drops, memorable lyrics that can be used outside the context, etc. You should try to connect your video with the theme of the future challenge, whether through lyrics or the dynamics of the music, but you should also leave room for interpretation.
Have Your Songs Available on TikTok
Not all digital distributors work with TikTok so far, so you should check with your distributor to make sure the song you’ve chosen is available to TikTok creators.
The creative behind the challenge itself should always keep in mind what the viewers will take away from it. What will make it memorable? The video that starts the challenge should clearly describe what the challenge is about. But make it engaging and easy to understand.
It’s also important to consider what creators will gain from participating in the challenge. After all, TikTok challenges are meant to encourage rewatchability, are they easy to recreate, do they allow for interpretation and modification? The challenges are a template that creators can work with and build upon.
Pick Your Hashtags
For people to identify and engage with a trend, it needs a name. Choose a hashtag that is clear and memorable, that will bring the challenge together. Put some thought into it because if everything goes well, that name will be associated with your music for years to come.
Get Content Creators Onboard
You can also test your idea by contacting influencers — the more they respond, the more likely it will go viral. Don’t be afraid to ask TikTok influencers what they think about your idea, no punches pulled — TikTok influencers will have more experience with the platform, so listen to what they have to say.
Also, the easiest way to promote your music and go viral on TikTok is to have as many people as you can using your audios. TikTok’s algorithm doesn’t depend on the follower count or influencers. The way TikTok identifies viral songs, is by the volume of people that post an audio or a specific hashtag.
If you’re just starting and still don’t have many influencers or fans, you can broadcast your music to content creators on TikTok. VoxFeed helps you with that.
Guide Your Traffic
Consider how you will convert the TikTok audience to your other platforms, such as Spotify or Instagram, and make them stay. Many artists and songs go viral on TikTok without having any impact on their careers.
It is essential that your TikTok campaign be integrated seamlessly with your overall content plan. To ensure a successful outcome, you should pay close attention to the official song page linked to every song officially released on TikTok. Not only will users find the connection to Spotify for instance but they can also be directed straight to the artist’s verified TikTok account. Therefore, it is recommended that the artist has a functioning, validated individual profile on that platform in order to drive followers and views from the website.
Launch Your Challenge
The ultimate goal to promote music on TikTok is to have your challenge go viral. With all the necessary preparation taken care of, it’s time to take the plunge and see where this journey leads. You may be rewarded with millions of people discovering your music on a regular basis (or none!), but be aware that momentum can come and go quickly. Make sure you make the most of it while you can!
We have discussed the importance of using TikTok for music promotion and outlined the steps to do it. We hope this guide has given you a better understanding of how to use TikTok as an effective marketing tool for your music. From creating content that is engaging, informative, and entertaining, to leveraging influencers and other key features available on TikTok, there are many ways to promote your music successfully on this platform. With a little bit of effort and creativity, you can take advantage of all that TikTok has to offer!