The Evolving Strategy of TikTok Music Marketing: Artist and Fan Engagement

Published March 7, 2024

In the transforming landscape of music marketing, TikTok has risen as a pivotal platform, demanding significant attention from artists and their teams. Taylor Upsahl, a performer who has experienced the shift firsthand, notes the importance of TikTok in promotional strategies. The past tactics of leveraging influencers to amplify a song's presence on the app or initiating contests for fans to engage with a track are evolving. Creative marketing is no longer just about influencer reach, but increasingly involves artists actively participating in content creation.

The Shift in Music Marketing

The consensus among music marketers today highlights a change: artist involvement is critical. High-profile campaigns once could skate by without direct artist engagement, but as Ramzi Najdawi of ATG explains, while it may not be mandatory, artist-created content has become a significant part of marketing on short-video platforms.

With TikTok feeds becoming overcrowded and influencer promotion less predictable, the focus has shifted towards artists creating original content to kindle organic interest. Ed Winters Ronaldson of Strudel emphasizes that building initial traction with artist-created videos is key before tapping influencers to extend a campaign's reach.

The Importance of Original Content

Original content created by the artists themselves has proven to be potent, with Najdawi noting the invaluable impact of a self-propelled viral song. Additionally, amid music licensing disputes, such as TikTok's with Universal Music Group, artists are finding new ways to engage audiences, including sharing live concert footage or more personal clips.

Creative agencies are stepping in to help artists by capturing behind-the-scenes material that resonates with fans on a personal level, Parkhurst of Teammate agency shares how her team's iPhone-shot clips can rival the viewership of fully produced music videos, demonstrating the appetite for authentic fan experiences.

Engaging with Super Fans

Passive song promotion strategies are becoming obsolete. ATG's Omid Noori points out that relying on songs to catch on through general-interest videos isn't as reliable as before. Music marketers are now focusing on connecting with an artist's passionate fan base, recognizing the power it holds in driving album excitement and ticket sales.

Simon Friend of Round and Sean Kane of Hundred Days Digital both advocate for reaching out to genuine fans for content creation, as their affinity for the artist yields more impactful and targeted TikTok engagement compared to broader influencer campaigns.

TikTok, marketing, artist