On average, Americans listen to almost five hours of music a day, over 30 hours a week. Younger listeners are even more passionate, dedicating nearly 40 hours a week to music consumption. Almost half of the music listeners also prefer to listen to music on their smartphones, so reaching them where they’re comfortable and primed for interaction is what makes music influencers such an intriguing idea.
But while music may not seem to have the same influence on culture today as, say, MTV back in its heyday, one look at the Instagram Rich List tells a story of celebrity culture that centers around musical artists and acts. Indeed, five of the top 10 Instagram accounts belong to legitimate pop stars (Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Beyoncé Knowles, Taylor Swift, and Justin Bieber), and plenty of known and unknown musicians alike speak to significant and sizable audiences on the platform.
They’re known as music influencers, and one post or piece of compelling creative can help build an audience, launch a product, or establish a company. If you are trying to market your brand to insiders working in the music industry, hiring a music influencer can be your best shot at reaching them. However, it’s important to know who you are specifically marketing to in order to make the biggest impact.
Music Industry Influencers vs. Music Influencers
Not all people who work in the music industry are coming from the same place. You have managers, talent scouts, and other people that work behind the scenes shepherding and building the careers of the artists they work with. But if you have a product to market, which type of music influencer is best for your campaign?
Short answer – it depends on who you’re trying to reach.
Ideally, you’ll want to pick the right types of influencer that bring the desired audience to your client’s campaign. Regardless of audience size, there’s a big difference between music industry influencers and music influencers. One speaks to industry insiders, and the other speaks directly to fans. Deciding on the best type of influencer will have a significant impact when branding your business.
What Are Music Industry Influencers?
Unlike the pop stars and bands on Instagram that speak directly to their followers and fans, music industry influencers have audiences made up primarily of industry insiders. They’re label executives, A&R heads and anyone else that makes music their business, and their network of colleagues and other insiders is unlike anything you’ll see elsewhere.
Some of these top influencers also have real pull, such as Allison Scarinzi, the GM of SB Projects, a talent agency that represents both Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, and Dallas Martin, who is the SVP of A&R at Atlantic Records. Due to their position and influence both on and off Instagram, working with a music industry influencer is a great way to reach the movers and shakers that help power the famous acts you know.
For example, working with a music industry influencer to promote your client that builds furniture or gear for recording studios can target producers making music daily without the price tag that comes with working with a legitimate star. Or, if you’re tasked with marketing a new calendar app, industry influencers can help you market a simple tool, earning you a foothold in the music vertical that has a chance of crossing over. As a bonus, working with an industry influencer may even give you limited access to the stars in their orbit, but don’t expect or rely on it.
What Are Music Influencers?
If your target audience is music fans, not industry insiders, you’ll want to choose a music influencer to work with carefully, one who can get your message in front of passionate music fans.
Everything from designer earbuds to the newest Bluetooth speakers, musical instruments, and gear are all good bets. Hiring a budding or established artist to get the word out is a great way to increase the size of your audience and find new customers.
Sure, you already know the music influencers at the top of the food chain, the Justin Biebers and Taylor Swifts of the world, but you may be surprised that independent artists you’ve never heard of have large and fanatic fanbases.
One of them is Marc Rebillet, who has over 200,000 followers that enjoy his improvisational electronic compositions featuring a strong dash of humor. There’s also The Theorist, who compose piano-based covers for over 10,000 followers.
As a marketer, there are countless opportunities here, and thousands upon thousands of influencers to work with. You could commission a unique song to go with a forthcoming product launch or have your influencer create a simple video of them using your product during a performance or a cozy chat. Even a simple photo can get their fanbase buzzing, sending hundreds or thousands of curious followers your way, especially if the thing you’re promoting is novel or unique in some way.
How to Find Music Influencers
Unfortunately, searching for a music influencer on Instagram or elsewhere is time consuming and leaves you stuck using a mishmash of platforms that make your job harder. An influencer marketing software, on the other hand, helps you identify and recruit influencers, which is great when you realize that smaller influencers, the ones that are harder to find, are more effective at engaging with their audiences.
Keep in mind, that influencers with a smaller but more engaging audience can be challenging to find. Perhaps working with a higher number of influencers given a specific target audience size would be a better approach.. All things being equal, 50 influencers with 10,000 followers each is better than ten influencers with 50,000 followers each, which is altogether better than one influencer with half a million followers.
Moving Forward With Influencer Marketing
It’s still all about your client, the influencer you work with, and the strategy at hand. In order to better recruit a music influencer or an influencer in another field, make sure you are taking the necessary steps to do so:
- Reach out to establish and develop a relationship with the influencer.
- Approach them regarding the desired campaign. For example:
- You may partner with a music industry influencer to promote a new music mixing software, or
- Create a swipe up link to use on an Instagram story that directs people to your new line of headphones.
- Execute and manage the campaign.
- Measure and evaluate the success of the campaign.
- And work with the influencer on what is next with the new established partnership.
Using an influencer marketing software can help you in the end-to-end process of running an influencer marketing campaign involving music and music industry influencers.