Spinnup helps you by distributing your music online to the world’s biggest music platforms but, we also do our best to help guide artists on the best way to promote themselves. This means we’re constantly staying up to date with the newest social media trends. Undeniably, TikTok is the latest craze which has enabled many unsigned artists to go viral. With this new found virality, music labels are quick to sign artists whose songs perform well on the platform (an example of one of our own being KAIBA, whose song ‘Overdose’ exploded on the app, but, we’ll come onto that a bit later).
Yet to become a household name on social media, TikTok is becoming the champion channel to shine on. In this post, we’re going to tell you exactly why you should be using the app to market and promote your music, as well as give you some useful tips along the way.
Ok, but what is TikTok?
Turn back the clock to Musical.ly, this is what TikTok was called before it was bought out by its parent company, ByteDance, in 2018. Similar to Vine (RIP), users upload and share 15-second clips of themselves doing a range of wonderful things like lip-synching to songs, dancing and comedy sketches. Users can create #trends and challenges based on a song taken from an entire soundbank of music, and this is how they can go viral.
With tracks entering and re-entering the charts due to their cameos on Tik Tok videos, it’s clear that this kind of bite-size video content is effective in reaching a wider audience. Not only that, but with animations, filters, music, and easy-to-use editing, it allows even the least ‘tech-savvy’ person to create professional-looking content. Fans are able to create their own clips which can include your music in a new and exciting way, whilst expressing themselves.
Here are a few TikTok stats:
- TikTok is currently at #2 in the entertainment charts on the App store
- The app has 500 million monthly active users globally (that’s almost 8 times the UK’s entire population!).
- Users spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the app.
Understand its audience
There are still a fair few of us out there who haven’t yet even heard of TikTok and that’s mainly because it appeals to a younger audience (under 18s). ‘TikTok is a platform where there are a lot of young people meaning you can reach many of them very quickly’ as suggested by KAIBA.
And we certainly agree: being active on TikTok will allow you to reach a wider audience that you may not have otherwise had access to with your current socials. If your audience is not already on the TikTok hype but are dedicated enough, we feel they will jump over to it (we’ll explain how you can persuade them a bit later on in this post).
Don’t forget to promote on your existing social media platforms as well. It’s simple to share TikTok content across other platforms, but keep in mind a consistent brand image as much as you can.
Make sure your music is right for TikTok
Before you dive in, it’s important to consider whether your music suits this new platform. Most genres work on TikTok and, currently, the most common are pop, rap and hip-hop.
What you need to consider is whether content can easily be created around your song. Any user creating a challenge or hashtag will tend to structure it around the 15-second extract of the music. So, the clip should make sense and be easy to interpret in its own context.
Some of the most successful songs on TikTok are ones that have catchy and memorable lyrics and can be easily brought to life. A good example of this is a trend based on AWOLNATION’S Run, where people have created videos in which they simply… run away from things.
Get your music on TikTok
At the moment Spinnup doesn’t distribute your music directly to TikTok. So how do you actually get your music on the platform? There are a couple of ways you can do this.
The first is to create some sort of promotional video. This could be something as straightforward as an image of your artwork, with the song attached. You could also record a video with your song playing in the background. The audio quality will depend on the method and equipment you use. Bear in mind what we said earlier about choosing the right 15-seconds of the song because that will be critical to your success.
Once you have uploaded the video, click on the spinning profile icon in the bottom right-hand corner. You can then edit it to give your sound a title. This will usually be formatted as ‘track name – artist name’, or if your username is already your artist name, then just put the ‘track name’. Make sure you spell the title of your sound correctly. The last thing you want is your song to start trending with a spelling mistake!
Go viral on TikTok
Once uploaded, your song becomes part of TikTok’s soundbank and anyone using the app can search and click ‘use this sound’ to include it in their video. Once it is used by a handful of people, it then has the potential to become a trend. Which is exactly what happened to German Spinnup artist KAIBA. After blowing up on TikTok, he was soon signed with Island Records/Universal.
“A fan wrote to me on Instagram and said that my song ‘Overdose’ had gone viral on TikTok.” KAIBA explains that he ‘didn’t know about the app before’ but since going viral, he downloaded it, and is now active daily, posting a range of fun and animated content.
‘Overdose’ got into the TikTok charts and featured in almost 580,000 videos, receiving over two million views. His music has been used by many verified and leading TikTok accounts. “I saw that a popular creator with 5 million followers made videos with my music, so I think that was the success.”
Since going viral, the track has generated over 4 million streams on Spotify and places KAIBA as of the most interesting upcoming artists of 2019.
Here’s a compilation video of the trend (be sure to follow KAIBA on TikTok here).
KAIBA didn’t plan to use TikTok but managed to become an overnight sensation, now pushing his music through the app. To push your music through the app, here are some TikTok tips:
Keep your content interesting and frequent
“Deliver funny or interesting content every day”, says KABIA. It’s important to keep active on your social platforms daily, especially as TikTok users spend quite a hefty amount of time on it per day.
Like Instagram, hashtags are an important part of posting your content and getting discovered. But unlike Instagram or Facebook, “the algorithm works much better. Everybody has the same chance, and everybody can go viral without a follower,” says KAIBA. “You can orientate yourself, or be inspired by current hashtags,”. TikTok displays its current trending hashtags on the discover page but whatever you use should reflect your brand and your music. For example, Lil Nas X used #yeehaw to send his very successful track Old Town Road trending. #Yeehaw fits in line with the country-rap genre and theme of the song.
Create your own challenges based around your song or ask fans on your existing social media to create one for you. You could make a competition to encourage them to get involved with the app, such as the ‘best cover’ or ‘best lip-synching video’.
Alternatively, you could approach a TikTok influencer to create a challenge for you. Bear in mind that it’s important to allow the influencer to have creative freedom if you decide to go down this route; as an influencer, they are the experts in knowing which trends work. You will most likely have to pay an influencer for their services, so this is something you could do later down the line when you are more established or can afford to do so.
Duets and reaction videos
If you’re familiar with the app, you may have seen users uploading duets and/or reaction videos. So why not do the same? You could make use of this to interact with your fans. You could also duet with other similar artists to reach out to their fans as well. Look at Lewis Capaldi’s many hilarious examples of reaction videos for inspiration.
To sum up, this is what the power of TikTok could do for you as an artist:
- The chance to become a viral sensation (even without any followers).
- Allow your fans to engage with your music their own way.
- Allow you to explore a new platform in which to promote your music.
- Reach out to a wider audience (500 million users and counting!)
- And most of all, the potential to get signed by a label.
So, what are you waiting for? Get ahead of the game and get on TikTok!
Want more tips on social media? Read our handy how-to guide here.