- Adapt with the times and promote your music in the best way, using TikTok. TikTok is currently a leading social media platform, with over 500% year over year growth since 2017. They also have 120 million monthly active users. Yet so many musicians don't use it or don't even understand how it works. For musicians, TikTok isn't just a social media platform, it's a way to promote your music. There are artists that have blown up from TikTok, there are songs that have become hits, there are artists that have been signed to major labels all due to TikTok. Labels are watching TikTok very closely. Gen Z are obsessed with TikTok. They're all over it.
And that's the target audience for a lot of musicians. So labels are watching the trends, they're watching which artists are doing well, which tracks are doing well on TikTok. And they're using it to promote their artists. And independent artists can do the same. You don't need to be signed to a major label, you don't need to have tons of money, any artist can use TikTok to promote their music. And in this video, I'm going to explain to you how you can be using TikTok to promote your next track. If you think that TikTok isn't worth you time, then I'm definitely gonna change your mind on this because there are tons of artists in the last two years that've blown up because of TikTok.
For example, you've got "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X. "Old Town Road" went to number 15 in the Billboard charts. It became a viral hit and that's because it was trending on TikTok. It became a challenge and he blew up because of that. And he's now a full-time artist, he got signed to Colombia Records and the track has over 350 million streams on Spotify. But this didn't happen overnight. Lil Nas X says to everyone that TikTok is the reason he blew up. He credits them entirely. He even said that he would happily pay them to do that again, proof that you should be focusing on TikTok.
You should be getting your music, promoting it via that platform. So let's start. Let's talk about how TikTok works, how you can promote your music on it and how you can potentially go viral. For those of you who don't know, TikTok was formally known as Musical.ly. It's an app that allows you to upload short clips, about 15 seconds long, and it's blown up over the past few years. It's become one of the leading social media platforms. But because a lot of the younger generation use it, everyone over the age of 20 seems to be a bit confused about it, they don't even have profile on there. But there's an audience sat on TikTok waiting, wanting new music, wanting new challenges and your music could be the next viral hit. The first step to promoting your music on TikTok is actually getting your track on TikTok. It's pretty simple to do, you simply upload the audio and then you title it. We suggest titling it your name and the track name because then it's easy for anyone to find. And then once you've uploaded it, it becomes part of the app's sound bank.
So anyone can search it and find it and use it in their video. And that's why it's so important that you title it correctly because if you don't, people won't be able to find it. And then the chances of it going viral are very very slim. And you also want it to be your name and the track name because if it does blow up, you want people to know who you are and the track name so then they can go over to Spotify, Apple Music, your socials, and find you. Now your music is actually on TikTok, you need to be able to promote it, you need to get influencers using it, you need to get other users using it because as soon as it's used by a handful of people there is potential that it can become a trend. And if your track gets onto the trending page on TikTok, that's when your track is going to blow up.
The most recent example of this is Blanco Brown. Blanco Brown has 100,000 streams on most of his tracks so he's not huge. But he recently uploaded a track to TikTok and it has blown up. The track is called "The Git Up" and basically people just dance to it. But that dancing trend has gone crazy and that track that he uploaded now has over three million streams on Spotify. And he is not a world-renowned artist, he's not a huge artist but he got those streams because of TikTok. So let's start with the challenge aspect. This is how you're going to get people to get involved with your track. This is how people are gonna start pushing it out to more and more people and for it to become a trend.
And that's the most important thing. You want your track, the challenge, to trend. To do this, you can either create an account yourself and do the challenge, you can pay an influencer or ask an influencer to start doing a challenge or you can ask your immediate fan base to get involved and start doing the challenge. The first one is obviously doing it yourself and if you're happy being in front of the camera definitely give this one a go because you could potentially become famous on TikTok, well-known artist, and then you've got an audience there just waiting for you.
So your next track can do the exact same thing. There're a ton of artists that are doing this and it's pretty similar to Vine and YouTube where artists have blown up because of that platform. If you're happy to be in front of the camera, happy to do a crazy challenge, be a little bit silly, then definitely go down that route. However, if you're a little bit camera shy, that's at when you can look at getting influencers involved. TikTok influencers are in high demand right now, with some of the biggest brands in the world putting a lot of their marketing budget onto TikTok.
The return on investment on TikTok is fantastic. However, their price is still quite cheap. You'll find that TikTok influencers are so much cheaper than Instagram influencers, sometimes even half the price. So this can be a really good investment. You can basically pay an influencer to start a challenge based on your song. If they're doing this, they're more likely to have their fans jumping on board and for the track to go on the trending page, which should be the main aim 'cause as soon as it's done that, that's when other people are gonna get involved. To find these influencers, simply go onto the trending page on TikTok, which is the first page you'll see when you log in and find some influencers that you think could do a really cool thing with your track.
If you're still struggling, you can use hashtags. Find hashtags that are relevant to either your music or the trend that you're going for. I'll explain the hashtag feature a little bit later on so make sure to stick around for that. Unless you're friends on TikTok, you cannot private message another user. So to speak to these influencers, you need to step outside of TikTok. The easiest thing to do is just search these people on Instagram 'cause it's highly likely they're gonna have a big following on Instagram as well. So you can either DM them on Instagram or they might have an email in their bio. So ask them about their pricing, ask them if they like the track and you might find if they like the track enough that they're just gonna take it and make a challenge out of it without payment. One thing that is key working with these influencers is you need to give them creative freedom. We've found quite often that people that are managing these influencer marketing campaigns on TikTok try to create the challenge themselves. And that doesn't always work. These TikTok influencers know the app so well, they're experts, they know what is likely to hit the trending page.
So give them the creative freedom. Let them choose what they think will work. And obviously you can give your point of view but try not to create the challenge, try not to create the trend yourself because it probably won't go trending. The final way to get this challenge trending is to get your fans involved. If you guys have smashed your socials, if you've got content going out daily and your following on either Instagram, Twitter or Facebook is pretty impressive, then you can reach out to your fans and tell them you want them to get on TikTok. We've seen this work for YouTubers before. An example that I'm gonna use, which isn't related to music, but shows how you can pull an audience to another platform, is George Mason. George Mason is a really funny YouTuber who does videos about catfishing his audience. And he did a whole video where he wanted to go viral on TikTok. He asked all of his Instagram followers to jump over to TikTok and start commenting on all the videos and to get involved to try and make him go viral.
It ended up getting him a couple of 10,000 views, proving that your audience, if they're dedicated enough, are happy to jump over to another platform if you're providing new content. So what you can do is either go over to TikTok yourself and then persuade your audience to come join you or you can try and get them to start the challenge. This completely depends on the demographic of your audience. If your fans are quite young then they might already be on TikTok and be happy to start the challenge. But if your audience are slightly older, that's when you're going to have to be a little bit more persuasive. If you feel like your audience aren't TikTok users, which probably means they're over the age of 20, then you need to persuade them by doing something like a competition. What you can do is explain the challenge, or get them to make their own challenge up and tell them to take a screenshot or send you the link to the TikTok video.
And then you can pick a winner to win the whole competition and hopefully by this point, it could be trending. Make sure to make the prize something that can't be bought, there's no point giving someone a ticket to a show or a new t-shirt because it's not unique and it's not gonna persuade them to download an app, understand the app and then create a whole new video on it. We should just giving away something that's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You could perhaps do a private gig in their house or you could take them behind the scenes of your studio. Now you've got your challenge sorted, you need to make sure you're pushing it out correctly. And that's where hashtags come into play. You know I mentioned earlier "Old Town Road"? That track blew up because of TikTok. And the hashtag that he used was #Yeehaw. And this massively worked for the release because it was relevant to the artist, it was relevant to the trend and it was relevant to the track. So those three things are so important.
Don't choose a hashtag that is funny to you but not anyone else. It needs to represent you, the release and the challenge that you've created. It can happily have the word challenge in it. It can happily have the name of the track in it. But it needs to be recognizable. It needs to be something that people are gonna jump onboard with and use on their videos. The hashtags on TikTok are pretty similar to the ones on Instagram, where users can use them as a discovery tool. So yes, definitely put the hashtag of your challenge on it, but also use hashtags that are trending at the time.
But of course, only if they're fitting to your video. The final tip's promoting your music on TikTok, potentially going viral, reaching millions, is duetting. The duet feature allows two people to put their videos together side-by-side. So they can either do a duet where they're singing together or they can design it like a reaction style video. And what you can do is if you're gonna be on TikTok yourself, like we mentioned earlier, is you can duet with similar artists to yourself.
You're gonna have to spend some time finding these people. But once you've found them, a duet with them can potentially blow you up. Because you're reaching their audience and that audience is something that you couldn't have got hold of before. So you can either reach out to them, explain your situation, explain that you really wanna duet with them, you love their content, or you could potentially pay them. And as I mentioned earlier, they're quite cheap so it's definitely worth the investment. But if you're not gonna be in front of the camera, you're not the one doing the TikTok, then again you can pay these influencers, you can work with them to do these duet features with your track.
A little bonus tip for you here. If you're the one that's gonna be on TikTok, you can also do duets with your fans. We've seen this one increase fan loyalty massively. You can set it up as like a weekly series. You can say to your fans, "I'm going to be duetting with one of you once a week, "and to submit you either need to follow my Spotify, "follow me on Instagram", whatever you want to grow in. And then you can start duetting with your fans. You can take it seriously, you can do it as a joke, whatever you wanna do. But it makes your fans feel involved. So those are our tips for blowing up on TikTok. Whether you want to be in front of the camera doing those TikToks yourself or you just want your music to go trending on TikTok, these tips should help you out.
TikTok is one of the best ways to promote your music right now and I genuinely believe that it's the future of music marketing. It's quite clear from the labels' actions that it's huge for artists so I really think you guys should jump on it as soon as you possibly can. And let us know your results. I really hope you found this one useful guys and if you have any comments for us, make sure to leave them below and we'll answer them all. And if you haven't joined the community yet, make sure to subscribe, hit that bell so you get notified when we upload and we'll be back soon with more music marketing advice.