Navigating Successful Influencer Marketing and Music Promotion in a Constantly Changing Space
Kathleen Schreiber got her start as a student at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. After graduating with her marketing degree, she started working at Songfluencer, which she had interned with during college. Despite the pandemic, Songfluencer continued to thrive due to the increasing need for digital marketing and music promotion agencies. In fact, business continued to pick up, especially when it came to Tik Tok marketing, providing Kathleen with the opportunity to become an outreach coordinator and continue working her way up. The company quickly grew, going from five interns to an impressive 25 interns today.
Today, Songfluencer is constantly working to evolve to meet the needs of rapidly changing and growing social media platforms.
“So at the time, we were trying to navigate what was value(able) to our clients on the platform, whether it is engagement, audio uses, converting, or views to stream?”
Alongside their clients who were trying to grapple with what mattered most, Songfluencer worked to launch their first campaign. At this time, their influencer pool was limited, but now they have over 2,500 influencers on their rooster, and this number is growing each and every day.
Currently, Kathleen is working on the majority of Songfluencers’ European and global campaigns. She also runs her own Instagram account, where she shares her life and has even created her own merch line.
What Is the Marketing Process?
The typical process is a client coming to them with a budget and a song that they would like to promote. Then, Songfluencer’s team puts together a plan and proposal for their client. Once the client and Songfluencer’s team have agreed on a plan, Kathleen and her team run the campaign on the platform.
What may surprise you about this process is that the goal is not always to make a song a viral hit. Often, it depends on what the clients want and their budget. Many clients simply want more exposure, while others are aiming for a viral hit. However, clients need to realize that a small budget may make a viral hit challenging to obtain through marketing alone and that no company can ever guarantee virality at the end of the day.
In particular, Tik Tok is especially hard to predicate results with. Trends can be an excellent opportunity to jump on and create a specific campaign, but you can’t just predict what will happen. However, the good news is that Tik Tok’s audience cares less about brand names and more about the content and the specific song, which gives smaller and newer artists a better chance at going viral and gaining real traction. The majority of Songfluencer’s influencer team uses Tik Tok for promotion, but many do offer Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube promotion as well. However, Tik Tok is the primary go-to because it’s the primary way that people are finding and consuming music.
In short, the goal is to always convert casual listeners into fans of the song and artist so that they continue listening to it and streaming it.
How Does Songfluencer Work with Influencers?
What separates Kathleen’s work from the competition is Songfluencer’s incredible tech team. Their tech team creates amazing things internally and externally for influencers to incorporate into their work. Internally, Songfluencer has an incredible admin website that allows its influencers to view campaigns. Influencers can choose to accept or decline a campaign, and the project details are highly organized for them. This also means that only influencers who are genuinely interested in the project are working on the campaign rather than being simply handed the assignment.
Influencers are never penalized for declining, so they can continue to work with Songfluencer but be picky about which campaigns are right for them and their brand, which ultimately results in a better marketing campaign for clients.
Depending on the campaign and client, influencers may be given specific instructions, such as using a particular part of the song and timing it with a transition at a particular part. Other campaigns are more open to creative freedom. It’s all dependent on the client and the plan generated by Songfluencer.
Who are the Clients?
Clients can range from small independent artists to big household names. Examples of Songfluencer’s biggest household names include Bruno Mars, Harry Styles, Lil Nas X, Pitbull, Maluma, Ed Sheeran, and more. However, everyone can be a client, making Songfluencer a unique and open marketing company.
Another great example of their campaign work is this Tik Tok by @xobrooklynne:
Influencer Marketing Results
Songfluencer’s most successful campaigns have brought in 21 million views amongst influencers on that campaign. Their campaign with Joseph Black and his song “Miss Me” went from 7,000 to 10,000 streams per day to over 1.45 million total streams and an average of over 100,000 streams per day on Spotify with no support from official Spotify playlists. It almost amassed over 22,000 total audio uses on Tik Tok.
Kathleen’s Advice for Companies Getting into Influencer Marketing for the First Time
Kathleen and Songfluencer are particularly keen on using Tik Tok for influencer marketing for music because any Tik Toker of any size can go viral. Unlike other platforms like YouTube or Instagram, you can have a small following, create quality content, and go viral on the platform. This leaves any collaboration with a Tik Toker open for much larger than expected results.
Developing trustworthy relationships with influencers should be another priority because it results in higher quality content and trust. Keep in mind that influencers are creators first and foremost. So, by not forcing specific projects on them and gently making suggestions to drafts they send, we maintain a healthy, positive relationship that serves Songfluencer and their clients better in the long run.
Micro-influencers are also heavily focused on because their engagement rates tend to be much higher than larger influencers. Someone with 80,000 influencers may have a higher rate of return for their clients than someone who has two million influencers, which is something that is sometimes overlooked in the influencer marketing realm. Always keep in mind that influencers need to protect and care about their personal brand too.