What should I post on Instagram? No country for old marketing
Updated: Aug 4
Have you noticed how allergic everyone is to ‘old marketing’ these days? It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently.
What do I mean by ‘old marketing’? Well, here’s an example.
As part of the campaign for Inka Upendo’s Samsara EP last year, we used social media promotion to grow her audience and get her music in front of lots of people. When the BBC invited her to play the Introducing stage at Reading & Leeds Festivals and mentioned they would be filming her set, one of our first reactions (after the initial 😱) was that this would be an amazing video to promote her and her music.
So we ran a few social ads with this clip of Inka performing Beatiful - no brainer, right? Wrong!
The Beatiful post didn’t perform nearly as well as some of Inka’s more ‘organic’ and natural-feeling posts. In particular, it was trounced by a pretty random Instagram story that featured Inka asking followers the correct way to pronounce ‘Mauritius’ (in case you were wondering, apparently it’s “mao-rit-ee-us”). People weren’t just liking the post, hundreds were clicking through to Spotify as well.
This is only one example of ‘old marketing’ just not hitting the mark any more. Anything that looks too shiny, professional or ‘marketing-y’ tends to turn people off. Is it any wonder why? I mean, how many times a day do you see slick and impersonal marketing messages?
People don’t want to hear from marketing teams or yet another digital marketing agency - they want to hear from real people. If you’re a creator, this means they want to hear directly from you!
From what we’ve seen on Feed, the posts that do really well aren’t necessarily the ones that people expect to do well. It’s always the content that feels most natural, is in the person’s own voice and avoids being too ‘sales-y’. People aren’t just interested in what you create, they also love finding out more about you and your story.
For example, if you’re a musician I would be willing to bet that your followers don’t react as well to a static picture of your artwork saying your latest release is out. When someone views your posts, what are you giving them that makes them want to find out more?
But a video of you making music, recording it, playing it or just messing around - that’s way more interesting and engaging.
I think this is true no matter what your goals are - the principles are the same, whether you want to build an audience who will listen to your music, find customers online or you're just interested in how to get more followers on Instagram.
By now you'll probably be thinking “OK, enough theorising. How about some concrete examples?!”. So here are a few more I’ve noticed, taken from people on Feed's beta programme.
Composer Michael Price is great at posting about his music, but he also makes sure to give people insight into his compositional process, life in the studio, recordings, performances and more.
By doing this, he keeps a conversation going with all his followers, whether they're fans of his music, fellow composers or synth geeks (or all three!).
Brighton-based sport clothing brand The Overland know their audience and consistently engage really well with both existing followers and new people. As a result, their following has been growing strongly over the past few months.
Their posts are never too overtly 'salesy' - instead, they focus on appealing to their audience's passion for outdoor sports. I don't even own a bike, but even I wish I could do those jumps after watching this.
I am Boleyn
Artist I am Boleyn has only been using Feed for a little while, but we've seen her promoted posts really resonating with people already. Images like the below, which don't 'ask' the viewer to do anything, have nonetheless been very effective at getting people to click through to streaming platforms.
You only have to look at Belle Chen's Instagram feed briefly to get a sense of what she's been up to - she keeps her followers updated on concerts, writing music, travelling and touring. I love how open and engaging she is on social media, which helps her audience to get to know the person behind the music.
Check out this post of her playing a prepared piano - we get the music, a sense of performance and also insight into how the sound is achieved.
She also uses Instagram really well; her latest Instagram live saw her playing a 'name that tune' session for fans ... all while she was waiting in line at the supermarket.
Anything you've done recently that has worked really well? Or want to chat about your own digital strategy? Find us @feed.hq or get in touch at email@example.com.
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