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TikTok For Musicians: 15 Content Ideas To Grow Your Following

TikTok For Musicians: 15 Content Ideas To Grow Your Following
April 22, 2024
Running low on some creative juices for your next viral TikTok vid? Content schedule looking a little dry? Don’t stress. We’ve got a list of 15 epic content ideas that YOU should use to grow your TikTok fan following, get your music discovered by thousands of potential new listeners and raise your global online profile.

And the best part? Permission to steal granted.

15 TikTok Content Ideas for Musicians

We all know TikTok is the most engaged-with app on the market right now. That’s hardly news. But the more exciting thing about TikTok is that the content on there is constantly changing.

If you use the app you’ll know. One day you’re flicking through off-beat food dance trends, and the next you’re met with countless videos of the nosy rat face filter. Whiplash guaranteed.

Once you start to release music on TikTok, you’ll need to brainstorm some viral-worthy content ideas that’ll both promote music on TikTok and leverage your TikTok user status at the same time.

Enough faffing about. 1 - 15, let’s GO.

1. Post cover versions

Starting things off with an obvious one.

Cover songs make up a massive portion of TikTok’s most shared content amongst fans and users. Plus, they’re also one of the most accessible types of posts artists can create - any don’t discriminate between genres. Collab posts work for soloists, bands and DJs.

The reason why cover songs are a great way to grow your audience and reach new fans is that they draw listeners in through the familiarity of a well-known song or one of their personal favourites, eventually ‘breadcrumbing’ them to your page and by default, your own original music.

It’s an organic way of boosting the exposure of your music, by leveraging songs which are already fan-favourites.

There are already loads of great musicians dropping clips of cover songs on TikTok, such as Martina Lynn, whose entire page is devoted to cover songs of popular and trending tracks.

If you’re going to put out your own, just make sure you’re meeting (or even better, surpassing) the level of standard that’s already up on the platform. 

That means you'll need a simple recording setup, a good camera or smartphone & a well-rehearsed performance.

You could also make things a little more interesting by putting your own twist on a classic track. You could change up the original song’s style and genre, go acapella or use cool techniques to create a unique sound. TikTok creator and musician Carson Elliot shows us how this is done down below.

Oh and before we forget. TAG THE ORIGINAL ARTIST! Make sure to tag any artists that you’re covering to see if they’ll respond or even re-share your version to their own profiles. This could do wonders for your views and give you way more exposure to bigger audiences.

2. Respond and react to trends

Whether trends and fads are your thing or not, there’s no doubt about it - when it comes to content creation, trends are at the heart of TikTok.

Lip-syncing trends, seamless transitions, photo challenges or group TikTok trends fuel TikTok’s algorithm, making it one of the most popular ways to grow your fanbase and get discovered on the app.

And trends aren’t just for emerging artists. Many bigger artists have actually gained heaps of attention from the emergence of TikTok trends.

One example is when Taylor Swift hopped on the 'I understood the assignment' trend to showcase the vinyl and merch available with her latest release.

You could even get creative and start a trend of your own to share with your followers and build some momentum around it.

Here are some of the latest trends you need to know about right now:

- #SongOfTheSummer

- #NewMusic

- #OnTour

- #AltMusic

- #SouthAsian

3. Duet & collaborate

TikTok’s duet videos are one of the most popular features on the app at the moment.

The ‘duet’ option lets users make response videos to other people's videos.

Recently the duet feature has been used mostly by regular users to create response videos or reaction-type videos. But for artists and creatives, the duet feature offers a way to not only upload a reaction video but actually make it stand out by adding your own creative twist.

Making duet content is an easy win - they’re a quick way to reach the untapped fanbase of another artist and really easy to make, considering you’ve already got half the video content before you even press record.

And importantly, for artists looking to network on the app with other like-minded creatives. It's always worth finding music influencers and brands to team up with, and duets are a great way to catch the attention and eyes of the original video’s creator, which can prove beneficial for ‘collaborative opportunities’ if ya know what I'm saying (*winky face).

You could even encourage other artists and fans to duet with your video.

Singer-songwriter Stacey Ryan posted an 'Open Verse Challenge' video asking other TikTokers to add their own verse to her song. And when Zai1k dropped the verse below on it, it racked up over 8 million likes and 40 million views!

4. Reply to comments on camera

Another feature unique to TikTok is the ability to record a video reply to a user’s comment.

If someone leaves a comment on one of your videos that sparks your interest, get the camera rolling and create a video reply to the comment that you can share on your page. Other users can view the original user’s comment on the screen and watch your reply.

This is a great way to take song requests from your followers and invite users to give you some content inspo.

This feature allows users to create and upload original sounds that both show off their musical talent, whilst also engaging directly with what your audience wants to see (& hear). And nothing screams high engagement like user-generated content.

5. Unreleased demos

A great thing about TikTok is the ability to experiment with releases and get immediate feedback from your followers.

You could post unreleased previews of tracks you're working on right now to see which ones your fans connect with most. If there's a stand-out favourite, it'll be easier to decide which one to release and pour marketing resources into.

BBC Sound of 2022 winner PinkPantheress is a great example of this strategy in action. She posted snippets of her songs on TikTok long before they ever reached Spotify. Her videos racked up hundreds of thousands of likes - and then when her music finally hit Spotify, people were clamouring to stream it.

6. Be a day-in-the-life vlogger

Breaking up your music-based, promotional material with more personal content is a great way to keep your TikTok content fresh, but also establish a deeper connection with those who listen to your songs.

Blogger and vlog-style videos are some of the most watched videos on other video platforms, such as YouTube and beyond. Using TikTok’s ‘stitch’ feature, you can video short snippets of your day and thread them all together to capture a ‘day in the life’ in under 30 seconds.

You don't need to take it too seriously if that's not your style.  

Vlog the little events and the big events - from the first cup of coffee you make when you wake up, including details about the kinds of coffee pods you use, to performance clips from the concert you went to later that night.

There is no such thing as too much content when it comes to personal vlog-style videos - and more often than not, the more overshares, the better.

7. Document your journey

Another effective way of getting your followers invested in your content and luring them back is to document your latest project or creative journey.

If fans know that they can see what you’re working on next by visiting your TikTok page, they’re more likely gonna want to keep tabs to be the first to know about any big news or music drops.

You could also talk about your music career journey. Where did you come from? How did you get to where you are? Offer fans an insight into your past, present and future.

TikTok's Photo Slideshow feature is great for documenting your journey too and lets you share BTS and exclusive pics with your fans. Another way to engage your fans and break up your feed.

8. Make them laugh!

Let your natural charisma shine through and get your fans giggling with a funny sketch or skit. You can create and post skits around trending hashtags that show up on the app every day.

This doesn't have to be music-related, but also - imagine if it was. Bonus points if you can swing it and still make it funny.  

Throw together some hilarious new lyrics to a well-known song that is relatable to hot topics circulating the internet at the moment.

If the joke is more an in-joke, i.e. specific to a certain group of people or niche, you’ll be able to post great content that anyone can enjoy whilst also resonating more directly with a smaller group of people.

Michael Aldag is one artist/TikToker who absolutely nails the blend of top-notch comedy and awesome music. We definitely recommend checking out his full channel for a laugh.

9. Offer up your skills

Impart some of your musical wisdom by teaching others how you come up with a new hook, write your lyrics or practise a new riff.

There are plenty of aspiring fellow musicians using TikTok who would love to learn something new or update their skills. And if you have a skill that you can teach, then start educating them.

Just make sure you keep it engaging. This is TikTok after all.

For example, you could post educational videos and mixing tips like OBLYVN does on her page.

10. Take fans behind-the-scenes

Raw, uncut, behind-the-scenes footage is a fan engagement goldmine. Trust us on this one.

And it’s not hard to see why. Humans are nosy creatures. We all want to see what’s going on behind closed doors. Not to mention the exclusivity factor that comes with it.

Post videos that illustrate your life as a musician who’s making their mark. Maybe you’re going out on the road, so why not consider creating a video tour diary, or recording a writing session in the studio? You could show fans what goes into the design and manufacturing of your merchandise, or how you make your album artwork and cover art ideas a visual reality.

For example, Anne-Marie took her TikTok followers behind the scenes on a music video shoot.

11. Host a live stream or Q&A session

The beauty of going digital with your music is being able to perform your music live for thousands of people - all from the comfort of your bedroom (or recording studio, or all-time favourite place, or… I think you get the idea).

TikTok now facilitates live streaming through the app's ‘Live’ feature. There’s no limit to how long you can go live for either, which means you could host a 3-hour symphonic concert on there for all you like (but we’d probably recommend you don’t).

But you don’t always have to go live with a musical performance - Q&A sessions are some of the most well-received videos between followers and music artists, bloggers, social media influencers - you name it.

Hop on a live stream casually or announce it ahead of time on your socials to let fans know when they can tune in. Then open up the conversation by asking followers to comment questions underneath the livestream about you, your music, your inspiration, your life - whatever sparks their interest!

12. Share your playlists (and your music!)

You don't just make great music - you also listen to it!  

Sharing what you're listening to right now with the TikTok-sphere is an easy way to make connections with people who've got a similar music taste as you, and then turn them into fans and followers.

You could post a video saying "If you like these songs, you'll love my music", subtly slipping your tracks into the playlist. Or you could offer up your choice of songs for different moods and moments in life.

Alt-pop artist and playlist curator Elle Novella uses this approach to great effect, sharing her ideal playlists for specific situations and taking requests from commenting fans to build up a TikTok following while posting videos plugging her own music from time to time too.

13. Deconstruct or analyse a song

This one goes out to all those music producers and literary geniuses out there.

Deconstruct your song instrumental, in a simple, easy-to-understand way to show fans how you got to the final outcome.

Start with the song in full force and then begin to slowly break it down, removing different elements and layers, until you’re left with nothing but the bare beat or manuscript.

An alternative option for all you literature heads is to create a video analysing the lyrics and meanings behind a song, either one of your favourites or one of your own!

14. Bust a move (or a few)

Choreographing a dance routine to one of your tracks is the ultimate TikTok viral bait.

And while a dance routine might sound challenging, it doesn't need to be Craig Revel Horwood standard - and in fact, it shouldn’t. Chances are your viewers won’t be Strictly Come Dancing professionals themselves, so don’t scare them off with a routine that features a 5/9 dance step, 3 lifts and a plie.

A simple dance sequence that’s semi-easy to imitate with minimal effort is all you’ll need to draw viewers in. Once you’ve filmed and posted the tutorial, dare your fans to post a video of themselves performing the routine to their TikTok account.

The same could be done with other challenge-type videos, such as lip-syncs and costume contests. Have a prize for the viewer who posts the best video and create a hashtag campaign so you don’t miss any video reposts featuring your track!

The same could be done with other challenge-type videos, such as lip-syncs and costume contests. Have a prize for the viewer who posts the best video and create a hashtag campaign so you don’t miss any video reposts featuring your track!

15. Keep it local

TikTok thrives off localised content.

Like most other social media platforms, TikTok’s algorithm is influenced by location-based targeting and geo-tagging. If you’re an avid TikTokker, you’ll probably have noticed your feed becoming populated with content related directly to your region or local community.

So why not produce content that resonates with your local community & the listeners who live there? Plus who doesn't love to see their hometown in the spotlight?

Just remember to post information about the location in your video & include popular hashtags relating to the area within your video caption. For example, Scouse rapper Hazey141 tags #Liverpool in his biggest TikTok vids to big up his hometown.

You could post a tour of your hometown, including visits to all the famous landmarks and attractions, take viewers on a trip to your favourite local coffee shop (that also happens to do the BEST cinnamon buns in 3 states), or even demonstrate some local slang and ask fans to guess the meaning.

The ideas really are endless - and as a local yourself, it’s you who’ll know best what kinds of content will get the most engagement from people in your area. Remember, the more interesting your content, the better chance you stand of getting verified on TikTok too!

Now you've seen what's out there, it's your turn to start posting exciting new content on TikTok! Try out these ideas within your next music marketing campaign and you'll be well on the way to TikTok stardom.

TikTok For Musicians: 15 Content Ideas To Grow Your Following

Music Promo
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