In our article last week, “Best Practices for Re-purposing your Music as Content on Social Media” we touched on the importance of identifying and understanding your target audience. I understand that at first blush, this may sound like work. But trust me, it’s work that is worth doing.
We will dive in on this in detail today, but first let’s tackle the high-level question. Why is defining a target audience important? Whether it be as an individual, a business, or an artist, it is an important life lesson to learn that you cannot please everyone. Understanding the core audience that supports you and how to deliver for them will be key to your continued success.
We will examine how to identify your target audience as well as how to connect to them while bringing in new fans and supporting your artistic freedom and growth. Sure, it can be a balancing act, but doing so is important to growing your music business.
How to Identify your Target Audience
No matter how big the musical act is, every artist or band, has a core following, a target audience. The goal is to be daring enough to satisfy your own artistic desires and bring in new fans while still taking care of your day one supporters.
Whether it’s your music, your live performances, or your social media strategy, you want to understand how to take care of those primary groups of fans. This is a wide-ranging topic and it isn’t a black and white situation. Still, there are some general guidelines we can look at an institute for success. Let’s take a look at the ways to identify your target audience and then how to support them to gain their continued support.
- Let Data Be Your Guide: One of the beautiful things about being apart of the digital age is the accessibility of data and our ability to use it to drive our future decisions. When it comes to your music, the platforms will tell you the songs that people like. When it comes to social media, the analytics tools will tell you what posts and content drive engagement. When it comes to your music videos, again, the YouTube stats will tell you what people like and what they don’t like. Pay attention to this, track and report on it, and make future decisions based upon it.
- Understand Your Demographics: Most analytics tools will now give you demographic insights to your audience. You can use these analytics and tracking capabilities to understand who your audience is, when they are active, and what they are responsive to. You can use these insights to connect to your core audience and to grow your relationship with them.
- Go the Extra Step and Stay Current: If your core audience is younger and they are flocking to a newer platform like TikTok, then you should consider being on that platform regardless of your personal feelings about. This is just an example, as you very well may love TikTok. The point is, that if your core audience is into a new trend, then you should at least take it under advisement. Providing for your audience is good for business.
How to Connect to Your Target Audience While Still Growing It
As we have stated several times here, there is a bit of a balancing act when it comes to serving your core audience but also trying to reach new listeners. So, how can you have a hand in both proverbial pots and do so successfully? Again, as we have stated, it ‘s important to grow as an artist. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t grow and stay true to your sound and/or identity.
First, this comes back to the data you compile as you go. You know what resonates and appeals to your core audience. You can take chances with your musical growth and personal growth while still holding on to your main identity that struck a chord with your loyal following.
A great recent example of this is Post Malone’s live stream of Nirvana songs. You can be sure that this cross over performance won him new fans and respect while not abandoning who he is. He put his own twist on these covers and his banter between songs was quintessential Post Malone, but by crossing into a new genre and by playing on nostalgia, he definitely added to his fan base with this performance.
This leads us to our second point, always be authentic. Whatever music you play, whatever musical chances or risks you take, remain true to yourself. Authenticity comes through in music and fans (new and old) can feel this.
Grow Your Audience
Growing your audience is the goal of any artist, especially independent artists who are just getting their feet wet. It’s a complicated process that needs continual work. One-hit wonders are a testament of how you can gain millions of fans and then lose them just as easily. Data and strategy are key when it comes to earning and keeping fans. Some strategies will work and some will fail, there will certainly be an element of trial and error for you on this journey. Still, if you track what works, pay attention to the data, and continue to work on it, you can retain your core fans and grow your fanbase at the same time.
When it comes to compiling data and testing out your music, our “Data Acquisition Package” helps on both fronts. See how partnering with De Novo Agency can help you build your music business.