As we’re all coming to grips with the magnitude and impact of COVID-19 around the world, as well as getting used to self-isolation, the music and live entertainment industries are facing the unprecedented challenge of maintaining fan engagement in the wake of cancelled and postponed music festivals, concerts, performances, and events. With the immediate focus of event organizers and promoters on the safety and well-being of their families, musicians, staff and their communities, those in the music and live entertainment industries as a whole have been forced into a unique time where we need to adapt and pivot quickly.

There’s plenty of uncertainty right now and we understand that this is a challenging time. However, there are many ways to engage fans during this time, whether it’s to engage fans about postponed events, to promote your next planned festival, performance, or tour.

We’ve put together a few tips and tricks to help you get creative and brainstorming about ways to continue engaging fans during this stoppage:

Livestreams

Live streaming is a fantastic way to interact with your fans and bring them closer to their favorite artists. Take advantage of the capabilities of live streaming platforms and perform a virtual concert or an AMA; the possibilities are endless. Live streaming platforms are very interactive and allow fans to connect directly with artists by giving them the ability to chat and interact with one another. Live streams can also be a good source of revenue thanks to fans who make donations. For instance, DJ and popular Twitch streamer JVNA recently raised $18k from one of her Twitch streams to donate to COVID-19 research. More below on what you can do to engage fans through live streaming.

Virtual Concerts

Many artists have been doing live virtual concerts on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitch, and YouTube. So far, artists that have performed virtual concerts include Chris Martin from Coldplay, John Legend, Keith Urban, Pink, Niall Horan, Charlie Puth, Shawn Mendes and Camilla Cabello. Several of these artists and more have also teamed up with Global Citizen and The World Health Organization for Together at Home, a virtual concert series that encourages people to practice social distancing. Some artists are even doing live concerts daily, such as Tori Kelly and Jojo.

 

Virtual Festivals

Taking your music festival online is a great way to create a sense of community as well. Several music festivals are going 100 percent online, including Ultra Music Festival. Since they had to cancel their festival in Miami, they changed the course quickly and hosted a virtual audio festival on SiriusXM, featuring DJ sets from Armin Van Buuren, Afrojack Martin Garrix, Major Lazer, and many more.

Make your festival more immersive and interactive by integrating your music festival with an online video game. Hosting a music festival on a video game can enhance your fans’ online experience even further. For example, Minecraft will hosted a virtual music festival via a Discord server, Second Aether. Second Aether was a two-day music festival held inside the Minecraft game itself, with a full lineup of DJs and producers. The lineup includes DJ Aspect, Acmit, Beakfeet, and many more.

Minecraft Music Festival

Fortnite and Travis Scott recently teamed up to host a three-day concert event with five showtimes. Over 27.7 million unique players attended Fortnite and Travis Scott Present: Astronomical. Players participated more than 45.8 million times over the five showtimes. A whopping 12.3 million fans attended the first showtime alone. Travis Scott took fans on a musical journey and premiered a new song during this concert event.

 


SMS Engagement

With everyone in self-isolation and quarantine, the number of hours fans spend on their phones is increasing significantly. Connect your artists with your fans by marketing direct-to-fan with an SMS engagement strategy. Research shows that 90% of SMS messages are opened and read within 3 seconds. In fact, brands that use SMS marketing typically reach 95% of targeted users.

Musicians are some of the most active people using SMS engagement right now, they're reaching their fans on a more intimate level through text messaging. Numerous celebrities and artists have recently given out their phone numbers, asking fans to text them at seemingly personal numbers. Artists can now sell merch and music directly to their fans by sending text messages to individuals or specific audiences. Musicians are even texting fans, encouraging them to tweet hashtags to promote their albums.

Don’t have a database of phone subscribed fans? Start building one. You can easily add an SMS opt-in to your next fan engagement campaign, add a form to your website, or add a checkbox to your eCommerce checkout page. Before you run your next campaign, make the most of your efforts and check out our blog post on SMS best practices.


Fan Engagement for the Future

Although we don’t know when life will get back to normal, now is the time to build engagement for your next tour, festival, or performance. Use social media platforms to drive fan engagement and even turn to these tools to run your regularly scheduled in-venue activations. Using Instant Win campaigns is excellent for incentivizing fans to engage with you on your social channels. For example, you can use Instant Win campaigns for merch codes and fulfill your regular in-venue merch sales while fulfilling your online merch sales.

As more people begin to self-isolate, more of them will be entertaining themselves by listening to music at home. Personalized Playlist campaigns are a fun way to engage fans at home. This campaign automatically generates Spotify playlists for fans based on their listening behaviour and your lineup of artists. The playlist is a built-in incentive for fans, and you’ll be able to collect passive and active affinity data.

Spotify Personalized Playlist

Email campaigns are another great way to engage with your fans. You can communicate with them with insider news and personalized emails. In order to collect fan information to send your emails, use Entry Form campaigns. These campaigns allow you to engage fans while collecting valuable fan data. You can entice fans to fill out the form with prizes and other incentives like exclusive content from their favorite artists.

While the reality of this disruption is upon us, the opportunities to capture the attention of a larger-than-normal online audience and build brand affinity and interest are exciting. It’s about keeping calm and activating new creative strategies; finding meaningful ways of connecting artists to fans online. We’re beginning to see a new era in raising awareness and huge support for worthy social causes. The future is definitely unclear, but it is full of possibilities. We’re looking forward to seeing the great ideas that have yet to come.

Contact us to see how we can help with your fan engagement.

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