Tis the season!!
As an artist, there is no better time than the HOLIDAZE to work on building engagement and connections with your fans.
Below you will find 7 tactics to first activate your fan base around holiday music promotion and ultimately build engagement, generate sales, or both.
Holiday Music Promotion Tip #1: Create & Share Holiday-Themed Music and Content on Your Socials
Who doesn’t love the festive spirit of the holidays?! One easy way to get social and get in the spirit at the same time is to use your favorite social media to show your holiday spirit. There are a ton of fun ways to do this depending on your personality, brand, and fans, and we’ll outline a few specific to each platform below.
Here’s something to get you started: Think about putting your spin on classic holiday songs or crafting original tracks infused with that holiday magic and that bit of style only you can bring. Reimagine tracks for your genre like taking a classic rock Christmas track and turning it into hip-hop or jazz or pop.
TIP: If you are recording a holiday classic make sure you have all of the necessary licenses!
Share sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes clips, or even playful videos to get your fans hyped about what’s coming. This is especially true if you have a holiday show coming up that you can promote, or a holiday Livestream.
Holiday music has a special way of connecting with people, so tapping into that vibe can attract new listeners while keeping your current fans hooked and excited.
Platform specific ideas:
Facebook: Live Jam Sessions: Host live sessions where you perform holiday music or share snippets of upcoming tracks. Engage with your audience in real-time, taking song requests or answering holiday-related questions. You can even dress up and encourage fans to do the same. Have fun with it!
Interactive Polls: Run polls asking your followers to choose their favorite holiday song for you to cover or vote on which original holiday song they’d like to hear first.
Instagram: Make sure to share all of your holiday decorating on your Stories! Put your own music in the background to get some hype around it. You can also pose Holiday-themed questions in your Stories. Reels are still HUGE – if you can make an easy, short dance for your song – post it and challenge your followers to post their own! You can even ask fans to do a remix or make their own videos featuring their holiday decorating or activities with your song in the background!
Twitter/X: Start a daily countdown to the release of your holiday track or EP, and share little fun facts, teasers, or short clips each day to build anticipation. Twitter is great for these short and sweet updates. You can also use holiday-themed hashtags. And remember – Twitter is all about humor. Post and retweet some holiday memes and jump on different trends!
TikTok: Use trending challenges and dances and post frequently, especially around the holiday trends. You can even create your own challenges like dance challenges or lip-sync challenges using your holiday music and encouraging others to join and share their videos with your song as the audio. You can also do behind the scenes videos showing your creative process or the making of your holiday music.
Discord: Host a special holiday-themed listening party on your Discord, create a channel just for sharing decorations or local meet ups, or set a date and time for your fans to gather and listen to your holiday tracks together or share their own.
Consider adding special roles or exclusive perks for those that attend the live listening party or just to celebrate the holiday spirit like early access to upcoming releases or limited-time holiday-themed server emojis to get your fans excited and engaging.
The artist JVKE made a skit on brand with his audience that he put his new single in:
Cold Weather Company sharing their new holiday music and upcoming merch design:
Sub-Radio sharing their new holiday single complete with a easy-to-make “live performance” video that’s incredibly festive:
As far as trends and humor go, check out this take on “if holiday songs were honest” by The Orphan the Poet
Sing your favorite holiday song, like Tim McGraw did:
Spotify: Create holiday specific playlists to share with friends and followers.Consider adding other local or indie bands that you can tag and who will share it as well, helping it (and all of you) get more reach!
Holiday Music Promotion Tip #2: Crowdsource Fan Contributed Content
Give your fans an opportunity to join in on the fun! Pick a holiday theme (i.e. ‘All I Want For Christmas Is…’), and then request content from your fans that can result in a single, crowdsourced project. You can also refer to the tip above to create a dance challenge for your Holiday song to get the ball rolling! The result would be something that everyone can enjoy!
- Ask fans to upload photos/videos to Facebook and tag your Page. Track all submissions and then create a collective Holiday Photo Album, or fan video!
- Create a video announcing the project and ask your fans to submit their content – share on Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, and Facebook.
- Create a collaborative Spotify playlist and ask your fans to add their favorite songs based on the chosen theme. The end result is a playlist that can be shared with your entire fan base and collectively listen to throughout the holiday season.
- Share their own holiday experiences, memories, and use your song as the audio.
- Cover your song
Holiday Music Promotion Tip #3: Create a Cool Contest
Creating a contest is an excellent way to not only engage your fanbase but also create a strategy that showcases your merch without being overtly self-promotional! It is important that your contest be worthwhile in order for it to work, so make sure you set up a prize that offers something exclusive and valuable (examples: some holiday-themed merch, a free download, etc.).
It can be as simple as “enter your email and you can win…” or it could be a themed contest like “Best Holiday Cover” where followers submit their renditions of your tracks or their favorite holiday songs.
A few ideas for prizes: exclusive merchandise, rare older merch, a feature in your upcoming music video, credits on your next album or video, shoutout from the stage, takeover of their social media for a day, a private virtual concert for the winners, etc.
- KingSumo – Compatible on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Collects emails as entries (yay email list!) and extra entries for sharing to their social media
- Wishpond – Compatible on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Utilizes Live Promotions for contests.
- WooBox – Compatible with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Websites. WooBox uses Constant Contact in order to create extremely successful contests.
- Shortstack– FREE Application that integrates with many platforms such as WordPress and MailChimp to run your contests.
Holiday Music Promotion Tip #4: Create a Holiday Hangout!
If you have a large enough fanbase, why not create a live streaming event for them? Hosting a holiday hangout can be a fantastic way to engage with your audience during the holiday season.
Plan some fun activities like a live Q&A session where fans can ask you about your music or share their holiday stories, a virtual game night with music-themed challenges or holiday trivia, or even a live acoustic performance of your holiday music. (Remember how creative we all got with livestreams during the pandemic? Channel that creativity!)
You can encourage attendees to dress up in their favorite holiday attire (ugly sweaters anyone?) and create a cozy, festive atmosphere as the background. This hangout not only strengthens the bond between you and your fans but also creates memorable moments centered around your music and the holidays. Promote the event across your socials and make it a full on event to remember!
Holiday Music Promotion Tip #5: Create Bundles & Experiences
A brilliant tactic for boosting sales is offering a bundle released on Black Friday that you can offer to your list through to the end of the year. Fans may be less likely to purchase your album because they can stream it but may be far more likely to purchase if you bundle it with other cool things, especially exclusive or older merch.
The best way to make these bundles effective is to create multiple price points, with each one increasing in exclusivity. Here are a few levels of bundles that could work well:
Low-Price Level idea: Album + Merch
Low-Price Level idea: USB Drive of a full anthology of albums (possibly even including exclusive, previously unreleased content)
Mid-Price Level idea: Album + Tickets to an upcoming livestream show (if your livestreams are free, maybe replace this with a shout-out during the livestream!)
High-Level idea: Album (or USB Drive) + Tickets/Shoutout + Merch + Phone call / Skype Call with Fan
The idea is that your fans can support you at every level.
Holiday Music Promotion Tip #6: Send A Dedicated Holiday Newsletter
You already know the importance of your mailing list. During the holiday season, create a special holiday edition newsletter where you can include an exclusive video, unreleased track on a private SoundCloud Page, or create a funny card featuring the whole band. The more on-brand you are with your newsletter the better. So if humor is a big part of your brand, the funny card is a great idea. If you’re more introspective, maybe you write about what the holidays mean to you. If you’re more visual, perhaps you share a few photos.
Remember that your newsletter should be extremely friendly and help fans get to know you, so talk about something that allows them to do that. Maybe your favorite Holiday memory, or song, or tradition. And if you ask for them to send their favorite memory back to you, it keeps them engaged with your list. 😉 (Don’t forget to respond back if they do!)
Holiday Music Promotion Tip #7: Associate With a Charity
Hold a drive or a holiday show and get your fans involved. There are so many wonderful charities you can collectively support. Here are some to get you started!
Here is a full guide we posted – The Musician’s Guide to Holiday Fundraising.
Have A Fabulous and Productive Holiday Season!
The foundation for making these 7 holiday tips work is having a crystal clear vision of how (and who) to talk to which will ensure that all your efforts will resonate.
Make sure you’re as prepared as possible with our 8 Freebies!