Though there is a high likelihood that Valentine’s Day will be a bit...unusual this year, it still remains a gold mine for content-based fan engagement. Nobody can resist the Season of Love.
And isn’t the artist-fan relationship a bit like a real relationship in some ways, too? The most successful ones involve a lot of sharing, trust, communication, and going above and beyond for one’s partner.
So, if you’re looking to give back to your fans this holiday season, make sure they feel all of the love you have for them. In spreading your admiration for your fans, you can create all kinds of thematic content to match the sentiment.
Today, we’re brainstorming ways to include your fans in your Valentine’s Day plans. Well, not all of your plans, just the ones that happen on social media. Ready?
1. Create a Valentine’s Day campaign
The first step to getting your fans involved in anything is to create a plan, or a campaign if you’re thinking strategically, as to how to include them. Think about what you’re hoping to do for them as you brainstorm ideas, and what you’d like to gain after all the dust has settled. Going into your campaign knowing the desired outcome will help you tailor your marketing strategy to reach those specific goals.
Now what is a campaign?
It can be anything from a targeted ad, a video, or social media post where you’re hoping to gain attention in a focused manner that supports your end goal. Did you release a new single that you’re hoping to promote? Are you trying to gain more followers on social media, or re-engage your current fan base? How do you want to do that? If you’re looking to get fans involved in your project, or perhaps give them a special limited edition keepsake to hold on to, your campaign needs to direct fans clearly toward that action.
For a Valentine’s Day theme, we suggest using hearts, and lots of them. How you use them is up to you to decide.
2. Create a music video with fans’ romantic gestures
One of my personal favorite ideas for involving your fans on Valentine’s Day is to ask for their help creating a romantic lyric video to one of your love songs!
Ask your fans to send in video or photo content—some of their grand romantic gestures, proposals, cute couple moments, or even something as simple as holding hands—and you can edit them together for a released version of one of your more lovey singles.
Not only does that give you all the content you would need for a cute, shareable video, but it will give your fans even more of a personal connection with your music, which is truly special. And they’re likely to share it far and wide when it goes live.
3. Ask your fans for inspiration to write a new original song
Asking your fans to tell you about themselves gives you an opportunity to get to know them better, and for them to be heard. Creating a cute, little Valentine’s song including some of their special moments can be a great way to give back to your fans for their longstanding support, and also to expand your listener base in the process.
I mean, who doesn’t wanna show off that one of their favorite artists wrote a song about them? Plus, storytelling is always so much more fun and engaging when the stories are actually true. It’s mutually beneficial!
4. Put together a “Favorite Love Songs” compilation or playlist
I’m surprised I haven’t seen this idea done that much before. Around the season of love, we all know that the streaming demand for love songs goes up. But what if you could offer your fans something a little more personalized?
If you create a limited-edition compilation covering other artists’ love songs, that’s sure to be a win. But for even less of an effort, you could simply put together a Spotify playlist of your favorite love songs, and ask your community to add theirs too. Either way, you’d be looking to create the ultimate soundtrack to their season of love.
5. Limited-edition merch for your love songs
Similarly to our last idea, limited-edition merchandise can be a special treat or gift for your fans. Designs can include everything from your favorite lyrical lines, to transforming something that you’re already selling in your shop with a holiday red or pink hue (and don’t forget the hearts).
Anything that’s limited-edition should involve a hard end date. Utilizing a tight window in which fans can purchase will create urgency and highly concentrated engagement.
For that extra dose of involvement, you could even create a poll and let your fans decide what merch they’d rather see!
6. Let them in on your romantic gestures :)
Asking your fans to help you decide on things to help with a romantic Valentine’s Day gesture can be another fun way to get them involved in your… real life!
Whether that means asking them to send in pictures of them holding up letters that spell “I Love You,” or having them send audio recordings, to present to your partner, or even asking your network questions about what kind of gestures they’d like to receive this year, would help include them in a more personal, intimate way.
Getting your fans talking and participating is certain to strengthen those relationship bonds that you’re going to need well beyond the Valentine’s season.
7. Do a giveaway bundle
Bundles are a great way to repackage previously made merchandise and content to sell in a new promotional context.
And if you create a contest to give the winner a bundle for free, you’re adding immediacy and excitement into the equation as well. Try to think of ways you can have your fans enter the contest by showing engagement, taking up challenges, or sharing your posts, so that no matter who wins, you’re getting visibility throughout your extended fan base.
There are several ways you could pull this off - especially if your bundle includes some of the other ideas we’ve talked about already; like limited-edition merch and cover compilations!
Just make sure to…have fun
At the end of the day, there are countless ways that you can get your fans more involved through rewarding, fun, and/or sentimental content. Just make sure you’re thinking about the connection to this holiday and about your fans’ needs and wishes, and most of all, that you’re having fun doing it.
Remember, if you’re having fun, chances are your fans will be too. Happy Valentine’s Day y’all!
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Sammy Hakim is an up and coming young songwriter based in Los Angeles. In May 2018 she graduated from Berklee College of Music with a Major in songwriting and a focus in music business. These days she spends most of her time in songwriting sessions with artists all over the country.
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