• Philip Marsden

18 Content Ideas for Independent Artists

Coming up with regular social media content that gives your audience real value can be a massive challenge. Often, it’s even more difficult than creating the music itself. In this post, I want to share 18 content ideas that you can use to spark some ideas for your social media strategy to keep your fans engaged and entertained.


1. Quick “on the spot” performance videos

When inspiration strikes, prop your phone up somewhere and record a super quick, “on the spot” performance. You could record covers of popular songs in your own style, acoustic versions of your original tracks or even team up with another musician for some collaboration. These take very little effort to make and can give you some of the best results of any piece of content. They’re also really easy to record in bulk, ahead of time.


2. High quality live sessions

Similar to the first idea, these can be covers, originals or collaborations, but with a much higher production value. You could book a studio and videographer for a day and record a few tracks, or if you have the know-how and gear, record them yourself. Although these videos will take the most time and effort of anything on this list, they can be great for filling gaps between releases, are really high value for your audience and can even be a great promotional tool to have when you’re booking gigs. 


3. Host a captivating live stream

We’re lucky enough to live in a time where we can stream live video to an unlimited audience, anytime, anywhere. If you’re not taking advantage of this, you’re missing out. Try to host regular virtual gigs for your audience. Don’t just sit on your bed with your guitar and play a couple of songs. Put the effort in to make it look great, sound great and engage with your fans as much as possible throughout by taking requests, having conversations and good ol’ laugh! More on how to set up a great virtual gig here.


4. Behind the scenes documenting 

Another effortless way to generate content (once you get into the habit) is to document anything that’s going on behind the scenes with your music through video, photos or both. Vlog while you’re on tour (one day soon I hope), take some videos during your rehearsals, take a picture of your setup for a writing session, make a daily studio diary or simply take pictures and videos while doing daily tasks. You could even keep all of these and compile them into a big behind the scenes video at the end of the year, or end of your Single/EP/Album campaign. 


5. Live shots

Professional photos from your gigs are great pieces of evergreen content that you can share if you’re running low on ideas. I’d encourage every artist to get them taken whenever possible. If you don’t have any at the moment, fingers crossed you’ll have an opportunity to get some taken soon! 


6. Meet the team

Do you work with other creatives? Some “meet the team” style posts are a great way to give your audience some behind the scenes insight, while thanking and giving credit to those around you.


7. Start a series

Post about a certain topic consistently for a period of time. This can be related to your music and how you make it, your favourite gigs, artists that inspire you or maybe something non-music related, like a cause you believe in or your journey learning a new skill.


8. Share backstories to your songs

Every song has a backstory and people love to hear them. Whether it’s the tale behind the lyrics, something funny that happened during the recording process, or an interesting technique that was used in the production, there are plenty of stories you can tell for every release.


9. Snippets of your work in progress

Working on a new track? When you’re an independent artist growing an audience, you don’t need to be all secretive. Share some snippets of your work in progress!


10. What are you listening to right now?

Post about music that you’re enjoying right now or that inspires the music you make. This is easy, spur of the moment stuff that can hold a lot of value for your audience if they discover some new music that they love or can relate to your favourite song. You can also share music by other artists in your niche or local area! 


11. Educate

Educational content is an amazing way to connect with your fans. What skills can you pass along? Maybe you can teach a song on your instrument, teach a production skill or even something non music related. 


12. Host a quiz

Boost engagement with a quiz on any topic for your audience with an awesome merch giveaway for the winner. You can do this through a live stream, or through Instagram stories. 


13. Do a Q&A

Let your fans get to know you more by hosting a Q&A on your Instagram stories. They can send in questions and you can answer each one with a personal video! 


14. Pose a question 

Switch the last idea around and pose a question for your audience on your Instagram stories, or on a normal post. You could ask your followers what their favourite song is, what their favourite local bar or restaurant is (great way to support local business and find places to gig) or ask them what song they’d love for you to cover next.


15. Time limit challenge

An easy way to add some excitement to any piece of content is to add a time limit element. For example, you could create 30 second covers or challenge yourself to write a song or make a beat in 5 minutes. You might even learn some tricks along the way!


16. Share an awesome playlist

Loving a certain Spotify playlist or created a great one for yourself? Share it and let everybody know. Connect it to a story about what you’re doing while you listen to it to give more of an insight into your personality.


17. Fan generated content

Fan generated content is an amazing way to connect with your audience. You could:

  • Challenge fans to make mini covers of your song and share them on your page.

  • Ask fans to submit clips for a dance or miming challenge and compile them into a music/fan video.

  • Ask for any videos they’ve taken of you performing live and share them.

  • Challenge fans to create a playlist based around your latest single (best one wins)


18. Do challenges with your band mates 

Doing challenges with your band mates or team is a great way to have some fun and let your personality shine through. You could:

  • Take part in social media trends (who remembers the cinnamon challenge?)

  • Challenge each other on a certain video game

  • Have a penalty shoot out

  • Find out who can do the best impression of a famous artist or celebrity


Top Tips

Finally, here are few tips to keep in mind when planning your social media strategies:

  • Pre-plan and schedule your content where possible. If you can get a few weeks ahead, it really eases the pressure.

  • Stay consistent, but don’t run yourself dry, it’s not that big of a deal if you miss some posts. People won't suddenly forget that you exist. It’s also okay to take a break from social media if it’s sapping your energy.

  • Every time you post, ask yourself, “Would it stop me from scrolling?” 

  • Ask your audience a question in every caption

  • Don’t be afraid to share non music related content - people want to see that you’re human and feel like they know you.


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