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8 Innovative Social Media Campaigns for New Music Releases

Sari Klaczkowski
Written By
Sari Klaczkowski
Published On
Oct 31, 2022
a collage of Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, BTS, and Ed Sheeran

What does it take to reach “iconic status” as a musician?

More often than not, it’s a music social media campaign that has the power to stir audiences and keep everyone at the edge of their seats. Behind the celebrities we love and adore, there are epic marketing teams who deserve just as much of a standing ovation.

Here at The Influence Agency, we’ve rounded up eight innovative social media campaigns for new music releases that made the internet go wild.

1. Ariana Grande’s Sweetener

When reality meets music social media campaigns, it just couldn’t be sweeter. At least that’s what Ariana Grande proved with the release of her album, Sweetener, in 2018.

The popstar’s music marketing campaign team gave “Arianators” quite the adventure. In partnership with Landmrk, a location-based VR platform, fans were sent on a treasure hunt across the UK to find “Sweet Spots.” At each of these spots, billboards containing codes that needed to be deciphered were found. These had to be entered on the official website to win prizes like official merchandise, Sweetener albums, and even tour tickets. And for the fans who couldn’t go to the billboards in person, virtual billboards were created too.

Ariana proves that you can never go wrong with interactive campaigns and treasure hunts for new music releases.

2. BTS’s “Dynamite”

BTS’s song, “Dynamite” (2020), holds the YouTube record for having the most views ever (over 100 million!) within 24 hours. The song is, without a doubt, a total bop with a colourful burst of energy.

One aspect that contributed to its record-breaking stature is its genius music marketing campaign. One month prior to the release of the song, a new BTS website containing nothing but seven countdowns was launched. Whoever thought of relating the song “Dynamite” to a ticking timer deserves a standing ovation, honestly.

Each timer was counting down to 12 midnight (KST) but corresponded to different dates spanning one month. The mystery surrounding these countdowns made millions of people stay up at night to see what each timer would reveal.

For each countdown completed, BTS released various content on almost every social media platform. This included pre-order links for vinyl and cassette versions of “Dynamite,” their promo schedule (including surprise TV show performances), and a music video teaser on YouTube, to name a few.

The art of mystery works. Humans are a naturally curious species, and when you put enigmatic timers on a blank website and social media, the anticipation within just thrives.

3. Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits”

Ed Sheeran’s new music releases always leave “Sheerios” wanting more. And when he went flying around as a glamorous vampire in his music video for “Bad Habits” (2021), everyone already knew it was a look worth copying.

The singer-songwriter’s music marketing campaign team saw this coming for sure, and released a “Bad Habits” Snapchat filter that allowed fans to rock their own set of digital fangs.

After all, who could resist trying out filters? It’s a habit this generation won’t be breaking any time soon.

4. The Weeknd’s After Hours

The Weeknd’s music marketing campaign for the release of After Hours (2020) was pretty much a blast from the future.

The album was hyped by Spotify using some incredible artificial intelligence (AI) technology. To provide fans with a personalized way of experiencing the singer’s brand new album, a site featuring a one-on-one chat with The Weeknd’s AI self was launched.

When Spotify users landed on AloneWithMe.ai, they were instantly greeted by the singer who would address each person by name. Next, this alter ego would mention the statistics on how often the specific fan has streamed his music on Spotify through the years. Then, the intimate listening party of After Hours began.

Are you thinking what we’re thinking? The future of music social media campaigns has officially arrived.

5. Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever

If there’s one thing that defined Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever era, it was golden fabric.

To honour the release of the singer-songwriter’s brand new album, Instagram and Facebook gave fans the option to switch to a Billie Eilish chat theme with a gold fabric background. Who doesn’t love music social media campaigns that come with some shimmer?

Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever album cover next to the Facebook Messenger icon
Image from TwistArticle.com

6. Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty

One of the sparkliest music social media campaigns on our list is Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty.

To amplify the conversation on the country star’s new album, her team tapped four popular Instagram influencers to share makeup looks inspired by the album title. These social media personalities then encouraged their followers to create their own Cry Pretty-inspired looks, which automatically entered them into a contest to win a signed album.

It turns out, you actually can look pretty when you cry — and even gain some cool prizes for it in the process.

7. Taylor Swift’s Reputation

There’s no denying that Taylor Swift is one of the queens of teaser tactics.

Her music social media campaign for the release of Reputation in 2017 began with the “great wipeout” of her entire Instagram feed. This was followed by various cryptic (and unsettling) images of snakes — considering Taylor Swift is well-known for her colourful and “America’s Sweetheart” image, fans knew this was marking the countdown to a brand new era.

You guessed it right: “Swifties” everywhere quite literally lost it on every social media platform. And just like that, it went down in history as one of the campaigns that changed the way the music industry promotes new music releases.

8. Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?”

If all the biggest stars are talking about it, then it must be worth the hype, right?

Justin Bieber’s music marketing campaign for “What Do You Mean” (2015) enlisted the help of everyone’s favourite celebrities to spread the word. Usher, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Gigi Hadid, Halsey, Carly Rae Jepsen, Travis Scott, and Coldplay’s Chris Martin were just a few of the stars who each held up a sign teasing the new song and counting down the days until its release.

To say that Justin Bieber’s new music release was a success would be a huge understatement. To date, it has over 2.1 billion views. Ah, star power at its finest.

Shine Bright Like These Music Marketing Campaigns

Thinking about creating music marketing campaigns that shine just as bright?

It’s time to collaborate with The Influence Agency. We’re a leading digital marketing agency that’s no stranger to dreaming up smash-hit music marketing campaigns.

Contact us today to start taking over the pop culture scene with innovative strategies. 

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