Guess what, celebrities?! There are many more things you can post on your Instagram account than just pictures of your #fitspiration and #nofilter sunsets. You can actually use it to promote your upcoming album! Beyonce did it, and to enormous success! Let us all take a look how the star took marketing into her own hands without the use of traditional PR.
Queen Bey made music history in December 2013 when she announced through her Instagram account at midnight that her secret music album (that no one even knew was in the making) was out for release exclusively on iTunes. Mayhem ensued.
Within twelve hours, the news received 1.2 million Tweets, and her fifth studio album, Beyonce, already sold a million copies in just five days. It marked the largest single week ever in the U.S. iTunes store, as well as iTunes fastest-selling album worldwide. Another surprise with that it also included 17-clip video album. Has there been any other musical artist in history that had released a secret album at the strike of midnight that include 14 songs, 17 music videos, and with zero announcements in advance??
It all became possible with one short video on Instagram with the only caption: “Surprise!” That element of surprise was what made this marketing strategy go so mind-blowingly well.
“I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it,” she said. “I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.”
What a stark contrast to how albums are usually promoted and released. Record labels typically spend a solid few months and millions of dollars in promotion rounds. With talk show interviews, billboard ads, commercials, in-store appearances, etc., it is a lot of time and effort put into one album, and they all have to pray that it will be positive results.
Sometimes, songs can “leaked” out into the public and then posted on various news outlets. Food for thought: if Beyonce and her team were able to keep mums about her secret album, it shouldn’t be too hard to keep songs from leaking, right? *side-eye glance*
All in all, we have learned that sometimes the best kind of marketing is absolutely no marketing at all…that is if you are already a multi-platinum recording artist.