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Using the Instagram Music sticker on Stories #DigiLab

In Matt Walsh’s third and final Digital Lab blog, he details how he used the new Music sticker feature on Instagram Stories to showcase the artists that are playing at Cheltenham Jazz Festival in May 2019.

We announced our line-up for Cheltenham Jazz Festival in February 2019. This year I wanted to highlight our line-up and experiment using the Music sticker feature on Instagram.

The Music sticker feature enables Instagram users to post a video or photo, and search for a specific song, genre or what’s popular and tap the play button to hear a preview. When you’ve selected your song, you can fast-forward and rewind through the track to choose the exact part this fits your story.

I wanted to use this new feature and experiment with the Music sticker for the build-up to the Jazz Festival, and throughout the Festival in May. For this experiment, I created a weekly feature using the hashtag #TuesdayTunes, including the range of diverse artists and genres we have at the Jazz Festival this year with the ticket link for their gig in our bio.

The Instagram blog posts states to capture a photo or video for the Music sticker, but I wanted to experiment using artwork created for our programme brochure and artist photos and use this on Instagram Stories.

Before creating the images to add to Instagram Stories, I browsed through the Instagram Music library to make sure the artists I wanted to include, had their songs available in the music library.

Fortunately, the majority of artists songs were available. I went ahead and planned weekly #TuesdayTunes Instagram Stories; highlighting well-known names and emerging UK talent that our audience may not particularly be aware of and showcase their songs to give them a taster of what’s coming up, in the hope that they like the artist and would consider buying tickets to see them at the Jazz Festival.

Creating artwork and artists images worked well for this experiment, it enabled users to view who was coming to the Festival, but on some posts the music didn’t play straight away and some users messaged us about this — I included the tap to listen and arrow emojis in the photos above to see if this would help, this enabled users to tap the music sticker and listen to the entire song if they wanted, not just a 30-second clip which was a useful addition.

I intend to use this Instagram Stories Music sticker feature each day for the Jazz Festival this year, but instead of creating artwork demonstrated above, I will capture photos and videos of our Festival Village, its venues and potentially a photo of the artists if given permission to do so and include music stickers for each artist.

The Digital Lab fellowship has been an invaluable experience in my new digital marketing role at Cheltenham Festivals.

The fellowship has given me the mindset of testing new ideas and features in digital marketing, safe in the knowledge that experimenting is the best process to work out what works well, what can be improved on and what may not be the best fit.

Read Matt’s previous Digital Lab blogs: Facebook competitions and privacy settings #DigiLab and Starting a podcast #DigiLab.