One of the trendiest ways for artists to tease new music is to hide clues for their fans to find. For example, Taylor Swift is well-known for hiding secret messages in her album liner notes.
However, you don’t need a huge budget or a team of marketing experts to tease your new music this way. Here are a few simple ways you can adapt these stars’ strategies for hiding clues about your new music.
Start early with subtle hints on social media.
The last era of Taylor Swift’s music was characterized by dark colors and snake imagery. However, in her first music video since Reputation, the opening scene follows a snake that bursts into pastel butterflies, ushering in her new era.
Fans first began to speculate that Taylor’s new album would have something to do with butterflies when she wore butterflies heels to the iHeartRadio Awards. She shared a close-up of the shoes on Instagram.
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Taylor’s butterfly heels were a subtle nod to her new music, and the hint was overlooked by many until the release of her “ME!” music video. Eagle-eyed fans were pleased that they’d caught on.
You can make your own hints towards upcoming music as subtle as a pair of shoes. Maybe you’ll do a secret countdown with objects in the background of your photos instead, or use unreleased lyrics as captions.
Hide the names of upcoming projects in plain sight.
Taylor’s “ME!” music video held even more clues for her fans to find. She alerted them on Twitter that the titles of her next single as well as her upcoming album were hidden somewhere in the music video.
So… the new album title is actually revealed somewhere in the video AND so is the title of the second single, but I haven’t seen people finding them yet…
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) April 26, 2019
Not only did this method help Taylor get her fans excited about her upcoming album, but it also helped her get more views on her new video as they watched it over and over to make sure they didn’t miss anything.
You can do something similar in your own music videos, hiding the names of upcoming projects in signs, on shirts, etc. You may also consider taking your album title from some of your lyrics and releasing the song it came from as your lead single.
Send your fans on a scavenger hunt.
Halsey took her lyric-hiding offline by sending her fans on a scavenger hunt. She hid lyrics to her upcoming single in several major cities across the US and sent her fans to find them.
Los Angeles – Dallas – Chicago – Bay Area – New York City.
I hid lyrics to NIGHTMARE in your cities. Let me know when you find them….
— h (@halsey) May 11, 2019
If you live near a major city, consider creating a lyric scavenger hunt of your own. Make a few artistic posters with your lyrics on them and hang them up around town. Make sure you take pictures of where you put them so you don’t forget.
Give your audience an online mission.
Tessa Violet created an online mission for her fans. In order to unlock her secret project, they had to decipher the password to a hidden page on her website.
no spoilers. pic.twitter.com/Tcf4EJy5Yy
— Tessa Violet (@TessaViolet) May 4, 2019
Below the original tweet, she offered her fans several hints of where to find the password. However, she didn’t reveal it, encouraging them to find out for themselves by continuing to stream her new song.
Creating an online mission for your fans gets them engaged with your music. It’s no longer just something you’re giving them; it’s something they get to be a part of.
Hiding clues gets your fans involved in the release of your new music. Instead of waiting for it to drop, they get to help you reveal your new project, creating excitement on both sides.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.