Strategically tagging your beats is a great way to increase your listenership and garner more ears to your tracks. Learn more about how you can effectively use them on your tracks.
When it comes to gaining exposure on various digital channels, using hashtags (once known as the pound sign) proves to bring major results for content discovery. The same reigns true for hashtags or keyword tags on BeatStars. Every time you upload a track to the BeatStars Marketplace, you're required to use three tags on your track - no more, no less. While mandatory, we promise it's worth your while.
Abe Batshon, CEO of BeatStars, has even said that keyword tags make “a huge difference for producers, and can ultimately increase listenership.”
Let's dive in and talk more about how you can best use keyword tags to get more eyes and ears on your productions.
What are Keyword Tags?
Keyword tags, similar to hashtags on social media, are words or phrases preceded by a pound symbol or hashtag (#) used to associate with or identify a particular keyword.
You can easily see these keyword tags come into play on BeatStars when using the Marketplace's powerful search tool.
Finding Beats/Artists Using Keyword Tags in BeatStars’ Search Engine
Try this simple test: log in to your BeatStars account and navigate to the top of your Feed. There you will see a search bar. Enter in a keyword (i.e. a search term) – this can be an adjective, such as “dark” or “deep,” or it can be something like “future type beat” – and look at the results that come up.
Producers that tag their beats with the keywords you searched for pop up. In essence, this allows artists looking for specific beats to land on the exact type of production they are looking for via these specific keywords used in the search engine.
Naturally, some keywords are going to work better than others. Even still, some artists may have more success with certain keywords than other artists using the same keywords. That doesn’t mean you can’t find success with the right keywords though - you just need to do your due diligence.
Researching Keyword Tags for Your Beats
Don’t run away just yet! Yes, the word “research” was uttered, but it’s probably not what you think.
Here's the situation. If you're reading this, there's a high chance you're a BeatStars producer, and it's safe to assume that you probably take your music very seriously if you've made it this far in this article. Therefore, don’t expect to just post your music and have it take off – you need to put in work to get your music in front of eyes and ears in order to find success.
One way to do this is by not only using keyword tags, but by researching the right keywords to use. Lucky for you, we've gone ahead and done some of that research for you (thank us later).
We corresponded with some of BeatStars’ most successful producers – GHXST and The Cratez – to find out what works for them and how you might be able to benefit. In addition, we analyzed some of BeatStars’ top-performing beats to see what trends we could find within beats that made their way onto the charts. A member of The Cratez shared that they keep a personal document that has a running list of keywords that are/were popular, as well as artists that were popular at the time. We suggest that, upon doing research, you also keep a list of keywords in a spreadsheet so you have a reference of what to use. This can also help you to refine your keyword targeting and make the most out of them.
Which Keyword Tags Work the Best?
There are a few different routes you can go down when picking out your keyword tags, but for best results we recommend trying the following three approaches.
What are artist tags? You've probably seen these tags in titles on YouTube – “Drake Type Beat,” “21 Savage,” “Waka Flocka Beat,” etc. You’ve probably also heard stories about artists like Joey Bada$$ and A$AP Rocky finding beats by searching “[Artist Name] Type Beats” on YouTube.
Listen to A$AP Rocky talk about this discovery in the video below:
These tags find their way into many popular beats on BeatStars and other music platforms. Before you go tagging all of your beats with “Travis Scott Type Beat,” you should be aware that this tagging method is heavily used by an array of producers on the BeatStars Marketplace. Looking at the Top 10 Beats on BeatStars, several of them feature an artist as one or more of the three allotted keyword tags.
Producer GHXST clued us in on his strategy to combat this over-saturation, sharing, “I spend [time] trying to hit a sort of Tier-2 artist, where the competition might not be so cluttered and a channel my size might be able to get a strong and dedicated hold more readily, which I think converts into sales pretty well.”
We can conclude that including one major artist as a keyword tag is an effective strategy. You shouldn’t throw any old artist in as a keyword tag though; choose artists that you can hear rapping on the beat the way you intended in order to get artists to find you by searching for a specific style of production. In addition, we can venture a guess that including a less-popular but relevant artist as a keyword tag can also have its benefits by targeting a niche market that may result in more refined listens and potential purchases.
Another common trend in keyword tags has to do with the style and form of the beat.
When looking at a selection of the Top 10 Beats featured on BeatStars Charts, a majority have some form of genre as one or more keyword tags. Targeting a genre or style/sub-genre will help increase your listens by people who are searching for the genre in which your production fits. If you're looking to increase your fanbase and exposure, staying on top of trending genres can help you reach a broader audience. You can keep track of trending genres through one of our favorite trend tracking tools - Google Trends. Our exclusive BeatStars Live+ video covers how you can use Google Trends to increase your music's exposure - simply watch the video below to dive in.
Lastly, consider the feel and vibe of your beat - this is the third most common keyword tag type.
Admittedly, this type of keyword tag was the least used by the beats on the top charts, but it appears frequently enough to be of potential value. Defining the mood is already a part of the BeatStars service when you go to upload a beat, but it also makes sense to use some moods as keyword tags when relevant.
It might make more sense to use a different keyword than the actual mood you select for your track to cover more ground. For example, say you define the mood of your beat as “Determined” when uploading your production. For a keyword tag, you may choose a similar or relevant mood, such as “Epic” or “Intense.” This will allow you to potentially gain traffic from both “determined” and “epic” or “intense” keyword search terms.
Using Keyword Tags Can Improve Visibility
In summary, keyword tags are a required part of uploading your beats for a reason – they work. BeatStars' optimized search engine makes keyword tags even more essential for producers to use. We encourage you to do research – see which artists are trending, what keywords other popular acts on BeatStars are using, and ask your friends or family to describe your beats in one word and test that as a keyword tag.
Keyword tags are crucial elements of your success on BeatStars. It doesn't hurt to test a variety and experiment with which ones work for your art.