I recently did a series of lectures at the audio college where I graduated and whilst preparing to impart a little perspective on some fresh minds, I was forced to ask myself what it is that I actually do, and I believe I may have an answer. The reality of the music business is that label budgets are fairly sparse in comparison to the exuberant wealth that preceded us 10-20 years ago. This has resulted in people such as myself who are tasked with marketing and selling music to consumers, having to come up with more innovative ways to do it on tighter budgets. Therefore I’d like to define my job as a Creative Content Marketer.
If you’re fortunate enough to work in a creative/artistic field, you’re at an advantage when it comes to selling your product. The reason being is that what you’re trying to sell is likely to already be interesting and able to capture people’s attentions without much effort. Whether a song, painting or photograph, there is a lot of content you can create around the actual product itself. This is what I do on a day-to-day basis.
Social media platforms are noisey places. Statistics released last year showed that over 3 million links are shared on Facebook every hour, however, the blue giant will only show you the top 300 or so posts that their algorithms believe you will find most interesting. So how do you create engaging, entertaining content to drive people to buy your music?
Give first, ask second.
A lot of musicians / producers / artists have the misconception that people who are fans of their music, will instinctively support them and buy every new song or album out of principle. This may be the case for a few loyal supporters but realistically, and in particular on social media, it’s becoming more and more important for artists to offer value to their fans (this is also beneficial to growing the organic reach on platforms such as Facebook). The more engaging, unique content you share, the more online engagement you’re going to get. This can be done in many forms and will ultimately depend on the platform you’re using. Provide your fans with behind the scenes access to your lives (tour aftermovies, backstage videos and images, music video shoots) and they will feel like they’re part of the band. Once you have provided them with enough value, you can begin asking them to support your music (purchasing songs, attending shows etc.).
Using the landscape.
In the past, marketers had to pay for the space they needed to push their products (billboards, print media, TV). With social media, you’re given valuable real estate for free to advertise your music.
Link it back.
People are instinctively lazy and your job is to make your music as accessible as possible to your audience. Customisable (shortened) links are important for two main reasons – First, they’re neat and short (internet users are always cautious of long, drawn out links for the fear of spam and will often just overlook it subconsciously). Second – they allow you to track the interaction with your link with analytics (device, region, platform – all valuable metrics for determining where your audience’s attention lies).
Teasing and Pleasing.
A lot of the successful campaigns I’ve been a part of have involved a substantial amount of build up leading up to release date using teasers to entice fans and tease them with what’s to come. I referred to how important video is on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram in one of my first posts and these are both great platforms for sharing teasers.