Blog, Marketing

People fall in love with musicians. Or, more specifically, they fall in love with the image of musicians. This focus on image, and the constant honing of this image, makes music idols some of the most powerful brands out there. From Ziggy Stardusts to Sasha Fierce, musicians are worth more than just the sum of their royalty fees. But how do you build a brand like that, if you’re a tone-deaf business owner who can’t even play the recorder?

Here are our three tips…

1. Get on video

Take at a look at the top three fastest selling records this year, and you’ll  see a trend. Two of those– Frank Ocean’s Blonde and Beyoncé’s Lemonade –were accompanied by “visual albums”: what were essential feature-length music videos. And this extra element correlates extremely well with extra record sales.

Released in April, Lemonade had already sold 1.2 million units in the US by July. For Frank Ocean’s Blonde (accompanied by the visual entitled Endless), there was similar success: about 275k units sold in the first week. It followed a long (4 year) period of anticipation, involving many bogus release dates issued by the artist himself.  Marketing research tells us that even if you’re not an RNB superstar, video still works wonders: it can up your site’s conversion rates by 64-85%. It’s the engagement and discussion that video invites that makes it such an advantage. It’s also visually appealing, and easy for someone to understand when they’re low on concentration. So, get ready for your close-up.

 

2. Content is King

Frank Ocean has created a serious web of content for his fans. To accompany the release of Blonde, Ocean also released a magazine, and it left fans in an absolute frenzy. The limited edition magazine, entitled Boys Don’t Cry, is currently selling for between $200 and $900 AU (sans shipping) on eBay, despite being released as a free gift at pop-ups across the states, and in London. It was an eclectic mix of content, including playlists, and Kanye West’s poem about –no joke– McDonald’s. No, we’re fully serious.

Thanks to the digital age, you don’t need to have the dollars to hire Kanye for poetry skills. Having an online publication is one way to get some serious attention for your brand, without spending billionaire bucks. When given the proper promo effort, you will see your audience base grow like never before.

 

3. Give It Away

Ok, so maybe pop music isn’t your thing, and you’re not really fussed at rubbing shoulders with the Beyoncés of this world. Maybe some Radiohead’s more your scene? Radiohead knows that hooking their audience is this simple: give it away. Radiohead tried an “honesty box” system with their album In Rainbows: anyone could pay whatever they wanted for the album. Which, yes, means some people paid nothing. Might have been a risk at the time, but it was undeniably a gamble that paid off. According to frontman, Thom Yorke, there was a pot of gold at the end of In Rainbows. “In terms of digital income, we’ve made more money out of this record than out of all the other Radiohead albums put together, forever — in terms of anything on the Net. And that’s nuts.” Yes, Thom; that is nuts. But it makes sense. When you offer your audience something for free, it gives them, a risk-free incentive to engage with you. And it also gives you an opportunity to gather a bit of data, maybe an email address for a free PDF? For some, this will be the first interaction in a long, beautiful relationship. So, let it go!


Content should be a serious component of your branding. Whether it be video, high-quality written content, or giveaways, you need to have strategy behind your published work. And even thought going solo worked for Beyoncé, we’d strongly recommend talking to a digital marketing specialist before you get started. We’d love to talk content marketing strategy with you: drop us a line.