Some of you at this point might be realizing that one of the big thing this blog is pointing towards is content marketing. That is to say marketing based around constantly giving your fans new pieces of content to connect with and grow their brand around. Content marketing is both the most important type of marketing and one of the most intuitive, it just requires dedication on your part. The dirty secret of content marketing is that it relies on… content. Nobody seems to want to admit this. In other words – if you aren’t creating content as a band then no one is going to give a shit because all that matters now is content. Sure people spend on average only 1.7 seconds on a given piece of content on mobile, but guess what, it only takes them 0.26 to retain your brand. So guess what? You might just be coming out on top.
The problem of course is that content marketing is based around creating content but you can only write a record once every couple years. Even if you could your label wouldn’t let you do it. So what do you do for content the rest of the time? Well the thing is that you need to reevaluate how you look at content. I like to use the example of Selena Gomez. Sure she follows a pretty normal recording schedule and isn’t constantly dropping singles or anything, but she’s constantly having photoshoots. This is valuable to her legions of fans adore and which has led to her being a leader in the world of fashion just as much as she is in the world of music. Hell – you can even use live performances, reviews and interviews as forms of content marketing. After all – it’s content and people want to have something to interact with. It starts to add up after a bit.
Of course you could quite reasonably say that a lot of people just don’t give a shit about your band and that even if you did come out with a new outfit most of your fans wouldn’t give less of a shit. That being said- I think that there has been a proven and notable difference between bands who, for example, invest in a good camera and are constantly taking band shots versus bands that don’t. Simultaneously, the bands that are out there going live on Facebook and Instagram (The big key if there ever was one) are also engaging directly with their fans and seeing a notable growth that I think many of their peers could never even dream of matching up to. This is the sort of thing that ends up being incredibly important and which can lead to the sorts of connections that allow you to have a serious fanbase actively pushing for better futures for the band. Long story short – even though the stars have the ability to create content you never could, you have the ability to make up for it by connecting on a personal level.
Again – this isn’t really that hard. The bands that are best at content marketing are the ones that have someone in the band who is moderately talented at graphic design and photography and who is at least a little dedicated. This doesn’t always have to be the same person and it does require the rest of the band to be out there creating content and actively participating to some degree, though you can get away with the main dude doing most of the work. Look at a band like Lamb Of God, they are on the road a lot, but they also make sure to create regular content for people to connect with. Randy Blythe’s Instagram account gets just as much coverage as the band does sometimes – and for good reason, it’s fucking fantastic!
This ties into the final aspect of content marketing I wanted to address. If you are creating regular series of content people will respond. You want something regular that people connect too and circle back to time and time again. Ideally you can brand this with a hashtag but you don’t have too. This also is a lot easier than it sounds – for example my friends in Incite do #coffeeshoptalk where the guitarist and drummer sit together and have a coffee and just shoot the shit and have people interact via Facebook. For a relatively small band it’s a surprisingly successful little venture and one that I think a lot of us fans look forward too. Another example might be the band Exhorder who are using their lead guitarists famed cigar hobby to create regular videos which people will come back to week after week. Not only does it give you an insight into a metal legends life but it also provides a value proposition – which brings us to our conclusion.
Content is inherently valuable and if you are creating content that has value beyond being just entertainment then people are going to connect even more. Just as with merch it’s always helpful to sell something more useful with a shirt creating informative and beautiful content can engage a lot of people. Like – band photos are great, as are blog posts or what have you, but if they are beautifully done then suddenly you are going back to that key word – aesthetic and once you have an aesthetic you have a stronger brand. All of these things feed into each other – you just need to take the time to make sure that this is all getting done regularly and you’re not dipping out but instead crafting content that people are going to want to relate to, share and reshare.