So something bands bring up to me all the time is ‘Why do I need to be creating content all the time?’ and then the logical follow up which is ‘We can always figure out what to post when we are on the road or in the studio, but what do we post the rest of the time?’ These are the sorts of questions that get music marketing guys like me to stay up at night. Understanding these basics of content marketing is key if you are trying to grow your brand in a meaningful way. It’s a part of the music industry that I think, while a lot of people may not like, they certainly have to learn how to deal with. I wanted to use this article as a chance to get deep on this and talk about how a strong content creation strategy can actually be a fun part of how your band works to develop itself.
Here’s the thing – you need to appreciate that the basis of your content strategy is not so much the pictures you take, the videos you film, the memes you like or any of that other stuff. That’s all important, but it’s not the key. They key is figuring out that it’s not about content, it’s about story and brand. Every single post that you are making to your page needs to be driven with your overall story in mind and this needs to tie into the brand you are trying to create, it’s really as simple as that. If you aren’t sure how to define this then just try and write it down. Use it as the backbone for what your band is all about. It’s how we are able to connect with people on a more meaningful way.
This doesn’t need to be too long or thought out either. Think about a band like Slipknot, there entire story is ‘We are freaks from the middle of nowhere like you.” Or take Jimmy Buffett as an example, whose story is basically ‘I want to share my love for smoking weed and sailing in the Caribbean.’ Figure out what your story is and the basic message you are trying to create This makes it super easy to figure out how you are going to develop over the long term. From your story you are usually easily able to figure out a brand. The brand is essentially, “What personal and visual elements do we need to put together to make this story make sense?” For Slipknot this meant mysterious interviews showing they were thoughtful as well as gnarly masks. For Jimmy Buffett it means album art focused on the beauty of the Caribbean. These are the jumping off points.
Are you starting to see why you should be able to create content around your overall narrative and not just your time on the road or in the studio? The stuff you do in those situations is cool to be sure and it’s definitely important to focus on – but it shouldn’t be the be all and end all. So often I see bands who get the live shots from a show in and then dump them all at once. I see bands who take months long breaks in their posting. Other bands only post when they have major news ignoring even important things like show announcements. You don’t want to be one of those bands. You want to be putting your story in everyone’s face all of the time. It’s the advertising rule of sevens, people need to see something seven times before they act on it. Consequently when you are in peoples faces and active with how hard you are driving socials then you are going to start seeing some serious expansion of your brand awareness.
In terms of the actual types of content that you can be delivering then realize this. Every week you can share: a meme, a live shot, a shoutout to a classic band, a shoutout to a friends band, a rehearsal clip, an old song, a question for your fans or just a behind the scenes shot. Do any of those things actually require your band to be doing anything at that particular moment? No. Can any of that stuff easily tie into what you band is all about and give you the connections that you need in order to keep telling the overarching story of your project? Yes, absolutely. This is the distinction that people need to appreciate. It’s not about the type of content, it’s about whether or not it is helping to fulfill your overall narrative. Once you have that key understanding you are only going to move forward.
Long story short – your content strategy needs to be open minded and execute with the story and brand in mind. If that’s your approach then people are going to connect with you. If you don’t want to appreciate the importance of sinking your teeth into an overarching narrative then you are just shouting into the void. That’s the issue people are facing. If you want to give people a personalized and powerful experience in relation to your music then you are going to need to construct something for them to engage with. If you’re not posting, and not posting with intent then guess what, no one is going to care.