25 Mar 2016
16. Content: Give your fans EVERYTHING!!!
If you’ve observed other artists or been in the music industry for a few years you will soon realised that an album/single/ep is just a very small part of a much bigger journey. As majestic and long lasting as an album is, it can still be years between albums and months between singles so in this time for many it’s easy for fans to dissipate and buzz to wane. How do we keep the fire of interest burning?
(Well apart from gigs and tours)
We use “content”.
Why do we use content and what is it?
Content is any type of media released to the public. It can be written, spoken, sound, music, visual, physical and much more. Your EP is content, as is the last tweet, and the selfie with your pet. Content creates value for your fans and makes sure you remain in the forefront of your followers minds. Your EP should have slightly more value than a tweet but then we have all probably heard about how one single wrong tweet has destroyed an artists career.
Everything you do has value and impact so everything you show to the public has to be thought out, your reputation is in their hands.
The positives of Content
- We use it to keep people excited. Unique content can be just as special as a song and equally hard to create.
- We use it to keep ourselves familiar. People trust other people they are familiar with so keeping yourself in the forefront of everyones minds can improve engagement with your music.
- We use it to add value to peoples lives. A great song makes people feel better but so can an empowering message, an informative video or promotion of other peoples creations.
- We use it to test the water. By teasing a video, song or demo we can gauge people’s reactions and work out if the song needs changing or more promotion is needed.
With all these positives why would you not want to create content?
The negatives of Content
- Too much content can devalue your brand. It can be hard to continually come up with original exciting content, if this is the case then just put out less. Putting out lots of the similar content will make you look boring and people could switch off.
- Relying too much on content can destroy your art form. By becoming content orientated more than product orientated you have less time to work on your music/product so its quality suffers and you may find yourself with lots of digital fans but low gig attendance/merch sales. How you balance this is up to you, there isn’t a right formula but as a tip i suggest is good to build your content strategy around your strengths. If you teach for a day job then put up instructional videos, if your like building/modding then take pictures/schematics and post them, if you are a party animal then build your content around parties. Common sense right? We give this a term in the industry: Authenticity
- It can be hard to draw the line between what you give out for free to encourage engagement and what you sell. You may end up giving away to much for free because watching the social media numbers is exciting. Remember an online fan is not a customer/fan. How many of your friends on Facebook would be there for you in a time of crisis?
- Sometimes people don’t miss you until you’re gone. Quite periods make people value you more when you’re around. How you stage a comeback if you never went away!
That’s all, but as always, think before you leap. Fortune doesn’t always favour the brave.