Music is one of the oldest forms of storytelling. It has been used throughout humanity’s history to record the past and inspire the future.
Maybe that’s why some forms of music have ancient roots have reaching back 250,000 years or more –that’s far longer than even the written word.
Music was and always will be a form of storytelling, meaning that musicians are part of a long line of storytellers.
Modern musicians are no different. They must keep up on the latest storytelling trends to prosper. That means social media and digital marketing.
Musicians who do this well amass a startlingly massive following. And marketers can use both modern and age-old storytelling devices from these music artists to tell their own stories better.
Create Content on Everything
If nobody takes their phone out at a concert, did it even happen? Was anyone really there?
Nope. At least not as far as the internet and social media are concerned.
I noticed this from my vantage point at the front of a concert sometime when we thoughtlessly crowded into giant rooms together. A videographer buzzed around the venue, catching every angle of the crowd rocking out.
The artist clearly had a content team ensuring that they captured every last hair flip.
And this critical rule is important for every money-making venture, including business to business transactions. Try these ideas for capturing more and better content.
- Capture and record everything your team does. Create content and use images and videos of your team in action. Being able to connect with a vendor’s representatives is critical in B2B business relationships. After all, many deals are closed because of relationships between representatives of each company.
- Share your secrets. Beyond showing your team actually working, think about sharing some of what your team works on. If you are selling customer relationship management software, make sure to share any internal processes that make using that software better. This could mean talking about data hygiene or creating diverse content for all stages of the pipeline.
Surprise and Delight Them
We all know that surprise and delight keeps fans excited.
Music artists know this as well.
That’s why they go to great lengths to wow the audience. Whether it’s a dramatic introduction, special effects, or simply an amazing version of a crowd favorite, music artists aim to impress every chance they have.
Gate the Best Stuff
Everyone gets excited whenever an artist says, “Check out this new track!” They can’t be new every time, right? But every time you hear those words, you pay rapt attention, listening to something that is only available live or via lousy quality cell phone video.
This is why people like to go to concerts. They want to experience something that they cannot by listening at home.
I’ve seen saw an artist take it further. They banned all recordings of any kind from their show. That means no photos, videos, or audio.
In a pandemic-colored world, gating the best content might mean a paid live stream or even just a livestream that only happens only once and no recordings are available.
This keeps people coming to their shows because it’s almost secretive. That drives demand. In this case, this content control keeps fans waiting and wanting more.
Basically, make sure that there is a good reason for someone to sign up for your mailing list. Give them value in exchange for the value they gave you. Send them quality content that is just for email subscribers. If you provide incentive, then people are more likely to engage with and like your brand.
Loop in Cultural References
Part of the reason I’m interested in so many genres of music is because current culture is reflected in it.
For example, in electronic music, it is common to hear sound samples from movies and other music. You can usually tell how old a piece of music is by what they are sampling.
And versions of this occur across genres of music. It can be anything from the example I gave above, to mentioning current events, or just generally reflecting the mood of a specific listener base at the time.
There are a lot of really quality pandemic/quarantine related songs.
It’s not that different in B2B, where it is important to wrap in some modern references to stay current and connected with your followers.
This comes in a couple different forms. The first is keeping the current technology and vocabulary in your content up-to-date and relevant.
Use the language that everyone is using, but make sure your content doesn’t become overladen with jargon.
The second is loop in non-industry related cultural references. Relate something from the news with the content on your blog. This keeps your content feeling fresh and relevant.
Another tactic is to use nostalgia to connect with your audience. People love reminiscing about the past, so jokes that your audience will understand is a great way to get their attention.
The final tactic that music artists use is creating an atmosphere of inclusion. During the Before, a group photo was often taken, which made everyone feel that they are part of the show, the experience, and the social media posting the photo was included in. That means they are part of that artist’s community.
Chat streams on live streamed events can foster that same sense of community. People interact with the artist and the others in the chat stream. I’ve also seen musicians have social media groups for their fans.
Make your audience feel similarly included in your brand’s content. Retweet them, mention and highlight positive feedback on your social channels, foster a community, host giveaways. Create groups for your customers and fans.
Create space where your audience feels that they are with a group of people that understand them. A group of their peers.
A great example of this was Litmus’ design conference, they gave away swag with their appealing color wheel logo on it. I still have a t-shirt from when HIPB2B Creative went one year. This unites people in their profession, making them feel like #emailgeeks, the hashtag that Litmus used to unite email marketers across the country.
You may not be a rock star, but you can be like their content team. Capture every moment you can to create content, surprise and delight fans, keep some content exclusive, loop in cultural references and foster community.
By using these ancient tactics (which occurred long before social media) successful musicians are able to sell out arenas and get everyone listening to their newest track.
Try them on out as part of your marketing strategy and let us know how it goes.
Also published on Medium.