Resilience in Times of Global Pandemic: 4 Ways For Artists To Evolve & Thrive As New Technologies Usher In a New Era of Big Tech
In the early 2000s, when P2P and file-sharing platforms like Napster or Kazaa were famous, many thought it was killing the music industry, while fans thought it was a great way to have quick access to music.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sued many individuals, corporations and millions of dollars were spent to protect creatives.
Today, even if music streaming has cannibalized download sales, many argue that it’s killing the culture. But hey – all arts produce saturated markets right? Resilient and resourceful as ever, the culture has only thrived. The culture is here to stay.
With saturated markets and pitiful streaming revenues, record labels are struggling to cut through the clutter of content proliferation, pushing artists to shorten songs, forgo the album, and prioritize playlist placements over fan-centric marketing.
In today’s word, music creation has become increasingly social and collaborative.
Doing the right thing at the right time, on the right platform, with the right people and a healthy dose of serendipity….and there you go! The formula of going viral.
The rise of many digital platforms is helping artists get discovered, trend and become relevant. This rise highlights a trend of content consumption that has yet to be adequately addressed: in the saturated attention economy, lean-back content is all interchangeable in consumption. It is creation by fans in response that stands out. Covers. Dances. Memes. Tributes.
It takes manipulation, encouragement and sharing and that’s the ‘digital conversation’: the new driver of success (the viral effect) in the digital era for content which not only pleases but inspires others to create for their own interest.
So – where to start?
1- Music Advertising
One thing advertising does really really well is stealing attention. Advertising gets you temporary exposure in text, image or video format. It also shifts focus to your content while taking time away from other content you are consuming. Think about it.. when you are watching the Superbowl on Sunday.. and a commercial pops in. Or, as you read an article on Forbes Magazine, you have to scroll through at least 3-4 ads before you finish the story. Same concept.
Did you know that:
- Facebook has 2.74 billion monthly active users?
- Facebook users spend more than 30 minutes per day using the platform.
- 36% of people get news from Facebook.
- 500 million people use Facebook Stories daily. Yes, that’s a thing too!
- 1.8 billion people use Facebook Groups.
- Facebook has an advertising audience of 2.14 billion.
Similar to how e-mail marketing was a thing in the 90s. Facebook advertising is now THE game-changer for you – the artist and you too – record labels!
Facebook allows you to run your ads both on Facebook & Instagram (since it’s owned by Facebook).
1- Start by picking the best part of your track. (Ideally the best 15-20 seconds).
2- Dive into Facebook Ads and create your ads. Image or video.
3- Use the ‘conversion’ objectives and forward users to a landing page, a fanlink via Toneden, Hyppedit for example.
Why send your visitors to a fanlink? To track your clickthroughs and display music store options. Here’s an example of a fanlink.
4- Create multiple ads: Split between multiple ad sets based on ‘related artist’ targeting. This is called split testing to find out which ad is performing best. If you would like to target fans of Pharrell vs. Ne-Yo vs. Jason Derulo – you basically setup 3 ad sets.
5- Pick your conversion event, target countries, age, gender, interests.
TIP: Make sure you add ‘Spotify’ in your interests, if you are redirecting users to Spotify.
6- Select placements you’d like to target with your ad: Instagram Explore, Timeline, Stories, Facebook Stories and so on…
7- Upload your ad. Preferably a video ad (artwork + sound of your music)
8- Keep optimizing and testing.
A Facebook ad expert should be able to get you clicks even for $0.002!
Now do the math- If you want a million streams on Spotify and each stream costs $0.002… it would cost you a total of $2000 if every ad click resulted into a stream. Note: every fan landing on a similar landing page does not actually stream your music. If only 10% of those clicks streamed your music, it would basically cost you 20K to get a million streams.
TIP: Make sure your target goal is not just to get streams. A properly set up ad should allow you to convert streams to SAVES and FOLLOWERS. A healthy ratio will allow you to land on algorithmic playlists free of charge. A lot of times, you can 5-10X streams received from ads just by landing on those algorithmic playlists! Basically, by spending 10K in ads only, you can drive more than 500 000 unique streams. And if your campaigns are properly set up, you can earn an extra 500K through algorithmic playlists and get a million streams in total as a result.
But hey, that’s a hell of a set up …and math equation right there! As a Facebook Marketing Partner, at MusicPromoToday, we’re experts at running well-optimized campaigns and driving cost-efficient targeted clicks. Talk to us about your goals and targets. Start tackling Facebook ads while they are very underrated. Underpriced attention at its best!
2- Creating Content & Networking
Effective social media strategies aren’t built overnight. Building a fanbase of 10 000 fans that genuinely care about you, your music, that know everything about you and listen to your music day and night takes more than 30-60 days.
It takes patience, humility, and an abundance of empathy to build a bridge with your fanbase.
You have to give something back to your community, find value in providing “social media entertainment” or information – you have to give something of value in exchange for the time that you’re taking away from fans.
A common misconception is to run a press campaign that’s tailored to build you digital reputation and assume that you are building a fanbase.
To build a fanbase on social media, you have to earn social media attention, rather than demanding it. It is more about the fans than you. Once you approach with the mindset of providing content and giving to your fanbase instead of taking back only, you will be ready to provide so much value to your fans.
There is will always be opportunities to take advantage of on new digital platforms that create attention. You – the artist, need to realize what your fans are paying attention to and tackle by making a link with you.
Your job is to tell your story.
Create content based on your story.
3- Tracking Your Fans
In the world of marketing, tracking is very important. Marketers track results through ‘pixels’ and ‘conversion tracking’ aka ‘events’.
A properly setup Facebook ad, can retarget users through a pixel. A pixel is a piece of a sort code. Ever wondered why you see ads of things you talk about or Google? It’s called retargeting and it’s very efficient when running targeted conversion campaigns.
Similarly, when building content/ a fanbase or networking, tracking is very important.
Monitor what content produced the best engagement. Videos tend to engage more than photos. IG reels engage more than IG videos, and so on.
Getting a clear understanding of all the different interactions and touchpoints that fans have with your posts on social media and music allows you to pinpoint which of your content or campaign did well and as a result – where to invest your time, attention and money (if advertising).
Important: Many artists and influencers panic that the more they post, the less engagement they get. It’s not all doom and gloom. By making sure your content is quality, unique and interesting.. you will always maintain a high level of engagement, if not instantly, most likely overtime. Quality of content never fails on social media.
In a world of content abundance and billions of potential fans browsing through content… ask yourself what your conversion is?
- Are you willing to offer exclusive content? Patreon is amazing. A lot of influencers also use Only Fans.
- Exclusive music?
- Exclusive videos?
- Ticket sales for a virtual concert?
- A Privat webinar?
4- Everything Virtual
This year, the real parties were online. Not even J. Lo could liven up the empty Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
The concept and execution of digital livestream or virtual concerts was nothing new when the pandemic hit.
Dua Lipa’s “Studio 2054” livestream concert event drew a whopping 5 million-plus global views in 2020.
Andrea Bocelli’s half-hour opera set garnered over 28 million views in its first 24 hours on YouTube and became the most-watched classical music livestream in YouTube history.
Verzuz ‘battles’ by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland are amassing over a million viewers on Instagram alone every round.
D-Nice hosts epic virtual quarantine dance parties from his house with thousands of followers watching him DJ.
For the first time since 2017, Justin Bieber returned to the stage to do a virtual concert.
Two weeks ago, Live Nation – the biggest event promoter and venue operator acquired ‘Veeps’ a ticketing platform for virtual events, a live-streaming company.
While many artists and agents surely do view the livestream explosion as a primarily a stop-gap to get back to the physical, in-person stage, Live Nation’s acquisition seems to show confidence in the value of streaming events virtually.
The question is if you have already planned your first virtual concert on Instagram Live?
2 words. Start now!
And it’s not just virtual concerts. Everything has become virtual. Virtual meetings, virtual webinars, virtual red carpet events, virtual connections and guess what? Even virtual album listening parties is now a thing!
Why is virtual booming? Well, chat rooms are helping. Listeners are able to converse, whether on Twitter Live, Twitch, Fortnite, YouTube Live, Clubhouse, etc.
Wait – what? Clubhouse?
Clubhouse is also having a moment of cultural relevance and is capturing all of our attention.
What is Clubhouse?
Clubhouse is an audio based, social media app.
In a post-pandemic world, where hangouts are different, networking events have disappeared, Clubhouse brings a lot of value. What’s good about it is that everyone does not hear everything. It’s filtered by rooms. You can decide to go in the room you want: The Bitcoin Club, or The Tech Talks or The Music Industry Execs, etc.
Many influencers, CEO’s, A&R’s, and celebrities are already on Clubhouse. Clubhouse is still exclusive and invite-only. If you want an invite, DM one of our co-founders, Anthony.
You’re in control.
You listen. (Lots of valuable information. Take notes).
Speak up when you know what to say. Don’t be afraid to voice.
Enjoy – with a group of people – a virtual conversation.
As you realize, attention defines and shapes today’s digital world. Take hold of the wheel, evolve and thrive. Start creating your content. Start socializing and put your word out there.
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