An effective marketing campaign is considered to be one of the main pillars to success when it comes to creating content for consumption. Marketing campaigns should go hand-in-hand with content creation. Ultimately — with one feeding off of the other when it comes to your overlaying growth strategy.
Marketing campaigns allow artists to gather data, define demographics and gain a better understanding of their core fan bases. Although creating a marketing campaign can be time consuming. The act should be considered an “Investment of Time” that will eventually lead to higher productivity and increased revenue.
Return On Time Examples
- Sales tracking: This is where an efficient marketing funnel comes into play. If you’re able to track fans and engage with them based on where they are in the marketing campaign you are much more likely to increase overall revenue vs. using mass marketing and waiting for fans to contact you. This is a great way to guide people along the sales cycle as they engage with your content such as commenting on social media or blog posts, streaming music, opening emails or subscribing to your newsletter.
- Fewer mistakes: “Success isn’t always about greatness.” Keeping things consistent is an art form that should always be practiced. When combined with organization, this can create a new standard for your content. Less mistakes = more productivity. This is crucial in maintaining a carefully constructed ROI.
- Improved efficiency: Creating a scheme behind your content provides freedom. More time to manage, create and engage with fans. This can be beneficial in a number of ways when measuring ‘Return on Time’. It allows you to cultivate a production cycle for your content which puts you in a position to analyze which times work best for your fan base. If you know when, where and how, you are in a better position to be productive across the board. This can include single releases, projects and merchandise drops.
To create a routine around your marketing campaign, start planning out your ideas while working on projects and designing merchandise. You should be investing the same amount of time into marketing and advertising as you do with content creation.
To be clear, I am not suggesting that you juggle business and creative endeavors as an artist. The key is to gain knowledge on what needs to be done when it comes to executing your vision. Then, positioning people within your supporting team to help you add value to the operation.
Everyone can’t go viral, so it’s important to have a solid foundation in place where you can build awareness and connect with potential fans in your target market. Effective marketing campaigns have a direct correlation with growth and revenue.
Companies like Apple — through the visionary leadership of Steve Jobs — has produced some of the World’s most legendary product launches. Consistently selling millions of iPads, iPhones and other Apple products in a single weekend. Artists should treat their content and merchandise the same as any high-end product.
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The key is to focus on the people.
How can you evoke emotion, create buzz and push the narrative when it comes to your content?
This is why content marketing is a continual learning experience.
“Anything that can be measured, can be improved.”
Content marketing combines strategy, experimentation and research. To realistically see the results of your efforts it will take at least 6 months to a year. Once you do find a formula that works, you can begin to repeat the process.
That is why marketing campaigns should be considered to be an “Investment of Time”. The time is going to past regardless, how you choose to invest that time will be ultimately be the deciding factor when it comes to the success of your releases.
The reasoning behind strategy, experimentation and research is that you need time to identify which content resonates with your target audience. Once you identify those underlying factors you can begin to plan marketing campaigns around your fan base.
One of my most favorable quotes from Dwight Eisenhower is,
Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower made this statement while preparing for the invasion of Normandy, having a clear understanding that nothing goes as planned. The statement speaks more to the process of planning and how action can present a focal point during times of uncertainty.
Plans are more static and help identify goals, objectives and target points.
Planning is the all-encompassing process that can be backed by consistency & persistence.
When it comes to business, creative endeavors and life in general. Being able to adapt and be flexible may be the difference between success and failure.
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For all content creators, routines have proven to be powerful. True mastery is achieved through the discipline that comes with setting deadlines and keeping a schedule. Even if it’s self-administered, the act of keeping a schedule allows for the process of planning.
The process of planning includes forming effective habits, critical thinking and creating an environment where you can anticipate and react to any given situation.
Plans are a valuable management tool because they can help content creators establish an understanding of what can happen in the future, as well as being prepared to face adversity.
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The meaning behind “Creativity Under Fire” speaks to the power that comes with the process of planning and having the ability to get back on schedule when something doesn’t go according to plan.
In a way, the phrase makes “plans” seem redundant for creativity.
To provide clarity, plans are essentially blueprints — most importantly — they provide content creators with the opportunity to discuss ideas, challenge assumptions and analyze alternatives.
The philosophy behind ‘Plans are nothing; Planning is everything’, is that when volatility is prevalent within an environment. The process of planning can help you identify opportunities and challenges, then act as a catalyst to help you successfully maneuver to your goals.
Unite The Process Of Planning & The Power Of Consistency To Build A Brand
The process of planning and consistency also go hand-in-hand. Being consistent as a content creator provides a number of benefits that can help you create a marketing campaign, build a brand and develop a network.
The key is to create a marketing schedule, establish a pattern and stick to the predetermined timeline. The power of consistency is that you decide how it’s regulated. Consistency doesn’t have to be defined as every single day or every week.
You have the power within yourself to create content at your own pace. This includes content production, marketing campaigns and building your brand. The byproduct of consistency is that you can build a following by doing what’s comfortable for you.
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Consistency helps build brand awareness and the process of planning provides a foundation for growth. A major aspect of consistency is planning, having a concrete plan in place will increase your odds of success.
Consistency can also help you build relationships and form connections with your fan base. Consistently being in front of your target market can queue people to engage with your content. This will naturally establish credibility and increase traffic to your content.
To begin, create a content schedule. This will act as a blueprint for your creativity, as well as a schedule for your followers. Creating a content schedule naturally gives people an idea of when to check back for new content.
This is why consistency is an effective psychological strategy. No matter if you put out content daily or weekly, fans of your content will subconsciously be triggered by new posts or queues.
For starters, you can plan out your marketing campaign by identifying what resources are available to you (time, energy, money etc). Will you be able to produce content every single day or every week?
The focal point should be centered around what’s comfortable to you. This includes what makes sense for your fan base and factoring in what you need to do to accomplish your goals.
Consistency is a major factor in the planning process and is key to creating a marketing campaign.
Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to determine your advertising budget and identify some key resources to include your marketing campaign. A number of key identifiers are:
- Organize Visuals — This can include photo and video. Organizing your visuals will also help you to determine your brand aesthetics. This is a major part of your marketing campaign because it will allow you to see what people like, dislike and/or react to.
- Create/Gather Digital Assets — This is where you identify which platforms that will be used to help you build awareness during your marketing campaign. Ultimately, you want to reach your target market where they live. Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, etc.
- Create Email Marketing Templates — Email marketing can be under-utilized given its effectiveness. Most industry professionals aren’t going to be on social media all the time. Email is a great way to connect with the press, media and other industry regulars. Your email marketing campaign should include brand messaging, releases, show dates, announcements, tour dates, etc.
- Offer pre-sales for project/merchandise — Pre-sales are a great way to gauge demand for a given release or product. The key is to gather data, whether it be for an increased investment into advertising, merchandise or booking a bigger venue for a show.
- Hyper-Connection — From a business standpoint, you need to operate like companies who execute product releases/launches. This includes advertising, creating value, future placements, sponsorships, etc. Everything needs to be hyper-connected between digital assets and content/products.
The beauty behind economics and music is this: if a person buys an album, what is the likelihood that they will buy a concert ticket? Merchandise? Your next album?
Marketing campaigns can put you in a position to be successful. Always remember, building a fan base is all about operating off of indicators & consumer behavior is a great way to help you execute with faith, effort and consistency.
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“Duplicate the thoughts and actions of successful people and you too will become successful.” — Grant Cardone
To bring it all together for your future marketing campaign. I want to discuss a strategy that I use to execute my marketing campaigns and product launches.
There’s a number of factors that play a part in cultivating your marketing campaigns. I like to utilize a three step process:
Lets go over the three aspects below.
Your marketing campaign should allow you to process, produce and perform. Keep in mind — it’s important not to overthink your marketing process. Your creative territory should give you the creative room to freely think and piece together information as needed.
The generation stage will allow you to formulate and create patterns within your content. This can include writing notes, reviewing talking points or simply researching.
“Every composer knows the anguish and despair occasioned by forgetting ideas which one has not the time to write down.”
The evaluation stage naturally follows the generation stage. This is where you can examine all of the information you have collected. This is why having a bulletin board or work table for reviewing your information is essential in your marketing campaign.
This plays into the physical aspect of being comfortable and in tune with your marketing efforts. Many movies and television shows have popularized the wall covered with Post-it notes or the laboratory where the next big scientific breakthrough happens.
This aspect of the marketing process within a creative space is played out beautifully in the movie “Ex Machina”.
Ironically — a marketing experience within a marketing experiment.
The clip touches on what I mentioned earlier by evoking emotion, creating buzz and pushing the narrative. Check out the scene below.
Implementation within your marketing campaign is the final aspect behind marketing within a given environment. The implementation stage speaks more to the distribution and infrastructure that enable profitability.
With the start of 2021 just around the corner and the chances of returning to a pre-pandemic nightlife industry looking very unlikely. It’s time for artists to start focusing on marketing, branding and strategic partnerships.
This aspect of earning money holds great potential for artists because everyone is — essentially — starting at square one. Disruption breeds opportunity and right now is the ideal time to build, form relationships and better your position as an artist in the COVID-19 Era.
Economically, an assumption that is safe to make is that people will NEVER stop listening to music, even if the draw of a live experience has been taken away. There’s an opportunity for artists on all levels to connect with businesses — locally & nationally — that have a shared or similar target audience. Taking advantage of these opportunities can increase budget and overall reach.
“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man!”
This famous Jay-Z lyric is impressive because it speaks to the opportunities that are created from operating as a business and treating your brand as such. As artists, you have a direct line to consumers that reach past television, advertising and even social media.
Focusing on marketing, branding and messaging shouldn’t take away from your creative process. Although, it should push you to examine your personal experiences with artist development and infrastructure. The key is to explore your target market and identify what businesses share the same audience.
The opportunities that come with sponsorship and strategic partnerships are effective because it is a proven method of growth for all parties involved. The whole idea of treating your content as a business is based on the simple fact that artists and businesses share similar objectives.
What do businesses care about the most? What do artists care about the most? For the majority, it’s marketing and branding with profits being a byproduct of your efforts. We all are looking to grow an audience and increase profits.
It begins with brand messaging and positioning your content next to companies that share similar values. Right now is a great time to start researching your audience and connecting with companies that could a be a strategic partner.
Timing is everything.
Research events and content producers who can can bring light to your project/product. Anything that can hit the trifecta: Branding, Revenue & Networking.