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Music marketing: a guide to improve artist-fan relationships

Back in the old days, artist/fan relationships were easy to determine. A band performs, cd’s are sold and new fans become a member of fan clubs. A few easy to measure, standalone pillars in an even more easy music market. 

But that’s the old days. The time before the internet took over and won the music industry.

Here comes the challenging part: how to improve artist/fan relationships using online marketing. 

So what’s ‘new’?

The term ‘new’ is relative of course as most music marketing activities of the past decade have been focussed on online marketing. But what is definitely new (since the shift from physical) is the way we measure relationships. Digital interactions can be measured, tracked and traced. This opens up a wide range of opportunities for improving marketing efforts.

Social media accounts play a crucial role in this story. Often first impressions of an unknown artist evolve around the number of followers he or she has. Sadly, this elusive number is often taken as a sign of success or quality. For several reasons this is dangerous to do:

Fake followers

Most independent artists will deny ever buying social media followers. But smart technologies, available for everyone who is just a little tech-savvy, unveil old marketing tricks like buying fans or profiles to follow you. Often artists appear to have a large social network, but in fact, these communities were (partially) filled by click farms. Which automatically leads us to the biggest problem: the active/inactive follower ratio.

Inactive followers

Like mentioned above, buying fake followers leads to a large percentage of inactive users on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But that’s not the only reason why large portions of a community become inactive. Inactivity is also caused by serving the wrong content, posting at the wrong times and not posting at all. 

Followers are fans; they should be treated accordingly. Not every fan wants the same level of interaction with an artist (that is where Kwettr comes in place).

Quantity over quality

An artist can have as many followers as he or she can buy, but if the quality of the music isn’t what people expect it to be, online marketing success will never be achieved. Great content and live shows are the starting point.

Artist/fan relationships: the importance of good performance

An artist taking the stage realizes all too well that his every move will be broadcasted over the internet. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube are filled with reminders of how good (or poor) his performance was. 

The success of a music career can be made or broken by social media. User-generated content or content from the artist/festival plays a crucial role in online marketing. 

Interactions with fans during and after a show are fed through social media, yet another big opportunity for the artist to improve the relationship with his fanbase and grow revenue streams.

The role of releasing music in building relationships

Here’s where content marketing comes in place. Using a good piece of content can easily help an artist grow interactivity with his online fanbase. 

HD content, teasers, artwork are all examples of content suitable to get fans to hit the like, share or follow button.

A good example is sync licensing. A good sync deal improves content marketing efforts, not only for the artist but also for the licensee. Take Swedish artist Zoo Brazil: one of his album tracks was licensed by L’Oreal for a Dermablend commercial. 

This controversial commercial (in which a fully tattooed actor unveils his body and therewith the power of the product Dermablend) led to over 500.000 views in the first few months on YouTube. The Dermablend video generated more views than regular music videos.

Dermablend got more interactions and followers, Zoo Brazil’s social activity spiked leaving him with a large part of ‘activated’ followers. A well-conducted content marketing strategy and a good example of how to make money with music.

How to build relationships with your fans

Kwettr’s Share Music Tools allow artists to reward their fans with exclusive content when fans tweet, like, share or follow. An online, web-based tool that fans use to unlock content.

Based on visits to the so-called Share Music Tool, segments of fans are created. Fans who visited the tool once are placed in the early stage of the funnel. Fans who repeatedly visit the tool for more content move up in the funnel. A so-called buyer persona.

The higher up in the funnel, the more interaction a fan has shown with the artist (more visits, likes, shares).

Here comes the smart technology part: Kwettr Share Music Tools can show different content in different stages of the funnel. So returning fans are welcomed with a personal note and different content, suitable for their level of interaction. The Kwettr system automatically detects users with high interaction levels.

Taking it a step further: a follow-up

The Kwettr system lets fans opt-in to sharing their email addresses (GDPR proof). This means that when fans interact, the artist who made the Share Music Tool can see what fans are most dedicated. These fans can be contacted by the artist.

For example via email when the artist is back in town for a gig or has a new album. Marketing automation made social.

How to invite fans for the Kwettr Share Music Tool in a social way:

To drive traffic to the Kwettr Share Music Tool artists can send personalized invites in bulk, using their social media accounts. For example a Direct Message Campaign on Twitter. It’s social media marketing for artists.

Kwettr filters the most active Twitter users and sends them personalized direct messages with links to the Share Music Tool. Only the most dedicated fans receive an invitation, leading to conversions of over 30%. As opposed to email marketing (1%) this is phenomenal.

To summarize:

  • Kwettr Share Music Tools allow artists to improve the artist/fan relationship
  • Direct Message Campaigns invite the most active users to receive free exclusive content, raising activity.

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