6 Things to Ask Before Whipping up An Artist Marketing Strategy

Updated: Sep 22

Content is everywhere. How can artists differentiate themselves in this already crowded space?

With CDs getting scarcer and streaming services increasing over time, the shift in content consumption brings to mind two questions.

  1. How will artists better position themselves in this increasingly competitive market?

  2. How will business models change to adapt to today’s consumer behaviour?

One of the ways to address #1 is through video. According to a whitepaper released by Cisco in February 2016, titled Cisco Visual Networks Index: Forecast & Methodology 2015-2020, it will take an individual more than 5 million years to watch the amount of video crossing global IP networks every month in 2020. The whitepaper also states that Internet video to TV is growing at a rapid pace and expected to increase 3.6-fold by 2020.

To put in greater perspective, an infographic by Syndacast on Video Marketing Trends in 2015 estimates more than 74% of internet traffic will come from video by 2017. In this same infographic, more than 69% of smartphone users identified video as the perfect way to quickly grasp the "message" a video aims to convey and makes a decision/conclusion right after.

Back to the point on how artists should better position themselves? To kickstart the process, here are some initial questions to ask:

(i) The type of artist do you want to be or create?

Important to identify and stick to your guns. Content supply, or rather, accessibility is clearly more than demand and the only way to differentiate is to be truly authentic. Whether you choose to be indie or a pop artist, if you’re great at what you do, there will be an audience.

(ii) What resources are available to you?

Knowing the resources you have allows for better planning on where to use it. If there’s abundant monetary capital, you’re in luck. There will be more flexibility in choosing the method in getting your music heard. But if you’re bootstrapping, human resource (your family and friends) is the next best thing. Through the simple word-of-mouth advertising and social media sharing in an existing network, it could create a butterfly effect and its results might even surprise you.

(iii) Are you already putting out content?

If so, where? How? How often? Is the content translated to suit the local market? These are questions that should align with the amount of resource available. Constantly evaluate the effectiveness of these distribution channels and keep A/B testing your content for more precise results and data.

(iv) Who makes up your existing fan base?

Identify any data you could get your hands on to better understand what they like, where they’re from and use that as a basis to increase engagement with them. In a world where consumers are spoilt for choice, targeted marketing and knowing your audience has never been this important.

(v) What are other similar artists (aka your competition) doing?

Not encouraging plagiarism nor following what others do, but it’s helpful to know what others are doing, either right or wrong. Ideas could be original, but are also borrowed from other sources. It’s all up to your creativity!

(vi) What do you want to achieve in the next few years?

I’m a firm believer that if a person does what he/she is passionate about, they will work hard at it without dragging their feet out of bed (for the most part!).

With the above answered, it should create the framework of your plan and gradually your artist strategy will get clearer. Good luck!

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