The annual Basilica Block Party is fast approaching (July 8-9), which gives us here at Karwoski & Courage a fun client project to work on to kick off the Summer months.
The list of bands has been announced and with such an exciting lineup, you will no doubt want to get your tickets right away.
I’ve long studied musicians’ and bands’ marketing tactics and techniques because, as struggling artists, they often arrive at innovate or clever solutions. You know the saying: Necessity is the mother of invention. So this year, I thought I’d take a look at the Basilica Block Party lineup to see what marketing lessons we could learn from this year’s bands.
[Tweet “19 Marketing Lessons From @BasilicaBP Bands #PraiseTheLoud”]
1) Lead With Your Lead Magnet
Upon visiting Death Cab For Cutie‘s website, visitors immediately get a popup window featuring the band’s latest music video from its new album. On the band’s Facebook page and Twitter account, that very same music video is featured at the top of the feed as a pinned post.
The band is using the music video as a form of a “lead magnet” under the assumtion that if you like it, you’ll want more and will be likely to buy the new album.
2) Cause Marketing
American Authors has taken a stand against gun violence. On June 2, well before the tragic shooting in Orlando, Florida, the band previewed its upcoming video advocating gun control on its Facebook page.
3) Extend Print Advertising Online
X Ambassadors posted a Best Buy print ad featuring two dollars off the Me Before You soundtrack in which one of the band’s songs was included.
4) Build Anticipation
Singer/songwriter Matt Hires builds anticipation among his Twitter followers by teasing the upcoming release of a new album:
5) Consistent Look & Feel
The Fray uses black and white for both the original photography and the video the band posts on Twitter to give that channel a unique and consistent look and feel.
— The Fray (@TheFray) October 24, 2015
— The Fray (@TheFray) December 15, 2015
6) User Generated Content
By highlighting photos Phillip Phillips‘ fans have taken on the musician’s Facebook page, he encourages more fans to share their pictures. It’s a twofer: Build loyalty and generate content easily.
7) Peek Behind The Curtain
Singer/songwriter Ron Pope uses his Tumblr blog to connect more intimately with his fans by sharing stories in his voice that allows people to peek behind the curtain of his life.
8) Live Video Q & A
Guitarist Gary Clark Jr. sat down for a live question and answer session with Rolling Stone Magazine and Facebook Live viewers after a recent concert that generated more than 48,000 views, taking advantage of Facebook’s algorithmic preference for live streaming video:
9) Zig When Everyone Else Zags
It’s entirely appropriate that a band with a name like Cold War Kids would kick it old school, and they do.
Whatever happened to your MySpace profile? You’d be forgiven if you don’t remember but the pre-Facebook social network is alive and kickin,’ having turned itself into a destination for music. Cold War Kids is taking full advantage of that fact, with more than 129,000 followers on MySpace.
10) Nostalgia Marketing
Andra Day‘s style harkens back to that of the glamorous film stars of the 40s and 50s and to singers such as Billie Holiday, giving her a distinct look from that of her contemporaries.
11) Visual Communications
Ryan Adams is not just a musician and a songwriter; he’s also an artist. He adds a new dimension to his “product” by delighting his fans not only musically but also visually by sharing his artistic creations online.
Folk duo Milky Chance makes it easy for fans to find just what they want by segmenting its YouTube videos into playlists for official videos, live performances, interviews, and commentaries on individual songs.
The added benefit of creating YouTube playlists is that their videos are more likely to earn views by being set up in the autoplay format of playlists.
13) Earned Media As Content
Craig Finn, guitarist/singer/songwriter Of The Hold Steady is careful to share any earned media he receives on his social channels. Doing so builds credibility because it’s better to have a third party singing your praises than you doing so yourself and sharing a link to an article about you is an easy way to fill content in social channels.
14) Break Your Own News
You no longer have to go through media to break news. You can break your own news, which is what Gospel Machine did by announcing their disbanding and final concerts on the group’s Facebook page.
As musicians from Minneapolis, Fort Wilson Riot has a special affinity with hometown musical icon Prince, as did the duos fans. They shared their fan’s sorrow upon Prince’s death with their own rendition of I Would Die 4 U.
Step Rockets has taken the popular infographic format and put it to use in the form of a concert tour poster.
17) Come Along For The Ride
Farewell Milwaukee gives its Twitter followers a taste of the touring life with status updates from the road, providing fans with a vicarious experience of the life of a band.
— Farewell Milwaukee (@Farewaukee) April 10, 2016
18) Ad Hoc Branding
When Holidae played a gig at Target Field, they made sure everyone knew about it with appropriate, ad hoc branding.
Last, but certainly not least: Humor (as long as you’re actually funny) can go a long way toward earning people’s attention and endearing yourself to them. Eric Mayson displays his dry (literally) humor on his Instagram account.