A lot of businesses have been directly or indirectly affected by the pandemic, and the music industry is no exception. Record labels, now more than ever, have been forced into experimenting with new marketing tactics to keep their artists relevant.
In this article, we’re presenting 9 tips for record labels to stay connected with their audiences during this unprecedented time.
1. Do Live Streams (A lot)
You’ve seen those, right? Well, how can you not with so many video platform algorithms taking every chance to feature them at the top of your feed!
To be honest, no one is complaining. I mean, live streams are as close as you can get to the real deal, only from the comfort of your couch, or bed. Also, doing live streams is one of the major ways EDM artists are coping during covid 19.
Unfortunately, such gigs aren’t exactly money makers (in fact, they are rarely paid), however, they’re fantastic exposure and help so many people stay entertained in these times of distress.
2. Host Drive-in Concerts
Even in the pandemic, people in the US have figured out a way to party. It was only a matter of time until musicians and promoters saw the potential in the old school concept of drive-in theaters and made something equally awesome – drive-in concerts.
Some of the names who have joined the automotive part scene so far include Snoop Dogg (aka DJ Snoopadelic) and The Beach Boys. Just remember to check for safe spatial requirements and keep the ticket prices reasonable, fans aren’t making as much money either!
3. Tread with Empathy
As much as they love music, fans are also affected by the pandemic, so purchasing your music may not be their top priority. It’s crucial to keep this in mind when promoting new albums.
While it’s nice to keep selling, your marketing approach needs to show a lot of empathy so that people know you don’t just care about their money. Make sure your messages and narrative across any platform are more relevant and insightful.
4. Be a Part of the Community
Your record label is not the only one out there, so don’t act like it. The last thing you want to be is the ‘one’ brand that only talks about itself.
Granted, it’s important to be promotional, but it’s just as important to be social. You can toot your own horn across social media, but spend as much effort giving back to the community and engaging with the fans. Help out aspiring brands, do collabs, give shout outs – it’ll pay off to be kind.
5. Branch Out
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social platforms are excellent for staying connected with the audience, but there’s more to the internet than that. Not all music fanatics are scrolling through their social media all day, some like to play games, get creative on Pinterest, or have discussions on Reddit.
Consider branching out to different areas of the online world. A terrific example is what Travis Scott did when he, along with his team, partnered with Fortnite for an insanely popular concert.
The event drew around 12 million players into the in-game show and The concert drew 12 million fans into the in-game show and helped his new single to an explosive launch.
6. Hold a Live Charity Event
Just like a live stream, only with your label donating for charity the more fans are watching and spreading the love. Spreading hope during a pandemic is a remarkable thing to do. Just look at recording artists holding live charity events to raise funds for frontline workers and charitable organizations. Lady Gaga helped raise $128 million for health care workers through the virtual “Together at Home” concert where various artists and celebrities took part.
Record labels can also organize similar online “quarantine concerts” featuring their artists. Fans will love the opportunity to catch their favorite artist’s performance online while knowing that proceeds will go to a good cause such as COVID-19 relief efforts. Another option if you can’t organize your own online concerns is to join other online charity concerts that are being organized. Not only will record labels be able to promote their artists, but they will also be able to contribute to the community. I
7. Listen to the Fans
Listen to the fans and followers who take time out of their day to find you online and give feedback. Consider what they have to say, even if it’s not all positive things. In addition to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, internet video platforms such as YouTube, Twitch and even Instagram live sessions are great ways to interact with fans and hear what they have to say.
For example, Chris Martin sang Coldplay songs during and Instagram Live. DJ Diplo did a series of live streams on Twitch called the Corona World Tour. One added bonus of these video streams is that fans can comment during the sessions and feel connected with their favorite singers.
8. Be Generous
If possible, offer discounts, promotions, or gifts-on-purchase. It’s a good deed and a great strategy to give the fans a little something extra to be happy about. They’ll remember it.
While holding ticketed online concerts is one way of earning revenue while physical concerts are not allowed, offering virtual concerts for free is an excellent way for record labels and musicians to show not just their generosity but genuine appreciation for loyal fans who have always supported them.
9. Know Your Audience
Every social media or online platform has its own unique culture. The way you deliver your content needs to match the type of audience in that platform. Delivery is key if you want to be acknowledged.
Should you use TikTok, Instagram Live or YouTube to share content with your fans? Record labels should know the online platforms that their audience use. Once you have selected your social media platform, think about the content that you will share. To truly engage fans, you need to have content that they can connect with.
You can have artists hold regular mini talk shows via YouTube. They can also perform songs or share their personal hobbies during Instagram Live. Getting on the TikTok trend is a great way to connect with millennials or Gen Z if that’s your main audience.
Another example of how a record label understands what their audience wants is when Epic Records organized online meet-and-greet sessions for selected fans to meet Meghan Trainor before her online concert. Think of it as the virtual version of backstage concert passes where fans can meet artists!
Although there are many ways to connect with your audience these days, remember that the number of views or subscribers that you get on your online platforms is not the most important thing. What matters is making an authentic and personal connection with your audience.