Content Creation – The Future of Indie Music?
With the Shutdown of the gig economy with the onset of Covid 19 many artists that would have never considered live streaming have jumped into this technology. Believe it or not, these artists have become “Content Creators”!
As we move into this new world, it is clear that live music as we once knew it won’t come back for quite some time, so where does that leave the indie artist today. In order for the indie artist to stay connected to their fanbase they are going to have to up there game from simple live streaming from their living room and start exploring the art of Content Creation.
What is Content?
When you put a search term into google or any other search engine what you get as a result is content. The Bottom line is the internet is made up of CONTENT! Whether it is a written Article, Video or Audio, content is what people are looking for on the internet. Savoy content creators use this content to create value to attract people to their product or brand. If you create content that educates, engages, helps or endears people to you and your brand they will be more willing to be part of your “tribe”. Content is Power on the Internet.
Whether you know it or not, if you are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any of the other social media platforms, every time you post something you are creating content. The question is, are you using your content creation strategically to attract people to you and your brand. The content you create is what allows people to get to know who you are as an artist, person and if used correctly reinforce your image or brand for your music.
Forms of Content
Video – This is one of the most popular forms of content and can be found on such platforms as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TicTok, Twitch, etc. It is also one of the easiest forms of content that can be monetized especially on Youtube.
Podcast – This is audio content that is also very popular for those who are on the run or on the road. Some of the platforms you can find podcasts include Spotify, Itunes, Breaker, Deezer, Tunein, Pocket Cast, Radio Public, Mixcloud, Simplecast, etc.
Written Word – These are the probably the most common form of content on the internet. This is the written content you would find in blogs, websites, news (or those who claim to be News) sources, magazines, tweets, etc.
Images – These is the age old form of communication and content. The old saying is one image is worth a 1,000 words. This still holds true today. Even if you have a written word content there is often images included in that article or post that reinforces or illustrating the point or focus of that written content. Platforms like Instagram are built entirely on the power of images. Many App developers have capitalize on this by creating “Filter Apps” to enhance photos taken with a cell phone to manipulate them into creative visual images. Let’s face it a great image can do more for your brand impression than any 1,000 word article!
Mixed – All of the above content can be combined together to create a mixed content creation. For example when we have a “Podcast” interview with an artist on “Making a Scene” we also incorporate images of the artist that is being interviewed. We include a written bio of that artist as well as production and/or performance videos, Spotify Player of the artists music and Links to that artist’s Website and Social Media Pages. A mixed content page can be powerful as it gives the reader many forms of “Content” in a single place.
Types of Content
Tutorial – This is the type of content that attracts people by virtue of the value you are giving them in learning a new skill or enhancing their skill. Examples of this can be teaching a riff of your new song to other players, teaching how you work in the studio to get a specific sound or use a specific plugin/Mic/Preamp/etc.
Interviews – Interviews are great if you have a way of talking and asking questions of someone that has a certain type of celebrity or expertise that people are interested in.
Reality – We all know the lure of Reality TV today, giving people a glimpse into your world, what happens behind the scenes, the trials and tribulations can be engaging to people and draw them to your brand. The operative word is “ENGAGING”. If you are boring you won’t get people to tune in. You can use comedy, drama, etc to spice up your content, but ALWAYS be authentic!
Rants – Some people love to rant about just about everything from politics to music! There are content creators out there that do nothing but rant and rave. In doing so they create some pretty impressive brands that they have monetized into a decent living. Whether you do it as a podcast, video vlog or written this can be a good way to bring passionate people to your passionate views.
Inspirational – Somewhat like the rant, inspirational quotes, pictures, music, videos, etc can bring you a fanbase that looks to that type of content to help them through the day.
Funny – This is pretty self explanatory, from the days of VHS tape and America’s Funniest Home Videos, Funny pictures, videos are part of the mainstay of the internet content. From Funny antics of people to cute kittens and puppies, you cannot escape this kind of infectious viral content. Anything that makes someone smile or laugh is always considered good engaging content.
Content Funnel Marketing
Nobody likes the hard sell. Constantly asking for money for your Patreon, CD sales, Merch sales, Tips for Live Streams can get pretty old real fast. The whole idea of funnel content marketing is not to ask, beg or plead for support but to give your potential benefactors value upfront. Endear them to you with free lessons on your instrument, review gear you found and really love, or even create a podcast or Vlog to promote a worthy cause.
From here you can move them from this content to your “Content Hub” (or website) where they can access your other content such as your live streams, music videos, Spotify player, Video tutorials, Behind the scenes footage, etc. Just like a funnel you start with a large capture opening that attracts a large potential base, as you move them through your other content you will distill this group to your best core of fans that will support you and your music not because you asked, but because they want to. They see you as a valuable content creator or a brand and not just another poor musician asking for help.
The key is to be consistent in your creation. You can’t just do one or two and figure you are done. You have to create new content at the very least weekly, if not daily. Even if it is just an picture once a day, a Video once a week.
The tools for creating any kind of content is available to you now. Your Cell phone can shoot 4K video, every musician has some sort of recording capability to create podcasts. You can create your own blog quickly and easily with free programs like wordpress. There really is no excuse for you not to dive into this new world.
Your Funnel marketing plan should include as many forms and types of content you can produce. The wider you make the top of your funnel the larger your chances are that you will be able to move more of them down the funnel towards the superfan.
I believe this is the future of Indie Music marketing and those who embrace and perfect the art of Funnel Content Marketing are going to be the future earners in indie music.