There is a number of channels out there to push, and where you want to believe there is no such thing as bad publicity (argumentative), there is definitely such thing as bad, ineffective promotion. Especially with the internet, people are thrown numbers such $10 and get 100,000 followers and believe this will bring them 100,000 FANS by tomorrow. Keep in mind we say “Fans” which is a very loose concept when it comes to internet/social media. Any pro marketer will tell you a fan is not a number. This is an individual who adores what you do and how you do it. So if you drop a new mixtape, they know its going to be hot, so they run to go cop it because they enjoy your music. If you have a show coming up, they mark it on their calender to attend. There are too many artists that believe 1000s of FB friends translate to “fans”, yet these followers never show any real support for the brand. Did you get at least 10% that engaged your last service offer? 5%? 1%?
Probably one of the most ineffective sources to expose your brand would definitely be promotional channels that cater to other artist. Keep note the sources that fall into this category:
- radio stations that encourage submissions that don’t advertise to the general public. (primarily online stations)
- most singular hip hop blogs
- paid featured spots for national acts
We at GG, have been through many opportunities like these that seem like opps with huge potential deals when we heard the numbers. “We’ll put you in front of half million people”. ” We’ll give you instant spins, nationally”. “You can get 5000 more fans, TOMORROW.” “We’ll have you perform on (such and such)concert.” Heard it, seen it, done it, and spent it many times with all these different platforms. The consistent catch that caught us, like so many, is the ability to skip the hard grind process. The step of attracting loyal fan base is by a lot of face to face time and pertinent engagement with them . If you have tried it, you know what we mean. How many people engage your posts after these runs? How many showing up for your shows? Can you sell that following? With spending that money and hearing the “ting” sound each time you get a new follow offer, you interpret success, and believe this translates to $$. So if your next service offer is a performance, you will sell out by yourself, right? The answer is “NO”.
Starting off with Social Media, the “Pay for Adds” service garners intrigue because it eliminates putting time to add when you could be doing something else. Yet most of these profiles are fake, or low used profiles. The user is not seeing your posts, and even if they do they primarily have no idea who you are, so they look it over. They just accepted your post request generally assuming they met you somewhere and just forgot who you are. But because you do not have that initial impression on them, they don’t have the interest to engage with you or your brand. When you live in the indie hip hop music realm, your fans engage you rather than commercial artists because they feel a more realistic personalized connection. If a artist has the mindset to draw in 100 new genuine fans rather than a 1000 new in-genuine, the results are more prestine and authentic. This is the “adds” that translate to lucrative gain for artist brand. Which of course is the main goal most artists want.
Most online radio is probably the group of the worst promotional channels when it comes to indie hip hop. Once again, throwing numbers out that spark interest to you and the cost being so low it, sounds like a great deal. Right? All you hear is “radio”. The almighty broadcast outlet that you first heard your childhood icons NWA, Grandmaster Flash, KRS-One and the list goes on. And now YOU! However, you have to differentiate between the two. Those stations evolved into high listenership commercial stations. The problem with majority of these online stations is they are not promoted lucratively. Which means that the everyday listener is not there listening to the content on the station. You the artist are not catering to your market; the music listener. Your catering to other artists. They, just like you, engulf the feeling received when they hear your music on a public platform mixed in with other artists doing the same. There is a false sense of establishment by partaking in this façade. Destroy this illusion by a comparison to the radio channels the established artists brands are played. Are you getting bumped while someone is on the treadmill? Is your music being admired by hip hop music enthusiasts as they cook? Probably not! Your just listening to hear your song on there, like all the other artists on that station. Therefore, the saturation leaves your music, and your brand, just like a needle in a haystack.
Now paid feature opps to open for shows is not the worse option when it comes to exposure opportunities. The issue is many artists do not embrace the opp and integrate with the crowd to intrigue these new fans. The reason is not that its not a good opp, its the artist has not taken full advantage of the opportunity. Here you have the crowd and it is your target market. But you have to make the opp yours. Artist overestimate the perceived value to their brand since their name is on the bottom of the flyer. There is pretty much nobody there looking forward to your performance. You have to use the opp as the ultimate exposure opp. Get CD’s, promotion material, or merchandise in their hands before, during, and after the show. There should be signs, vehicle wraps, and/or booths pushing your brand. You have to make the opp your own. Artists have to make the audience want to engage their brand. The important action is to impress this new crowd beyond means by flourishing the brand all over the facility.
There is only one key to guaranteed legitimate success and growing your engagement. You must ENGAGE your audience consistently over time. “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. If you decide to got to a promotional outlet that promises you industry results for a eighth of the price, ask questions: “How long does the promo go?” “What is the average listenership?” Let them report to you how their audience engages them, so you have a better idea of how your brand is being represented. We recommend comparing it to the successful artists and see which outlets they are using. Most successful entities did not reinvent the wheel. Have a certified consulitory service like one of our Gwop Ghettas Service Plans to help you to analyze each opportunity and decipher how it will benefit your brand. Screening is important to plan and construct a good strategy to flourish any opp or deduce if its even a worthy opp. It may sound good when you hear the output, but we conclude that you could have spent $50towards more efficient one off promotions to get a 100 legitimate fans, rather that 5000 hollow fans that do not correspond with the brand at all.
– Gwop Ghettas, facebook.com/gwopghettas
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