In my previous marketing article I talked about permission marketing and how it is important to create hype for our musical products in order to get people asking for them instead of us actually invading people’s inboxes. If you haven’t read it, I advise that you do before you proceed with this piece. (You can read it here)
This piece wants to reveal the one key ingredient that will set your marketing plan ablaze. Nothing can go viral without this key ingredient and a lot of big underground careers have been built upon this.
The key ingredient I am talking about is “discussion”. Yes, just that… DISCUSSION. Bear with me for some seconds whilst I explain how.
Discussion is what we spend time doing on Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp all day. Discussion is commenting, chatting, tweeting, sharing and retweeting. It also extends to word of mouth interactions. This means that discussions are happening at your local saloon, in shops, bars, internet cafes, bedrooms and private chats. Subjects vary from Itai Dzamara, Magaya vs. Vapostori, Dynamos and Caps, Game of Thrones and so forth. Your job in marketing is to be in one of those discussions at least for your core audience. People certainly do not discuss new music all day, but the few minutes they do, you need to be the topic.
Ever wondered why 50 Cent posts Instagram messages that get Hip-hop blogs talking about him all day? Maybe you heard about Kim Kardasian showing off her behind and millions of blogs; from important ones to amateur ones started talking about her. Some said it was fantastic, some said it was immoral and disgusting. The others suggested that we should stop talking about Kim Kardasian because we were giving her too much attention, but by so doing they were also talking about her (by saying don’t talk about her). This may have aroused the curiosity of someone who never would have otherwise known her to Google her and what she does… perhaps despite the current buzzing story he or she would instantaneously become a fan.
I’d say by design or by accident, Schingy manages to hang about our discussions as Zim Hip-hop. At the level he stays in our discussions if he were creating stellar content he would definitely be amongst the Ba Shupi’s.
The buzz must come along with good content unfortunately (or fortunately). In fact it’s better when the buzz is actually created by great content. Karma does not buzz for anything other than his rap skills for example. The Control-Verse was still art as well by the way. His album Chasing Moments is listed almost every day by Hip-hop fans whenever a top 10 Zimabwean hip-hop albums is mentioned. The lists may vary, but it is quite uncommon to overlook SynCity, Chasing Moments and occasionally the first Masofa Panze.
Now I want you to imagine you were new to Hip-hop in Zimbabwe and were trying to fit in so in order to save time you wanted to get all the good albums first. Would you not first search for the most talked about artistes in the groups you’re in or the guys that keep getting listed every time the best albums are talked about. Not to brag but my blog probably comes to mind every time hip-hop blogs are discussed. Whether you are bashing me for swerving your tracks, gossiping about my bars or praising me I come to mind.
Any marketer who is well versed with the law of leadership will tell you that the best brand is always first to mind. You just have to be one of the first ten people of your category to come to mind if someone is told to list them quickly at gun point. No let’s cut that list to five, ten is too much because number 2 is the first loser.
Everyone knows the first man to land on the moon. Who was the 2nd?
Name good female vocalists of our time: Cindy Munyavi, YoCa, Davina Green, Shingi Mangoma, Cynthia Mare… then my brakes screech…. If I must scratch dandruff from my head to remember you, you have work to do. Top of the dome you just have to be part of that at-least. You can go and look at their Soundcloud plays for each song yet they do not spam or post links a single day. They are in the discussions… fans marketing to fans.
When other fans spread good word about your product to other fans, you infect flashdrives like Ebola and kill the competition?
“Did you see Zvidhori video fam?”
“Why is everyone talking about 26 June, what is it?”
That curiosity that comes to those who didn’t know after discussion is very powerful. That curiosity will never come to you through a broadcast list. You may lie to yourself or pull the wool over your friends eyes about your media statistics but truth be told only you know the truth whilst sitting behind that Mediafire dashboard. Those 21 downloads haunt you in your nightmares. Those view-buying robots have no ability to discuss they are dead.
Suppose you create a powerful product and give it away to 30 people who gave you permission to distribute it to them. Those 30 people are humans by the way and have friends and relatives, some of like mind. If that product were powerful enough, the 30 would probably distribute to 2 more each on average, and these are not recorded in your Soundcloud by the way (but they will show up on ticket sales one day). You would now have a total of 90; 60 new listeners and lets suppose 40 of them would also enjoy the song and distribute it to 2 people each as well, we’d then have 80 new listeners and so forth. All from discussion.
Now why am I confident this actually works? –Well because it is backed up by human psychology. Marslows Hierrachy of needs.
People tend to share content or stuff that may interest others to extend their relationships with those people. Content is sort of like currency in this case because on stage 3 in the Hierrachy of needs are Social needs and they have to be met. This is why you share jokes you get in your inbox with your peers. If you only cared about yourself you would read it and laugh alone. However to extend your interaction with other humans, you can’t help but share it.
So in brief, make your music be something people want to recommend to their friends. Create music that your fans will feel like posting to Facebook about. Perhaps the discussion will begin in a kombi (commuter omnibus). Depending what your song is about someone might ask a fellow passenger if they’ve heard it. Perhaps it raises a key issue, that they’ve just seen outside the window.
“Did you hear the new song about police and vendors?”…
The result of that discussion is that those who hadn’t got the song may start looking for it as soon as they step out of that vehicle.
In my next article, I want to give actual practical tips and example you may replicate to get results. I understand you may get the idea I am giving you but may be puzzled on how you can get into the discussions. Worry not, I am here for that purpose.