Becoming a star isn’t easy. It’s hard work, involves long hours, and takes years of struggling. Musicians have to lay their passion on the line and hope that the world will love it as much as they do. For those who make it big, the work to maintain success isn’t done in one day — or by one person. The stars who reach the top do so with a team and a strategy to get there. Their talent isn’t just their passion, it’s their business. Managing themselves and their product from a business standpoint is vital to their success.
Businesses can learn a lot from the various models that famous musicians have used in order to gain popularity and stay in the public eye. They are active on social media, have built a solid brand, can adapt to new audiences, break the same old marketing models, and, above all, stay true to themselves. Many businesses can use these marketing skills in their own branding in order to gain and keep popularity themselves.
The Importance of Social Media
Social media has become a staple in marketing, so the importance of this tool goes without saying. However, it’s important to be strategic in your social media presence. It’s not enough just to have a social media account for your business and to keep up with it. The most prominent musicians utilize social media to talk directly to their fan base. Those who make the biggest impact on social media post about trending topics, make sure their posts are evergreen, partner with other top influencers, utilize multiple social media outlets, and keep track of the posts that are the most popular.
In December of 2018, the Twitter account with the most followers was a musician. Katy Perry has the most followers on Twitter at 106 million. The second most followed person on Instagram in December of 2018 was also a musician. Selena Gomez had 144.5 million followers, preceded only by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Building a Brand
Musicians create a brand for themselves that is a strong story and visual identity. When you think about the biggest names in music today, you may think about the oddity and freedom of Lady Gaga or the endearing romanticism that is Ed Sheeran. Each of their own personal branding speaks to their message and impact, and businesses should focus on how that idea can translate to their company. Each company has a personality that should be showcased in their branding. Whether it be efficiency, simplicity, or creativity, that brand should be illustrated in a variety of ways.
Building a brand involves creating marketing materials in design, name, logo, etc. It’s about speaking to your audience, believing in a message, and sticking by core values and beliefs. Beyonce may change up her look, but she’s always going to be about empowerment and soul and that is what branding is about.
Adapting to a New Audience
The biggest stars in music have staying power. That is not always an easy task as it becomes more difficult to reach wider audiences as time goes by. However, many musicians manage to adapt to new audiences while still staying true to their die-hard fanbase. This ability to adapt is crucial in marketing to a new customer base. In creating goals for your company, it’s important to have both long-term and short-term goals in mind. In the short-term, focus on marketing the now — advertising your current products, maintaining your loyal fanbase, and staying present on social media. In the long-term, focus on doing research for new audiences and platforms. Stay ahead of industry changes and adapt as the industry does in order to gain a new audience.
Eminem was one of the bestselling artists of 2018. That’s pretty impressive considering the album that jump started his mainstream success was released almost 20 years ago. However, Eminem has always been great about adapting to new and younger audiences by collaborating with other artists, being controversial by nature, and creating innovative content. Businesses can learn from this model as well by considering how collaboration and innovation can help them to adapt to a new audience.
Breaking the Model
Whether you’re starting a business, releasing a new product, or making a change in business, there are a few marketing strategies to use. When anything new happens, the idea is to market and advertise as much as you can and to create a strategy and push your reach as far as you can take it. Many work to concentrate their marketing in the establishment of their social media presence in focusing on their followers and reaching an audience that way. Others may utilize brand ambassadors, create content in different mediums, or utilize event marketing. Don’t be afraid to break the model and do something new, or take on a different tactic. In truth, you can implement many strategies at once.
Musicians market themselves, their tours, and their albums with some tried and true strategies: interviews, red carpets, social media, etc. However, some artists have broken that model and reaped huge rewards for it. In 2016, Kendrick Lamar had just won a Grammy for Best Rap Album, then dropped a few teasers on social media about something new coming up. Not even a month later, after establishing buzz, he dropped a surprise album — a surprise-release strategy that businesses can utilize as well. The album immediately took the #1 spot on the Billboard top 200. His fan base new something was coming, when it hit it was hugely exciting, and the profit rolled in.
Staying True to Yourself
The most famous musicians have one thing in common among their many differences: authenticity. Being active on social media, building a brand, adapting to new audiences, and trying new strategies in marketing are useless if you’re not staying true to your company. When you’re working on innovation and creativity with your business model, find the middle ground between evolution and turning into a company that you didn’t mean to create in the first place. Trends are important in business, and marketing is all about utilizing those trends. However, the best businesses, and the best musicians, create the trends instead of following them. Authenticity will be the most important attribute in your business model and marketing efforts.
Being famous and being immensely popular as a musician is all about marketing skills, public relations, and advertising. There are plenty of talented and special artists in the world who many will never hear. It’s all about having the right connections, getting in front of the right people, and having the tools to reach as many people as possible. Business marketing is not all that different. Creating a product that is new and different while getting it into the hands of a customer base involves the same type of marketing skills. However, record-breaking artists like Cardi B have worked hard and marketed their way from the bottom to the top. Tenacity is key, and that’s possibly the most important skill that businesses can learn from famous musicians.