Understanding content helps music brands build strong connections to your audience.
In the beginning, there was content.
It’s been around since humans first painted the animals they hunted on cave walls, when hieroglyphics were etched in stone, and stories were inscribed on papyrus scrolls.
In the Dark Ages, monks transcribed content by candlelight. After Johannes Gutenberg’s printing revolution, a wave of content spread over the world. Today, we spend incredible amounts of time sorting out what’s worth reading, watching and listening to, and what’s not.
Content marketing is one of the biggest marketing buzzwords of the past 15 years. But what does it mean to a music brand, and how is it defined?
Before the internet, content was the stuff you wanted to read in a magazine or book. It was the TV shows and movies you watched and the songs you heard on the radio.
Then the world moved online. A vast empty was created. Websites could have unlimited pages. A company could have unlimited sites. Content fills and fuels the internet.
Content is something of interest to somebody. It could be a photo, video, blog, infographic, list, tip, podcast, checklist, quiz, review, mash-up, editorial, article, song, meme, livestream, playlist or story. Content mostly applies to things seen or heard on the internet. Strictly speaking, a print magazine published by a company is considered content.
Content isn’t advertising. It isn’t banners, pop-ups, or anything else so nakedly promotional. But you should be aware of content called native advertising. Before the internet, native advertising was an advertorial. Now it’s called a sponsored post or featured partner or other vague names. It masquerades as editorial, when in fact it’s written by or for a company.
For music brands, content is information tailored to musicians that’s educational, entertaining, builds your brand, and is valuable. Good content is worth seeking out, spending time with, and sharing. Good content boosts interactions with your brand.
Here are three types of content relevant to music brands:
Informational content. This is the stuff that makes up most of the universe of web content. For music brands, it might be tips on tuning an instrument, a video about getting a certain sound from your amp, or a blog post about an artist using your gear in a unique way. It’s promotional, but subtle.
Branded content. This is designed to build emotional connections to your audience that, in turn, builds your brand. It’s content that could be made in conjunction with a film studio, production house, magazine, video game company or other sources—think The Lego Movie. It might be a documentary on your company’s history or a series of magazine articles or a microsite about artists who used your instruments that you produced with a publishing company. Branded content is a potent mix of branding and entertainment.
User-generated content. Let your audience work for you. This is a way to build connections to your brand by encouraging participation. You could run a web-based contest where musicians play a song using your instrument. Or it could let your audience submit photos to a web page of artists using your instrument or gear while performing. The tricky part of user-generated content is monitoring and ensuring it’s consistent with your brand image.
If you think this blog post was educational, somewhat entertaining and worth sharing, then it has earned the honor to be called good content.