An agency can give your company’s brand meaning, direction and power.
So you’ve been growing your music company from a few people and a couple of products into a full-fledged business. You have some distribution and a core audience. You’ve tried creating and running ads, but it seems like a waste of time and money.
Or maybe you’re an established brand with a low profile, getting by on tried-and-true products with the same sales channels. This has been fine for a few years, but you need to make a leap or you’ll start shrinking.
Do you need an ad agency to help? In both cases, the answer is probably yes. Here’s how to know when an agency can be helpful:
You’re feeling a little lost. This happens. In the day-to-day grind of cranking out instruments, gear or other products, you lose sight of who you are and what you stand for. You need help building a brand that means something to your audience. A good agency can figure this out, define your audience and position your company. It will help you stand out to consumers and retailers while giving you purpose and direction.
Your ads are boring. Big product shot. Name in huge type. Cliché headline. No tie-in to a brand strategy. No emotional or intellectual appeal. If this describes your traditional and digital advertising, you could use creative help. An ad agency is stocked with specialists (designers, art directors, copywriters) who take your strategy and create work that brings your brand to life.
You don’t know where to run. Media spending is the biggest part of a marketing budget. Should you dump it all in Google AdWords or a Pay-Per-Click program? Should you use a balance of traditional and digital? Where should you run and for how long? How much should you pay and how do you negotiate the best rates? A good agency can give you a plan, divide your budget and find spending efficiencies. You may pay an agency a commission or fee, but a good media department should generate many times more than that in value.
Stuck on a press release treadmill. You keep churning out product releases and new hire notices that occasionally get picked up in the music trade books. This is the equivalent of a hamster running on a wheel. It goes nowhere and is not helping you build your brand. PR is about providing editors with meaningful content that aligns with your brand strategy. Most ad agencies offer PR services. Take advantage of them. It’s credibility that advertising alone can’t provide.
Socially incoherent. Random postings on Facebook, the occasional tweet and a handful of blog posts do not make a social media strategy. Again, you need to use social media to build your brand and connect with your audience. Think of it as one component in a much larger effort. Agencies with social media expertise can evaluate your social media properties, develop a plan and help communicate in your brand voice.
This is a basic overview of how an ad agency can help your music brand get on the right track with marketing. With the right agency and the right brand strategy and execution, your business can take the next step and solidify a place in the music industry.
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