In this edition of Behind the Artist we hear from Olivia Hobbs, the Managing Director of music consultancy for marketing, creative direction & strategic digital marketing at Blackstar London as she discusses effective digital marketing for artists and bands and how to utilize Facebook Messenger in these efforts.
Behind The Artist is a Q&A style interview series featuring the people behind the artists; the marketing heroes you don’t hear about that often. They are the ones who help artists build a brand and a strong online presence. We decided to approach these marketing gurus and ask them all about their thoughts on online branding for artists, bots and strategies. They share their thoughts, expertise and their vision for the future.
Please can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do…
I’m Olivia Hobbs, I’m Managing Director of a music consultancy for marketing, creative direction & strategic digital marketing called Blackstar London.
Can you tell us more about the company you work for?
Blackstar London was born after I spent over a decade working behind the scenes at major labels, international tours & working as an artist/ producer manager. It was created out of the need for artists & labels who want to remain as independent as they can whilst delivering high quality campaigns that cut through!
Helping artists build a strong brand through digital marketing is an important part of your role. How important do you think it is for musicians to reach and connect directly with fans online?
Personality is key, authenticity and interaction. It’s a really full time job maintaining that relationship with your fans. The main challenge to this is that the landscape is ever changing & keeping up with it can be tough!
Do you think it’s important for musicians to be innovative in their uses of technology — and if so, why?
I think it’s key to push the boundaries & keep things interesting. But it’s important not to innovate for the sake of it, if it’s authentic it’ll travel, if it’s a marketing ploy it’ll flop. Authenticity is key!
One recent innovation is the ability to build and engage a fanbase on Facebook Messenger. Do you think that Messenger bots are a good way for artists to connect directly with fans?
I think they’re really effective marketing tools but equally, it should be something that is built alongside the act. The messages should be real messages the artist would send, the tone as close as possible andthe offering unique. Then it becomes a really fun experience for all!
What do you think musicians can do using Messenger?
Anything from expressing their personality to sharing a product or show.
How do you see Messenger bots differing from “traditional” social media channels?
I would say if you’ve subscribed to a bot you’re a real super fan — so it allows you to keep and maintain a pot of people who are super engaged, who, depending on the act can be served extra layers of personality and experience. It’s a direct link to your SUPER fans :)
Do you think a Messenger bot can help artists build their brand online? If so, why?
The fans who sign up to these bots are no doubt going to be your biggest advocates, so by sharing with them the nuances of personality, access and branding they’re spreading that message more succinctly which can help you develop a brand in the broadest sense. It’s down to how you use it and who your fans are.