Be-Hookd’s Silas Armstrong Talks Talks, Branding, Bots, Marketing Strategies [INTERVIEW]

1Here Creative Director of Be-Hookd media, Silas Armstrong, discusses his job there, the work he's done to grow artists' digital presence, and how messenger bots can be used to connect with fans.


Guest post by Veselina Gerova of The Message

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.

Silas Armstrong

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I am full time Creative Director of Be-Hookd Digital, part time songwriter and musician in LNLY.

Also, can you tell us a bit about the company you work for, Be-Hookd Digital?

Be-Hookd Digital is a digital market company with roots in social media and an emphasis on content creation. We help build and engage artists online audiences, manage their digital presence and social shop front, and monetize their product through various different revenue streams.

What is your position there?

Creative Director. I oversee all content creation for our clients, from photoshoots to graphic design and animation as well as directing larger scale video shoots, microsite games and app builds, lyric video concepts and execution, and new technology development.

You’ve helped build, manage and monetize the digital presence of some pretty impressive artists. How important do you think it is for musicians to reach and connect with their fans directly online?

It’s of paramount importance. D2C/D2F is the best way to make a living from music and also applies to small businesses of all types. We’ve taken our unique formula and applied it to the TV and gaming industries to great success recently, with the music industry being such a hotbed for the latest developments in technology and marketing, we’re well equipped and ahead of the curve for other entertainment industries.

Is it important for musicians these days to be innovative when it comes to technology? If so, why?

Yes very much so, as opposed to keeping up with technology, by staying ahead of the trends it allows us to be at the forefront of new developments, and to capitalise on opportunities before the competition.

Speaking of innovation, there has been quite some hype around messaging lately. Do you think that a Messenger bot is a good way for artist to connect with their fans online directly?

Messenger bots are a prime example of new technology being embraced by music artists ahead of other industries. We’ve had great success with various clients selling out tours and and climbing up the charts with the aid of messenger bots. Before messenger bots, we successfully created a number of twitter bots that helped us win a number of key battles, namely Rick Astley vs Tom Odell for UK album #1.

What can musicians use a Messenger bot for?

Almost anything, but we’re having the most fun gamifying messenger bots in order to create touch points, increase engagement and ROI, all with little time required from the artist which is incredibly valuable.

How do Messenger bots differ from social media posts in your opinion?

The touch points created are immediately more valuable and retain and convert consumers at a far higher rate, without even having to spend through advertising to reach an audience!

This likely won’t stay like this for long due to the hungry powers that be, so whilst we’re seeing such success we’d like to continue to capitalise!

What are the marketing advantages of having a Messenger bot? (for artists)

More affordable for developing artists, and a higher success rate for conversions. Currently messenger bots are proving a higher conversion rate than mailing lists which is the first time something has had such an impact within such a short life span.

Do you think a Messenger bot can help with one’s brand building? If so, why/how?

A messenger bot can help with so many things and all comes down to the strategy. There is a real mix of good/bad messenger bots out there at the moment whilst marketers are still finding their feet. As a marketer you can either lead with new ideas and pave the way for others, or wait for the new leaders to emerge and follow their strategies. We prefer to lead.

What do you think the future of Messenger bots will look like?

As is with any successful new technological development, eventually a paywall will be put up and the powers that be will find a way to monetize, but until then the ROI we are creating is incredible value.

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