Common mistakes Musicians make when creating content for Fans
There’s been a lot of buzz about the importance of developing more direct and personal connections with fans, but there are also ways that endeavor can go wrong.
We’ve all heard the phrase “content is king” and that was certainly true for a while. We have now far eclipsed the threshold between content opportunity and content overload. Quite simply, we’ve moved past content simply being king. Today, type, quality and strategic release of content is more important than ever. Most music artists have traditionally had a hard time with the concept of non-music fan-directed content. What’s enough? What’s too much? Do my fans really care what I or we think? How do I get this to the right people? All valid concerns mainly due to the fact that there’s no accurate way of knowing because that data is either not tracked or not shared.
YES, your fans care what you think or do.
Being a fan of an artist means that you have a personal connection or affinity for the artist, not just their music. Whether the connection occurred from a live performance or simply from feeling connected to the meaning and energy of the recordings, it’s an enjoyable experience and is ripe to be nurtured and grown. Artists have human identity and personality. That’s something AI can’t generate. Some are true to the person or people involved and some may be more fictional or theatrical based on created characterization. Regardless, fans want to know more about the personality that’s behind the music. For better or worse, it’s the reality that comes with being an artist versus just being a musician. What kind of food do you like? What’s your favorite Netflix show? What shoes are you wearing today? YES. Real fans want to know. Superfans may pay to know.
Macro-content vs. micro-content
There are fundamental differences in the importance of some content versus others.
Your macro-content (tour dates, single drop dates, album releases etc). are all imperative, must-have content which must be prioritized. By whatever means necessary, this information must be communicated to as many fans as possible.
The other type of content we call micro-content. This is the stuff where your artist personality can shine through. It can be anything at all and the more creative and unique, the better. A share of a song from another artist that you really like. A personal story about a song. Maybe a favorite product or a thought about life in general. Anything that might either be relatable or distinguishes you as a unique personality. With the right communication platform, this content can even be targeted to a very specific and relevant subset of fans.
…which brings us to fan segments. Every artist has subsets of fans based on different criteria such as location, age, affinity level, communication preferences and beyond. It’s important for artists to understand that these subsets all have different content preferences. Some like to hear from you as much as possible and some not-so-often. Some like to be targeted through text while others prefer email or a specific app or platform. Some fans would prefer to be targeted based on where they live and may not care that you are psyched for your big show in Des Moines tonight that they can’t be at anyway because they live in Amsterdam. Superfans want to hear about every merch offer and new item while casual fans may feel like it’s too much for them. It’s all over the spectrum, as are people in general. Artists need to understand that their content strategy ideally takes all subsets into consideration.
New platforms will make it easier to create and target fan segments
The ability to target your fans in specific subsets is now possible with platforms that offer the ability to do so. Social media platforms have traditionally offered paid-only reach targeting by location and by similar artists/genres but there are new platforms emerging that will offer much more targeted communication based on more specific demographic and activity data as well as on-platform algorithmic analysis. The social and streaming platforms not only charge the artist for their limited targeted engagement, but they subsequently don’t share the fan data with the artist. Artists seeking a more effective fan acquisition and retention strategy would be wise to seek out a better solution.
Launching Spring of 2024, ArtistVerified is the first platform to offer music artists and fans a centralized point-of-reference via a FanApp where they can establish a rewarding and actionable relationship by owning and controlling their digital identity.