Promotion And Marketing Techniques And Case Studies

If you want a successful brand with a strong audience relationship and interesting content, you need to explore different marketing techniques. These techniques are used everywhere on social media, even if you don’t notice, and it helps a brand with engagement and relevancy in a world where your competitors are on social media too. Below are some popular examples and case studies of different successful marketing techniques that we could easily implement and use as inspiration for our project, to help drive traffic onto our Instagram account before we release our songs. However, we would be using these techniques on a much lower scale as we have no budget for the campaign and a much smaller and growing audience. We have already taken an interest in mystery marketing and are thinking of using this as our main form of promotion, however, this could change.

Mystery Marketing

Mystery Marketing is a form of branding that creates an enigma for the viewer or entices them to find answers to questions about the artist (Dorsey, 2015). This can be done easily by using techniques like hidden identities (never showing who you actually are). Some examples of artists with uncertain identities would be Marshmello, MF DOOM, Daft Punk, Aphex Twin and Gorillaz. All use hidden identities in different ways, with some simply covering their face with a mask and Aphex Twin morphing and editing his face in photos to look almost unreal and nightmarish. Another way artists can be cryptic is through social media. For example, in 2020, Twenty One Pilots created a revolutionary marketing campaign that was cryptic, scary and difficult to decipher, but fans knew there would be a great reward for working it out. We could do something like this with our social media but in a smaller depth as we will have a smaller audience and budget to work with, compared to Twenty One Pilots who have millions of fans worldwide and a huge budget.

Below is a rundown of how the event panned out and the response it got from both fans and newcomers that stumbled across the campaign on social media. The response was very positive, with both old and new fans enjoying the event and even asking for harder quests in the future. In terms of numbers, the ‘never-ending live stream’ they were promoting in which fans could submit their own short clips to be shown on the video, lasted for 178 days and holds the Guinness world record for the longest music video (Longest Music Video, 2020), clearly showing that the marketing worked and sparked enough attention to carry it on for so long. As a fan of Twenty One Pilots, I experienced this campaign firsthand and enjoyed trying to figure out all of the clues, working together with other fans in group chats and through Twitter and eventually reaching the end after a good few days of research.

(twenty one pilots, 2020)

Meme Culture Marketing

Meme culture marketing provides a brand with entertainment aspects through funny images, tweets, videos and more. These are more interactive than plain branded content that people are bored of. Entertainment that induces interest in the brand is better than just sharing information about the brand that nobody was interested in in the first place (Cole, 2018). A good example of this is the way corporate Twitter accounts interact with each other in comment sections. This increases engagement for all of the accounts involved as different companies quickly hop on the trend to give their brand a small but effective portion of relevancy on a social media with millions of users. Here is an example of when Weetabix posted a viral tweet in collaboration with Heinz that hundreds of companies jumped on the back of quickly, making witty and sarcastic jokes. This caused Weetabix, Heinz and many other companies to trend on Twitter that day as so many people were talking about how brand rivals such as Kellog’s and different fast food companies were interacting with each other. Weetabix’s original tweet gained 130,000 likes, 105,000 retweets and over 20,000 comments, a huge amount for a household UK brand. Compare this to their usual tweets, which get 100-300 likes a tweet (these tweets tend to not use humour as an engagement tool) (Weetabix, 2021.)!

(Kelloggs, 2021.)

Storytelling Marketing

Many artists use storytelling in different forms to portray emotions and this allows listeners to relate to their music in different, personal ways. Twenty One Pilots’ ‘Trench’ is a great example of a concept album, with their social media, music videos, website, the band member’s personal accounts and even the record label taking on a new brand to represent the ongoing story as they left their hiatus and the album was being teased. The first music video they released based on the storyline, ‘Jumpsuit’ currently sits at 117 million views (Twenty One Pilots, 2018). The album went on to win two awards and reach number one in six countries (Trench (album), n.d.). However, an even greater example of storytelling marketing would be Gorillaz. Them being a solely digital band and non-existent in the physical world is a great temptation however the ever-changing lore they create for and between each album is engaging and so vast that fans have made breakdown videos on Youtube of each era of Gorillaz, and these rack up millions of views as their fanbase grows. Each character has their own story as to how they joined the band and the members have constantly developing relationships (for example the Bassist, Murdoc dislikes and abuses the lead singer, 2D). The video below only shows one section of Gorillaz’s story, but is still over 20 minutes long and has had over 5 million views (FoundFlix, 2017).

(FoundFlix, 2017)

Trend Marketing

Another great way of marketing yourself and creating a brand is by simply being candid and personal in your posts. This takes no budget whatsoever and is easily achieved. In a world where posts on social media are meant to be ‘perfect’ and ‘faultless’ audiences enjoy seeing the opposite. This can include showing bloopers from rehearsals or performances, the realness and rawness of being in a band, funny moments when touring, interacting with members of the public and more. Creating a candid brand also includes making content that seems personal to the individual interacting with it. Social media has played a huge part in this type of marketing, with TikTok paving the way for artists making funny videos that perform well on the algorithm. My own ‘For You Page’ on TikTok has been showing me various small bands jumping on trends in the hopes to be pushed out by the algorithm. Some examples of these trends are: Guess the drummer/guitarist (linked below), dueting popular musicians, blooper reels and no context videos. A small band, Superstition, used these techniques and now has over 18 thousand followers on TikTok. The video below got over 3 million views, almost 400,000 likes and was their first viral video (Guess our drummer!!, n.d.).

(Guess our drummer!!, n.d.)

Innovative Marketing

Innovation is a great way to market yourself; having something totally new that an audience will never have seen before is an enticing way to grow a fanbase. It gives people something to remember you by and creates discussion and word-of-mouth about you and your marketing campaign. An example of this is Declan McKenna’s campaign on TikTok before the release of his new album, ‘Zeros’. This involved McKenna being replaced by a CGI version of himself (reminiscent of his new era and recently released music video) in a series of videos, with him doing dancing videos, partaking in challenges, and collaborating with actor Alex Lawther. Nothing like this had ever really happened on TikTok before, especially in the music scene and fans were both confused and amused at this new, digitized and quite a scary-looking McKenna (Forde, 2020). Many of the videos averaged around 100,000 views (McKenna, n.d.) and proved to be a huge success as his album hit number two on the official UK albums chart.

Another innovation was Royal Blood’s collaboration in 2017 with Samsung and their new VR headset. This was the first-ever 360° live-streamed performance and helped to promote both the band and the new Samsung VR headset being released. It was also used as a tactic for Royal Blood to perform some songs from their then-upcoming album, ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’, which welcomed a very positive reception upon its release (THE YEAR’S BEST MUSIC MARKETING CAMPAIGNS, 2017). When contrasting brands collaborate like this, it brings fans with different interests together; in this case, it was technology and rock music, thus expanding each brand’s audiences as a fan of Samsung might have enjoyed the performance and gone on to listen to more of the band soon after. See the video below for a clip of the performance.

(Samsung UK, 2017)