In today’s era of mass content creation, everyone has become a publisher, whether you’re a major brand, restaurant, or a local hardware store. As we enter the era of content overload, good music is not only essential to the video itself, but also to engender further engagement after the content is produced. At Music Dealers, we often see missed opportunities to leverage music, which can often be easily rectified. Here are a few tips to get the most bang out of your music licensing buck.
1) Real Artists
It’s 2014 and we really hope that you’re taking advantage of real, independent artists. But hold on a second: let’s take a step back and clarify “real,” because the term seems to have been battered by the business world. For example, I’m sure you have you seen this before:
“Now made with real cheese!”
What the hell were we eating before? Well, I can certainly understand if you furrow your brow when Music Dealers emphasizes buying music from “real” artists. Allow us to clarify. This is the age of the independent artist. Ridiculous decreases in the cost of production combined with the globalization of music means there’s a surplus of album-creating, show-playing, fan-building artists from around the world.
And they know all about you and are waiting for you to leverage their budding careers. So, license from “real” artists. Be able to say, “Hey, this band is from Sweden, they’re on their first US tour, they’re building a great buzz, and we just used their music in our project! We heard about them before they got hot; in fact, we helped them get hot! Yaaay, go us!”
Hit the easy button. Independent artists are made with real cheese. Take advantage and add some delicious, gooey flavor to your creative project.
2) Social Media
If you’re going through all the trouble to find and license the perfect music, you’ve got to let the world know that you’re a connoisseur of what’s cool, of what’s hot, and that you’ve got your finger on the pulse.
Companies and brands need to engage consumers on more points than just the sale or transaction. You must become an everyday part of people’s lives to survive the clutter. So, when you tweet and facebook your video projects, tell us about the music. Let us know why you chose to license them. Point the world to the artist’s facebook page. Make the world say, “Wow [insert you here] just put me up on this new artist from [city] and they’re amazing.”
As well, wise licensors ask that bands actively help support the activation of social media campaigns. The artist’s authenticity and relationship to their fans drives awareness; their fans have the potential of becoming consumers; and so on and so forth.
Tactics like these are integral to elevating your campaigns by using the power of music. They allow your brand to connect with your consumer beyond just trying to sell them something. And maybe they’ll reward you with a purchase when they are in the mood to buy a pair of jeans, or a pair of headphones, or a slice of “real” cheese.
3) The “About Section” On Your YouTube Page
That tiny space on your YouTube video page that says “About” represents a great opportunity for you.
If you’re going to go through all of that hard work of finding the right song, then you may as well tell your audience what music is featured in your content! I frequently see brands pay good money for music and never take the time to leverage that section to tell their audience who they’ve chosen to license.
Does this look familiar?
“Man, that music is awesome! WHO IS IT?”
“WHERE CAN I GET THE MUSIC?”
“LOVE THIS SONG. ANYBODY KNOW WHO IT IS”
“MUST HAVE SONG. Who is this”
“Oh my God! That song just changed my life”
“I’ll die RIGHT NOW if someone doesn’t tell me who this artist is”
Shame, shame, shame on you. Give the people what they want. Use your about section to tell them who’s music you’re using (if you’ve purchased “real cheese” that is. If you’re using fake cheese out of the can, then it’s best to keep quiet.)
Which takes us to my next point about leveraging the artists you’ve worked with…
4) The Chyron
The television term that denotes the bottom third of space on the screen reserved for graphics, the chyron is a great way for those of you airing commercials to engage with your fans musically.
There are two powerful ways to make wise musical use of a chyron.
First, and presumably most cost effective, is to simply indicate, in the bottom corner of your TV ad, the name of the artist and song licensed for the campaign. Elevate your marketing by providing an easy way for consumers to engage with the brand by displaying the music you’ve been licensing.
As mentioned, you’ve already gone through the difficulty of selecting the perfect music, spending cash on music worthy of your brand’s sonic identity, so it’s wise to continue to leverage your music to extend the length of engagement with your consumer.
For those of you with the budget, you can take this to the next level by leveraging Shazam. Companies are going gaga over the engagement potential of their service. If you’re licensing incredible music, then it’s really worth examining ways to utilize Shazam’s capabilities.
This strategy works well for companies or brands who do a substantial amount of music licensing and lean pretty heavily on the right kind of music to support their marketing and branding initiatives.
I was inspired to blog about this strategy when one of our creatives at Music Dealers pointed me in the direction of Blue Moon [Blue Moon is indeed a client of Music Dealers], who have a section on their homepage dedicated to music. Clicking through opens a page with a video of a Blue Moon spot. There’s a quick bio on the band licensed within the ad, an embedded SoundCloud playlist widget, and links to the sites where the band’s music can be purchased.
This strategy works so very well, benefitting both brand and band mutually. Blue Moon is a connoisseur of music in the eyes of consumers, and the band has a huge company helping to drive awareness and sales.
This is a really great example of a brand driving value through music, potentially reaching consumers they otherwise would not have.
Utilize these easy tactics to help you make an impact with your music. Finding the perfect music is an art in itself, but once you’ve gone through all that work, you don’t want the music to stop working for you too early. You want the right ROI from your music uses. Employing tactics like these ensure that receive it.
Photo credit: stevendepolo
By: Christopher Rucks, Music Dealers