27 Aug 5 Content Tips from Pop Icons
Before founding 3rdspace I spent a lot of time with artists who created iconic music in my role as Head of Content at 2dayFM and Head of Marketing & Programming at Foxtel.
Whilst we created winning brands with unique content and great personalities, it was the music that provided the foundation for each brands success.
Excessive name dropping warning ahead: I toured with Radiohead, played pool with Robbie Williams, walked next to Daniel Johns as he made his comeback after sickness at the Big Day Out with Silverchair…. And saw a lot of things I’d never dare write about.
The artists I was fortunate enough to spend time with, taught me valuable lessons that can be applied to both content strategy and creative execution. Here’s what I learned along the way.
- Have a singular focus.
Then be relentless in pursuing that goal. Think about all of the interviews you’ve seen where the artist knew right from the outset that they would create impact in people’s lives. The Beatles to Jackson, Madonna and Gaga. We need to apply the same focus to a brands content strategy. First up know what you want, develop a content mission that is focused, courageous, measurable and has a long-term vision for success.
- It’s not only what you say; it’s how you say it.
From the flamboyant Elton John to the authentic tones of Angus and Julie Stone. Define a look and feel that is both visually rich and unique to the brand. The music industry took on a new lease of life with the MTV generation – as content has in the last few years. Films and stylised Instagram images don’t always need to be high budget but they should have a look that is reflective of your brands personality.
- Develop story arcs and recurring themes.
Take inspiration from the likes of Bowie and Radiohead, by developing your hero characters, their nemesis and an evolving story that can deliver dynamic competitive advantages for your content as stories evolve over years with your audience.
- Involve the audience and tour relentlessly.
One thing Mick taught me when we spent a good, mmm almost 5 minutes together, on the road is own the space, and involve your audience. Use every asset you have to tell the story from social channels to your website and EDM’s. Don’t just sing your song; get the audience involved in any way possible. Make them the stars and they will be your biggest advocates.
- Continually seek inspiration to stay ahead.
So why did Boy George crack one massive album and Madonna a dozen?
True one of them dined a little too much on success, but Madonna was continually looking for the next emerging sound and look. She also listened to what people were talking about and cared about. Like a great artist your content strategy and the content you are creating needs to tap into what people are feeling, doing and thinking. It needs to be relevant. It needs to create impact. It needs a point of view.
And for the record, curtains were way on trend in the 90’s.