Even though the rise of social media and streaming platforms has made developing a creative career more accessible, it has also become more competitive and difficult for artists to attract attention to their music.
Potential fans can scroll through hundreds of pieces of content within an hour and good music alone doesn’t seem to be enough to draw people to a new artist. You must now go the extra mile to stand out from the noise and build a fanbase. One way to do that is to supplement your music with value-based content.
So what exactly is “value-based content”? It is just as it sounds, content that provides value to the viewer outside of just your music. It will give your audience a little more insight into who you are as an artist and thus create a deeper connection.
When thinking of value-based content, you can essentially break your ideas into three main pillars: Educational, Entertaining and Inspirational.
Educational content is all about teaching your audience skills. As a music artist, you would use this content to attract other music artists. Are you a dubstep producer that knows how to make beefy bass drops? Make videos showing new users the ins and outs of making sounds in Serum. Are you a heavy metal guitarist that knows how to shred intricate solos? Guitar lessons could be your bag. A rapper that understands the music business and marketing? An epic opera singer? I think you’re getting the drill…
What’s great is you can use educational content to build a secondary income stream. Use teaser educational videos to bring new audiences in and then, once you’re established enough, you can build and sell your own full course.
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Do you want to make content that is fun and doesn’t have to take too much time or effort? The entertainment angle could be for you. What people find “entertaining” is subjective so there is a lot of freedom to experiment. You can showcase your funny side by making skits or cracking jokes or stitch/remixing other pieces of content with your own funny takes. You can invoke conversation by sharing your thoughts on any topic. You could pretty much post whatever you want, whenever you like. Just be sure it suits your brand.
Doja Cat is a prime example of someone who has mastered the art of entertaining content. Her TikToks are simple, usually of her on her couch when she’s bored, but often very funny and gives us a look at who she is when she wants to be silly.
You can also make entertaining content in the form of behind the scenes videos, or live performances, to increase interest in the music angle.
This is a chance to get deep with your audience. If you have a touching story about your history or your music, you can share it. Talk about what your songs are about, or any struggles you have overcome to be the person you are today. Use your story and your music to empower your audience to achieve their goals and find a better life for themselves.
You can use your lyrics, past-to-present compilation videos, captions over performance videos and more to create inspiring content.
How to find out what content works for you
After reading this, you probably already have an idea on what you want to make. But some of you might not, and that’s ok. The best part about social media’s fast paced nature is it leaves a lot of room for you to experiment and gather data on what works and what doesn’t. Here’s how you can figure out what content works best for you:
1. At first, make any style of content you want
Just start posting. If at first, you don’t see many results, don’t be discouraged. It takes awhile for the algorithm to understand you and what your audience wants to see. Shovel out any kind of content you want and eventually, you will see what is getting more views and likes.
2. Zone in on what works
If you find a piece of content does really well, release more of that same style of content. If people are more engaged with your skits than your how-to videos, go in on more skits. That’s not to say you still can’t make both styles of content, but make more of whatever people want to watch.
3. Be authentic
Make content that you enjoy making. This is key. If you make content just for the sake of making content, it will feel like a drag which will read in the end result. The best content comes from people who are enjoying themselves while creating it.
In conclusion, crafting value-based content is a great way for musicians to draw people in. You can use it to supplement or even enhance your music as a whole. You can create different styles of value-based content around your music as well as yourself, using it as a way to deepen the connection between you and your audience.
Johnny Papan is a freelance Canadian music journalist and musician.
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