Getting Yourself Heard – a Case Study from the Music Industry
It’s never been easy getting yourself heard, especially in the music industry. With the advent of the internet it’s now easy to put yourself out there, but getting heard by the right people is incredibly hard. Getting noticed in the vast ocean of aspiring artists all posting videos, writing blogs, utilising social media is like trying to stand out in…well, an ocean of other aspiring artists.
So how do you improve your chances of being heard? In this post we’re going to look at the case of three young ladies who started singing for a bit of fun, and suddenly found themselves thrown into the limelight worldwide thanks to the power of the internet, and what businesses can learn from them.
Who Are They?
In their own words….
“?The Lounge Kittens are a Southampton based trio. Popular songs with a twist – all in 3 part harmony!
The Lounge Kittens was devised by Jenny Deacon and Timia Gwendoline, who met during a production of Sondheim’s ‘Company’ (as Amy and Joanne respectively). In late 2012, Zan Lawther, a mutual friend from choir was drafted in during an evening of gin-fuelled refreshment…
The heavenly notes of ‘The Vengabus is Coming’ had surrounded the Kittens like an ethereal mist as they cackled around a suspiciously sticky table in The Dungeon Club, Southampton. Some may argue that this ethereal mist was actually the lung-blackening splutterings of an over-worked fog machine well past its prime, coupled with the personal gases of the fragrant patrons of the Dungeon…particularly those who may have recently enjoyed a microwavable burger or toasty….”
Basically the girls got together for a bit of a laugh, to do something a bit different, and maybe earn a few extra pennies here and there.
Their first gig was part of a charity event in Bournemouth in July 2013. Both Timia and Zan are long-standing members of Rock Choir, with Jenny being their choir leader. Though accomplished singers, the girls weren’t expecting much from the so far lacklustre crowd, who had given little more than a polite response to the acts so far. But by the end of the first song the crowd had most definitely woken up, and by the end of the set they were on their feet whooping and hollering…
What was their aim?
Initially there was no set plan; the occasional wedding, birthday, or corporate event was about as far as they had thought, but there was no real plan, or budget to speak of. The response to their first and subsequent few gigs got them thinking about a bigger picture…
What did they do first?
The first thing the girls did was have their first video shot and edited by the rather talented Marianne Harris to showcase their abilities.
Marianne has worked with Ashestoangels, A Tale of Two Cities, Demoraliser, Walk The Night, The Valiant, Max Raptor, Tu Amore, Zoltar Speaks and Housefires, and created live/diary/launch videos for When We Were Wolves, Continents, Death Of An Artist and Now, Voyager amongst others, so the girls were in good hands.
Video is a great way to set the stage for your brand and introduce yourself to new prospective customers. Video for business use is on the increase, but is still far under-utilised, get in there now and you will still be ahead of many of your competitors in most verticals.
Showcase your products and services via your own You Tube channel, engage with your subscribers and you will automatically build your business and reputation. Your brand video should quickly and easily establish the ‘feel’ of the company, for example, a lawyer and a cat sanctuary are likely to have a different brand voice. Those who watch your video should quickly and easily understand who you are, what you do, and who your target audience is.
Your brand persona is the identity you give your business online, the voice you want your customers and potential customers to hear in order to promote a relationship with them. This varies massively across the verticals, and requires careful attention.
As in this case, video is a great way to show your persona to the masses. For businesses, video allows you to promote your brand with a voice; showing users not only what you do but all the facets of your brand personality. This persona is an important factor in any marketing plan, not least in the entertainment industry where your success may depend upon it.
To help establish their voice, and to thank You Tube subscribers, The Lounge Kittens release an outtakes video when they hit 100,000 views of Rollin’ which features later in this post.
What other means did they use?
If anyone asks me if a website is important I will always say yes, possibly until now. What I’ve seen with The Lounge Kittens is a departure from the standard form of optimisation and finally a case that relies almost entirely on good content and sharability. The Lounge Kittens website itself has barely featured in their success, and essentially serves as contact and about us page.
YouTube was the spring board that started the game for The Lounge Kittens. Between the force of Marianne Harris and a considerable number of Rock Choir members they were not off the the worst start and I imagine expected a good couple of hundred views.
Some carefully timed and well thought out Facebook and Twitter activity ensured that all interested parties were aware of the video release date and time, with a few links going out to related online magazines and other relevant media.
Press & Media
The video for Rollin’ had a small pre-release to a few relevant media types. While not much was expected to come from this much of the niche press that serves this kind of music grabbed it with both hands and shared the hell out of it.
The same goes for your business online. If you have something worth saying, promote it to as many people as will listen. Decent news is worth sharing, so find publications and journalists in your area and get in touch. Making yourself known in advance is not only a more polite way to outreach but it may mean those journalists and/or publications come to you when they need a story too.
What were the results for The Lounge Kittens?
This video – be warned there is a fair bit of swearing!
Rollin’ went down a storm on every continent stacking up 183,314 views to date, 101,000 of those in the first 28 days, and still a steady stream of views and subscribers continues from this video.
In the first 7 days this happened…
In the first 28 days this happened:
This also happened, an abundance of shares, likes, and bookmarks with only the minimum of negativity:
…then unbelievably this happened….
Limp Bizkit themselves shared the link on Facebook and put it in front of their 5,061,972 subscribers, sending another round of crazy to the You Tube page and the girls into a total spin. But there was more to come. A cheeky Tweet resulted in Fred Durst, the lead singer of Limp Bizkit tweeting The Lounge Kittens and sharing the video on his page. To his 1.5 million followers.
Now this keeps happening:
As I write this the girls are sound checking at the UK’s famous Glastonbury Festival. A couple of weeks ago they played at the Grillstock Festival in Bristol, next week they will play a number of shows at Sonisphere, shortly followed by Boomtown and Beautiful Days.
They’ve just released another video showing another side to their vocal abilities:
…here’s that bloopers video!
…and are generally having an exhausting but fun-filled time!
What can your business learn from this?
- Almost nothing beats good content
- You don’t need a big budget (the girls only spends were the video and studio time)
- Network, and do it well
- Have a plan
- Brand focused marketing works
- Engage your users
- Use a number of platforms
- Plan your promotion
- Build a community
- Create appealing, sharable content befitting your brand and its message
- Keep your brand personality consistent
- Structure content well so it is easily digestible
- Think about timing and frequency of your output
- Use hashtags
Above all stay positive and keep working at it, you never know where your promotion might take you!