If you use the Internet frequently, chances are that you’ve been noticing a few things on the rise: meme images or animated .gif’s, certain types of videos, infographics, etc.
Why not use these viral trends and put your own spin on it to create fun, engaging, easy-to-share content with your fans?
- Memes: Meme images have exploded online, especially in geek culture. These images have spread to billions, each with their own take of the images, from “Y U NO” guy to the ever so lovable Nyan cat. You can create your own memes for free using generator sites like weknowmemes.com and memegenerator.net. You can make it more personal fans by talking about specific points in your band’s history, favorite songs or themes, and also inviting them to create some of their own. Most meme websites also provide multiple examples of each image in case you don’t understand the logic behind that type of meme. Read a few, then create your own. Here are some that I made for my band, The Slants, that generated some great buzz from our fans: Two of these are played off of some reoccurring themes in the band: our guitarist Johnny always being asleep (then being victim to pranks) and our van breaking down frequently when on tour (we’re always on tour).
- Trending videos: Sometimes certain types of videos gather huge momentum and dozens of spin-offs are then created. For a few short months, it seemed liked “Shit ____ Says” were the only videos being made online. Most of them played off of general stereotypes (it started with with a group of Canadians that amassed a huge following after the release of their first few videos). Only a handful of bands jumped on this, but the first few each got several hundred thousand views on their videos. For example, the band High Society had only a few thousand views on their music videos, but had almost 240,000 views on their “Shit Band Guys Say” video. Other examples include Nyan Cat, dub step or dub step remixes, or parody videos of popular songs.
- Infographics: Infographics spread quickly because they can take complex data, statistics, or trends and disseminate the information in a quick, easy to read manner. Why not make infographics with interesting data about your band to share with fans? You can also use sites like visual.ly to generate infographics that take information straight from your social media sites. For example, you can compare your Twitter account with anyone else’s account: a rival band, the president, your hero, your friends, etc. Why not go the extra step and create an infographic to use as an EPK? Instead of a text heavy one-sheet, have one that highlights important data (such as number of fans, social media reach, online traffic, number of albums sold, etc.).
Have some fun with your fans by being a part of the new Internet culture, but also be aware of things that are special to your target audience. For instance, my band released a music video a few months ago that was targeting a very niche audience: the anime convention world. Because we often play at conventions and many of our fans enjoy Cosplay, we wanted to have some fun with it so we invited them to dress up and be a part of the video. Since its release, the video has been shared by other anime fans, magazines, tv shows, and websites. The quick rise in popularity led to the video being picked up by an International tv show which will be debuting this month in over 80 countries around the world.
Pay attention to the world around you and see how you can put your own spin on it for your music. If the content gets shared, you might be able to reach a new audience. If anything, you’ll be able to enjoy some additional lighthearted engagement with the people that support you most.
Simon Tam is owner of Last Stop Booking, a full service agency that offers tour booking and music consulting services. Simon has appeared on stage at over 1,200 live events and has traveled North America presenting ideas about the music industry. Simon’s writing on music and marketing can be found at www.laststopbooking.com