We’re barely a week into January and we already have probably one of the most epic marketing campaigns people have seen for a while. You may be excited, outraged or maybe not even care, but chances are you’ve heard that Greggs are now doing a vegan sausage roll. The internet has gone absolutely crazy with people kicking off about it, people loving it and people kicking off about people caring so much. After all, surely there’s more going on in the world than pastry?
So what does this have to do with the rock world? Well quite a lot actually! In order for your music to reach as many people as possible, you need people to know about it. Getting them to like it is probably much easier than getting them to find out about it in the first place. Greggs absolutely nailed the art of exposure. Here’s a few ways you can use what they did to help more people find out about your music.
Plant the seed.
By the time the vegan sausage roll was in stores, many people already knew about it because of a “leaked” email about it last year. Let’s face it, that email was probably leaked by Greggs!
People don’t always impulse buy, they want the time to understand what something is before they part with their hard earned cash. Let them. You don’t have to keep that release date a big huge secret, let your fans know so they can prepare themselves for it and get excited. Perhaps you could accidentally let it slip in an interview. Maybe you could let your inner circle of fans know before anyone else.
Look after your gatekeepers
Journalists and influencers were sent samples of the vegan sausage roll in mock iPhone boxes, a cheeky play on the fact that it’s likely to appeal to millennials. Greggs could have just sent out a press release but that wouldn’t have had the same impact.
Think about who your biggest influencers are. They could be journalists or super fans with lots of followers. They’re basically the people you want to be talking about you. Once you’ve identified them, get in touch with them with something special relating to your release. It could be a copy of your new CD with some sweeties and a handwritten note, it could be a full on goodie bag. Use your imagination!
Take the blinkers off.
Let’s face it, Greggs was never going to be busy with vegans in January. January is the time for detoxing and new year’s resolutions so pastry is not on the top of wish lists after a month of eating crap at Christmas. It’s also Veganuary where lots of people try their hand at leading a vegan lifestyle. Why on earth would Greggs get involved with that? They found a way to make their brand appeal to a part of society that usually ignores them.
It’s really easy to stick to marketing yourselves in rock publications and rock radio but, there’s always reasons to go outside of that. Local press is always keen to celebrate local successes so get in touch with your local paper and your local radio stations. They may not be exclusively rock related but they give you a chance to connect with people close to you. Maybe the subject of your song is something you could use. Is it about mental health? Pets? The possibilities are endless. Get those blinkers off and start looking outside the box a bit (ugh, I hate that saying!)
Look at what’s around you
Following on from taking the blinkers off, you need to look around you. What’s going on in the world and how can you use this to promote your wares? Greggs knew January was about being healthy and that it’s also Veganuary. It adapted accordingly.
You can do the same. Perhaps there’s a TV show everyone’s raving about or there’s the same holidays every year with Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas etc if you want to play it really safe! Be strategic and let your marketing use some of those things to make life a bit easier for you. Got a song about love? Use Valentine’s Day. Got a song about a crappy breakup? Use Valentine’s Day – there’s plenty of bitter heartbroken folk around that may need your song to cheer them up! The possibilities are endless.
Greggs isn’t just one person. But they’ve made it feel as if they’re a human being, not a faceless corporation. From sassy comebacks on Twitter to joining in conversations, they’ve had people really connecting with them.
The release of your “product” doesn’t just end with it being released, it’s about maintaining relationships with your fans, and potential fans, constantly. Don’t wait for people to come to you, go to them. Type in your band name in Twitter and see if people are talking about you so you can join in. Comment on content on Instagram if you like it, even if it’s not about you. You’re a human being, show people you are!
Turn that frown upside down
Sometimes folk won’t like what you do. And that’s just fine. You’ve got two choices. You can either bitch and whine about it (I wouldn’t recommend that one) or you can use it to your advantage. After Piers Morgan tweeted some derogatory comments about Greggs, they had a laugh with him. This won the hearts of many folk and probably got them more exposure than if they’d have ignored his tweet.
Ten Foot Wizard received an abusive email from a “fan” and instead of ignoring it or bitching and whining about it, they put the email onto a t-shirt! A whole merch opportunity out of an email they didn’t even have to go to the effort of sending. You can really have some fun with this one.
So there you have it. Vegan sausage rolls will help your music. Kind of.