Breaking Down Brand Endorsements & Sponsorships
Marketing. It’s one of the most crucial aspects you need to master in your career/business and yet not enough people are doing it right. Do you have a marketing strategy laid out? How much budget have you allocated? Have you done any market research?
I’ve always said that as an artist you could be the best singer, guitarist or bass player. Yet if you can’t get yourself out there, if you can’t get people to see your work then what’s the point? A lot of creatives tend to overlook the marketing side, and yes I totally agree that content is king and focusing on your content is important, but perhaps there should be a balance and some attention should be placed on how you’re going to get your brand and content out there.
I had the privilege of talking to Scott Emerton about this very subject. Scott has had extensive years in the marketing and advertising department and before he set off to create his own business consultancy company, he held the title of Global Head of Marketing for RØDE Microphones. Now if you want to get marketing advice from anyone, this is one of the guys to talk to. We talked for about an hour going over several topics, we talked about the importance of analytics and how brands should be using it to gather relevant data. He also gave some great advice on marketing with a small budget and how to approach and create relationships with bigger brands. If you want to listen to the whole conversation you can check it out on the video below:
If you don’t have a chance to listen to the whole interview right now, the following are a few notes on what Scott was talking about.
Tips For The 'Little Guy'
Not everyone has a massive budget allocation for their channel, music or projects. Heck, when Reload Sessions started out we had nothing. I wanted to get Scott’s advice for getting your work out there especially when you’re just starting out and not too sure on what to focus on.
‘Content is King’ I talked about that in a previous blog, Scott confirms this. Is your content right for your audience? Have you presented it in the best way possible. When Reload Sessions was just starting out, we put an emphasis in the quality of the audio and video for our sessions. It was important for us to get this right, Scott mentioned how he recognised that there was a sense of quality to our videos and was happy to collaborate with us. This is not to say that if you produce a high quality video you’ll achieve brand relationships, but if you take the time in getting your content right it’ll help with the development and growth of your brand.
Not only did Scott mention about quality, he also talked about the experience. Is your music or video an enjoyable experience? People pay for an experience, I go to the cinema, buy popcorn and pay extra for the VIP seats for that very reason. On the other hand, I could watch a pirated copy of the same film on my laptop, but I choose not to because firstly, it’s illegal, but it’s just not the same experience as going to the cinema. What experience is your music/content giving out?
What brands/products are you using? Are you using a Yamaha keyboard in your videos? Are you wearing Beats headphones? Ever thought about reaching out to them and just sharing your work? A lot of brands are looking for content to share with their products in it, these brands have a big following and if they share your work it can help bring traffic into your channel. There’s no harm in trying, but from personal experience when an artist tweeted one of our videos to Taylor Swift, we were shocked to see that she replied and loved the video.
3 Tips on Brand Sponsorships
Not only did we talk about some marketing strategies, but I wanted to talk to Scott about how to approach bigger brands for collaborations. This is what he had to say:
When Scott was working over at RØDE Microphones, he mentioned that everyday he would receive about 20-30 proposals for a sponsorship deal. Respecting the brand you want to affiliate yourself with is important, present your ideas in the most efficient and respective way. Is it a long email? This will get skimmed, how can you make it easier for the brand to read? Add big headings and cut down the email perhaps? Just remember these brands get hounded with proposals on a daily basis, respect this and present it in the right way.
Put some effort and care in your presentations, nobody is going to pay attention to your idea if it is poorly presented. Whenever we presented our ideas to brands we spent a lot of time on the overall look and feel of the presentation, we didn’t just send an email and asked for a,b and c. The look was just important as the content that we were trying to get across. We designed beautiful looking PDF’s that captured the reader's attention and presented our ideas well. How do you present your ideas?
If You Don't Hear From a Brand, Don't Be Discouraged
Sometimes brands just don’t have time to get back to you, other times it’s just a no from them. That doesn’t mean you should just give up. Maybe it wasn’t the right time? Work on it and revisit it later. This is so true in our case, I remember years ago messaging Scott and talking about a possible collaboration. However it just wasn’t the right time for them and they told us to come back to them in a year's time. We did and it’s been a great relationship so far, so don’t get discouraged if you get a no. Work on it and revisit the idea later.
Throughout the interview Scott mentioned some valuable pieces of information about marketing and collaborating with brands. With all his experience, I was glad that I got a chance to talk to him and hear what he had to say. If you think you’ve been neglecting the marketing side of your music career, hopefully this will help you out a little bit. If you have any friends, artists or musicians who you think will benefit from Scott’s interview why not share it to them? If you’ve not listened to the full interview yet, you can check it out here.