Drake once used his acceptance speech at an award show to acknowledge just how grateful he was to have so many loyal fans. People, as he put it, spend their hard-earned money and hours of their precious free time at his shows. He seemed genuinely grateful, and truly honored to have so many people call themselves his fans. Every music artist needs fans. The more fans, the more successful an artist will be. After all, pop music is called pop because it is popular, easy to digest and catchy. Mainstream music is very different today with the likes of Lady Gaga and Drake than it was 70 years ago, with Frankie Valli and Elvis Presley, but they all have one thing in common–lots and lots of people that consider themselves fans. Enter detailed targeting expansion!
What Is Detailed Targeting Expansion?
Not all fans are created equal though. Some are rabid superfans, always trying to be the first to hear new music, buying every piece of merchandise they can get, and traveling long distances to see their favorite artists perform. What separates one superfan from another, at least in the eyes of an artist and their management, is the fan’s contribution to an artist’s success. This is the kind of power a fan can have, and while it’s always been important, social media and the internet have made this dynamic more relevant and applicable today than ever before.
Fan taking photo of concert at festival
Fans have always been able to create buzz. For instance, if a popular local hero, a quarterback for a state championship team happened to be an outspoken die hard Eagles fan in the mid 1970’s, he would have influenced lots of other kids in that hometown to listen to the Eagles, and that band would likely be considered cool throughout high school. This quarterback would be an influential fan. But in today’s world influencing people is done on such an immense scale that it’s literally become commercialized. A superfan today can either persuade millions of people that a certain artist is cool, or they can do the opposite and discredit their music. They can make or break a band.
Kylie Jenner is widely considered to be the internet’s most desirable influencer. For big companies and brands, she is the dream brand ambassador. What makes her so appealing? Why are smart business people so ready to pay for her positive tweets about their products? Trying to capture what makes Kylie such a strong influencer is like bottling a bolt of lightning. There is no easy formula to create such power of persuasion.
Despite how sweeping her influence in the fashion world may be, winning over music fans is not the same as convincing young people this or that brand of jeans is cool. In the music world, Kylie Jenner is not the personality with the most cache. Just as many if not more people could be turned off by something they learn she listens to, instead of making them want to be a fan. There is no one reason that she isn’t the definer of cool music the way she is of many other things.
How would an artist identify the right people in which to invest time and energy making into fans? On your first tour backed by a record company, who would you want to invite to your performance? Who would get all-access backstage passes if you were on the verge of making it big?
In today’s world the internet is where the most effective far-reaching influence spreads, so targeting social media users with massive amounts of followers is always a good start. The best fans to strive for might be different in various parts of the world. For instance, here in America the captain of your city’s soccer team is not likely to have the same type of fanatical influence that a Spanish League team captain has in Spain. Popular athletes can be valuable fans to cultivate due to their public visibility and the exposure you stand to gain from being in their orbit. They might record a video of your show from the VIP section, or they might play your music in a workout video. Their followers will watch their videos and hear your music, opening a door to new listeners who might never have heard of you otherwise.
Aside from athletes and public figures with massive amounts of followers, who else is an ideal fan? The obvious answer is anyone capable of influencing potential listeners, but is having a great quantity of fans always more important than having a quality of fan who might possess a certain refinement of taste? What is it about the opinion of a more discerning, authoritative listener that makes their influence carry more weight than that of a super-influencer?
This is like asking why Kylie Jenner is such a productive influencer in fashion, that it’s more of a feeling, an instinct that can’t be captured and replicated like a formula. Simply put, the ideal fan is anyone who is cool. And cool is always changing, and never the same today as it was yesterday. Cool has often been described as something that can only be obtained without pursuit. Coolness is what artists hope to project because it attracts other cool people to become fans. In our current crazy cycle of celebrity influence and viral fame, it’s still your “coolest” most discriminating fans who will attract the most passionate listeners to your music. These are the fans who will raise your cultural credibility and continue to champion your sound even as the superficial appeal and fleeting popularity, the “cool” of trendier artists seems to fade away.
Now that we’ve covered how important detailed targeting expansion is, join Vampr today to see how we can make your musical dreams come true!