The Truth About Boost Marketing (Advice For Independent Artists)
WHAT IS BOOST MARKETING?
So you have 100,000 Views on YouTube, 50,000 Followers on Twitter, 20,000 Fan Likes on Facebook, and 30,000 downloads on Datpiff, but only three (3) people showed up to see you perform at your last showcase... (SOMETHING IS NOT ADDING UP)
Lately, there has emerged a myriad of companies that advertise "Boost Marketing."
Boost marketing, which is also known as "Short Cut Marketing," involves enhancing the numbers of an artist's statistics to give the appearance of increased traffic. Oftentimes, the stat boosts are not real but are falsely manufactured.
Several companies advertise that they can get an artist thousands of Twitter followers or Facebook fans, etc. They also advertise that they can increase the YouTube numbers on an artist's music video.
Many independent rappers and singers believe that Boost Marketing can give them leverage or an edge in the marketplace. Additionally, many artists believe that by boosting their stats, it will attract major labels and possibly get them a recording deal.
But the major record labels want to do business with artists who have PROVEN MOVEMENTS. They not only want your MUSIC, they want your FANS as well!.
Record label executives can see right through the manufactured stats. When an independent artist's music video has 500,000 views on YouTube with 12 likes and one comment, then something is not adding up.
With the emergence of "Boost Marketing," nowadays, some rappers have movements that are faker than a $3 dollar bill.
(Fake Views On YouTube + Fake Followers On Twitter + Fake Fans On Facebook = FAKE MOVEMENT)
The fact is that Successful Independent Artists promote themselves, book their own shows, sell their own CDs or digital downloads, and establish relationships directly with fans. It defeats the purpose of developing a real brand by constantly paying for services that get you stat boosts on Datpiff, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.
I can understand paying for stat boosts a few times but not constantly. Boosts can be used to position yourself, but you still need to develop REAL FANS. When artists pay for number boosts, they usually put little investment or little effort into genuine promotion to spur growth and visibility.
Furthermore, if you have inflated stat numbers but low fan engagement, for example low CD purchases or low showcase ticket sales, then that's a failure in and of itself. (I'd rather have 300 dedicated followers who support my movement than to have 50,000 FAKE ones who don't.)
Moreover, paying for stat boosts EVERY TIME you drop a new project just gives a false impression of growth when, in fact, your movement may be stagnant. It makes more sense to get on your grind, get a plan, get a budget, and build your brand via grassroots marketing one fan at a time.
Invest in a solid Music Marketing Plan which includes Online Promo, PR/Publicity, E-Blasts, Video and Radio Promo, Concerts/Shows, Press Releases, and Street Team/Club Promo. Hire a good PR person with proven relationships with bloggers, websites, and print media, which will allow more national access to your movement. It's not cheap, but it pays off a lot more in the long run.
Equally important, it should be noted that Major Record Labels themselves are even known to buy back their own releases to boost sales. However, if independent artists want to survive and grow their business, then it's best for them to develop real fans who will buy their music or pay to come see them perform, etc. You have to make moves, document your moves, and then inform the public about your movement. Utilize Press Releases and E-Blasts to inform fans. Indie artists need to stop mimicking major artists and just keep it authentic.
And always remember that the key to creating a genuine "Buzz" starts with having a GREAT PRODUCT. Without that, everything else is moot. In order to create a successful genuine movement, you must treat your music career like it's a business.
Contributor Jesse Atkinson is CEO of Urban Threshold Inc. and Founder of The A&R Power Summit and The Underground Music Awards. Follow him on Twitter (@UrbanThreshold).