Think back to the 80’s music, if you can. (I often forget everyone is not my age.) Back then, MTV was coming on strong and the VJs on MTV were household names. The station was filled with music videos and music news, and it was in that environment that the song “Video Killed the Radio Star” was born. Videos and the flashy bands that starred in them were taking over, and it was just as much about how you looked on screen as how you sounded.

Right now we are experiencing the same phenomenon, but in 2018 fashion. Today it may be possible that YouTube Killed the Music Star. Try reading that without singing it in your head. Let’s think about this a bit.

This past Sunday, Justin Timberlake performed his much anticipated Super Bowl half time show. Some (like my wife) loved it. Others didn’t think so much of it. But I believe that a few years back, it would have been rated higher. What has changed? It’s the rise of the YouTube stars, these new personas who are less refined, less predictable and perhaps more entertaining to many in today’s audience. What they do is low budget and somewhat spontaneous.

This has led to a big change in the music industry. Older artists are touring more, because delivering an in-person experience is how they are making their money. Videos and music sales are not driving revenue like they once did. And on top of it they have to deliver a killer show because reviews make or break ticket sales.

This shift has an impact on your brand.

The rise of the YouTube star doesn’t have to kill the music star that is your brand. It can open opportunities. You no longer are required to have a refined and highly edited filtered presentation of who you are. You just have to get very clear with your brand and what personas you appeal to. Then create content that your audience cares about – content that is authentic and allows the audience to see your brand at a natural human level. The barriers to entry of delivering your message have practically gone away.

Things to consider before embarking on the journey:

  1. Consistency – can you consistently deliver a message to your audience? You see it all the time: someone gets excited and launches 6 videos in six weeks and then suddenly that all falls apart and you don’t hear from them in a while, if at all. Create a schedule that’s doable for your organization and start implementing. Ask for help if you need it.
  2. Authenticity – it’s important to portray your natural personality as a brand and as a leader. In the 80’s, much of the music had a formula and many artists were often not authentic. They were packaged products, not real musicians. Some were even lip syncing (remember Milli Vanilli?) What YouTube has taught us is there are a lot of audiences and different ideas, and authenticity wins.
  3. Audience – your audience wants something of value from you, whether it’s information, entertainment, or help. Deliver that. Don’t make it all about you, make it about them too. People move on quickly if all you do is talk about yourself. Remember what is in it for them.
  4. Perfection – most people have a fear of not being perfect. Start where you are, and be okay with improving along the way. Work on delivering your message, smooth out the kinks and people will learn to see your imperfections as your charm. Say nothing and your customers move on. No need to lip sync the lyrics. Just say it!

The reality is entertainment is always a thing people crave, but trends and how things are presented always change. This is a time where it is easy to produce content. So get after it. I see clients landing business each and every day by being their authentic selves and are completely unapologetic about it.  So work on a plan.

Not sure where to start? We would be happy to sit down and have a conversation.

Article written by

partner/marketing strategist/climber of mountains