Zeshan B: my latest music crush

I think I’m a little late to the Zeshan B party, so a big shout-out of thanks to Stephen Colbert for the intro.  A Chicago-born Muslim soul singer with his stirring rendition of George Perkins’ “Cryin’ in the Streets.” Fantastic!

 

 

Advertisements

Marketing and mentorship, in real time

The past couple of days, my professional and personal passions have merged.  Although I missed – in person – this year’s Mesh (Toronto’s perennial digital media conference), I was monitoring some of the Twitter conversations via #meshcon. At the same time, I’ve been reflecting on the breakneck speed of the content (“official”, mainstream media and user-generated) that is being shared online with respect to next week’s release of the much anticipated Led Zeppelin remasters.

lzremasters copy

I may take slight issue with some of his social media and “web practices” over the last couple of years, but Jimmy Page has rightfully, and practically single-handedly, solidified Led Zeppelin’s legacy and place in the history of music. Not just classic rock, but music. Period. The time was “gonna come” (sorry), and he stepped up.

There is no doubt in my mind that the love, care, time and effort Jimmy has devoted to the Led Zeppelin remasters will continue to ripple throughout the entire music industry for some time. (And this is when it all began to “mesh”.)

As well, I suspect that any band – whether they’ve been around for 10, 20 or 40 years – will now look at their catalogue in a completely new way. Gone will be the act of just releasing a remastered CD with an accompanying 2-page press release, a one-off in Classic Rock Magazine and a morning tv show appearance.

The entirety of a band’s musical and creative development as it relates to their recording process will be considered.  “Companion material” will be the new catch phrase…and just as much weight – with care, precision and respect – will be devoted to the creation and execution of the actual roll-out of such a project.

Access, interviews (from Jimmy Fallon to elpais.es), contests, live web-streamed listening events, photo opps, official Facebook updates and YouTube uploads – all in perfect sync and deserving of the material itself and its legacy. On this point alone, Jimmy has given the passionate fanbase much to take in. But to other artists, he has given a marketing template – a gift – that exemplifies a full-on classy, “no compromise” strength of vision.

Marketing isn’t a four-letter word.  It’s passion. It begins with “know thyself” and your fans and pay attention to them…then, give them what they want…because the sweet spot is, it’s what you want, too.

For the bands who are considering a similar project, has Jimmy set the bar too high? Maybe. But that’s what mentors do.

There is no doubt in my mind. His mentorship continues, mesh too.

Dear Jimmy

…with all due respect, your online/social media strategy just isn’t doing it. Please.

JimmyPage.com is 2 years old today yet it’s still recycling OTDs. Visitors have to sign up with a name and email address to even surf the site, yet you’re not taking full advantage of even having that info…the one website I would actually like to receive emails from isn’t reaching out.

What are some things I would do?

Tweak your “On This Day” (OTD) strategy to be better aligned with how people use Twitter, Facebook, etc. I get there could be practical reasons for not archiving your OTD’s – the hassle (perhaps?) of hosting accompanying audio or video files) but it’s problematic…understandable, but in this Twitter/Facebook/et.al. world, problematic. Some folks aren’t on Twitter every day and may miss the occasional OTD. Those same folk may, however, may be glued to their email or Facebook or Tumblr accounts checking in multiple times a day. You already have our email addresses, why not just blast out an email letting us know of the OTD update?

Bring your OTD content right into your site. By way of a kind of calendar feature where your site members can click on a specific day, repurpose that content so visitors can catch up on some updates they may have missed…and share them amongst their friends and followers. Yes, I realize that goes against the current strategy, but many of those updates have been so creatively executed (not to mention your own accompanying commentary, beautifully cheeky at times, shining through) it’s a shame that they’re currently up for only 24 hours.

Freshen up your website design. Okay, okay, it’s only 2 years old, but, why not? If some upcoming Led Zeppelin re-releases are really on your sched before the end of this year, why not leverage the timing of them with a freshening up of your site? Its structure and navigation works – just a little design tweaking.

Dynamically pull in user-generated and other third-party content. You might not totally appreciate the extent to which folks are sharing and creating content, but we’re out here, and some of it is quite exceptional. There are technical, hands-off ways to create and maintain a connection (communion?) with your fans that enhance your website’s content, keeping it fresh, without much administrative work on your team’s part.

Now, citing 4 specific examples above flys in the face of how any social media strategy should be approached – because I’ve jumped immediately to some tactics. First things first: it does depend on your overall objectives, what you want to achieve, your overall content strategy, the resources you have to execute, and how you want to present your brand and legacy to your fans, all to the degree that you feel personally comfortable in doing so…in putting yourself “out here.”

I get that you’re private with mysterious tendencies – 😉 – but it is possible to stay current and “social media relevant” without encroaching on your privacy. You have over 1 million Facebook likes but barely 55,000 Twitter followers …fans on soundcloud, a raging fandom on tumblr, etc. etc., yet the activity on all those JP accounts appears to have fallen off a cliff.

It’s time. Change up the strategy. I guess there could be some things already in the works. If not, suffice to say, call/tweet/ping me… 😉 … this Taurus (with Moon in Cancer, I might add) would love the challenge.

20130714-134958.jpg