Turn up your marketing volume with Spotify

Marketing

Turn up your marketing volume with Spotify

Music streaming services may provide your daily soundtrack for link-building or writing blog posts, but have you considered what they can offer for your Internet marketing?

The Swedish-based platform Spotify made a splash last year when it finally launched in the U.S., kicking off a partnership with Facebook that helped balloon its paying subscribers to over 2.5 million. Today, it and other streaming services like Rdio (Editor’s Note: Rdio is still Raven’s favorite), turntable.fm and Grooveshark have become the new radio for a lot of people.

With high engagement rates, nearly 5 million total daily users, seamless Facebook integration and library of more than 15 million songs, Spotify offers Internet marketers particularly ripe opportunities.

While other platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn and Quora may seem like a more natural fit for marketing campaigns, the creative thinking required to promote with Spotify can pay off big. After all, I might watch a couple videos on Vimeo each day or look up a couple of things on Quora, but I spent 8+ hours listening to Spotify at work and in the car.

Here are three ways to make some noise in your online marketing efforts by incorporating Spotify (or your favorite streaming service).

Create content around playlists

Suggested playlist: TIME’s Protest Songs playlist accompanying its coverage of the protestor as 2011′s person of the year

Well thought-out pieces of original content like blog posts, videos, photos and other media are some of the most valuable assets an online marketer can have.

But it’s not easy creating all that engaging and shareable content. It gets even tougher for many local businesses, whose content may not have national or worldwide appeal.

Creating a piece of content around an interactive playlist can give a post that extra stickiness. Not only do people get to read about the songs mentioned in a post, they also get to listen along. This works especially well for posts that have a natural tie-in to music; but there are a many different ways to work it in.

Just think about the type of playlist your target market would respond to, or the kind of song subject that fits your product or campaign, and build your content around that.

If you sell motorcycles, for example, a blog post on the “100 best motorcycle songs” with an accompanying playlist would be great. You can also create a collaborative playlist for a conference or event with which your brand is involved.

Other playlist ideas to get your creativity flowing:

  • 12 Songs Our Chefs Love to Cook to
  • How to Choose Music for Your Next Ad
  • Top 50 Workout Songs
  • Top 10/50/100 Songs of 2011/Decade/Summer

Use Spotify for contests

Suggested playlist: INQ loves music playlist accompanying their giveaway contest

Most online marketers will do a contest at some point. However, most use the same recycled ideas: trivia contests, random drawings, retweet to win, etc.

Spotify gives marketers a way out of the contest rut. Stand out from your competitors by having customers engage with your brand through a platform they haven’t seen a million times before.

Here’s a great example from Flo Rida, who’ll choose his favorite “get fit” playlist from entries on Spotify:

fit-like-Flo-Rida-contest

Some other Spotify-integrated contest ideas:

  • Create the ultimate Christmas/other holiday playlist
  • Name the movie/TV show/year that these songs were featured in
  • Create your own music video using one of these songs
  • A ‘scavenger hunt’ where a song must meet certain parameters to be added to a playlist

Pro tip: Use the content generated from the contest for future marketing or promotional materials. This showcases the community and social aspect of your brand to the masses!

Cultivate a community with music

Suggested playlist: The Contemporary Jewish Museum in California’s crowdsourced Ultimate California playlist in honor of the opening of its California Dreaming exhibition

Few things bring people together like music. Just go to a concert, church service or dance and you’ll see it in action. Music is able to foster and grow an online community for many of the same reasons it does offline.

Chances are lots of the people in your target market are going to have pretty similar tastes in music. Draw those people together by having them work together by building a playlist on a certain theme or giving their opinions on certain songs.

Some ideas for building community through playlists:

  • Add a new song to a playlist every week (let your community vote!)
  • Build a great collaborative playlist with your users
  • Get a known musician/celebrity to create a playlist of their personal favorites
  • Have users suggest music for your next YouTube video or commercial

Publicize your community-generated jams on playlist sites like sharemyplaylists.com and www.spotifylist.com.

No matter what type of music you jam to, chances are you’ve experienced the warm feeling of community while watching a live performance with others. Make it a goal to deliver that same feeling through Spotify and social media!

UPDATE: How to create a Spotify “business” account

Spotify requires new users to sign up with a personal Facebook account, so the Spotify account will always be tied to a personal account and not a business page. You can, however, choose a username when you sign up and I typically see marketers using their company name for that. Another option would be creating a new Facebook account (shhh!) just for Spotify. You can add an appropriate photo in addition to getting a branded username.

An alternative would be using another music streaming service like Grooveshark or Rdio and creating an account specific to your business.

Photo by JalilArfaoui on Flickr

Trevin Shirey is an Internet marketing specialist at WebpageFX. He wrote this post listening to this playlist. You can find him on Twitter and, of course, Spotify.

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