A Marketing Plan For Your Downtime [Michael Brandvold]

1For artists and bands, it seems as though most marketing advice tends to revolve around how to market a specific thing, be it a new album or event, but it’s important to also give thought to marketing during your downtime, between tours and albums.


Guest post from Michael Branvold of Michael Brandvold Marketing

So much effort is put into discussing how to create a marketing plan for you next release, next tour, next event. It almost seems as if everything marketing related revolves around how to market something. Have you thought about the importance of having a marketing plan for when you aren’t involved in a new release or a event? You know, your downtime. Between projects, when you are on vacation, between albums, between tours, just taking a break. Do you have a marketing plan for that time not related to a new release? Yes you heard me right, a marketing plan for when you are doing nothing. I’m serious, those periods of time when you are doing nothing it is even more important to have a marketing plan to execute. Out of sight is out of mind and with attention being demanded from everywhere online these days if you aren’t active when you are doing nothing you are moving backwards. Not standing still, moving backwards!

Social media and online marketing is not just posting things to Facebook. If that is what you think it is, get your nephew to do that. If you want to do it right, you want there to be a reason for posting. You want there to be a strategy to your posts. You want to accomplish something… you need a plan. Posting is the very last mile of your marketing and social strategy. The plan is what happens behind the scenes. Your posts should bring everything you do together. Your posts should support all your activities, even when you are not active. You aren’t doing anything, you aren’t active… it is even more important to have a social strategy of what you are going to post. You should always appear active, even when you aren’t. Out of sight, out of mind. Perception is reality.

Here is a real question I recently received…

“I just feel like I am being stagnant at times and I am trying to keep interest “flowing” without coming off as boring the fans. We currently have a lot of fan interaction but there’s just not a lot of new news to report until more show dates are announced. I have slowed down my posts while some fans are posting which is great, but much of it at times feels like, been there, done that. What can I do to make the page fresh and interesting when there are not any new news or updates currently available besides reposting previously posted pictures and videos?”

What they are encountering is the real challenge of a good social media and content strategy… what to post when there isn’t news or activity. How to keep things alive and active online when the artist might be off for months. This takes planning. It requires an inventory of all possible assets available to use as content. It requires a plan.

Lets create a downtime marketing plan.

I can already hear the comments now… “what is there to market if I’m not doing anything?” “who cares about what is happening when I’m not doing anything?”

1. Create an Inventory of Activities

The first thing you need to do is create an inventory of what activities are happening in the downtime. Be sure you review and determine which you wish to keep private.

Activities can include:

  • Share birthdays.
  • Share hobbies.
  • Share quotes.
  • Share lyrics.
  • Share videos.
  • Create a playlist, update weekly.
  • Share your vacation.
  • Share daily activities.
  • Share reviews of books, movies, albums.
  • Share your gear.
  • Create how to videos.
  • Share a tour of your rehearsal space. Your band storage locker.
  • Can you capture and record the process of being creative?

Remember what might seem like routine and boring to you will be of great interest to your fans.

2. Create an Inventory of Content

The second thing you need to do is create an inventory of what content is already available and what content you will be able generate.

Content types include:

  • Video
  • Audio
  • Photos
  • Text

What has been captured in the past but not used? Just because something is a year old doesn’t mean it still can’t be shared. Ideally you have been capturing content ongoing for sometime and you have built up a library of unused content. If that is the case you can skip ahead to scheduling your content. If you don’t have a library you will need to start gathering content now. Grab that smartphone and just start taking photos of whatever you are doing, wherever you are going, whoever you are meeting. Capture, capture, capture. Worry about it later if it is good enough to use. Capture it now. Everything doesn’t have to be perfectly lit, perfectly framed, completely in focus. You are capturing reality.

The first instinct  you might have after capturing a bunch of content is to post is all. Stop! Do not post everything at once, do not post everything over a couple days. We need to schedule out how you are going to use your content.

How to Create a Social Media Content Strategy

3. Create a Content Calendar

The third thing you need to do is create a content calendar.

A content calendar is simply a plan of what you are going to post when and where. There are all sorts of tools for this, but you can easily just use a to do list app, your calendar app or if you are using something like Hootsuite or Buffer you can preschedule your posts.

To create a calendar to will take into considering a couple things.

  1. How much content you gathered
  2. How long is the downtime

It’s pretty simple if you captured 14 pieces of content and your downtime is 7 days you can post two items a day. Just do the math.

The frequency of your posts might slow down, but you have to keep posting. Do not stop posting. The worst thing you could do is go silent. Below are some real numbers illustrating what happens as soon as you stop posting. That is a lot of red, a lot of negative numbers.

Real numbers illustrating what happens as soon as you stop posting

Real numbers illustrating what happens as soon as you stop posting

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