Today, as an independent hip hop musician, you have both a blessing and a curse in front of you: the age of data. We are in an unprecedented era of being able to find reasons for just about everything.
From who is listening to your music to where you are getting most of your social media hits from, data is supreme today. For that reason, it’s increasingly important that you start using data more – and that you trust data.
It’s easy to distrust this kind of knowledge, and to make music decisions based on your gut feeling. While it might seem odd to you that most of your listeners are coming from places you would never have seen as ‘yours’, data rarely lies.
For this reason, it’s vital that you change your mindset towards using data as a tool, not an enemy.
Making the Most of Data
The first thing that you need to do, in essence, is be more open-minded about technology. Rather than seeing data as a complexity, arm yourself with its power.
Start looking at where your main hits are coming from, and aim directly at that. Start utilizing what is showing up as your own personal trends as your next step.
It’s vital that you start making the right calls immediately about the use of data, basically. A lot of the most successful artists are pinpointing where to be based on the heat maps that their marketing data shows.
From what kind of stuff people are buying to the tracks of yours that seems to get the most hits, you know what you can build on.
If you find that people from a certain area are really feeling some of your more political stuff, go down there. Offer out the chance for interviews with local publications based on this data; show them that you are worth speaking to. Show them that you have a voice that people are listening to.
By the same token, if you find that some of your more serious stuff is being dropped in favor of a preference for more slapstick material, appeal to this base. Release some slapstick only stuff; maybe do gigs and tours in this area with an 80/20 concentration.
Marketing Smarter with Data
It’s the same for your marketing, too. You can start to use the information about who is buying what, listening when and messaging you from where. This helps you to hone in better on your major demographics, key areas to target by location, marketing material to use and even your general demeanor.
If the data shows that people are reacting better to one side of your music than another, take that as a sign. Don’t get entirely swayed and lose your purpose and aim purely on what data says, but let if influence key marketing decisions.
You need to be able to give your fans what they want. If this means tailoring gigs or content production based on the data, then it’s an opportunity worth investing your time and effort into.