How Jacklando Used Video Marketing to Increase Fan Base
And What We Learned Along the Way
Between the time I graduated from Gonzaga in the Spring of 2020 and when I started at Gray Media in December, I spent a majority of my time playing music with and creating content for our Spokane band, Jacklando. As we all know, live music took a big hit from the pandemic. We were finally booking gigs at local bars, concert venues, and restaurants just as the shutdowns began. We were ready and excited to take the summer after graduation to pursue music full time.
When we realized that live gigs were no longer a viable way to expand our already limited audience, we decided to record our second EP. This was exciting for us as we all felt we had grown as musicians and a band since the time we recorded our first project.
Any artist would agree that it’s one thing to produce something of value, and another to find people that will enjoy it. That’s where the marketing comes into play. With the help of a few local musicians, I learned some of the best tactics in promotion, funding, and new releases. In everything we did, video was at the forefront of the strategy.
We frequently recorded videos that were entertaining, displayed our personality, communicated our passion for music, and gave people an inside look at how we made our music. When promoting your brand, video is the best way to allow the most amount of people to get to know you at a deeper level. As I mentioned in our last blog on 5 Ways Video Helps Your Business, the more educated (and entertained) your audience, the better. People like what they know and can relate to. Without video, it can be very hard to make this connection.
While writing these songs, we were so excited about sharing our new sound. As we finished recording all eight tracks in the EP, Two Faces, we got a call from Allen Stone, a well known soul artist throughout Washington and the entire nation. He had invited us to play on his live stream series, “Live at the Lodge”. Playing this show drew a fair amount of people to our social pages. Luckily, we had a great portfolio of released music and video content to show that we were the “real deal”.
Having a wealth of material and video content to show is essential for this exact reason. Whether you are out playing live shows or having conversations with random people about what you do, you need to be prepared to share your work. A lucky break where you get unexpected free publicity is worthless if there is no high quality content showcasing your offerings. You need somewhere to send people! As you might have guessed, this is a lesson for not just musicians, but anyone in the professional space. Here is a recording from our live session with Allen:
Aided by our video content, we grew our social following on Instagram and Facebook, went from 300 Spotify listeners to upwards of 12,000 at the highest point, and successfully crowdfunded our EP using a kickstarter campaign. Other factors, such as Spotify algorithms, the quality of music, and publicity from the Allen Stone show played a role in this success. However, without video supporting all of our efforts, we wouldn’t be even remotely close to where we are today.
Below, I’ll break down four key factors I learned were essential when creating video content and managing our band’s social media.
Consistency is key for a few reasons, especially in video marketing. One, the more regularly you create content, the more you’ll improve. You find out what works, what people like to see, what you’re good at, and your audience will grow. It just takes a little patience. One insight we gained from consistently producing content was that our audience enjoys shorter snippets of us playing music with fun images and B Roll. On Instagram, finding out what works best is very easy. By utilizing the “insights” button, you can find out how many people liked, saw, and shared your post. You can also see how many people clicked through to your profile and website straight from the content. Here is an example post below.
Second, consistency in the style, type, and frequency of content is more engaging for your audience. While spontaneous and weird posts can be fun, people love consistency. Consider for a moment SportCenter. They use the Top Ten Plays segment as a way to keep the audience entertained and watching until the end.
One consistent segment we produced was a series called “Discovering Jacklando”. It started out as an improvised jam sesh filmed with one iPhone where we would write a song on the spot in one take. It actually was the source of two songs off of our new EP! As we got to the seventh installment, it became a more planned out and slightly higher quality production with multiple angles. These videos were very successful and became something we could hype up each week. It was raw, creative, and showcased our personality. It also gave us an opportunity to practice group improvisation. We actually ended up repurposing the above Allen Stone session as one of the episodes! Refer to our YouTube page for more episodes!
The second important factor to consider when creating video content is the quality. A lot of people think that in order to get started doing your own video content, you need an expensive camera. The truth is many of us have one right in our pockets. Smartphone cameras are amazing at capturing quality video and can be a sufficient setup when starting out.
To ensure the best quality, the footage you take should be stable, well lit, and each shot should be well thought out. Before jumping in to filming, make sure everything is in order.
In the video below, we were able to shoot a live music video using mostly stationary smartphone angles with one moving camera. This recording was shot with the help of our good friend, Aodhan Brown.
I edited all of our videos using Final Cut Pro X. If you are a mac user, iMovie is a great inexpensive alternative to Final Cut to get started with editing. You can also get iMovie on your iPhone to quickly create videos on the go. Before I invested in Final Cut, I edited all of my individual music content using the iMovie smartphone app.
Taking time to edit videos, rather than just throwing the raw clips up on social media, makes a big difference. Adding things like filters, cuts, titles, transitions, etc. can make your video much more engaging.
Tip: Delete unusable footage on your phone as you are filming. One annoying thing when it comes to transferring and editing files is trying to find the good clips amidst all the mess-ups and do-overs. If you are diligent about getting rid of the footage you know you won’t utilize, the whole process will be a lot more efficient. If you are worried about accidentally deleting good footage, you can go to the “recently deleted” folder to recover videos. This will also save storage space on your phone.
The third, and perhaps most important element in making video content is creativity. In each video, there should be some eye catching or interesting aspect of the visuals, concept, production, or message. One example of something we did for Jacklando was to simulate a “cloning” effect, where we could show the four of us interacting with ourselves duplicated in the same room. Little twists like this can keep a viewer engaged and entertained. It was also a perfect concept for getting our message across that we were coming out with new music. Here is the video…
Try to have some fun with it and don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone!
After you’ve come up with your idea, shot the video, and edited your project into a digestible piece of content, it’s now time to promote it. These days, it’s easy to get your content in front of people at little or no cost. For Instagram and Facebook, Jacklando’s two main social platforms, we tried to promote every video on our story, and we asked our good friends and fans to share these posts as well. It isn’t always about getting the most people looking at your content, but rather, the right people. Hashtagging and mentioning are two ways to get relevant people in on the conversation.
When promoting and planning your video, it is also important to think about the desired action you want people to take. For Jacklando, we asked people to pre-save our projects, listen to our music, check out our website, and buy our merch. Videos that have a specific call to action are great for paid promotions. When promoting your videos, you can target very specific demographics and interests. For example, if I am a local rock band trying to promote my music and gain fans in my city, my targeted ad might include residents of Tacoma (where I’m from) who like Rock Music, the Foo Fighters, ACDC, etc.
Using these targeted ads, we were able to gain followers on our Spotify account with a limited budget.
The core ideas involved while I was making these more casual videos for Jacklando can translate into professional video marketing. Consistency, quality, creativity, and promotion are aspects that even the most high budget ad-agencies likely keep in mind. For example, you can see consistent and creative elements in the marketing for big insurance companies with Jake from State Farm, Flo from Progessive, the Geico Gecko, and even the Aflac Duck. And while the average person may not have access to professional camera equipment, with some planning and effort, you can make a decent quality video with just your smartphone.
I’d love to hear about your experiences marketing your business, and whether you used video in your strategy. Feel free to leave a comment or reach out using the button below.
If you’d like to check out Jacklando’s new project, Two Faces, click this link: https://ampl.ink/eEa44
Thanks for reading!