After 14 years of being off the air, The X-Files has returned with a 6 episode mini-season. With the revival came a whole lot of buzz, especially since long-time fans were finally looking to get some questions answered. Questions we’ve had for over a decade!
But I’m not here to talk about the plot of The X-Files. Or what my thoughts were on the new season (especially that finale, am I right!?).
I want to talk about a few lessons you can take away from the reboot – be it the tools they used to create conversation, interviews with cast, or the episodes themselves – that can be applied to your music marketing.
Sound like a stretch? Maybe. But I definitely saw some of the tools they used and immediately thought of the potential for bands to take some key points and apply to their marketing efforts.
Right Place. Right Message. Right Time.
I was attending the Digital Entertainment World Expo in Los Angeles a couple of weeks back. While I was there with my currently employer, I was able to sneak off into a music marketing seminar since the panel held some very fascinating people. The panel discussed the future of music marketing and what artists need to do to stand out. That alone deserves a whole other blog post, and maybe I’ll get to that for the next post.
Brian Harris Frank, co-creator of Beats Music, Executive at Warner Bros. Records, and President of Interlude Music, had this to say:
It’s all about “getting the right message to the right consumer at the right time.”
THIS is what’s missing from music marketing today. In 2016. With all of the avenues we have with interacting with our fans. Such a simple, yet powerful comment.
So how did I come to this from watching The X-Files reboot?
Even before the announcement of the reboot, there seemed to be a resurgence of love for The X-Files. Kumail Nanjiani hosted The X-Files Files, a podcast where he discusses each and every episode, long before he could even dream of a new season. Gillian Anderson was a guest on The Nerdist Podcast and host Chris Hardwick pried into her about the possibility of a new season. From this episode ALONE, #XFiles2015 started trending like crazy on Twitter.
They had the right audience. The right consumer. The right time. All they had to do was deliver the right message. And Chris Carter and his staff of writers and actors did just that with the premier of Season 10 in January 2016.
Just take a look at Google Trends and their stats showing how “The X-Files” trended over the last 2 years. NOW was the time to take action.
Know Your Audience
The act of “knowing your customer” is one that we hear all the time. But we usually use it to make sure we’re attracting the right customers and understanding their needs. This is all fantastic. But I want to know my customer in terms of understanding where they interact.
I’ve “live-tweeted” a few events in my life. Concerts. The Grammys. Political Debates. So of course I tweeted about the new season and live-tweeted the show as it was happening. (I also live-texted almost every episode with my buddy Adam Baxter. What’s up Adam!) The X-Files and Fox understand that their fans are ecstatic about the new season. They didn’t disappoint when it came to their interaction with fans on Twitter.
Look at that. Look at that in all of its glory. THAT is how you interact with fans. They knew their audience.
How are you interacting with your fans? Do you know which platform they engage with most frequently? Are they on Twitter talking about the latest hip show in LA? Can you find a way to engage with potential new listeners that way?
Are they tweeting during your set? Can you respond like The X-Files did and create something your fans will never forget?
It’s Ok To NOT Take Yourself So Seriously
Season 10 – Episode 3. Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster. Written by Darin Morgan. Darin wrote some of the most classic X-File episodes – Humbug. Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose. Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space.’
Filled with tons of Easter Eggs – both sincere and hilarious – ‘Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster’ is a classic Darin Morgan episode filled with The X-Files humor we’ve all grown to love.
One scene that sticks out to me is when Mulder is sitting against a grave stone and his phone rings. It just so happens to be the theme to the show! I laughed and couldn’t believe they were actually doing that. A show that is known for such seriousness was making fun of themselves and having a laugh. I felt connected even more because of this silly moment.
And I got to thinking. No matter how serious your band is and how serious its theme may be, there’s always room for personality and humor. So don’t be afraid to show this in your online presence.
Have some fun behind-the-scenes video of you in the studio? You’re not too serious to avoid putting this up. Showing your personality helps build the connection.