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Music As A Marketing Tool Focused On Millennials

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Music As A Marketing Tool Focused On Millennials

As all social media users know, millennials are now ruling the economics, making up more than 25% of the US population, with a purchase power of around $1 trillion dollars, and it’s not just me who says this: you can check the numbers on PTTOW, CNBC, and Forbes.

Because we spent a large part of our lives under the influence of electronics and social media, we like to see brands going an extra mile in order to sell us stuff.

Millennials are probably the first generation of buyers who prize the emotional bond between them and the seller. In order to make a millennial buy, you need to represent the complex set of values they appreciate and reach to them, speaking their own language. I will talk about the foreign language spoke by millennials in another article, as for this one, I want to discuss how music is becoming the leading marketing tool brands are using to advertise to millennials.

Why music?

Why music? Why brands are focusing their marketing campaigns on music, targeting millennials?

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The answer lies in the power of music. Music is able to cross cultural barriers and connect people in an amazing way. Music brings a lot of health benefits and is used as therapy, due to its great emotional power on the human brain. It also stimulates social interaction, which is just what brands are looking for. Moreover, millennials grew up on music, surrounded by tapes and sticking posters with pop singers on their bedroom’s walls. Some of us even had the advantage of recording music at home, with their computer, so music is close to any millennial’s heart.

The influence of the artist on the millennial.

Lori Feldman of Warner Brother Records states that music and the artist are critical to connect a brand with its consumers, as they transmit a certain message to the consumer, and this is true: music and those who sing it are able to emotionally connect people, so when brands started to use celebrities to advertise their products and conduct music marketing campaigns, they reached a gold mine.

To exemplify this, let’s remember the time when Jay Z announced the release of his LP “Magna Carta Holy Grail” in a Samsung ad, which was so effective the app went down due to traffic.

Call to action on musical notes.

Millennials are attracted by causes and they are quick to act and react on social changes. This generation will go out in the streets, asking for what they want! Music is going to be there, with them, at any social event, from a protest to a party, because music is dynamic and incites to action.

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Amnesty International launched a program called The Power of Our Voices in 2012, educating students about the power of music and how they can use it to drive social change. The program was a hit and many students wrote and sang their own protest songs, which incite to action, to change. After all, Billie Holiday sang about racial issues and most rappers sing about the difficulties of the ghetto live.

In this project, students were taught to drive change by using the power of their own voices.

Brands also took advantage of this driving force: during a contest labeled #AbsolutGaga that went on during Lady Gaga’s 2014 tour, fans were encouraged to share their creative ideas on how they would transform their community. Needless to say, the campaign was a hit and showed that people can be involved in transforming their community.

Music engagement leads to long term relationships.

What can you do to gain as much exposure as possible? Engage your audience! Music events have a great power to engage the audience – think Coachella and the million of photos and videos uploaded by the participants on their own social media channels. This is what makes Coachella the main musical event of the year and brands can benefit from this opportunity as well. The keyword here is “live event”. When people attend live events, they engage easier, because they are emotionally connected.

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The profile of the average music festival enthusiast is someone of 18-30 years old, who is quick to act on emotions and is active on social media. To understand better the phrase “act on emotions” think of the decision to spend hundreds of dollars on a ticket to a music festival: is it rational or emotional?

A study conducted by Momentum Worldwide showed that people who attend a branded live event are 65% more likely to recommend the brand afterwards and 59% more likely to buy from the brand afterwards.

Digital and traditional methods complement each other.

For a millennial who is highly active on social media, it may seem intuitive to use the online medium to discover new tunes. The reality is twisted: 78% of millennials find new music by listening to radio, which is a traditional medium.

Despite this, Twitter is the main platform where the audience meets the artist and share the news about live music events.

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H&M tested the results of this study when they launched their Fashion Against AIDS campaign on radio in 2008. The campaign had a great impact, as it was offering 500 tickets to an Estelle performance, which was going to be held at an yet unknown location. Social media was also used during this campaign. At the end, the entire marketing campaign showed the combo of millennials, music and social media can sell 50k designer T-shirts and attract 17k entries.

The conclusion on the power of music marketing on millennials.

Millennials are breathing music on their social media accounts and technology advancements are keeping us closer to our favorite tunes and artists, while we love to interact digitally with our idols, we also love to see them in live events. In fact, the general lack of social interaction is pushing millennials to crave more and more live music events, where they can get a physical and emotional experience.

All these make music a great marketing tool for millennials, so branded live music events are going to bloom in the future, as more and more companies use music to reach and engage their audience.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via images.unsplash.com

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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