Classified ads at the back of the newspaper aren't cutting it anymore. Influence marketing is the new name of the online game. Social media presence is wide and varied, and advertising has to adapt to fit the needs of a brand online. Sometimes, that means adopting unconventional advertising strategies.
Soundcloud is one such unconventional strategy. The user-created content based platform used to be the home of underground artists trying to share their work with a larger audience, and now encompasses everything from mainstream artists to podcasts.
Brands are getting in on the action, too. Media with a storytelling background like the National Public Radio (NPR) has a presence on Soundcloud now, and popular brands like Red Bull have released audio exclusive content on Soundcloud as well.
Clearly, you don't have to be a musician to use Soundcloud to advertise your brand, but where do you start? Here's a few things you should know.
Soundcloud is a popular audio sharing platform, second only to YouTube as a music streaming service, specifically for discovering new music. With hundreds of millions of active users and ten hours of audio uploaded every minute, Soundcloud has carved out a niche for itself as a place for streaming audio of all kinds.
Soundcloud has a few features that contribute to its popularity. For one thing, anyone can sign up for free to publish a limited amount of audio. As long as you have a voice recorder, you can start putting your content on Soundcloud, because the platform does not discriminate against low quality recordings.
Another feature that contributes to the culture of Soundcloud is the time tagged comment system. Not only can an audience interact on audio, they can hone in on specific parts of the audio. This can be important for longer pieces, or pieces offering information, letting users comment positively or negatively on the things that caught their attention the most and connect with other users.
There are many services based around Soundcloud to help new creators get started, letting them buy new followers and more aggressive marketing for their audio. Soundcloud itself offers higher services to paying customers with Premier and Pro, which offer more hosting space and analytics.
For a newcomer to the social media advertising game, Soundcloud offers a lot of ways to break in and become an influencer yourself.
Find your target audience
Like any platform with this many users, Soundcloud has communities within itself. Obviously, the music area will separate by genre, but other forms of audio can be split up by topic. Podcasts will often have different communities based off the Health songs content they produce.
To break into a community and become an influencer, it's important to find the people producing similar content to you. Connecting with them is an option that would be advantageous for you, by sharing their work or replying to it. Over time, they will come to see your name and remember you. This is where carefully choosing your brand name and coordinating images will become important.
Once you have found the community that best fits the content you will produce to promote your brand, you can move on to creating that content.
Set up a publishing schedule
Creating a Soundcloud account only to neglect it by posting sporadically or not at all would be an exercise in futility and a waste of your time. What keeps your audience coming back to you and builds their loyalty is consistent uploads.
Take a look at the content you aim to create. Based on what you're producing, how often can you consistently produce it? Try to structure your upload schedule around that.
Remember that when it comes to Soundcloud, there are ways to stay relevant past just uploads. You can share other content with your audience as well, and that is useful not only for interacting with your audience, but also with other creators. This is where coordinating your Soundcloud content with other social media such as Twitter will be useful, letting you share images as well as the audio on Soundcloud.
There are services based around Soundcloud that will let you buy plays and followers to help kick start your presence. One such service is BuyPlays, which lets you buy followers for your account. They promise that the followers you gain will be both active and engaged, and that will help you build your influence.
Building a network among the community by interacting with other creators will help you to stay established and influential within that community.
Engage your audience
As mentioned above, Soundcloud gives a unique kind of interactivity on their platform, allowing users to comment on specific times during a recording. This system encourages users to interact, and many will react to comments that resonate with them.
This can be both positive and negative. A user finding a positive comment that they agree with can cause an increase in appreciation for your recording, but a negative comment can start a firestorm.
Therefore, the way you engage with your audience can strongly affect how they see your work. First, produce content that is positive and begs attention from your audience. Then, when interacting with them on the platform, remember that a personal and polite style of reply will get you the farthest. After all, abrasive personalities can drive potential audience members away.
Soundcloud offers a platform with a highly engaged user base. Because of its history in the underground music scene, people are used to interacting with content creators. By finding a niche where your content is relevant, you can not only show your brand to your target market, but you can become an influencer and persuade them to buy into your brand as well.
With the many ways to break into communities on Soundcloud and to build your presence, becoming an influencer is an attainable goal. Because of Soundcloud's nature of being based on user content with no platform-based discrimination based on quality, even small businesses can break in as influencers with the correct blend of quality, interaction, and follower buys to get started.