Brands are getting social with a soundtrack.
Building an online community has increasingly become a key focus for brands, in tandem with the world of social media growing in importance. These platforms are a veritable goldmine of opportunity for brands from L’Oreal to Lego, Dominos to Dell in reaching and establishing loyalty with consumers. Digital strategies vary from brand to brand, even from campaign to campaign within a brand, as marketers are looking to find the key to building their social reputation and presence. But how does music move the needle in all this?
Music has long been a factor in brand marketing, with celebrity endorsements and associations viewed as a mutually beneficial relationship. The formula is simple - we pay you money, you make your fans want to consume our product. Now major brands like American Express hosts sponsored live-streamed concerts, Diet Coke shares a behind-the-scenes of Taylor Swift’s commercial shoot on YouTube, Blackberry brings Alicia Keys on board as their global creative director. Measuring the impact this has for the brand is notoriously difficult, but looking at the social impact these partnerships have on the brand, the numbers indicate that brands do indeed benefit from these partnerships, in that their social reach increases.
Of course this can vary greatly. When Diet Coke announced their partnership with Taylor Swift in late January, by having the young superstar deeming the beverage “one of the great loves of my life” in a YouTube snippet, which they then shared through their Facebook page, they saw their numbers skyrocket. The average daily number of new followers in the week leading up to the Facebook post was a little more than 340. The following week, they saw a daily average of 3373. That is an increase of 888%. Swift herself boasts a massive online fan base, more than 34 million Twitter followers, and 47 million Facebook page likes. Diet Coke has a paltry 2.3 million page likes (in comparison that is).
When Chevrolet released their "Made to Love" spot featuring John Legend on YouTube and shared the clip on Facebook in June, the car brand saw the average daily views to their official channel jump by 85%, going from close to 60,000 a day to more than 110,000. The bump on Facebook was smaller, but still positive, an increase of 10%.
Looking at the social data around artists and brand collaboration announcements, for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, an increase is the norm. For 42 cases, the average increase in daily new Facebook page likes from the week prior, to the week after announcement, is 1332. Similarly, on YouTube, the numbers go up. Looking at the average of 33 different announcements, the number of daily views goes from 99,000 to 191000 week to week. And the average difference of 39 announcements, saw new daily Twitter followers go from 514 to 759.
While the impact varies from case to case, these numbers make the case that endorsement deals with artists and athletes are indeed gaining brands a significant increase in exposure and reach, even by simply announcing a partnership with an artist.
Liv Buli is the resident data journalist for music analytics company Next Big Sound. Buli is a graduate of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and her work has appeared in Newsweek Daily Beast, Forbes, Billboard, Hypebot and more.