It’s public knowledge that I have a strong love (okay, it’s an addiction!) for Depeche Mode and their music. So, while our CEO, Greg Marlin, was busy working on the new Marketing.AI…(Shhh! Top secret! -Greg), I took it upon myself to write this post (Sorry, Greg, I had to!) about how Depeche Mode are masters at content marketing.*
(* Please note that I’ll do my best and refrain from making any witty comments or replace certain phrases with song titles into this post. Yes, that’s a lie.)
Depeche Mode have been releasing albums for over thirty years. When they started their career, there was no such thing as the Internet (incl. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogs, etc). They relied on their fans to spread the word about their music (word of mouth) and on the press to write about their albums and shows content, but in paper format. Many years later the power of the Internet, including photos and videos, would soon take over as the main source of both advertising and marketing.
I’m going to jump ahead and pass over many of the amazing years Depeche Mode had, especially the 90’s (that’s when they released my favorite album of theirs, “Songs of Faith and Devotion“), because they didn’t really fully establish their online presence until the mid-to-late 2000’s, and will focus more on their current content marketing and social media strategies.
If you review Depeche Mode’s current online activity, you’ll see that they (or their webmaster, Daniel “Brat” Barassi) produce content across their blog and associated social media channels, mostly on a daily basis.
Some Great Reward
should be must be engaging. While the band and their webmaster do not interact with the fanbase in regards to Tweeting at someone or replying to a thread (it’s a one-way conversation), it’s interesting to see how engaging their content is across their channels nonetheless. I, myself, ‘Like’, Retweet, and share almost every single post, and it’s most likely because I’m a huge fan. However, just think about how many die-hard fans they have. Currently, they have a total of about 10 million fans across their major social channels (Facebook [7.2m], Instagram [45,000], Twitter [1.89m]). Their Facebook posts each have hundreds if not thousands of ‘Likes’ and shares, and hundreds of comments to go along with them. The same goes for their Instagram posts. It’s there that Depeche Mode shares most of its engaging content in the form of photos and 15-second video clips. We flock to their page, like each post, comment on how a certain song or album has affected our lives, and profess our love for the band and their music. While the band doesn’t engage with us back (insert sad face here), we know it’s the connection to Depeche Mode’s history and current events that matter. The content is relevant, visually rich, and allows us to escape into their world of music and storytelling. That’s really all we want, and it is gifted to us in this new digital era.
This year, Depeche Mode used the entire month of May to showcase #ModeMay, where they would post a photo to Instagram based on a theme related to their album history. The result was a huge success for the band as each photo received thousands of likes and comments, and one lucky fan each day was selected to have their submission “regramed” (the equivalent to sharing someone else’s post on Instagram) on Depeche Mode’s Instagram account. I don’t know about you, but to get a nod of some sort from them would make my life. Here’s what they proposed:
Get The Balance Right
There’s one thing that Depeche Mode are doing right across all aspects of their digital presence: They’re not overdoing it. A fair amount of content is being shared each day/week, making sure not to inundate us with nonsense that would otherwise be frowned upon. We get our fix, and we’re happy about it.
It’s important to understand who your customers are. You must remember that they like to be spoken to, not pitched. Throw some new things into the mix. Ask open-ended questions, share relevant content, and show some interest in what your customers or fans are sharing. But please, please make sure you balance your content — how much you’re going to produce, what type of content you will produce (blog posts, photos, videos), and when it will be shared across your networks. If you can manage this balance, you’re on the right track.
“Because When You Learn, You’ll Know What Makes The World Turn” / Come Back
Please know that there are plenty of artists, brands and companies who perform content marketing well. I chose Depeche Mode because, well, they’re my favorite band and my coworkers fully understand my devotion to them. Still, I believe others can learn from Depeche Mode’s success. After 30-plus years of releasing albums and selling out arenas around the world, their ability to still maintain credibility in the online space goes to show that they’re making the right moves. People continue to interact with the band by sharing photos, videos, song lyrics, etc through a variety of platforms onto numerous networks.
“Everything Counts in Large Amounts”
Not really. This is where I disagree with Depeche Mode (I’m sorry!). I believe it is better to share less as it tends to keep people wanting more. People love suspense. In this case, share a sneak-peek at a new music video, give us a teaser of the new album cover artwork, etc. You can get a “pass” if you’re posting live updates from an event – that’s okay – but just remember to keep it at a good, steady pace.
You can do this. Yes, you. It’s not impossible to create content and engage with your base of customers or fans. Take a few notes from Depeche Mode:
- Create fun campaigns for your customers and fans to engage with.
- Establish your presence on social media platforms where you will share relevant information
- Ensure that your content is meaningful and/or that there’s a message you’re trying to relay across to everyone
- Don’t overshare – Keep the information coming, but at a slow-to-normal speed (if you’re planning on sharing a lot within a small timeframe)
- Make sure that each piece of content has a connection to other pieces of content to help in building an overall narrative.
Just Can’t Get Enough
Didn’t get enough Depeche Mode from this post? Need to fulfill your fix? Here are some places to get more information, music and videos: