When you think of the Grammys, what is your first thought? Music? That’s common. However, there’s so much more to winning a Grammy than music. Talented people are working in the background to put that artist or group in the spotlight.
The Album of the Year recognizes everyone who contributed to the album—the performer(s) and the production team. Record of the Year recognizes the performer and producer of one song. Song of the Year recognizes the people who wrote the lyrics and tune of one song. Best New Artist recognizes a performer who has broken through the barriers to establish a public presence as a musician.
If you want to produce Grammy award-winning content, focus on teamwork first. Draw in talent from multiple departments. Don’t leave content production only in the hands of a dedicated marketing team. Your marketing team may be your idea generation component and production component, however, the rest of your team should be considered for performance roles.
Contrast Your World and the Grammy’s World
Definition of Quality Differs
With the Grammys voting is based on quality alone. The official website says it isn’t influenced by sales, chart performance, personal friendships, regional preferences or company loyalty.
In your world, the definition of quality spans a far wider spectrum. One member of your customer base may feel quality is the power of your content to entertain them, regardless of the video quality or ‘political incorrectness’ of your material. For another, these same factors are major players in whether they will engage with you or not.
Despite these surface differences, Grammy winners have done one thing well. They have connected with their genre. They know their audience. They may actively stretch the boundaries with their listeners as far as possible, but they work from a position of knowing where they want to go.
Depth of Content Differs
Content doesn’t have to be substantial to win a Grammy. It doesn’t even have to be critically acclaimed if you believe critics like Maynard James Keenan.
“I think the Grammys are nothing more than some gigantic promotional machine for the music industry. They cater to a low intellect and they feed the masses. They don't honor the arts or the artist for what he created. It's the music business celebrating itself. That's basically what it's all about.”
I think the Grammys are nothing more than some gigantic promotional machine for the music industry. They cater to a low intellect and they feed the masses. They don't honor the arts or the artist for what he created. It's the music business celebrating itself. That's basically what it's all about.Maynard James Keenan Gabriella (July 2002)
His critique of the Grammys has one point worth you cannot overlook as you create content. You can’t produce much content celebrating yourself! And even when you do create content that highlights how great your company is, it’s best to associate it with something that benefits others in a massive way.
Keenan’s low intellect and feed the masses snipe ignores the importance of being relevant. So do take away this lesson from the Grammys. Produce content at a level that fits your audience.
For an audience of engineers, your content must meet their expectations. Clear and polished. Factual. Educational. Your content may never receive critical acclaim, however, it is essential it be substantial for this audience. This is what will resonate with the customer you want to attract.
If your audience is the typical consumer, you create a different type of content. Also clear, yet less polished. Written to 4th through 8th grade level. Informative, yet more entertaining. It is essential you:
- Produce content that resonates with your ideal customer.
- Create related content using different formats so the content resonates with the main learning styles—text and video for visual learners, audio and video for auditory learners, and apps delivery for kinesthetic/tactile learners.
Approach to New Ways of Doing Things Differs
Some critics of the Grammys tell us the best way to not be nominated is to stray from the ‘old way’ of doing things. While the old guard may be a bit slow at accepting new trends in music, it’s clear they aren’t awarding Grammys to artists stuck in the Big Band era.
To be successful at content marketing, you need to blaze new trails once in a while. In your quest to make Grammy award-winning content, don’t focus too much on ‘this is how we have always done it.’ As Randall Roberts says, “Falling behind the times is nothing new for the Grammys, but once they've lost sight of the artistry that makes music soar, they'll not just be irrelevant, they'll be out of business.”
Robert’s comments are equally relevant to you as you produce content. Keep your fingers on the pulse of your target audience. Listen to what they are talking about. Respond to what they’re interested in. Be relevant.
Bring Lessons from the Grammys into Your World.
You can’t ignore the fact that the Grammys draw a huge viewing audience. In 2015, 25.30 million viewers watched the awards and the average ad price was $1 million. That’s a drop from the year before, however, it remains impressive.
Winning a Grammy has been associated with improved record sales since 1975. Being nominated for a Grammy also boosts sales. What is the equivalent in your world? Viral content.
Some viral content is like a fashion fad. It makes a quick round and disappears. However, when you do it right, going viral within your target market sticks. It’s like a song that topped Billboard’s Hot 100 chart with the original artist and then takes the chart on a second time with a singer of the next generation.
While it’s impossible to predict exactly what will turn your content into a viral sensation, there are some qualities that improve your chances.
- A pattern is present that people can recognize (great for setting things up).
- Enough cues are there to suggest what’s probably coming next.
- Breakouts from the expected create a mixed experience (instant like, instant dislike or the ‘what was that?’ response). All tend to produce chatter.
While instant likes are better than content that has to ‘grow’ on people, music’s ‘mere exposure’ effect can increase the popularity of your content if there’s enough present to get people thinking.
Not every song wins a Grammy. Many Beatle’s songs never hit the Billboard charts. However, many artists are still singing them. If you focus on producing marketing content that fits your target audience’s craving for a refreshing, positive experience, your content could be Grammy level—even if there is no award.
If you need a jump start on producing great content be sure to download our free eBook: Getting Started With Content Marketing below. It has all the steps to get you started with your content marketing plan!