January 6, 2016

Rappers – the OG* content marketers

*For those not keeping up, OG means original gangsta – someone who’s been around for a while and knows what they’re doing.

The reason rappers should be your content marketing role models

Sure, they aren’t the type of guys you would be taking home to meet your father, but taking a page from some of the world’s biggest rap stars could be the best thing that’s ever happened to your content marketing strategy.

Constantly looking to deliver relevant, actionable content that provides consumers with some form of value, smart content marketers understand that building brand awareness will lead to conversions. Something that rap stars of today have clearly taken note of.

Drake is arguably one of the biggest names in the music industry right now. But before he was all over our Facebook news feeds and selling millions of records, the rapper was putting out mixtape on top of mixtape. These mixtapes were free quality music, free quality highly consumable content. Content that was driving awareness of his brand all while converting fans. Putting out high quality, free content that provided consumers with value was an effective way of building a strong reputation and consumer base. This would eventually be monetized when he dropped his debut album ‘Thank me later’; which in the first week sold 447,000 copies raking in millions of dollars in profit.

No matter how invested you may be in the current rap music scene, there’s no denying that these tactics have led to a significant amount of revenue. Now, I’m not saying we should all go out and start releasing a bunch of mixtapes, but any company looking to establish its reputation in the market would be smart to take note of Drakes success.

Drake isn’t the only one doing it either; in the months leading up to the release of his fifth studio album ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’, Kanye West introduced a promotional campaign named ‘GOOD Fridays’. Each week he would release a free original song onto the site and the campaign was so popular it led to the website crashing a number of times.

A key reason the campaign was so popular was collaboration. With a good understanding of his consumer base, Kanye picked out a number of musicians he knew would draw a lot of attention. Musicians such as Nikki Minaj, Jay Z and Rick Ross featured on a number of tracks, opening Kanye’s music up to a new audience and attracting new listeners. Collaborating ever since he first appeared on Jay Z’s ‘The Blueprint’; Kanye has been using guest spots as means of increasing his exposure and promoting his brand to a new fan base.

If your company is able to create a connection with other influential and visible brands, creating content for their blog or providing a backlink to their site, can much the same open you up to a new network of consumers. Through doing so you will be able to spread your message and brand name to an audience who haven’t already heard what you have to say.

Though it might feel as though you’re taking a risk, basing your content strategy off a guy known for crashing awards shows and beating up paparazzi, there’s one thing we can’t deny: people can’t stop talking about Kanye West. Whether it’s one of his outrageous rants or his latest album, people want to listen. And while we can only hope that our businesses turn out to be as good as Kanye West thinks that Kanye West is, the guy sure can teach us a thing or two about good content marketing.