We’ve spotted a trend amongst DJs; many like Hunee or Jyoty are prioritizing “music-adjacent” content to engage new followers and promote their mixes. And some are becoming music influencers in their own right.
Creating content beyond mixes or live streams will help define your voice, brand, and authority as an industry professional. Take Crossfader or Ben Jordan (a.k.a The Flashbulb); both started a Youtube channel primarily to engage their fans, and both now generate new revenue streams outside of music. What’s more, they are considered experts in their field. The list of music influencers can go on, and if I continued you’d notice that there’s no shortage of content. The fancy term for this sort of social strategy is “content marketing,” that is, content that’s primarily useful to your community and indirectly promoting you and your brand.
But don’t let that term scare you away. It all comes down to new modes of engaging your audience. And to do it well, here are some of the building blocks to keep in mind:
It’s easy to overlook that social media is fueled by real, human connections. And the most successful influencers are those that cater to their specific niche — their community — and create positive feedback loops. That is, create content that your audience likely reshare, save, or comment on.
To identify what’s valuable content for your audience, research your community’s needs. Step one: make a profile of the age, demographic, and location(s) of your most likely follower. And more specifically, pinpoint the genres or scenes they circulate. Step two: research your DJ peers and investigate how they are creating content — what’s working and what’s not?
If you’re just starting with content creation, then ask these questions of your listeners directly. On giant platforms like Instagram, interacting with your niche is harder, but with Mixcloud posts, we’ve intentionally avoided that. You have total control of the channel, so take advantage of that transparency and find out what kind of content they enjoy.
Content comes in many shapes and sizes, not just mixes. And you might ask yourself “what can I do, if not mixes?” While that may feel like a daunting question at first, valuable content starts with sharing your knowledge and perspective.
You can do this in a variety of ways, this is where creativity comes in. Some DJs like DJ Habibeats are using Tik Tok to showcase their knowledge of sampling and music history. Others like Hunee are forming Discord groups to expand their network. And each medium has its advantages and choosing one that suits you is paramount. Tik Tok or IG Reels is a medium that lends itself well to catchy, simple, and culturally targeted content (if your audience is between the ages 18-24 this platform can serve you more.)
With that said, not all of us are comfortable with being on camera or editing video. If you’re the writing type, creating content can be as simple as a newsletter. Emails have always been marketing tools for artists (e.g Leon Vynhall,) but over the years they’ve taken new dimensions. Take Adam Offitzer’s Hear Hear newsletter of weekly music discoveries. His format lends itself well to Mixcloud posts; it’s easy for you to list new music, gear reviews, and define your voice.
There’s a balance between overwhelming your fans with content, and consistently releasing content. A common misconception about social media is that one has to produce volumes of material to succeed. But a regular schedule is what’s most impressionable. Why? Because your audiences will find it reliable and a part of their routine.
Creating a realistic schedule will help you better organize your output, and it’s important to do so at the start of the month. For example, if your current release schedule is a monthly two-hour mix, plan a separate content schedule for Mixcloud posts, Instagram, or Facebook. If you do abide by a once-a-month mix schedule, find an easy (and enjoyable) way to keep your audience’s attention in the meantime. And you’re more likely to find weekly consistency if you choose a medium that facilitates your creativity. Whether that’s monthly screensavers (inspired by musical discoveries,) weekly reviews or song breakdowns on Tik Tok. The regularity is what’s key, and that includes your mixes.
Ultimately, complimenting your musical output with social content will highlight your personality, interests, and voice. And we realize that “content creation” can seem like a dull term but once you’ve settled on the medium that suits your creativity, the rest will follow. In other words, authentic content will facilitate authentic connections with your followers. And if you were going to take one takeaway from this article, let it be that.