A few months ago I wrote a blog on how Chance the Rapper made history, without selling any albums, by creating brand advocates through a process that looks similar to inbound marketing. To summarize that blog, Chance created a quality product, gave it to people for free, and supported it through an engaging online presence. After establishing these roots, he was able to grow a powerful population of brand advocates who share his brand with people they're around.
Read the full blog here: How a 23-Year-Old Made Grammy History Without Selling Any Albums
This past Tuesday night, my wife and I saw him live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. One of the things I was left with after his powerful performance was confirmation of how big and dedicated his fan base is. He has grown, quickly and exponentially, which is rare to see from an independent artist. I was also left with, among other things, a number of new takeaways businesses can use to grow. So, here we go. Here are 9 things Chance did during his concert that your business can replicate in order to expand.
He made people realize they need something.
After the concert, I looked through Instagram posts that tagged the BOK Center (the venue of the concert) and noticed a common theme amongst captions accompanying corresponding posts. Many of the captions detailed an emotional response experienced during the performance and others were simply words of thankfulness to Chance for providing an evening filled with joy and reminders that life is good. People might've come in with the sole expectations of hearing good music and watching a great production, but judging from numerous Instagram posts, many left with a new perspective on life.
The people you're targeting with your marketing may not know they need something until you offer it to them. Maybe they haven't heard of the latest marketing trends, but if you offer them an educational blog or content offer, their eyes can be opened and your business will be the enlightener and beneficiary. So, organize the knowledge in your head and publicize it for all to benefit.
He reacted to circumstance.
To keep up with the ever-evolving world of marketing, you have to be able to react to circumstances. If one strategy isn't working, the ability to adapt is a must.
There were a number of times that Chance fed off the reaction of the crowd and changed his set accordingly. Fluid adaptability, it saves time, keeps audiences engaged, and ensures that you can roll with whatever punches are thrown at you.
He spoke to people like they're people.
You know all those people commenting on your posts, sending you messages, sharing your content, or leaving a review for your business? Those are real people, no just avatars. People expect to be responded to. If someone takes the time to interact with your business through social media, take the time to continue the conservation. By not responding, it leaves the impression that your time is more important than the consumers time, and that's not a great way to grow.
Though Chance couldn't possibly respond to every single person in the arena, he took the time to respond to a few from the stage. There was even a moment that he walked the length of the arena on an elevated platform, looked people in the eye, and waved and said "hello" to them. Acknowledge people. People are valuable.
He gave people something high-quality.
The production at the concert was top-notch. Chance reciprocated the time and money people were spending on him by giving them the best show he could.
How valuable is the content you're offering people? Does it reciprocate the time they've sacrificed to reach out to you?
He reinforced his brand.
Chance emerged on stage with his signature "3" hat, and after performing his intro song, he introduced himself with self-deprecating undertones, saying, "I'm Chance the Rapper and apparently I sell out arenas now." Throughout the concert, Chance made slight mentions of his brand, whether it was by having the audience hold up the number three with their fingers, making minor mentions of his Grammy awards, displaying a satirical slideshow of record labels, or showing off his child-like joy that people have become accustomed to.
He was authentic and passionate.
There were a few moments where Chance slowed things down and let his honesty, passion, and intimacy connect with people. For example, in the middle of his upbeat song, "All We Got," he slowed things down and changed the words from "music is all we got" to "Jesus is all I got." In a similar moment, Chance slowed things down and told us that he lost someone very close to him a couple days before the concert and that he'd had a rough couple days. He followed these moments with passion-filled renditions of a couple of his more popular songs. These moments, along with his gospel-infused songs of encouragement, connected with people on a deeper level than his music could by itself.
Is the message you're disseminating authentic? If so, you have a chance to connect with people on a deeper level. Passion and authenticity have a tendency to drive people to take action.
He gave his team a face and name.
Early in his set, Chance introduced the band that was playing his songs for him, giving them the spotlight and due acknowledgment.
One of the best ways to to connect with customers is by humanizing your company. Introduce your team to people through bios that give more information than name and job title.
He told a story.
Chance's whole tour is aptly named the Be Encouraged Tour, and he used his performance to tell a story of encouragement. Intermittently between songs, he spoke of his own path toward discovering joy and pressed on everyone in the arena how valuable they are to him.
Your business has a story. Tell it and invite people to partake in the future telling of your story.
He repurposed his content.
The fourth anniversary of Chance's second mixtape was earlier this year, so he performed a short set to revisit those songs.
Chances are, you have content that you can revisit. You can save time by repurposing the content you've already created into new formats. Instead of constantly struggling to push out something that's brand new, audit your content that has been successful in the past and give it new life.
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