June 16, 2014

"YouTube Sensations" and Winners of the Voice " Really Famous for 15 Minutes but Then What? By Enfluence Group Chief Brand Navigator Ron Roecker

I think there are going to be bazillions of reality show and online sensations that will get 15 minutes a piece. And with each wave there might be 1-2 who make it (a la Justin Bieber and Lana Del Rey). Why wouldn't all of these artists then make it if they are the toast of the 'Tube? Because there may be 5 million directional signs that say LOOK HERE, but as soon as the people at the front of the line decide to TURN LEFT instead, everyone else is going to follow. People quickly follow on the heels of other people so they can seem/be in perfect step with those perceived to have their fingers on the pulse.  People follow people not signs. So, if you don't want everyone to abandon you as soon as the next sensation pops up , artists have to give fans a reason/a connection to stay tethered to them even when others are consumed by the next shiny object.

Scenario: an unknown artist will be discovered by someone and they tell 3 million friends and then they tell 3 million friends, etc. Before you know it FLASH IN THE PAN -- but the reality is that the New IT artist most likely hasn't had time to truly engage any real numbers of fans let alone the avalanche of fair weathered fans from a social media perspective - there's so much happening around them that they're not thinking - 

"Oh, I need to have a virtual one-on-one relationship with my new fans so when the fanfare dies down, fans will be emotionally engaged with me and won't simply up and leave me for the next hot thing"... these artists are thinking "YES, I'M FINALLY FAMOUS! OMG, LOOK EVERYONE I'M FAMOUS!!" while their new managers are saying yes to anything and everything in sight to capitalize on the 15 mins and no one's paying attention to the 16th minute and beyond.

Artists who had successfully engaged and tethered substantial fan bases before they "made it" include Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Sara Bareilles. I would say Idena Menzel is the most recent example of someone who's built a very loyal fan base and now that she's been catapulted into the Frozensphere she will have an easier time holding on to that spike in fans; and Bette Midler might have been one of the original ones -- establishing ties that have been unbreakable for decades from her bath house-performing days). 

My advice to potential Sensations 1) Don't make it a goal to become a YT sensation; make it a goal to engage as many fans as possible with behind the scenes content, personal anecdotes, and inspirations and avenues through which you create 2-way communications with your fans and potential fans; make your fans ambassadors for your brand. Bottomline: New artists have to engage fans as if they're famous before they're famous or they probably won't stay famous once they get famous!" Ron Roecker, Chief Brand Navigator, Enfluence Group (bedifferentlyonline.blogspot.com).