With a Fan Finder campaign, it’s an advantageous move to use the audience you may already have to “prime” your video with “social proof”. In translation, we want to get some comments, engagement, and views on our video before we use it in a campaign.
This is not always readily available to you, especially if you are a brand new artist - but if it is, you have a chance of making your video a bit more persuasive when others see that it is already generating some interest.
As an artist, you are likely maintaining a few traffic channels where fans are listening to you, such as an email list, text list, livestream audience, membership subscribers, or social media followers.
For the most part, we can use all of these channels to mine for engagement to prime our video post with. In this lesson, we’re going to talk about how to use your email list to prime your video and explain why using it may generate more engagement from a relatively smaller audience.
Why Even Bother Sending an Email to My Small List?
Since our goal with a Fan Finder campaign is to reach hundreds of thousands of people and see an exorbitant amount of engagement and views as a result, it’s understandable why you might find it futile to email your list of, say, 300 subscribers with your video.
In fact, even a large list of 10,000 subscribers would still be a miniscule audience compared to the audiences of 10,000,000 or more we will be building for our campaign. That aside, it’s probable that your email subscribers, who are more in tune with your artistry, will see the video on social media when you run it as a Fan Finder campaign anyway.If that’s the case, why is it at all valuable to send this video to our email list?
- Your email subscribers are more reachable and more highly engaged
Your email subscribers are a deeper fan with more invested in you than say, an Instagram subscriber. They have gone out of their way to join you and take in more of your messaging and updates in a direct way. They’ve opted in to a more personal one-to-one communication channel with you. In fact, you may have even exchanged replies with many of them.
Across the board, we see that an email or text subscriber has much more commitment and monetary value to you as a musician. Using this email list as a core list of supporters to rally around your video can provide a crucial initial boost, especially if you are a small artist that’s looking to use this video to grow in a big way.
- It rewards your subscribers and sets a precedent for your next video
If you send this video to your email subscribers, asking them to drop a comment, like or share on your video in exchange for getting to see it early, before anyone else - you’re doing what we call “nurturing your fanbase”.
You’re showing firsthand to your email list subscribers that in being more closely involved with you, they are rewarded by getting early access. They also feel firsthand like they’re contributing to a community they’re a part of by helping you succeed and rallying behind an artist they love before they “blow up”.
What’s great is that the next time you have a video you want to run as a Fan Finder, you can do this tactic again - and the fans that were involved in the last video drop will be ready to support once again without blinking an eye!
The Type of Email You Should Write and Send
Our goal with sending this email is to prime our video post so it has a head start with engagement before it's run as an Ad. Even if you don't intend to use it in a Ad campaign, doing this can help set the tone for how to engage with your video post in the future. In turn, we want to give our email subscribers a reason to leave a comment, like, or share on your video.
There are many ways to successfully write this email, but you will want to focus on a few main elements which are addressed below.
- Focus their attention on one main area rather than several
It may sound redundant, but it’s important to explain a little bit about how to properly hyperlink your video in an email. While you may have plans to mainly run this campaign on, say, Instagram, you still may be tempted to post a link to every single place that this video is hosted. While it is not a cardinal sin per se, the trouble is every time you put another link in an email, you’re diluting your asking power exponentially. For every additional link in an email, the likelihood that any of the links will be clicked decreases.
For this reason, we recommend just honing in on the main platform you intend to focus on with your Fan Finder video and, if applicable, Ad campaign. With this being the case, there are a few disclaimers about how to hyperlink a YouTube video as well as a Facebook video.
If you are sharing on YouTube, be mindful of whether or not you want the video to be public. If you want to share your video to your list as an “early access” type offer, you will want to set the YouTube video as unlisted.
The reason for this is because setting it to Private will make it invisible to everyone on the list, and that making it Public would defeat the purpose of them getting an early look. Unlisted is the main way to share a YouTube video via a link without actually “publishing” it.
If you want to share your Facebook Fan Finder post to get some social proof on it - you will need to publish the post first. If you’ve uploaded your Fan Finder video directly through Facebook Business manager rather than uploading it first as an organic post, your video and the associated post exists as what’s called a "Dark Post". Linking to it will bring up an “unavailable” page for fans, even though the post does exist.
You will have to publish the post through the Page Posts area in Business Manager if you’ve not posted it organically already.
If you want to gain social proof on your Facebook post but also offer it as an early access look, you can publish the post on your feed and then quickly hide the post so that it won’t be seen by the average user. This way you can have both social proof on your post and the benefit of rewarding your email subscribers with an early look.
- The call to action of your email is for fans to engage with the video
The core reason for sending this email is to prime your video post - and your email subscribers will likely provide more of this per capita than any other channel you have an audience on. One thing you don’t want to omit from your email is asking them in some fashion to leave a comment, like or share. There are many ways to do this gently or more plainly, but it will depend on your brand voice and the kind of relationship you’ve built (or yet to build) with your current email list.
A few ways to phrase this:
- “I’m giving you a first look of my music video before it’s public, and the only price of admission i’m asking for is a comment, like, and share!”
- “I have big plans for this video, and one thing that would help it get off on the right foot is having a few awesome comments on it - I invite you to christen this video before I show it off!”
- “Today, the best way you can support my music career is by simply checking out the video, leaving a nice comment, and maybe sharing with a friend. It’s totally free!”
Consider how you will make this ask, but absolutely do not forget to do so! There will be full examples of written emails below, so if you want more context for how to implement your CTA, read on.
- Offer gratitude and good will to your fans in exchange for this engagement
The fan to artist relationship is exactly that - a relationship. Like any relationship, you and the fan have a mutual exchange of good will. They support your music career, and you provide them with entertainment and comfort in their lives. For this reason, it’s a good idea to always give back to your fanbase when you can - especially when you’re asking something of them.
Since this call to action is a very small task that costs nothing, you do not have to be overwhelming in your gratitude for your subscriber’s engagement. However, it’s sensible to at least demonstrate what it means to you that they take any time to support your music career. Some things you can include in your email are…
- “You might not know this, but since you get my emails, you are actually statistically one of my biggest fans - so I thought you deserve this before anyone else…”
- “It’s so cool to me that you’re a real person that listens to my stuff - I’m glad I can reward that by showing you this video before it’s out.”
- “I’m told a lot that focusing on direct relationships with fans is small potatoes and a waste of time, but we’re part of something real and beautiful here.”
You don’t have to be too flowery in your email if it doesn’t make sense for you of course, but consider making the fans feel seen with every email you send.
Email 1: Direct Angle
Subject: Wanted to sneak you this video before anyone else…
You may not think much of it, but because you get my emails, you’re actually one of my biggest fans.
Seriously, you’re part of a very tried and true core group of fans!
My Instagram followers? They come and go like the wind. But you’re a lot more committed...
So, I wanted to send you this music video before it comes out…
I figured you were owed this for being such a great supporter.
The only thing I’m asking here is that you leave a like, comment, and maybe share it with a friend that you think would dig it!
I have big plans for this video once it actually gets released, and having some nice words on it before letting it out does a lot more than you think…
I hope you love the performance, [FIRST NAME]!
Thank you always,
Email 2: Rallying Cry
Subject: Can I ask one simple favor?
Hey there [FIRST NAME]!
So, I have a teensy favor to ask of you, but it’s something I’ll repay immediately!
I have a new music video coming out soon, but before it comes out, I want to make sure the video has some nice comments, views, and reactions on it…
This will help kinda “grease the wheels” on this video before it comes out and make the release that much more successful.
I figured, hey, you’d probably be interested in seeing this video before it comes out, right?
So I thought this could be an easy trade - if I show you this video a week before it’s out, could you be a pal and leave a nice comment on it?
Thank you for always being around, [FIRST NAME]! Your support goes so much further than you realize. I hope you love the video!
Even if your email list is very small, the few subscribers you have could be invaluable in providing early and earnest social proof on your video before you use it in a Fan Finder Campaign.
Since each subscriber is so much more valuable and likely to engage, and given that the email medium is so personal, you can make a direct appeal that will likely result in a healthy response on the video.
Additionally, this email models a continuous future relationship with your subscribers that proves they will get advanced access and opportunities to be personally involved moving forward. This can set the table for the next time you want to prime a video post for a Fan Finder, and that time it will be received even more warmly.
It’s also a free tactic you can employ with an audience you already have - so why wouldn’t you?
With the email you end up sending, be sure to choose the correct link that makes sense for your Fan Finder campaign, to be gracious in the email, but also not skip the “ask” - which is of course to engage on the video.
If you have your email drafted and ready to send, feel free to send that email or schedule it! Mark this lesson as complete, and move on to the next video.