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5 Marketing Lessons We Can Learn From OK Go


Have you seen OK Go’s latest music video, I Won’t Let You Down”? Crazy, isn’t it? Now, some of you might hate OK Go for having too many gimmicks (like Flaming Lips or Kiss). Why can’t musician just be known for their music alone? do we really have to make crazy stunts to sell? Sorry to break this to you, but yes, you have to market yourself creatively. A CAREER in music or the arts requires good branding and marketing. Here are some things you can learn from OK Go whether you’re a musician or a businessman.

1. Exceptional ideas might be turned down by “marketing experts.” Don’t be swayed. Your job is to prove them wrong. When OK Go showed their first heavily choreographed music video Here it Goes Again to the  head of digital marketing at Capitol Records, his response was:  “If this gets out, you’re sunk.” If they’re a bit short of confidence, they might have thought “hey, he’s a digital marketing expert, he must be right” and doubt their work. Their confidence and “stubbornness” to release that music video gave them 52 million hits. 

2. Take affordable, calculated risks. Ok Go only spent $5,000 for Here it Goes Again. That’s not too much money but the returns is huge! Not only do they get more fans and hits and sponsors, they also LEARNED about marketing. It’s a big break as far as music video marketing is concerned. There are so many good ideas that do not cost a lot. Try different things to find out which one works. But make sure you’re not risking very big money on the first few tries.

3. If something works, put in more money to get more good results. After the first music video that got viral, their next videos have much bigger budgets. The budget of This Too shall Pass  is about $150,000 and was funded primarily by sponsors. From $5,000 to $150k. Wow.

4. Keep getting better. OK Go are not one-hit-wonders when it comes to music videos, they just keep giving awesome content. You’d think that nothing beats their current video but then they release a new one and say the same thing! If they were not OK Go, they’d probably sink after their first few videos (because they get tired or run out of ideas, etc). But since they’re OK Go, they keep at it and keep getting better.

5. Engage with Fans (and be Modern). OK Go asked their fans to download their free app and follow their massive GPS parade in LA. In OK Go’s Saatchi & Saatchi Music Video Challenge 2013 , the band invited young filmmakers to create a music video for their new song, “I’m Not Through.” They also recorded an Open Call duet on Sing! Karaoke, which fans can join for a chance to win an iPad Air and get featured in a Sing! Jam when the song is released in Magic Piano. So, you see? It’s awesome to be a fan of OK Go!

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