Music is all over the Internet. Music lovers don’t know where to search anymore: online stores, social networks and other sharing sites. Yet, more than ever, they have their head in the clouds – especially on SoundCloud. This social network supports the musical genius of millions of artists who then reach an even more important number of users, but few tools exist to allow users to discover the best artists.
What if popular brands teamed up with artists to acquire new users with cross-promotion? That’s precisely the strategy that Solé Bicycle Co. adopted.
Solé has well understood that brands had everything to gain by taking advantage of music: an interesting identity, a positive online reputation and involved fans. The brand’s digital strategy is mainly based on its fixtapes – a portmanteau word resulting from the fusion between ‘fixie’ (fixed-gear bike) and ‘mixtape’ which quickly made its place among search engines. Since July 2012, the American brand has given away 14 fixtapes mixed by indie rock, dance house and nu disco superstars. The latest one is signed by French prodigy Zimmer.
Sole Fixtape Vol. 14 by Zimmer on Soundcloud
Including music in the brand identity
Solé’s audio identity sounds like the soundtrack of a perfect summer – a smart choice for a brand selling bikes made to ride the Californian coast under a warm sun. The brand has managed to complete this rather attractive picture with original and innovative designs, sexy models, quality text as well as casual and professional community management.
Solé’s strategy with SoundCloud
The first fans and followers are often difficult to get. However these are crucial to the development of a brand and the success of a campaign. SoundCloud then becomes as an attractive option to gather a community with a small investment.
With no SoundCloud account, Solé has established an interesting digital strategy. Each fixtape is published on the DJ’s personal SoundCloud account. Since he already has a fan base spread across various social networks, Solé benefits from these existing fans to gain visibility and build a targeted community.
How can SoundCloud help recruit fans?
Downloading fixtapes is usually possible in two ways: on the one hand, the traditional SoundCloud download button and on the other, a customized button leading to a Facebook application called Fixtape Downloads, where every fixtape can be downloaded for free in exchange of a like.
On SoundCloud, a comment reads that the playlist of the fixtape is available on the Solé website. This is a bright way to create traffic to the home page and have people discover the bikes.
The result of this operation: more than 18,000 fans on their Facebook page, a relatively high figure when you consider that there is no big media strategy to support this operation. However, this number is far from being as high as the amount of total plays on SoundCloud… almost 450,000 plays!
Dr. Beat, are the results good?
Yes, the reputation of the brand is really driven by these monthly musical initiatives. Since listening to the fixtapes online is possible and liking the Facebook page is not imposed, we can deduce that the community is composed by true fans. In fact, they communicate with passion, proudly share the content of the page and interact enthusiastically. The fans even advertise the brand themselves, for instance when Solé reintroduced their mystery bikes—the mystery is that you don’t know what color it’s going to be. This type of publication is not only a boom for the brand; it is also a sign that its image is perceived positively.
And you, what do you think about this campaign? What is your opinion on using music in online campaigns?
Thank you for your comments—Music Sounds Better With You
♪ ♫ ♪