Find a New Audience by Making Non-Musical Connections

We could all learn something from Sarah Donner. In the past 3 months she’s had 2 big successes with quirky niche marketing techniques.

Sure, niche marketing is a bit easier when you make themed music. Trop-rockers appeal to Parrotheads. Horse-loving artists like Mary Ann Kennedy appeal to the equestrian community. Eileen Quinn’s nautically-themed music is a big hit with boating enthusiasts.

But what if you’re an artist who covers a range of topics, or a range of styles, and your “target market” isn’t so clearly defined?

Well, you don’t have to pigeonhole yourself or limit your musical expression in order to make non-musical or extra-musical connections. You can stay true to your own artistic whims AND find the places where your interests may occasionally intersect with the interests of an outside audience. Sarah Donner gives us two great examples of niche marketing via video:

1) She set up a camera and filmed a baby kitten falling asleep while she strummed a ukulele and sang her song “Treeline.” Then she sent the video to websites for cat lovers where it was re-posted. It went viral after being featured on Modern Cat and a number of popular kitten/daily cute websites (and will be featured on the PETA blog next week), earning her new fans even though the song itself had nothing to do with cats. The adorable kitty in the video was enough of a connection point for this new audience to become receptive to Sarah’s music. Check out Sarah Donner’s kitten video for her song “Treeline” HERE.

2) The other music video was shot in her tour minivan, and was a performance of her tune called “The
Center Pivot Irrigation Song” (in honor of their long trek through Kansas). Sarah sent the video to farm and gardening websites where it caught the attention of Mike McGraff from NPR’s “You Bet Your Garden” program. Mike invited Sarah into the studio for an interview and performance. Suddenly, a whole host of horticultural enthusiasts were exposed to music they may never have heard elsewhere. Check out Sarah Donner’s video for “The Center Pivot Irrigation Song” HERE.

For a free download of Sarah’s song “Treeline,” visit her facebook fan page HERE.

Have you made similar extra-musical connections with strange, new audiences? How? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

-Chris R. at CD Baby



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