Marketing Metallica’s New Metal Masterpiece
disclaimer. I want Metallica to read this and hire me to work with their social media group. Just being honest.
Yes, Metallica has an album coming out towards the end of the year.
No, I haven’t heard it, but I am going to go out on a limb and say it is going to be awesome.
Why? Because it is f’ing Metallica, and even on their “worst” albums, they are better than 99% of what everyone else is doing.
They are willing to experiment, to stretch the genre, to explore outside their comfort zone and try new things. I love AC/DC. I love Pennywise. But if you bought one album, you have them all. I like an artist that makes me think, and Metallica makes me think. (I am still thinking about the snare sound on St. Anger and Lulu.)
What They Are Doing Right
Honestly, they are Metallica. They could do ZERO promo for this next album, except say, “Hey, we have a new album,” and it will still be #1 on charts all over the world (and they might not even have to do that). They have 3.3 million Twitter followers, 2.3 million Instagram followers, 37 million Facebook followers, 1.5 million YouTube subscribers, who knows how many Snapchat followers, and can sell out stadiums all over the world.
They are a juggernaut, and have been for 30 years.
Reissues/Album Birthdays: Awesome. I especially love the re-tweets and shares of their favorite fan photos. That’s what fans love. A little recognition from a group that should be too big to pay attention to the “little guy.” I don’t even know if they understand what that means to fans. If any of the guys in the band even read this I would s*** my pants. If they contacted me because they liked it, my head would explode. I saw James at the Nutcracker a few years ago and couldn’t get 2 sentences out to explain how important his band has been to me since I was 11. So what did I do instead? Just looked at him like a weirdo psychopath. Yay me! My wife still makes fun of me about that. The word p***y comes up a lot. So sad.
Live Streaming: The Night Before concert at AT&T Park in SF, and the Record Store Day in Berkeley. Both of which my friend was in the front row (kiss my a** Brett), but both I could enjoy from the comforts of my own home. Not in person, but better than nothing. Live is live. We were experiencing the same thing at the same time. There is a lot to be said for that.
MetallicaTV: Their YouTube channel, in case you guys were not aware. They put out a ton of content on this medium. Pieces of old concerts, clips from the MetClub video catalogue, behind the scenes at the Brioni shoot. Access is so important to fans, and they do it well with YouTube.
Marketing The New Album
If we are pointing out things they do right, we need to also point out where they need improvement. Everything they are doing above, they need to keep doing. My suggestions are for places to expand and be better.
Fan Retweets/Shares/Etc: For every announcement between now and the album release, they should share the fan experience. The same way they are retweeting and sharing the fan photos with Kill Em All and Ride The Lightning, they should do with album news, concert announcements, etc.
They basically have tens of thousands of people at their disposal that would love to share their experiences with the band. Put requests out there for alternative concert poster designs, what they think the new album will be named, after they release the name of the album, what they think the cover will look like, designs for the individual song titles, etc. It’s is all about interaction, sharing, etc. Giving the fans a chance to share their “Metallica” vision with the group.
They share the good ones, they re-tweet the ones they like, those individual fans s*** their pants, and the community as a whole gets closer to each other because they are sharing each others’ work, pushing each other to come up with better ideas, and more creative displays in the hopes of being “chosen.”
#Metallica and #whateverthealbumnameis should be trending on all the “socials” between the announcement of the release date and the actual release date. Fan interaction is how you do that.
The foundation of the idea is to take all of the aspects of the Metallica “experience,” anything where a fan can share their perspective, their vision, their love, and give them a voice.
Daily Tour Vlog: Just like Casey Neistat. 8–15 minute daily video of life on the road. They would obviously need a full time videographer/editor to crank these out, but I am sure people would kill to have that position (I would!). They can tease the “show” with a few days around the Minnesota show, again around the Global Citizen concert, then launch the full show a few days before their world tour starts. It is only a tour show, so when the tour stops, so do the videos. The fan interaction, combined with my other ideas would be off the charts. Such an amazing fan experience.
Snapchat: Metallica’s Snapchat sucks. Hands down, terrible. They need to really focus on this social because the transferable consumption on Snapchat is better than any other social platform. People actually consume on Snapchat. They don’t just glance and “like” or “heart,” they actually watch and listen. They act and react. SC is VERY powerful right now.
They can use Snapchat, at least, to drive viewers to things they are posting on other media. Use Snapchat to drive views to Metallica.com, or to join the Metclub (which is awesome and FREE). Tweet when they have a big announcement on Snapchat, get people locked in, then use Snapchat as the main gateway to release new info about the album, concerts, etc. With screen shots, they can post on Snapchat, request people to share it on their socials and BOOM, the Metallica wild fire begins. (Tip: the snap before the one you want them to screen shot you should tell them to get ready to screen shot. It will help the fans A LOT).
“Snap” 5 seconds of each song on the new album, tease it before it comes out, have days for a Metallica member “takeover.” James, Lars, Kirk, Rob, one day, or better yet, one week. Have them share things they think are cool, playing jokes on each other, or just talk about stuff that is on their mind. It doesn’t matter, it’s Metallica, and it’s access. It will be great no matter what they do.
Allow the people that work at the MetClub to “takeover.” Show people around HQ, tell people what they do, what it’s like to work for the metal icons. There is so much space for different types of information to get out there. Two or three crappy snaps from Record Store Day? Really? With all the s*** that was going on that day, and that’s all we got? For shame.
Remember the Black Album tour? Before and after they showed the History of Metallica video instead of an opener they had live video of the guys backstage. Why not do that for every show, but through Snapchat? Only 30,000 people get to be there in person. Why not let 10 million be there vicariously? One person (hopefully me) walks around “snapping” things that fans would enjoy. They will know what is off limits and what is allowed, and they will add an experience that no one has gotten before. Live, in real time, clips of Metallica backstage at a show. How awesome would that be? Snapchat would go berserk!
Podcasts: The Tim Ferriss Show, The Gary Vee Show, The Joe Rogan Experience, WTF w Marc Maron, The Art Of Charm, The James Altucher Show, etc. These guys do phenomenal interviews and have a s***load of listeners. Magazines? Poop. Maybe find some popular bloggers (me!!) TV? Besides the late night shows, who cares? Podcasts are where it is at.
Live Streaming: They have done this so well over the last 12 months. What I am going to suggest is to take aspects of what they have been doing and squish them together with what they did with the release of the St. Anger album. For those of you that are unfamiliar, the release of the St. Anger album came with a DVD of the guys playing every song from the album, recorded at HQ. I might have watched that more than I listened to the album the first few weeks. We would be partying with friends, and it would be on a loop in the background. It was f***ing awesome!!
Why not do that live?
The day before the album comes out? The day the album comes out? Doesn’t matter, just do it.
It could be live from anywhere: HQ, The Fillmore, The Warfield, my house, wherever!
The options for live streaming are getting bigger and bigger by the minute: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter/Periscope. Not that they need the money, but there could be a nice little bidding/technology war for who could provide the best live stream. I would think Twitter would be all over this. New NFL and NBA contracts? This album is due sometime in the Fall? It would be perfect for them. Hell, maybe by then Snapchat will get in on live streaming and Metallica can double-down on SC. Who knows?
Technology advances pretty quick. Anything could happen. The important thing is the live “concert” of the new album. It would be amazing!
Musical.ly: Get on it, officially. Between now and the release of the new album, release an old album for fans to lip-sync to for a couple weeks at a time. It is VERY easy to share across the socials, on YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo, etc. Make a competition out of it. This is a great place to find younger listeners, and a ton of them. This app is exploding, especially during the summer months.
Maybe they don’t know anything other than the Black Album? Maybe they only know a couple songs. Expose them to the rest of the catalogue. This is where kids are finding new music to listen to. Give them the gift of Metallica!
This band is so popular, as soon as an album is released for people to use with their videos, it will blow up. Popularity with the older crowd will draw attention and bring in the younger crowd. Metallica + Musical.ly = a match made in music heaven!
Netflix: Get every single Metallica video up on Netflix a month before the album comes out. Cliff Em All, A Year And A Half.., Cunning Stunts, Binge and Purge, Through The Never, all of them. I know they are up on YouTube for the most part (illegally), but it’s about interacting with all fans, and potential fans. People watch the s*** out of Netflix. Let people binge watch Binge and Purge!
Let people fall in love all over again.
Find new fans.
They have a growing catalogue of videos and Netflix is the perfect place to relaunch them. Make it happen.
The New Album
It is going to be great. I know it. Death Magnetic was great.
I can’t wait to see what they do next.
How heavy will the heavy songs be?
What topics are they going to cover?
It is all so exciting, the anticipation of new material.
I would go line up at Tower Records at 12:00am for it, but there is no more Tower Records.
I love that Metallica isn’t fighting technology. The record companies are still trying to figure it out, and margins keep decreasing year after year. Obviously Napster was a gut punch to the industry, but you either adjust or you die. Metallica adjusts, and I love them for it.
“You rise, you fall.
You’re down, then you rise again.
What don’t kill you makes you more strong.”
Push the envelope again Metallica.
We need it.
With the music and with the promotion.
Do what you do.