You create a much acclaimed product. People consume it. Then you drop necessary insights that your audience identifies with and extends your product and the necessity of it further. This is a package deal. The gift that keeps on giving.
Jay-Z dropped his much acclaimed album 4:44 sending fans and thinkpiece authors into a frenzy speculating on the health of the relationship between the Marcy project entertainer and King Bey. Others praised the wake up call for financial consciousness and even called the album Shawn Carter’s, a revelation of a seasoned and transparent man.
So imagine when the 36 minute album and the fire from it is fed with the kindling of footage from piercingly honest conversations and interviews with men with elevated godship and status showing themselves, well, human. Recognizable faces like Anthony Anderson, Chris Paul, Kendrick Lamar and Will Smith share relationship woes, failings, parental shortcomings, even the bad advice passed on from street corner mentors. This footage, called Footnotes extend the dialogue from the album and serve a much larger need for male permission to open up, support their brothers and ultimately heal.
By and large, most artists drop an album that’s only punctuated by music videos, tours and award show performances. Now surprise and visual albums, storytelling at its finest, and curated lives extend the necessity of these artist in your lives. I’m a doubter in most in the manufactured world of entertainment, but as a marketer and content creators, I see the magic of creating experiences and longing, and in this case, an undeniable need for dialogue.
None of us are Jay or Bey. None of us have equally brilliant teams and the budgets that support a universal production. But what we CAN do is extend our product by doing more than simply producing and promoting it traditionally. We need our own footnotes.
For most us us, our footnotes will be addressing our audience’s needs beyond our product or service. This is content marketing gold, and how we will seal our legitimacy and obtain the loyalty of our clients. Big business and small businesses alike must understand that at the end of the day our consumers are human with varying needs and vulnerabilities, problems that need solving and feelings that need to be validated and addressed.
Herein lies the opportunity to fill a gap. By and far print and digital publications and television channels have mastered this concept of serving the entire human by producing a variety of content, from different contributors that touch on the human experiences of love, happiness, humor, sadness, empathy, anger, desire and curiosity among others. There may be an anchor show that brings a viewer in, but the other content punctuates and extends a person’s need to be there. You start watching RHOA, you stay for Andy Cohen’s controversial recap. You start reading Essence for the interview with Idris. You stay because you want to learn how to keep your relationship spicy. These are footnotes.
Think of your product as the anchor. People want it. You promote it. You get reviews stirring additional interest and sales. But for those who have gotten what they have needed from it, or for those who have yet to buy in, what necessary and related conversation or experience can you create to pull someone in or keep someone there? What short-term podcast series can you sprinkle in your marketing campaign to attract someone to your brand or product? What stories can you tell or advice can you share that are above and beyond, perhaps not even exactly related to your product or.service that can extend the need to engage with your brand?
Blavity does this with their 21ninety publication and emails series. You already love Blavity. Here’s another publication that serves the health and wellness needs of the ambitious female Blavity reader. I do this. I have Sell What You Know Girlfriends, but the I’m Poppin’ & Paid group, Masterclass and merch added another way to serve existing SWYK members and attract and enroll new members. It’s the ultimate stack on stack on stack.
It boils down to adding value and serving in more ways than one and with more products than one. Each could technically standalone, but they effectively complement each other and create a cohesive, continued experience that keeps your audience engaged with your brand.
It’s why we are on Facebook for hours each day. It’s also why we exhales from Lemonade, and then got babies, got 4:44, and then Footnotes. The last 18 months have been indeed lit with Bey and Jay. This is a continual, connected experience that we are all here for, seated front and center with focused and keen attention.
Now, go create an ongoing need that your audience is equally here for.