ZHU announced his first-ever headlining tour in the most awesome way.
The Grammy-nominated producer, who has collaborated with heavy-hitters such as Skrillex, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Lana Del Rey and is represented by TH3RD BRAIN, released a track on his SoundCloud called “NeonCityTour.com.”
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/248675937″ params=”color=ff5500″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
The track consists of a conversation where ZHU prank calls a ticket scalper pretending to purchase a ticket for his NYC show, before teasing a clip of a new original song that debuted on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show the following Thursday. Throughout the short conversation, ZHU grills the unsuspecting scalper, digging deeper into what the hype is all about, and why the tickets to the show are so expensive.
“We all stood in line for five hours, and the ticket wasn’t cheap to begin with,” explains the scalper when he hears ZHU’s reaction to the ticket price. The scalper goes on to describe how long the line was to get tickets, and how they sold out that same night.
Pushing further, ZHU asks the scalper why there’s so much hype around this artist, and the response is possibly the best marketing tool the producer could ask for.
“He’s only played one show, and that was in Australia like a few months ago. He played Day of the Dead, and that was only a one-hour set, like a little preview. So his first real, U.S. show, like, ever, for ZHU is gonna be that night. So that’s also why it’s so limited and that’s why it’s so hard to get tickets… It’s the hype, man, nobody knows who he is.”
The creative announcement paid off; most dates of the Neon City Tour sold out in less than 24 hours, and a second night at Terminal 5 in New York City is already on sale.
So, why was ZHU’s strategy so brilliant? We broke it down to two very important reasons:
Recommendations & Cosigns Are Everything
By delving into his loyal audience, the people trying to buy and sell tickets to his sold-out shows, ZHU gained a first-person perspective that fully explains why his headlining tour is a big deal, and why fans should be excited.
In a world where choices exist based on recommendations (when was the last time you went to a restaurant without checking the reviews on Yelp?), ZHU created and released the ultimate recommendation for his own show by approaching his demand from a fan’s perspective.
Challenging the Paradigm Pays Off
Currently, most artists adhere tried-and-true, almost tired, method of posting a show poster to social media. While this is an effective strategy, it is best used when it is supplementing a larger play that helps an artist stand out; the creativity behind ZHU’s announcement should be applauded and emulated.
Additionally, few, if any, artists had found a way to alert their SoundCloud audience of any updates outside of new music being available; ZHU’s strategy saw that challenge and rose to the occasion.
Differentiating the approach to debuting his first-ever headlining tour dates showcases how special of an event it is, not only to ZHU, but to his fans. Hearing the scalper explain why ZHU’s shows are rightfully high in demand will likely attract new fans who become interested after hearing why he’s so great, and will engage his current fans and reignite their excitement for his upcoming shows and releases.
As music and content continue to grow in the Internet Age, new and unique ways of announcing information are becoming more celebrated as the market becomes more saturated; the name of the game now is not only to be great, but to stand out while doing so.
Other artists are rising to the challenge of standing out, too. At the Super Bowl Halftime show, we witnessed Beyoncé’s politically-charged performance of “Formation” after dropping the video, unannounced, the day before. Immediately following the performance, the first commercial viewers saw was a brief announcement for Bey’s Formation World Tour. This approach, while not necessarily ground-breaking, was a unique way for her to let the world know she was going on tour outside of the typical strategy of announcing via social media.
What can creators take away from ZHU and Beyoncé’s approach to announcing their tours?
Finding creative ways to get your audience excited for your work is the best way to keep them engaged and involved.
While there are methods of releasing content and announcing news that are proven to be effective, the key to growth is innovation, or pioneering new ways to get your brand out there.
What are some of your favorite ways artists have debuted exciting news, tours or content? Tell us in the comments below!
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