What can a Street Team do for today’s working musician?
Many years ago a “street team” was a very simple concept. Usually described as grass roots or guerilla marketing it entailed passing out flyers and hanging up posters to spread the word about an artist, product, or company. While those things are still very important and essential to today’s working artists and bands the Web 2.0 world has opened up an entirely new avenue of promotional possibilities. Social communities such as MySpace and Facebook have now given artists of any size an opportunity to reach more listeners than ever before.
A street team, if built, managed, and organized properly, can significantly increase an artist’s overall exposure in the marketplace. There is no better person(s) to effectively spread the word about your music than your most passionate fans and followers. Those are the people you want telling their friends via word of mouth, peer to peer, and viral promotional efforts. This way you are getting quality impressions on potential new listeners, versus quantity impressions thru traditional marketing efforts.
Would you be more likely to listen to a new album, or see a new movie, if you saw an ad on tv, or if a good friend of yours told you how great it was? That is the difference between street team marketing and traditional marketing. Not sure about you, but I’m much more likely to take my friend’s word for it, rather than a commercial or billboard.
That being said, a street team should never, and likely will never, replace those other methods (radio, print, TV, touring, etc). Instead an artist’s street team should enhance and compliment them by working along side to greater expose the artist, release, or tour you are trying to promote.
As the music industry shrinks, and bands and labels continue to experiment with new methods of distribution and promotion the street team as a marketing tool will continue to become an even more important piece of the puzzle. Regardless of where the industry goes over the next few crucial years, a few things will always remain the same…bands will keep making new music, and listeners will be searching for new bands. For the artist, a street team is a way to bridge the gap between their fan base and themselves and effectively increase their overall brand while doing so.