Heavy metal fans have a lot in common with content marketing rock stars. This post will show how. But first, let me set the stage (no pun intended).
If you’re into rock and heavy metal concerts, the following excerpt will make total sense to you. But if it doesn’t, keep reading. It’ll all make sense soon.
As I wiped the dirty sweat and blood from my eyes and brow, I gazed around at the rest of the moshers in the pit with whom I’d shared the last forty-five minutes of physical chaos, forever bonding with those who also beamed with pride and sonic satisfaction….We looked like we had emerged from the trenches of a desert war, having just survived a fury of colliding bodies and flailing limbs, animated by the sounds of Black Label Society. Our union was much more than that of ordinary fans. We were Berserkers. – Eric Hendrikx, “Bringing Metal to the Children”
Ok, that may scare some of you (not guys like Jason Miller, Mike Hale and Mael Roth!) and it may be a bit of an extreme vision, but I use it to illustrate the passion of heavy metal fans. Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society have their Berserkers. Aerosmith has their Blue Army. Kiss’s Kiss Army, Sammy Hagar’s Redheads, Grateful Dead’s Deadheads, Jimmy Buffet’s Parrotheads. It’s safe to say we like our armies and heads.
I’ve met many people at concerts and standing in line for hours to get tickets (Remember camping out overnight to get concert tickets?). Complete strangers with diverse backgrounds, we’d talk for hours to pass the time. The heavy metal community is accepting of all. In fact, a recent study by the International Society of Self and Identity shows that those who were heavy metal fans growing up “were significantly happier in their youth and better adjusted currently than either middle-aged or current college-age youth comparison groups.” This is due to the heavy metal community understanding you and what you’re going through growing up.
Where am I going with this? Rock bands have fans…not exactly a news flash. But, think about it without reference to heavy metal. Does it sound familiar? Especially if you were at Content Marketing World, it should. Content marketing rock stars are very much like the heavy metal community. Here’s why both are strong and supportive groups.
We Are the Outcasts and Rebels
Heavy metal fans have always had the stereotype of being the outcasts who rebel against authority. There’s an air of danger, evil and trouble because we don’t fall in line with accepted norms. These perceptions are based on face value without taking the time to understand us or the music.
With content marketing, we’re also looked at as outcasts of the marketing industry who cause trouble with different thinking. “Authority” figures don’t understand content marketing. So, they dismiss it without actually learning how it might benefit them. It doesn’t fall in line with traditional marketing tactics, so it’s ignored or barely supported.
We Share a Bond With Others In Our Community
Heavy metal fans share a bond through the love of the music. We’ll strike up conversations because we relate to the music. We share stories about favorite bands, concerts, and life experiences.
Content marketers share the same type of bond with our love of content marketing. Networking helps us find commonality in our struggle to implement content marketing strategies. We share stories of tactics that work for us, how we influence our bosses, and try to help each other succeed.
We Spread Our Message to Anyone Who Will Listen
There’s nothing heavy metal fans like better than to turn someone on to a band they love. Music is for sharing. These days, it’s easier with social media and digital music. Years ago, you’d vote for your favorite video on MTV (remember when they showed videos?) and record tapes for your friends to check out a new band.
As content marketers, we share articles and blog posts. We tell everyone we can about our favorite books and podcasts. To support thought leaders, we share their content and create our own content based on their thoughts.
We Flock to See Them in Person
When we hear our favorite band is playing in our town, we rush to get tickets. For those two hours or so, we’re locked into the band. It always ends before you want it to, as you know they won’t be back for at least a year or more.
Most of us are only able to go to one marketing conference per year. We find the one that we think is the best (in my case, Content Marketing World here in Cleveland!). I look at conferences like festivals because you get a collection of the best speakers at one time in one place. Think of Content Marketing World as Woodstock, only they’re able to do it bigger and better every year. Instead of Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Janis Joplin and Joe Cocker, we have Joe Pulizzi, Jay Baer, Ann Handley and Scott Stratten. As a result, people come to Cleveland from all over…more than 50 countries this year!
We Dress For the Occasion
Heavy metal shows are a sea of jeans (how Aerosmith’s Blue Army got its name), rock T-shirts, and a little leather. Even now that many of us are older (a little…), we have our concert gear.
For Content Marketing World, there’s one word: orange. Thanks to Joe Pulizzi’s love of all things orange, we all don our favorite orange items. I always wonder what Clevelanders think when they see so many people wearing orange for 2-3 days in September. Well, when it doesn’t say “Cleveland Browns” on it anywhere.
Well, there it is. We, content marketing rock stars, are our own community. A strong, supportive fraternity that is doing great things. One worthy of a name. The Orange Army? That seems a little too easy. CM Heads? It rhymes…kind of. What do you think? We need something that will stick and, like the term “content marketing,” will define and unify who we are! I can’t wait to hear your suggestions! Tell us below.
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