DMX, Action Bronson, or Judas Priest: a SLP Concert is always a blast. One of the Northeast’s leading independent promoters, SLP puts on shows in 60+ venues in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, covering all that territory with a team of three.
“I work remotely out of Bowling Green, Kentucky,” says Kevin Miller, Marketing Director for SLP Concerts (short for Stan Levinstone Presents). “That’s the beauty of digital marketing — you can work anywhere.” While the rest of the team is based in New Jersey, Miller doesn’t need an office to keep him busy. He pretty much lives on Facebook and Instagram, he tells ToneDen, or SLP’s website.
“On a typical day,” Miller says, “I get different shows sent over to me when we get approval for them. Then I do all the marketing work. Usually there’s a whole entire team under a marketing director in a company, but it’s just me at SLP. I’m the one taking care of marketing, writing copy, placing materials, and using ToneDen on the back-end to actually hit the right audiences.”
“I made the decision to go into the Music Business while I was still pursuing the music life,” Miller admits. Today, in addition to his role at SLP, Miller stays involved in other aspects of the industry. “I run a music publication, Cloak & Dagger Media, and I do a lot of freelance photography for that. I’m starting a podcast called United PMA that focuses on musicians’ mental health. Being on tour, it can be a struggle to maintain a positive mental attitude. I want to shed some light on that.”
At SLP, Miller brings his deep understanding of the artist to his advertising philosophy. Before SLP signed on with ToneDen, their marketing scheme skewed traditional: plenty of print and radio ads. But studying the social campaigns of today’s most successful artists led Miller to realize that digital was a definite.
“To me, it was a no brainer to use ToneDen,” he says. “It’s easy to build a campaign. Images are automatically resized so they’ll look good on Instagram.”
But ToneDen’s functionality goes beyond image resizing and campaign construction. “Let’s say Of Mice and Men and then Beartooth is coming to town in the same exact area and they have the same kind of target market,” Miller says. “I could do a Of Mice and Men campaign and then make slight adjustments to it for Beartooth. I have a foundation ready to go instead of starting from scratch.”
Playbooks Go Punk
Another way Miller avoids starting from scratch is by utilizing ToneDen’s playbooks. Allowing users to automate complicated marketing objectives (i.e., announce a tour and message fans when tickets go on sale), playbooks are readymade strategies that save marketers time and improve their results.
Take the Event Announce Playbook, which Miller recently used for a Dropkick Murphys concert. In its first phase, the playbook launched a Facebook ad campaign to promote the punk rockers’ upcoming show. The playbook’s second phase kicked in when tickets went on sale: fans who commented on that initial announcement post got a message from SLP’s Facebook page with a link to buy tickets. By running this playbook, Miller reached 11,407 fans — people with interests related to Dropkick Murphys, lookalikes of SLP’s website visitors, and Upstate NYers. 10% of the fans engaged with the announcement post and 16 subscribed to SLP’s Messenger list.
Playbooks are one of Miller’s favorite ToneDen features. They “boost the announce and raise awareness and really help with on-sales and getting people to our SLP page. The Dropkick Murphy’s show sold out pretty quickly. So I mean, it really did its job.” Overall, the playbook cost SLP $100.02 and brought them a 17.3x return on ad spend — more than $1,700.
A “For Sure in the Music Industry”
For Miller, ToneDen makes sense for anyone in the music industry: promoters, venues, managers, and even artists. But its applicability goes beyond this space. “For any type of digital marketing,” Miller says, “being able to build those multiple audiences — it doesn’t matter what your marketing. Whether you’re marketing fashion or a restaurant, you need to build out multiple audiences.”
Multiple audiences allow promoters like SLP to do more with fewer people, making the work of advertising that much easier. “It saves a lot of time,” Miller reiterates, “being to duplicate campaigns. It’s just very beneficial.”