How grassroots band Short Stack used online to go to No.1 on the ARIAs

This is a guest post by Emily Copeland who is the Strategic Integrations Manager for Channel V (MCN - Music) and writes the music marketing blog, OMG with Emily which also has a radio segment on FBi 94.5 - Thursdays at 8.15am.

This week will forever be remembered in musical history. After 7 weeks at number one on the ARIA album charts, we saw Michael Jackson’s reign toppled by an Australian emo band from Budgewoi called Short Stack.

Not only did Short Stack push Michael Jackson into second place, but this release was their very first album, and it debuted at #1!

So how did a group of kids from the coast overthrow the King of Pop?

Back in the 80s, before the members of Short Stack were born, bands kicked off their careers playing in pubs. But in 2005 Short Stack were still too young to tour the pub circuit, so they began placing their tracks on MySpace and entering band competitions such as Youthrock.

As their popularity on MySpace began to grow, the band extended their online presence to include Short Stack TV on YouTube, Facebook fan pages, Bebo, Absolute Punk and Twitter to name just a few.

Short Stack now have almost 60,000 friends on MySpace, and over 10,000 followers on Twitter. They have fan pages for not just the band, but for each individual band member. And back in 2008 they had so many views of their videos on YouTube that they beat Britney Spears to have the number one video of the day.

But lots of bands use social media to promote themselves… how have Short Stack managed to become one of the most popular Australian bands on MySpace, without having released an album until this week? What have they done differently to garner so much support online? How have they turned fans into fanatics?

Graph source

Short Stack used the power of community, credibility and accessibility. And they used their link to a geographic community to strengthen their online community presence.

Community - Embrace Multiple Communities, Real World and Virtual
Short Stack’s home town of Budgewoi, is on the NSW Central Coast. It’s not a large place, but there are a lot of teenagers living nearby – and not a huge amount for them to entertain themselves with. Short Stack used the power of geographic community to initially harness this local young and somewhat-isolated crowd, and make them feel a part of something bigger. They tapped them into the emerging Short Stack online community, and gave them something to get behind when there wasn’t much else for a teenage emo to do. And from it's beginnings on the Central Coast, Short Stack’s music began to spread via online communities around Australia.

Credibility, Credibility, Credibility
The typical emo fashion is to go against the grain, disobey parents, ignore mainstream media, and not get sucked in by large commercial corporations – so Short Stack’s low budget marketing and the fact that they weren’t backed by a major record label at first, made them even more attractive to their fans. The band never discouraged illegal downloading of their tracks – understanding that getting large numbers of people to hear the music was more important initially than trying to push a small number of sales. They boys seemed ‘real’ and relatable which all added to their credibility.

Accessibility - Identify, Understand and Interact with your Audience
Short Stack were lucky that with their long hair and somber emo looks, they appealed directly to teenage girls. The band put their efforts into online communities where their demographic were already spending a lot of time, and tailored their messages directly to this audience. Short Stack have also made themselves accessible – and their fans love them for it! Fans can see the effort that Short Stack go to in responding to comments online, posting regular videos, and releasing free tracks, and they are happy to reciprocate.

It was this reciprocity that saw Short Stack take out Channel [V]’s Oz Artist of the Year 2008. According to lead singer, Shaun Diviney "Our fans are very, very rabid and really into what we do. If we ask them to vote for us they'll do it furiously and really get behind us," (source). Those fans got behind them in 2008 to the tune of 400,000 votes – to see them beat Silverchair and The Presets for the award. Those aren't just fans... they're fanatics. And it is fanatics you need if you want your debut release to topple the King of Pop.

10 historical moments in Youtube Advertising

After my post a year ago on 12 historical Social Media Marketing moments, I thought I would follow it up with historical moments of Youtube.

1. LonelyGirl15 and Heshey’s (June 2006)

In the Lonelygirl15 episode "Truckstop Reunion" the first branded integration on Youtube happened, it featured the characters eating and displaying Hershey's Icebreaker's Sours Gum.

2. Introduce Brand Channels (August 2006)
Companies were given the opportunity to create their own programming. One of the most renowned branded Youtube accounts BlendTec is actually not a branded channel, proving that a sponsored channel is not always needed. Blendtec was set up as just a normal account. Recently Ford Fiesta and Blendtec teamed up to create the monster which is an ad within an ad.

3. Youtube acquired by Google (October 2006)
Google Inc. announces that it had acquired YouTube for US$1.65 billion in Google stock. Advertisers get excited that Google will be able to put a good advertising back end into Youtube.

4. Dove Evolution Video launched (October 2006)

5. Youtube creates the Partners Program (May 2007)
Youtube starts paying their best content creators. A number of top 100 most subscribed now get paid a percentage of the earnings of money made from advertising sold next to their content.

This week they have come out and announced special Partnerships for content creators that go viral, so the JK wedding dance video would now theoretically make money for the newly married.

6. Burger King sponsor the Youtube only ‘Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy’ (August 2008)
It becomes the third most successful b randed channel on Youtube

7. Fred cracks a million subscribers (April 2009)
"Fred" has been sponsored since its inception by the Zipit Wireless Messenger (Z2). He has generated in excess of $100,000 from ad revenue and sponsorship.

8. Youtube puts a halt to third party ads (May 2009)
YouTube put a halt to brand placement advertising in YouTube videos, as they were advertisements that didn’t bring YouTube any revenue. Any partner who was found to do brand placement would lose their contract. This puts an end to Vloggers dealing directly with brands. Example of Vlogger direct deal - starring Lisa Nova

9. Ugly Carl Jnr Burger Deal (June 2009)
Google brokered a deal with Carls Jnr Burger where they would get more than 10 of the top 50 subscribed vloggers to create videos about how they eat their burger. It was a cluttered mess, which made most people resent the stars and Carls Jnr.

10. Still waiting…
I’ve been waiting three years for a proper advertising model which doesn’t require a minimum media spend of $20,000! Take a note from Facebook’s Advertising Model. Get your shit together.

Is there any moments I have missed?

Facebook Pages the new EDM solution.

Using a mixture of Facebook Advertising and a solid content schedule is making Facebook Pages the new killer electronic direct marketing solution for a number of brands. I have just been working on growing the Grinspoon Facebook Page. Using a smart advertising and content schedule, I was able to grow the Page by 8,000 fans in 20 days.

The following are four reasons why most brands should change to a Facebook Page EDM strategy on the proviso their target market are there.

1. Recruitment
The recent Facebook Advertising Page upgrade have made it a very effective recruitment model, they now allow you to create Facebook Ads, with a ‘one click become a fan button’ functionality.

2. News Feed
Pages have now been upgraded so that you can update straight to fans news feed via a status updates.

3. Insights
When were you able to pull insights off the back end of your email database which gave you breakdowns of your audience like Facebook Insights?

4. One click subscription
If you did get insights like this, then you probably made them enter a number of fields and not just a one click subscribe button.

Ashley Chang

Ashley Chang has achieved a lot in 22 years. He has run the successful club night WolfGang in Bribane, has been a contributor for Dazed and Confused and a DJ (Audio Arrest). Currently he is the full time Editorial Co-Ordinator for PedestrianTV and in his spare time he's Co Producing the Sydney Bicycle Film Festival.

What makes for entertaining content online? Examples?
As a general rule of thumb any content that I view should either entertain or educate when stripped of all auxiliary marketing messages.
Video content is preferable because (in our time-starved starved society) it’s easy to digest and even easier to pass on.

Do you have a method for selecting what you publish/produce on Pedestrian?
Relevance. If the content will appeal to our audience I will post it.
Timeliness. Fresh content includes things such as new music videos, new film trailers or new fashion collections.
Visual Appeal. People digest information visually

Nuggets of gold that you have learnt from your post analysis
Posts with skin appeal to both men and women, are susceptible to re-blogging, rank highly
Video content also increases onsite time because people can’t “skim”.
Branded content stuff a major learning from the Sprite Truth Hunters video content was to target existing sub-cultures eg. Clubbing culture, skateboarding culture.

Conversations from the gutter

Every week I go along to Gutter Club, it is a group of young people who work in Music, Media and Marketing who catch up for breakfast. I recently interviewed Ashley and Claire from GC for a presentation on ‘Creating Kick Arse Content Online’. They both have amazing insights into creating content online, as their day jobs consists of choosing what content will get published on Myspace and PedestrianTV.

So I have decided to create a weekly series interviewing people from GC. Tomorrow I will share the interview with Ashley Chang who is the editorial co-ordinator at PedestrianTV. If you work at a Ad/PR Agency that looks after brands that are targeting Gen Y opinion leaders this interview is pure gold.

How does an independent musician spend $1,000 online?

Tomorrow, I am speaking at the Music Marketing in the Digital Age workshop (thanks to Nick Crocker), I have been thrown the question; If you were an independent musician how would you spend $1000 online?

When creating a successful online advertising campaigns, I believe there needs to be a social idea that sits at the centre of the campaign. This idea must spark conversation online.

In terms of money allocation, I would spend $400 coming up with the idea and producing it. Then spend $600 supporting it with advertising (most likely Facebook Advertising pushing to a Fanpage and other parts of the idea). I would then follow up with outreach to relevant music news portals/blogs.

Examples of Social Ideas

Artist: Snobscrilla
Big Idea: For the ‘Farewell Monkey Tour’, Snobscrilla gave fans the chance to hang backstage with him by destroying something they USED to love. Best destruction got to hang with the big man!
Sparking conversation: Received a quarter page write up in local street press The Brag.

Artist: Lost Valentinos
Big Idea: For the launch of the Lost Cities of Gold album, Lost Valentinos hid gold coins at their shows, one lucky punter got the chance to win a trip for two to Peru.
Sparking conversation: Coverage on Pedestrian

Artist: BlueJuice
Big Idea: For the launch of the song “Broken Leg”, Bluejuice created a mockumentary around the 2009 Skipping Championship.
Sparking conversation: Coverage on Who the bloody hell are they?

Also watch out for Mark Catanzariti blog, this guy is 100% legend and it will only be a matter of time before one of the big music news portals picks him up.

More examples of Australian Musicians using Social Media

One sentence diary #rabpday

When I went on my trip to South America last year I kept a diary. It wasn’t like any other diary though. I restricted myself to writing one line a day. It got really addictive and when I got back I decided to keep writing it.

I really wanted to keep it because I feel one of the things I hate most about my memory is that a lot of the chapters in my life just seem to merge into one scene. My whole trip to Thailand is just one big meal of PadThai while dancing on the beach drinking a Tiger Beer. The beer may have had something to do with that!

The diary acts as a great memory trigger for stories that before I would have forgotten.

I still keep the diary and love reading back on it. This was part of the Recycle A Blog Post Day #rabpday, it was originally posted on 22nd June 2008 when no one really read my blog.

Here are some other good hidden posts

-20 friends who changed my life
-Meet Cam Hill - Melbourne's biggest social media channel
-Are you Timberlaking your blog
-Souljah Boy Vs. Ice T (Platform Creation vs. Idea Propagation)

The Golden Twitter Hour - 9 GOLD Youtube videos

I do not know how long this is going to last but I have decided to become a VJ on Twitter. From 4-5 on Fridays I am going to be shooting out nothing but GOLD from my Youtube collection. So if you missed it last week, here is what I threw down.

1. 10 Best Talk Show Fights via@tcollins

2. Could this be the best Russian Boy Band?

3. He is the Macintosh Man -80s IT guys spits the rhymes

4. The best fight scene EVER!
5. Hot Vampire Dance Scene
6. Captain Kirk wants to make love to the mountain by Shatner via@tannyboy
7. For the Doctors who are after the lols 'Stop reusing catheters!'
8. Learn from the best The Partick Swayze Dance Method
9. The Art of Meeting a Man

If you have any suggestions of GOLD Youtube videos, leave them in the comments section.

Popping the Twitter Reach bubble - 10% Reach and 1-3% CTR

I have been doing a little analysis and I have come to the conclusion that a realistic reach figure for a tweet on Twitter would be around 10-12% (6% of followers using web, 4-6% using Apps) of the individual’s followers. This is making the assumption that the majority of the individual’s followers are in the same timezone and they are not just following anyone (aka using a script).
Twitter Analyzer allows you to track how many of your followers are online at once

Click Through Rate
I have also used a little analysis from to work out that the click through rate of this content would be around 1%-4%. Once again making the assumption about the quality of networks. allows you to see how many people click on your URLs (this is of 1825 followers I have)

I totally understand why iSpyLevis put out a reach number of 300,000 to make it comparable to other media but it is probably closer to 3,000 than 300,000.

Knowing this is great for planning but who is going to take back a reduced number when traditional media agencies are still talking inflated reach into the 100,000s?

Advertising's Young Minds: The Top 27 Blogs of people under 27

Two years ago, Daniel Mejia came up with the bright idea of creating the Advertising's Young Minds list, the list would help let people discover the new talents of the Advertising industry. Unfortunately it had not been updated for almost two years.

Last week Daniel gave me the nod of approval to revive the list. So please let me know if you are not on the list or know someone that should be. I will do an update of the list in a months time.

Blog Name Country Google Reader Tech Authority Score Tech Reactions 10 Total
1 Jack Cheng (25) US 939 410 209 1558
2 Noah Brier (27) US 698 439 139 1276
3 Adspace Pioneers (24) AUS 218 411 82 711
4 Heron Preston (26) US 220 160 24 404
5 Jye Smith (23) AUS 44 291 31 366
6 Selective Amnesia (27) IND 222 92 11 325
7 Confessions of a Wannabe Adman (25) UK 102 121 39 262
8 The-Ad-Pit (27) UK 120 113 21 254
9 Cellar Door (27) US 114 103 28 245
10 Pigs Don’t Fly (20) AUS 44 146 38 228
11 Creative in London (26) UK 133 37 28 198
12 Adgrads (25) UK 96 66 13 175
13 Advertising Pawn (26) FRA 28 71 48 147
14 Nicola Davies (25) UK 64 66 13 143
15 Way Cool Jnr (25) AUS 86 45 0 131
16 Nil Desperandum (27) HK 20 38 7 65
17 Don´t go dizzy (22) ROM 38 12 9 59
18 Michael Karnjanaprakorn (27) US 31 16 8 55
19 Lexy Klain (25) AUS 23 22 6 51
20 CIIMS (25) AUS 23 16 5 44
21 OMG With Emily (?) AUS 23 9 4 36
22 I hate Ads AUS 17 11 1 29
23 Digestion (?) US 8 7 4 19
24 Joely Righteous (23) AUS 7 5 5 17
25 Gruen Transfer (21) AUS 9 7 1 17
26 Quintessentially Digital (25) AUS 14 0 2 16
27 Love number two ( AUS 8 7 0 15
28 Who put the devil in you? (?) AUS 10 3 0 13
29 Simon Says (20) AUS 3 3 4 10
30 The Bottom Rung (?) CAN 2 6 1 9
31 Post Modern PR (23) UK 3 3 3 9
32 Kruppy Rants (27) AUS 4 2 0 6
33 Frank, Hayley and the circus (24) AUS 2 2 1 5
34 Michael Allison CAN 5 0 0 5
35 Another Advertising Wanker (?) AUS 2 0 0 2

Requirements to be on the list
1. Your blog must be written in english

2. Your blog must have been active for the past 3 months

3. Your blog must show some original thinking, it´s not enough to have a blog with ads to be in this list.

4. You must be 27 years old or under

5. You must work or want to work in advertising or any other marketing communications specialty, it doesn´t matter if you´re a planner, copywriter, art director, account executive or else.

6. You can only have one blog in the rank.