What we can learn from the Kings of Metal Marketing

Manowar Kings of Metal

In 2008 I started a little side project, which allowed me to bring my passion for music together with my job as a marketing guy. This was great because in general I believe that brands can learn a lot from bands. Through some funny coincidences I met the guys from Manowar. If you don’t know who or what Manowar are, do yourself a favour and do some research. I mean really, how can you not know Manowar

Basically they are part of my early musical influence and one of the reasons why I became a heavy metal fan in the first place. I know it might seem odd. When you see all their over-the-top eccentric presentation, you might question my sanity and anyone else’s who ever listened to that kind of music. But that is probably the point about Manowar. It’s not supposed to be taken too seriously.

When I first met these guys, it quickly became clear that there was an opportunity for me to work with them. A no-brainer really. A few meetings, discussions and funny evenings later, I started my first ‘metal marketing’ project.

The reason I am writing about this now – 6 years since I first started working with the band – is something that describes the band very well. Good things take time. Persistence, perseverance and patience are all character traits you can learn from a band that has been around for more than 30 years and still believes in what they are doing. They might never had the big success like other metal bands that started around that time but over all those years they still managed to gather a global and very loyal following.

Their social media efforts demonstrate that same level of perseverance. End of last year they broke the one million fan barrier on Facebook (now 1,127,006 as I am writing this). When we first started working together that number was at 5.000. It took a little boost at the beginning of their social media efforts but the main reason for them reaching this number is their constant and persistent engagement with their fans – exclusive content from tour, behind the scenes footage, updates from the studio and the celebration of their global fan community.

They understood that it is not necessarily about the pure size of their following. Quality over quantity is one of the key principles behind a successful social media strategy. Perhaps that is true for the longevity of a band in general. They might not have 34 million fans on Facebook like Metallica do. But while only 0.8% of their fans are engaged, between 4% and 5% of Manowar’s fans engage with the band on a regular basis.

Not too bad for a band that has been around for 30 years and has often been smiled at. It seems like there are quite a few people who really like what they are doing. And it looks like that those fans don’t have to worry about the future of their favourite band because they treat social media like they think about their overall approach – they are in it for the long run. One thing that brand marketers can learn from an old metal band.


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About aschauerte

Marketing, Media, Communications and Business Strategist.

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