Interview with Bryan Vaughan, Wind-Up Records
Wind-Up Records has been one of the most successful users of ThingLink for artists like Evanescence, Seether, James Durbin, Civil Twilight, Jillette Johnson, and The Darkness. CMO Neil Vineberg recently sat down with Wind-Up Records’ Bryan Vaughan to discuss fan engagement and ThingLink.
Q: What kinds of artist images do you tag?
A: The types of images we use with ThingLink varies. We’re actually starting to create images specifically for ThingLink and its interactions. We’ve been doing more and more with lyrics. We use the album artwork for every band. “The Darkness” has a poster image; the text in the image has its importance. Its kind of fun figuring out where in the image specifically a tag is going to have the most effect, how it ties in with the overall image. It’s not just about putting any tag on the image. It’s more about ThingLink-enabling the image as an entire, whole creative unit.
Q: How do you like the new graphical and color tag icons?
A: The new color and graphical tag icons have made the images stand out more. They drive people to really interact with the image more because they now know what they’re looking at when they hover over an image. They may not want to go to every icon on the page, but if they’re looking to specifically listen to the song or to buy it from iTunes, they can do that inside the image. Similarly with the color differences in an actual image, you can bold different things with different color tag icons to draw different reactions for the parts of the image you want to point out.
Q: What is it about ThingLink that helps drive traffic?
A: It’s the ease of discovery and the surprise element. Fans are used to searching all over the Internet for content. Now with a little bit of movement and interactivity all that content lives inside an image. Putting that unique content in an image is now really essential. When you see the still image and then hover over it, your attention is automatically drawn to what’s going on inside the image. It’s curiosity that drives people to not only hover over things, but to actually click through as well. That click-through is really important to us for really driving traffic.
People also have shorter attention spans. It’s crucial to cater to that shorter attention span and get engaged users doing things. With a single ThingLinked image, you can hover to find all the information you want, watch videos, play music, hear a band’s voice – all in once centralized spot. It’s really unique and essential.
Q: What advice do you have for bands who want to promote their music with ThingLink?
A: Find a surprising and fun way to use an image thats never been done before and create unique interaction between a band and a fan all within a single image. It’s a constant exploration of what am I really trying to drive with this image? What is going to catch peoples’ eye. And once we have an image ThingLink-enabled, what’s going to draw fans to the image? The main thing is focusing on what you’re trying to get out of it, what you want fans to get out of it, and not just adding tags for the sake of it. Keeping an image focused with a limited number of tags versus hundreds — is crucial for marketing.
Q: How’s the new ThingLink working for you?
A: With ThingLink there has been lots of engagement with fans who emailed us and spoke on Twitter and Facebook about what they could do through the images. Now with the newly launched ThingLink, its crucial because fans can actually share the image with their existing fans and friends. And we’ve seen quite a few comments on the recent images – “This band is my favorite band…”. That’s crucial hearing from fans so we know what we can improve on to make ThingLink more efficient with the next images we post.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. With ThingLink, it’s worth about two million.
Follow Wind-Up Records on ThingLink.