The Grammys: Building On Buzz From Music’s Biggest Night

Billboard ChartsFrank OceanGrammysJustin Timberlake

A Look Back at 2013

Going into GRAMMY night in 2013 six artists led the field with six nominations apiece.

Walking out of LA’s Staples Center that night, The Black Keys & Dan Auerbach led with four wins while Mumford and Sons, Gotye and fun. collected the big four. Justin Timberlake made his triumphant return to the music world, and first-time GRAMMY Winner Frank Ocean gave a passionate performance. Buzz for these artists was arguably at an all-time high. How did music marketers leverage that buzz for successful sales?

Impact on the Charts

The 2013 GRAMMYs were held on the night of Sunday February 10, which happened to be the end of Nielsen SoundScan’s sales tracking week. Despite airing only three and a half hours before the close of the tracking week, the awards were already impacting that week’s Billboard charts. The charts felt the full GRAMMY impact after the week ending February 17, 2013.



Winning Album of the Year and performing twice certainly didn’t hurt sales for Mumford and Sons. They saw an immediate jump with a 50% gain, climbing to the #4 slot with 54,000 units of Babel sold that first week. With a full week under their belt, Mumford snagged the #1 spot selling 185,000 copies the week after The GRAMMYs, a 242% increase in sales.

Justin Timberlake kicked off his epic 2013 with his first performances of “Suit & Tie” and “Pusher Love Girl”. Strategically launching his pre-order immediately afterward, JT saw immediate results. “Suit & Tie” jumped into the top ten, up 33%, selling 120,000 copies. The following week he cracked the top five with a rise of 67%, selling another 201,000 units. “Mirrors” also made its top ten debut, selling 163,000 copies. The single was offered as an instant-grat from the 20/20 Experience pre-order which reached #1 on iTunes the next day and remained in the top ten for the next two weeks.




Over a typical year, Google estimates that there are 110,000 average monthly searches for “grammys” on Google and its search partners. However, from experience we know search volume skyrockets on the night of the show. We ran a campaign for The Black Keys the night of and morning after The GRAMMYs. The campaign ran for under 24 hours, but served 494,000 impressions on GRAMMY-related search terms. From Sunday through Monday, there was another campaign for Miguel. Serving 295,000 GRAMMY search impressions, we were able to leverage his win for Best R&B Song and performance of “Adorn” with Wiz Khalifa.


Last February, 28 million viewers tuned in to the awards show, the second largest audience since the 1993 awards. According to Twitter, there were over 14 million tweets about The GRAMMYs on the night of the show. #GRAMMYs – the official hashtag promoted by the show – was used 2.6 million times during the event. Jay-Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocean and The Dream’s win for Best Rap Collaboration was the biggest moment on Twitter with 116,400 tweets per minute.

Artists were also able to give fans a behind the scenes look into the show. Tyler The Creator live-tweeted to his fans over the course of the show, sharing selfies, photobombs and his reaction to Frank Ocean’s wins. AllFacebook credits Justin Timberlake as having one of the most popular instagram pictures of the night with over 15,000 likes of him warming up backstage. Even Spotify joined in, making six predictions using streaming data from its service five days in advance.

Going Into GRAMMY Night

While there will always be surprises at The GRAMMYs, there will always be opportunities for music marketers to leverage the online buzz and help their artists win on the charts as well.

Help Them Find the Music They’re Looking For

At the very least, smart marketers should put budget towards a Search campaign for their nominated and performing artists. Have enough to maximize exposure among interested users on the night of the show and on the following day, when conversation and search activity are at their highest. Users want to find the award-winning music they heard last night, so why not make it as easy as possible for them?

Offer Exclusive Content

Make sure you’re using your owned media to engage with users during the event. Reward second screen fans by joining the conversation with them and giving them a backstage access pass to the night.

Ensure You’re Reaching Core Fans

Facebook Page Post Ads on desktops and mobile as well as Promoted Tweets using Twitter’s Television Conversation targeting offer great paid media options for injecting content into that social chatter.

Using these tactics, marketers can take advantage of a highly active online fanbase to celebrate the most important night of the year in the music industry.

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