What 50 Cent taught me about video marketing

March 17, 2014

What you see above is 50 Cent’s Lamborghini and about two million dollars.

He did not get there JUST because of his video marketing skills, but you can learn alot from him.

As a fan of rap music and a person with affinity to marketing I could not help but notice and study his marketing skills.

This is how my video marketing career started

Year 2011

One of my best friends (a rapper) recorded his first official music video.

So we had to prepare a video marketing campaign to generate his first online buzz.

Naturally I decided to take a look at some of the MOST influential rap artists and their video marketing strategies and apply them to our own campaign.

My first choice was 50 Cent.

The guy has like a 500 million dollar empire.

It turned out what he does really great with his videos is the pre-release campaign.

This is where the performer gets really smart.

Before he even starts talking about a new album he releases a Mixtape.

It’s a “free album” for his fans to download and listen to. The success of the songs (a.k.a which songs get the most views and shares) defines the direction and style of his new album. 

Once he has clear information about what his fans want, he records and releases the studio album.

He chooses the most successful album songs and starts video production. 




He takes a few photos from the shooting of the music video and releases them to his audience on Facebook and Twitter to build up anticipation.

Then he shares a story about the photos and he also tells the date of the release of the video.


This way his fans know what day to look forward to.

He does that a few times, so did we.

It worked really great for us since that boosted the amount of views we got at the first two hours of the release (about 200 per minute)




Then he gets a video edit done of the coolest parts of the video and publishes it to the same people.

An analogy of a movie trailer:

His fans start commenting and sharing.

This happens one or two days before the release. His fans start getting hyped up and get in the “sharing” state. 

It builds up astonishing amounts of anticipation.




On the exact day and hour that he promises his fans he releases the video. That gets him millions of views, shares and quotes and a huge viral effect.

After the first “wave” of views, he reminds his fans of the video two days later and that gets him even more views.

Remember, he is promoting the most validated songs of his album.

This makes his fans buy 9 000 000 copies of his album.

Tip: Test!

Another cool trick that he uses is to TEST if 
his fans actually would want a video for a song.

He does that by creating a typography-style video and see how it performs.

It is a low-budget test that lets him see how a high-budget video would perform but on a smaller scale. If it gets him satisfying results, he does a high-budget video.

By using this video marketing strategy we generated 100 000 views in 2,5 days with no advertising budget.

You can not imagine how EXCITED we were the next morning when we saw the view count! 

My rapper friend got found and signed by a major record label.


This strategy can also be used in business with little tweaks.

Got any ideas how? :)

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