This guest post is by Bob Baker and Kendra Wright of www.TheBuzzFactor.com
Every artist should be using online video as part of their promotional toolkit. That means you must set up a YouTube account (also known as a “channel”) if you haven’t done so already. And once in place, your channel must feature new videos on a regular basis.
Many artists get excited about video, post one clip, and then move on to the next idea that sparks their interest. Or they have the misguided notion that traditional music videos are the only thing they should post on YouTube. Not true. There are many ways to use video to attract attention and communicate with fans. And, to make the most of your YouTube channel, you should post new and varied content to it every month.
To get your wheels turning, here are 10 ways you can start cranking out fresh videos to engage and increase your fan base.
1) Promote your live events. Do a quick video about an upcoming show to complement the fliers you post online and off. Share the basic details about the event, along with anything special fans can look forward to that will get them excited about the show. This is something you can convey through video that you simply can’t do with a poster or flier.
2) Give fans a peek behind the curtain. Take your fans on a trip behind the scenes. Let them in on the recording process, show them any fun preshow rituals the band has, or record unusual things you come across while on the road. Give them a glimpse of your musical lifestyle.
3) Announce breaking news. A simple text-based Facebook announcement is so old school, how do you expect to stand out in the newsfeed? Catch up with the times and release breaking news in the form of short videos! Have you picked a release date for the new album? Want to introduce your new guitar player? Crank up your Flip video camera or smartphone and give fans a treat.
4) Show off new merch. Sure, you can post a photo with the new T-shirt design. But maybe you could take that a step further and actual wear one and model it in a video! Have any cool stories about your new designs? Wanna do a silly commercial on why fans should buy your merch? Plain ole images are so predictable. Give fans a cool heads-up on the new products you have coming out via video!
5) Let your fans interview you. Encourage fans to send in questions and answer them on camera. It’s a quick and easy way to make your fans feel special (be sure to state their name as the source of the question), which will inspire them to share the video with their friends. Chances are, if one fan is curious about something, there’s another out there who wants to know too.
6) Talk about who you are when you’re not onstage. Fans want to feel like they know you. Being a musician is just one small part of who you are. Do you have special causes you rally behind? What other artists are you listening to? Who influences your songwriting? Have any great, positive insight on life that you want to pass along to fans?
These types of videos specifically appeal to the niche of super fans who are interested in learning anything you’d like to share. But they are also a great way to show another side of yourself.
7) Make a video for every song. In a recent interview I did with indie music phenom MC Lars, he recommended that every musician make a video for each song they want to promote. Watch that video (in which Lars shares some great tips on how to make a living as a DIY artist) here.
8) Give video music lessons. Do instructional videos of how to play your most popular songs. Have any tricky tuning or chord progressions? Or, do you see your songs played incorrectly on a lot in covers? Give your musician fans cool insight into how to play your tunes straight from the fingers that created them them.
9) Document a goal. Are you trying to raise money through a Kickstarter campaign to pay for a project? Are you already in the process of recording a new album or EP? Have you challenged yourself to write one new song a day for 30 days in a row? Great! Use video to update your fans on where you are with the goal.
Remind people of the details and let them know how they can help. This is a great way to keep creating awareness on projects that stretch over a long period of time. If you only talk about your project or goal once, it may lose buzz and momentum before completion. Keep it on their minds via video updates.
10) Explain the inspiration behind your lyrics. The beauty of music is that we all get to interpret it through our own filters. What a set of lyrics means to you can be completely different to someone else. But it can be really interesting to hear what inspired certain songs to be written, or to find out how the story ended in real life. Share these insights about your songs with your fans.
And here's an extra bonus tip for good measure ...
11) Share cool moments with your fans. Did someone propose onstage at one of your shows? Did you capture any video of epic costumes at a Halloween show? Did a fan send you some amazing art? Find unique ways to highlight these moments, say thanks to your fans, and let others know just how great your fans really are!
Did we leave anything out? In what other ways can musicians use video to attract attention and connect with fans? We welcome your comments.
Bob Baker is the author of “Guerrilla Music Marketing Online,” Berkleemusic’s “Music Marketing 101” course, and many other books and promotion resources for DIY artists, managers and music biz pros. You’ll find Bob’s free ezine, blog, podcast, video clips, and articles at www.TheBuzzFactor.com and www.MusicPromotionBlog.com.