With so many options available for promoting your music, it can be overwhelming to try and figure out which one is best for you, but video often emerges at the head of the pack. Here we take a deep dive into what it takes to effectively utilize video as a promotional tool.
Guest post by Chelsea G. Ira of TuneCore
There are a lot of different ways to promote your music. You can post to social media, send out email newsletters to your fans, seek out press, do live streams, perform live, or even work with other bands to co-promote.
There are SO many different approaches to promoting your music that, quite honestly, it can get a little overwhelming.
What’s the best approach? What is worth your limited time? And what will actually help you forge a better relationship with your fans and create awareness and excitement for your music?
So today, we’re going to focus in on just one thing – using videos to spread the word and get your fans excited. Most social media platforms will give you the option to share videos. Some, like YouTube are entirely focused on video, while others like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter include video among other posting options. Either way, videos are something you can use across any platform to promote your music.
This is going to be a deep dive, and hopefully it will give you some cool ideas to promote your own music. Let’s get started.
The long story short is that videos are one of the best-performing types of content you can post to social media.
To start off, let’s talk about feed priority. Many social platforms (Facebook and Instagram, namely) are moving towards a model where an algorithm populates the feeds fans see when they log in. First and foremost, these algorithms favor engagement, serving up your content to fans who regularly like and comment on your posts. But, these algorithms alsofavor videos and live videos over image or text posts. In fact, social media posts with videos have 48% more views.
Compared to regular text posts – or even image-based posts – videos also tend to get higher engagement. That means your videos will probably get more likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc. As a musician, engagement is something you should always be striving for. Like we talked about earlier, an engaged fan is far more likely to see your posts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram where algorithms populate the feeds. Engaged fans are alsomore likely to take action and buy your music, merch, or tickets.
And finally, videos posted on social media are also much more shareable. Believe it or not, video posts get about 12 times more shares than text and image posts combined.
Of course, not all videos will achieve viral status, but if you create a well crafted, entertaining video, you’re much more likely to see your fans sharing with their friends.
Of course, if you want your videos to perform well, they need to be good videos. So let’s go through a few cool video ideas your fans will love.
USING VIDEO TO PROMOTE YOUR MUSIC
Before we start digging into video ideas, I want to emphasize that you don’t need any fancy or expensive equipment to post videos to social media. Your phone camera is all you need to capture footage, a simple mic that plugs into your phone will help you get decent audio, and if you want to do any editing, there are plenty of free programs like iMovie, Lightworks, and Blender.
You can, of course, invest in better equipment like a camera, mic, and lighting later on, but for now, start with what you have.
The obvious video option is of course, to create a music video. This is a tried and true way to share your music and entertain your fans. There’s a lot that goes into creating a great music video, and they typically take a while to produce. If you want to take advantage of video’s power on social media, it’s important to also be releasing other types of videos on a more regular basis.
RECORD COVER VIDEOS
Playing off the music video approach, you can also create cover videos. These don’t need to be big productions – one take of you with a guitar performing your cover version is all you need to do to get started – so it’s very easy to create and release cover videos weekly or monthly.
To amp up the engagement, try getting your fans to request your next cover by commenting on your videos.
This is another easy one. Try recording a close-up shot of you playing through your own songs. That way your fans can watch the videos, learn your songs, and play along.
This is a great option for musicians who know a lot of their fans are also musicians. If you want to go above and beyond, offer free tabs or sheet music in exchange for an email address.
LET FANS BEHIND THE SCENES
A great way to incorporate video into your marketing strategy on a regular basis is to use video to take fans behind the scenes. Show them what your band practice or rehearsal looks like, film your songwriting sessions or jams, film in the studio or backstage at gigs – the possibilities are endless.
Before you move on take a few minutes to brainstorm all the music-related things you do during the day. What could you show your fans? Now I know you might think that practicing your instrument isn’t very interesting. But consider this – anything you do in music is inherently interesting to someone who doesn’t do it themselves.
To add some excitement, you could consider editing together multiple short clips of your day-to-day into a short vlog-style video that you release each week. Or release short clips every few days to keep fans engaged.
This vlog-style approach is a one-two punch for music promotion. Not only are you giving your fans interesting content, you’re also letting them into your world. Fans will be able to get to know you and connect with you as a person beyond just the music. These connections are the building blocks for developing a superfan relationship.
UPDATE YOUR FANS
There are a lot of situations where you may need to update your fans. Maybe you have a new single coming out, a gig or tour coming up, a new merch design, or you’re launching your email newsletter.
Instead of just creating a text or image-based post, record a short video and take advantage of how much visibility videos are getting on social media! It can be as simple as you sitting there telling your fans how excited you are about the new merch and modeling it. This might take you 5 or 10 minutes to film but it can make a MUCH bigger impact and impression on your social media followers than a regular old text announcement.
More and more social platforms are adding the option to stream live videos. All you need to get started is your phone, some kind of mount to stabilize your phone while you’re live, and a simple mic that can plug into your phone. You can go live for just about anything – announcements, Q&A’s, jams, performances, or even vlogs.
The key to successful live videos is to get on a consistent schedule. The more fans can expect you to be live at a certain time, the more people will show up. So, is there one day of the week that you can always spend 30 minutes to an hour streaming?
Another big part of live videos is to make sure you’re talking with your fans when you’re live. Say hi to them by name, answer their questions between songs, take requests, and chat with them. Live videos are all about interaction, and if you’re not talking with your fans, you’re not taking advantage of this powerful tool.
Hopefully this gave you some new ideas to incorporate video into your music promotion strategy. If you want more ideas of creative ways to promote your music, join me in a free webinar, The Proven Formula to Promote Your Music. In the webinar, we’ll be breaking down 6 powerful music promotion strategies that can help you grow your fanbase and get your fans engaged and excited.
Chelsea Ira is the Director of Marketing for The New Artist Model.