Promoting Your Music: SoundCloud vs. YouTube
Once your music is distributed, it becomes your job to cultivate your audience and handle your brand across platforms. Here we look at what you can expect from YouTube and SoundCloud, and what tools they provide when it comes to promoting your work.
Guest post by Randi Zimmerman of the Symphonic Blog
After distributing your music, promoting it is one of the most important things to keep in mind as a musician. Knowing where to prioritize your efforts is key to having a great strategy that works well for you. There are pros and cons to every platform, but it’s your job to manage your branding across platforms and figure out which audience to capitalize on. In this post, we’ll cover what to expect from SoundCloud and YouTube so you can figure out what you’re getting into before you take the wheel.
Promoting Your Music on SoundCloud vs. YouTube
When it comes to marketing yourself on any platform, take the time to create a thorough marketing plan.
- Think about who your target is meant to be
- Set goals
- What’s your overall brand?
Once you’ve got a plan in place, it’ll be easier to decipher which platform will help you reach those goals efficiently and effectively.
With SoundCloud, you have the benefit of a large community of like-minded artists to get insights from and to collaborate and connect with within a positive community of creatives. SoundCloud is notoriously “by musicians, for musicians” and it’s not a bad idea to use that to your advantage.
Use these connections to build your following and increase your fan engagement. This platform makes it easy to interact with your audience in a more direct and personal way. With its social-media-like experience, SoundCloud is more focused on collaboration and engagement, which will help you grow your audience in no time.
- You can reach out to other artists with ease via direct messaging.
- You can collaborate on something with another artist to get double the exposure for both of you.
- People can “like” and “repost” your songs, which shows up on their newsfeed for all their followers to see. (The more times your song is reposted, the more exposure it’ll get!)
Depending on your goals for the future, consider whether your music would benefit more from a music video or more from just releasing the tracks on SoundCloud and vice versa. For example, it’s much easier (and way cheaper) to create a track and post it on SoundCloud than to execute an entire music video. Especially if you’re planning to release entire albums, it doesn’t make sense to waste your budget on multiple music videos.
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That being said, if your budget doesn’t quite allow for a perfectly executed music video, don’t force it. Don’t feel like you need to release a music video even if you can’t afford to. However, if you’ve got a huge budget and your brand is all about visuals, of course, it makes sense to do so. Just be sure to think about what works for your personal branding and creative expression and go from there.
Although YouTube isn’t solely dedicated to music, it’s still a great platform for musicians looking to go the more visual route.
- YouTube’s huge audience offers more potential for greater exposure.
- YouTube’s audience is more diverse, going beyond just music fans. (Which can expose your content to a wider audience and help spread your work to people who would have never seen it otherwise.)
- Just like SoundCloud, you can direct message other creators and network with ease, which is a huge plus for both these platforms.
With YouTube, you can capitalize on your efforts with SEO. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of utilizing keywords and popular phrases that people will generally look for to help your video rank higher within the platform’s algorithm.
- Think about what someone would search to find your video/song and let that be your guide.
Disclaimer: If you name your song something too popular like, “Game of Thrones”, your fans won’t see your song, they’ll see the TV show. Be original.
Realistically, if you’ve got an amazing idea for a music video (and your budget allows it), utilize that! Create a music video for your most popular song to push it even further and expand on your creative vision.
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Keep in mind, every artist is different. If your branding is heavily visual, you’ll want to prioritize YouTube for everything it has to offer in that scenario. If you’re an electronic music-focused artist, it may be better to focus your attention on collaborations and reposts on SoundCloud. Neither of these platforms is quite “better” than the other, they’re just respectively better for different purposes depending on the artist.
Luckily, you don’t have to do this alone. That’s what distributors like us are here for. With Symphonic, you can get access to high-quality branding, creative design, release design packages, video design, digital marketing, advertising, playlist pitching, video optimization and more to help you market across this constantly evolving market with ease.