For musicians, one of the best tools for both creative self-expression and marketing is music videos, which can do wonders for exposing new audiences to your music and artistry.
For independent artists, the work of quality music video marketing doesn’t just begin and end with conceptualizing and executing the video itself. Still, it continues into promoting that video to get as many eyes on it as possible.
So if you’ve recently made a music video for yourself as a music artist, here are ten ways you can learn about music video promotion.
1. Have a Pre-Release Strategy
You probably already know that most artists can’t just pull a Beyonce and drop something with no lead-up or fanfare when it comes to releasing new music and expect it to be a success. Well, the same thing goes for videoclip marketing. Before you put out your music video, you’ll want to build up as much hype as possible among your established fanbase.
From letting your fans know that a music video is coming to releasing images and teaser clips from within the music video, you want to make sure you mention the music video release date several times to give as many people as possible the opportunity to find out it’s coming and get excited.
2. Find Your Unique Selling Point
This is a tip that applies to musicianship in general and each particular music video you release. When you go into marketing your videoclip, you need to know what makes it special and sets it apart from every other music video out there. Understanding this can help you know what to use to hook in your target audience. When you start sharing and marketing, you’ll want to draw attention to this particular aspect, whether it is the video’s unique story, unexpected medium, stunning visuals, or whatever else it may be.
3. Optimize for SEO
When you post your music video on Youtube, it’s important to increases its chances of being seen and come up on search results by optimizing it for search (SEO). This includes doing several things like filling out the description, tagging with relevant keywords, categorizing your video appropriately, and choosing an eye-catching thumbnail. When it comes to tagging, consider using keywords like your music’s genre and names of similar artists in addition to just your song and artist names. The more tags, the better – as long as they’re actually relevant and accurate. When it comes to organic promotion, these tips will really help you.
4. Post on Every Platform
Naturally, just posting your music video on YouTube Music and leaving it at that isn’t going to be enough. You’ll also want to cross-promote the video on as many different platforms as you possibly can. We’re talking Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tik Tok, and Facebook at the very least. You can post your video on these platforms more than once, which is a huge advantage, and it also allows you to reach a different audience than you do on YouTube Music.
Share it on your personal pages as well as your artist page and ask for friends and family to share it with their networks, too. And make sure to optimize the video for each platform individually, as some of them have different preferred video formats. Doing this will significantly boost audience engagement.
Finally, know that when you post on social media, it can help engage with viewers in the comments to encourage more hype and conversation and signal to the social media networks that the content is interesting and should be boosted to a more visible place on people’s feeds.
5. Pay for Ads
Of course, there is a limit to how far organic content on social media can go, so if you want to guarantee that more people will see your music video than just your followers, you can always go the paid ad route. The process of creating ads on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram is actually very simple and straightforward, and, best of all, it allows you to target specific audiences that you believe will like your music. So instead of just having your ad sent out into the void, you’ll know it’ll be seen by the type of person who might enjoy your video and become your fan.
You can choose who you want your ad to be seen according to demographics like age, gender, income, parental status, traits (like being a college student or new parent), interests, and even life stage (like if they’re soon to be getting married). This means you can really specify who you want to see your video, even picking people who are fans of artists that are similar to you. This will highly increase the chances of the person actually becoming a fan after seeing your music video.
6. Make it Engaging
You probably already know this, but one of the best avenues for music to succeed these days is through TikTok. Why? Because when a dance blows up on TikTok and everybody is posting their own TikToks with them dancing to a particular song, they’re actually engaging with the music, and they have high motivation to share it with their audiences. TikTok is awesome for song promotion!
We’re not saying here that you have to invent a viral dance move to your song to have people see your music video. Rather than coming up with some kind of way for people to engage with it beyond just watching, it can help it spread.
You’ll have to get creative to figure out what you can do to encourage fans to engage with your video. Still, anything that allows them to participate in it, like asking people to send you videos of their friends reacting to it or challenging them to recreate a certain part of it, is some of the options you can consider.
7. Get it Shared
Another way to have people beyond your already built-in audience see your music video is to have it shared with the existing audiences of others. This could be influencers, magazines, a music blog, or something else – essentially an entity that reaches people who might be interested in your music video.
So check out what magazines and blogs like to post about new music and reach out to them to see if they may be interested in posting yours. Some of them may have an established process for submitting music videos, while, for others, it may just be a matter of sending a nicely-worded email. Just make sure to check and see how it works and to be as polite, concise, and convincing as possible in your communication.
8. Share in Online Communities
While magazines and blogs absolutely still exist today, another place where large audiences of music lovers gather is online communities such as forums and subreddits. Here, people are actively looking for entertainment and something to interest them, and they’re also highly motivated and engaged. This makes online communities a perfect place to share your music video. This involves two things.
First, you have to find the right communities relevant to you, like those that are specifically related to promoting one’s own music or those about the genre you’re in. And second, you have to be wise and strategic about how you post to the communities.
The tighter-knit the community, the more they’ll frown on an absolute outsider coming in just for self-promotion. Hence, it’s a good idea to first participate and, when it comes to those types of forums, actually become a part of the community before you promote your video.
And on communities specifically made to allow musicians to promote their own music, you’ll have to find a way to stand out among everybody else, so use that unique selling point we talked about in tip number two.
Some forums that you might consider posting your music video on include:
9. Host a Viewing Party
Let’s not forget the power of real-life, in-person interactions to build excitement about a new music video. On the day of your music video release, consider putting together a viewing party in its honour. Invite family, friends, fans, and local music lovers.
Of course, make sure that there is more to draw people to the party than just watching your music videos. Different ways to make the party appealing include playing a live set, inviting other local bands to play, having an interesting theme (ideally one that will be somehow related to your music video), and bringing in exciting refreshments like a food truck or even an open bar.
10. Use Email
If you don’t already have an email mailing list for your fans, you’ll definitely want to put one together because they’re an absolutely indispensable marketing tool for musicians, useful for promoting pretty much anything you’re doing, including music videos.
Using an email marketing list, you can directly get in contact with people who have shown interest in you by signing up for your mailing list, reaching them with a personal message. You can use your email list to build up hype for your upcoming music video release by sending out teasers and reminders and sending the actual music video out to your fans on the day that it comes out.Before you send out your email, it’ll be a good idea to brush up on the basics of email marketing, like how to use your subject lines to get people to click on your email, as well as how to include calls to action within your email to get your fans to do things like click through to watch your music video.
11. Mobilize Your Fans
We’ve already covered how it’s a good idea to ask your friends and family to share your music video on their social networks to get it seen by as many people as possible, but when it comes to promoting your music video, why stop there?
In fact, you can even get your fans involved in the process of sharing your music video. Reach out to them on social media or through your email marketing list, asking them to share your music video with their friends and networks. You can even include a draft of a pre-written message they can send out or create a hashtag they can include in their posts about your music video.
Of course, it’s ideal to also offer some other incentive to your fans to get them to share your music video other than just doing you a favour. That’s where things like contests and giveaways come in handy. Consider giving out free t-shirts or other merchandise to fans who share out your music video. In fact, this is a great idea because it even serves as a double promotion since a fan walking around with your t-shirt on is another great way to get the word out about you and your music.
12. Collaborate with Others
Our last tip is to use the power of collaborations to give your music video a boost. Even if you don’t have another artist featured in your music video, you can plan to cross-promote with somebody else by sharing their video to your fans and asking them to do the same for you. This will essentially double both of your audiences, making it an attractive arrangement for both parties. And you can do this with more than one collaborator to increase your reach even more.
If you’re planning to give this method a try, just make sure to be strategic and realistic about who you’re reaching out to, asking for collaborations. If you have 5,000 followers, it may not be too successful in asking for an artist with a million followers to share your video. If you think you can make a solid case for them to do so, there’s no reason not to give it a shot, as long as you do so professionally, politely, and don’t waste anybody’s time.
Being an independent music artist is a lot of work. Not only do you have to put your heart and soul into making great music, but you also have to follow that up by putting your blood, sweat, and tears into getting it out there to reach people and maybe even have a career as a musician. Music video promotion is a lot to deal with, but when you see those comments on your music videos saying how much a person connects with your song, it all becomes worth it. So go ahead and give these ten music video promotion strategies a try. You’ll be able to expand your fan base, increase the level of engagement with your music, and maybe even make some money.