Gone are the days of simply leaving promotion to the labels, with artist managers now taking to the web to proactively boost their artist's presence. Here Dan Tsurif of Mercenary Management outlines how YouTube and other social media can be leveraged to maximize an artists online presence.
Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0
We live in a new world where promotion is no longer left solely to the record label. Now a good artist management team knows that they must be proactive online in order to increase the branding and visibility of their artists. In this excerpt from my Music 4.0: A Survival Guide For Making Music in the Internet Agebook a few years ago, Dan Tsurif of Mercenary Management describes some of the things that his company does for their artists when it comes to YouTube and other social media.
“What’s the most important social tool right now?
For what I’m currently doing it’s YouTube. It’s the single most important tool for a musician because you can distribute your music, monetize it, use the description to promote tour dates and merch store, and it has the social aspect so people can go and talk and share comments with their friends. For most artists, I tell them to pick just one social network and get really good at it, but if they ask me which one, I’ll tell them that YouTube is the single most important tool that an artist has at their disposal.
Do you recommend that your clients post more than just their music videos?
Absolutely. Typically the record label owns the masters to their songs, so the artists won’t make anything from posting them, and the label will want to do that anyway. That shouldn’t stop them from making their own videos. I tell them not to just focus on music but to put out videos on everything that you can. You can make a guitar lesson, show come cool backstage antics or webisodes, or even a rehearsal video. People love that. It’s very interesting for fans to see. That’s what we have a video team for.
What’s the one type of video that fans relate to the most?
Our most popular videos are webisodes of the artists on tour. Recently we had one with Black Label Society where a videographer followed them everywhere on the tour, and every day we’d put up a new tour recap. That was wildly popular.
We had one with Alternative Press Magazine for Black Veil Brides where they followed them around on the Warped Tour. It was a similar concept, but those had the most impact because it gave the fans a chance to see what the band members were like off stage, then see the transformation to going on stage and performing, so they could see what’s it’s really like to be in a touring band. Especially now that it’s so easy to pick up a guitar and get into music, they want to know what it takes to get to be a professional touring musician. They get access to that world and learn that it’s not all just parties and girls.
Do you do anything special for video SEO?
Proper tags and descriptions are wildly important. I see a lot of companies spending thousands of dollars for search engine optimization, and I agree to a point that you need that boost, but so much could be done just on your own with YouTube by properly tagging and using the descriptions. You should be tagging similar artists, having full lyrics in the descriptions, as well as the name of the director if it’s a music video. Just these little things that people can do have a huge impact on the visibility of the video.
How much are your bands involved in social media? How much do you do?
It depends on the band. It might be 10 to 50% of the time, depending upon who we’re working with. We might give them a class on how to do something, but most acts do most of it themselves. For the personalized things it’s always the band members, but if they don’t know what they’re doing then we’ll show them the ropes. We can try to put ourselves in the head of the band members and maybe post like they would, but nothing beats the actual member doing it.”