In the world of entertainment, YouTube has become one of the most innovative platforms for an individual to make a living off of. Some of the top earners made over $20 million in 2020 and the platform is expected to continue to rise in popularity. Millions of people upload videos every single day and hundreds of millions of minutes of YouTube videos are watched every day.
As a musician trying to promote your music, YouTube should be one of your initial starting points. It is extremely simple to use allowing you to upload a video in minutes and share it to a number of other social media platforms directly from the publishing tools, plus you can build a substantial community as well.
The two quintessential parts of promoting your music are based around the music itself and the audience that will listen. If you never release any music you will never find an audience and if you never find an audience your music will never be heard. YouTube allows you to fulfill both of these needs by giving you a platform to release music videos while also allowing you to engage with your potential audience members. This article will discuss different ways you can use YouTube to promote your music in 2020.
1. Create a Channel
To start promoting your music on YouTube, you must create a channel. This is the first and most important step that you need to take on your YouTube music promotion journey, but you should not rush this step. Your channel should be titled strategically including either your name or your band’s name. This needs to remain consistent across all of your social media profiles so that if someone hears your music on Spotify or Soundcloud, they can easily find you on YouTube as well.
Its also important to add links from your other social media profiles to your YouTube channel. SoundCloud, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter allow you to add a link to your website in your profile. If you don’t already have a website built out, YouTube can be the perfect thing to promote here. In doing this, you also build the authority of your YouTube page allowing it to rank higher in Google search results. You should also include a profile picture and a banner image to increase the credibility of your YouTube channel.
2. Create Content Other Than Just Music Videos
After you’ve completed the first step of building your channel, it’s time to start creating content. Most musicians stick to solely uploading their music videos to YouTube, but there is much more potential for musicians on the platform other than just uploading their music videos. In order for your channel to continue to do well and gain subscribers, you need to be publishing videos consistently. If you have 40 music videos ready to go then you are set for some time, but in reality a band will only release a couple of music videos per year. This creates an opportunity for musicians to branch out and create different types of videos.
Your channel should focus on promoting your music, but it can also be a great space for you to promote your brand and your personality as well. Your fans and followers are more likely to listen to you if they feel they have a personal connection to you, making your video choices extremely important. You can create Q&A videos, tutorials for how to play your favorite songs, or podcast style videos where you discuss your favorite bands. The more creative you are the more likely people will find your videos and eventually find your music.
3. Build Relationships With Other Youtubers
It is extremely important for you to build relationships with other YouTubers. It doesn’t matter whether the relationships you build are with other musicians or if you connect with a group of vloggers as long as you create some sort of relationship. Collaborating with other YouTubers has been one of the most efficient ways to promote a channel since YouTube began in 2005 as it allows you to dip your toes into another channel’s subscribers, in turn bringing some of their followers over to your channel. You can connect with other YouTubers by commenting on their videos consistently, sending them a direct message, or finding them on other social platforms and following them there as well. Treat these relationships as normal, everyday friendships. Do not comment 10 times on one video and do not message them 5 times in a row. If they do not respond, move on to the next channel and try again. As with any business your network is extremely important and in promoting your music, other YouTubers can help propel your career.
4. Title Your Videos Strategically
Not only is the title one of the first things someone sees when they come across your content, it is also one of the leading factors in getting someone to actually click your video. Today, many Youtubers use “clickbait” titles to trick people into watching their videos and you can do this as well, but it will not be as effective for a music video. You can use clickbait titles if you are creating vlog style content, but make sure the title has something to do with the video otherwise people will click in and leave frustrated keeping them from watching any of your other videos. You can also use popular keywords in your titles to push your video further up in search results, but you need to be extremely strategic about this as well. If you title your video “Greatest Song Ever,” you may never reach any new listeners because you won’t outrank the other videos with similar titles. Along with unique, yet relevant titles, you can also create an eye catching thumbnail photo. The better the thumbnail, the more views you will receive.
5. Find YouTubers Looking for Music
The final step in marketing your music on YouTube again includes building relationships with other content creators. On YouTube specifically, there are thousands of content creators looking for music to feature in their videos. This is mainly because of YouTube’s strict copyright guidelines. If a creator does not have permission to use a song in their video it may be taken down completely or be demonitized for copyright infringement causing the creator to lose out on potential views, followers, and money. It can be difficult to find creators who are looking for music, but there are a couple of fool proof ways that you can use to track them down.
First, you should always look for music inquiries in a youtube video’s description. Many YouTubers will put a link in their description asking for music submissions. If a video has a lot of music that you haven’t heard before, the creator is likely crowdsourcing their music from their subscribers or followers. If there is no submission link you can also directly reach out to the YouTuber through their business email, which is usually located in their channel description, or you can simply direct message them on social media. Be sure to always include a link to your music. This way even if they don’t use your music in their videos, you still have a chance to gain a new fan.
As stated, YouTube is a great platform for musicians to both promote their own music and build relationships with other influencers or musicians. Promoting your music can be a difficult task, but if you create a YouTube channel and work hard at following these simple steps you will be on your way to building a substantial audience in no time. So go out there, create a channel, build relationships, create content, and be strategic and eventually your music will be heard by the masses.
Matt Danese is the founder of GrowYourSound.com, a digital marketing agency and blog dedicated to assisting musicians, bands, and artists better promote their music online. Grow Your Sound was created as a passion project by Matt Danese based on his duel-love for music and marketing. He realized that in today’s age, without the help of the internet and digital marketing strategies in general, musicians would have a very difficult time being discovered. Mr. Danese has dedicated a majority of his leisure time toward creating free content for musicians, bands, and artists to use in order to better their promotion and marketing efforts.