How To Leverage Your YouTube Music Channel
YouTube is the most popular video outlet in the world, and as such, the free service is an integral part of any serious artist’s music marketing strategy. Ignore it at your own peril! Among all the categories of videos found on YouTube, music is far and away the most popular, accounting for nearly 31% of all videos played through the website. It has also become the prime destination for music discovery by teenagers, with The Wall Street Journal recently reporting that two-thirds of teens listen to music directly from YouTube, more often than other services such as Pandora, Spotify, and MOG.
YouTube allows you to share your content (musical and otherwise), provide background information around the content, and provide links and portals to help your fans reach more of what you have to offer on the web. YouTube is a key to modern band promotion, and is great tool to help you connect with your fans in a personal way, allowing you to showcase your material and communicate with your audience about the content they are most interested in.
As the digital music landscape continues to evolve, streaming services are emerging as the kings of music discovery and dissemination. Similar to the shift in television broadcasting that occurred as cable and satellite emerged to challenge the major networks, streaming services provide consumers with free or low-cost access to nearly all available music for as little as 30¢ a day. But unlike cable TV, you have no barriers to engaging your audience on this community service, and stand to gain fans and revenue in the process.
Let’s look at one of the most successful bands to leverage YouTube to build their fan base: Pomplamoose. Pomplamoose’s channel is a study in how to be a YouTube success, and leads to “I’ll Be There in a Minute,” a featured video that utilizes a number of winning strategies.
The duo enlisted their fans for the video, and fan energy helps propel the video through its various dance scenarios to the concluding scenes at a small live show. If a viewer lets the ad play through before the video, the band also gets a cut of the ad revenue.
Another YouTube phenomenon is Ronald Jenkees. He’s amassed more than a quarter of a million subscribers and 58 million page views. Notice how he includes obvious links to various levels of fan engagement, from something as simple as adding him as a Facebook contact to purchasing a signed copy of one of his CDs. His featured video (at the time we wrote this article) is a benefit track done in collaboration with STS9, introducing him to a wider audience and doing good for a charitable cause.
How to leverage YouTube
Assuming we’ve convinced you to make YouTube an important component of your music marketing strategy, how do you begin to leverage its potential into a plus for your career? Here are six key tips to keep in mind as you go about building your YouTube presence.
1. Provide your viewers with information
The people who discover your videos could already be fans, but they could also have absolutely no idea who you are. The proper information needs to be available to users so that they can become more familiar with your act. Check out Pomplamoose’s main YouTube channel page. Notice how they use the page to give a quick introduction into who they are, where they’re from, and myriad ways to dive deeper into their upbeat musical world. Providing relevant links, video descriptions, and additional detailed information provides your viewers with easy access to important data such as the location where they can buy your album or download or share your content with their own personal networks.
On “I’ll Be There in a Minute,” Pomplamoose posts the song lyrics and links to purchase a package of music or a USB drive with more songs. They also have a link to an iTunes buy page. Every piece of content you post can be another opportunity to share a link to your purchase page, whether it’s on BandCamp, CD Baby or elsewhere. If you simply upload a video, you’re missing the opportunity to take the viewer to the next level of engagement. While the video content is the main attraction on YouTube, be sure to give your viewers every chance they can get to go buy your album/merch, watch another video, or read more of your content.
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