Every month, more than a billion people, scattered around the world, visit YouTube. Every day, millions of videos are posted, which is a lot to compete with. However, it’s not impossible to stand out from the crowd. It’s the first place to easily get your music known and your sound and visual identity discovered via video clips. Professional or amateur, it’s a great tool to use as long as the music is good!
You should know that there is an official blog, called YouTube For Artists. This go-to catalog has detailed resources, tools, news and trends for artists and musicians who want to both grow their careers and nurture their fanbase. Create a “visual portfolio”, keep your fans informed by sharing your news, bring subscribers exclusive content. With the right tools, you have everything you need to better manage your musical career.
Here are three tips and tricks to best promote your music on YouTube!
Introduction: YouTube For Artists is a reference!
First of all, if you are a musician starting out on YouTube and/or you manage your own channel, whatever your audience, you should know that you will find all the answers to your questions on the YouTube For Artists platform. This service offered by YouTube allows artists to better manage their presence and credibility. Through the platform you are able to verify your account and let users know that you are an official account creating a sense of professionalism. This status allows, for example, to be found more easily in the search bar and to be directly linked to specific keywords on Youtube.
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To take full advantage of a verified YouTube account, signing up with a digital music distributor is mandatory. The distributor will then share your music to all streaming services, including YouTube. They should also send you the royalties owed to you and manage the revenue transactions generated your music.
However, it is possible to work independently and not have a label yet. YouTube is a great way to present your musical project in your own way visually, which we will discuss in more depth below.
1. Youtube playlists: a good way to get your music discovered
On YouTube, playlists are a great way to invite users to browse someones discography and catalog. It’s like an interactive CV, a real “visual portfolio”, as we like to call it! You can create a playlist that includes content hosted on other channels and/or content uploaded on your own Youtube channel. To do so, it’s very simple.
- First, select a clip that you want to transfer to a playlist.
- Below the video, click on the “Add to” icon.
- Select a playlist you have already created, or click on “Create a new playlist”. In this case, you can add a name to the list, like an album, an EP, a musical genre, a live session name…
Now it’s about knowing what kind of playlists you want to create. It should be reflective of your sound and visual identity. It should show who you are as an artist. You can take advantage of this to add in any video interviews you have done, live shows or sessions, demos, behind the scenes footage… anything you’ve done that lives on the platform. Choices are endless so, we recommend to choose quality over quantity. Select, sort and create rewarding content for the user around the project. The end-goal is to attract the user not only to the project, but to you as an artist. So, make it interesting and make them want to subscribe and follow for more.
2. Covers, an easy way to get known on YouTube
If you are launching your musical project and you want to get known on YouTube, covers can help to grow an audience. Indeed, most of the people who search for the name of your musical project on the platform already know you. However, covers allow your project to appear in new search algorithms. This is a good way to develop your audience; especially with covers of popular songs. The potential fan can relate to your style of music and will hopefully want to learn more about you. For the video: don’t panic if it is “homemade”, because you can emphasize the quality of the interpretation. However, if the video is high quality this works in your favor!
Finally, if your cover generates some buzz, it may even end up in a playlist created by the artist whose song you just covered… Not bad, right?
Beware of copyright law and restrictions!
Copyright is a crucial issue for any artist posting a cover song on YouTube. Indeed, original works are protected under two criteria: the pure audio recording and the composition, i.e. the lyrics. Licensing requirements depend on several factors, countries and also on the way you distribute your cover. That’s why it’s not easy to generate revenue directly from a cover, although there are agreements between YouTube and publishers for some cases.
To learn more about copyright, we invite you to visit the YouTube Copyright Center and other resources that explain the impact of copyright on the music industry.
3. Cherish your community of fans on Youtube
YouTube is a platform that differs greatly from its direct competitors (Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer …) because it allows the artist to communicate more directly with his fans, inform subscribers of his news, establish a new proximity. Maintaining and respecting his community is a way to build loyalty, to make him more attentive to new releases, to create a commitment and a craze.
In the “Community” tab on YouTube, artists don’t hesitate to share their news via posts based on a striking visual (an image, a GIF), giving a date, an appointment, a release not to be missed or even links to merchandising, tour dates… Exclusive photos of the live show can also be revealed. Finally, you can also take your fans on a journey by offering them backstage excerpts from a video shoot or a concert. This way of showing the “behind the scenes” of the project allows you to humanize the artist/fan relationship which can sometimes seem unbalanced and a bit superfluous.
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