I’ve been on a journey to grow my YouTube channel lately, as I think this is one of the best social media platforms for musicians. I’ve been outlining my process step-by-step, so today we’re talking about free and paid marketing ideas for your youtube videos. If you’re trying to grow a fanbase or get more people to buy your music, you’ll want to promote your videos!
YouTube Marketing for Musicians
Let’s start with what I know we all prefer: Free marketing methods. These are obviously where you should start, because you’ll get a good idea of what marketing techniques work. You can then expand into paid marketing if you choose. Let’s talk about free stuff first!
1). Your Email List
I use MailChimp but there are many other options available; the course instructor recommends Active Campaign. I never send video updates to my list (I never send updates of any kind, haha). Creating an email list is a long process, so it’s not something you can start today and have a full YouTube marketing campaign by tomorrow. Here are some good resources to starting a mailing list, and here are some good resources to growing a list. You should start this today, even if it’s too late to market your video! Create a list and you’ll be able to market future videos.
Let me know if you decide to build your email list today!I'm building my email list today! Click To Tweet
2). Your Other YouTube Channels
Many YouTubers do this; I don’t because quite honestly, I don’t have the time. The instructor has a separate photography and travel channel, so he makes separate quick videos on each channel to promote new videos on other channels. He says he always deletes the promo videos later to keep the channels clear. You can also collaborate with other YouTubers (I would LOVE to do this but don’t know anyone in my area. If you’re in Detroit or Nashville hit me up!) You could also try reaching out to fellow musicians in your area who have large YouTube followings and see if they want to work with you.
3). Social Media
There are endless promotion channels online, but let’s break each of them down. I have a whole post on how important social media is for musicians here.
This is basically all I use my Instagram for – promoting youtube or anything else you have going on. He recommends posting a little preview for your video, like a channel trailer. I tried this this week, so I’ll let you know how it went!
There are three places on Facebook where you can post your videos: Your personal Facebook, Your music/fan page, and groups. It’s important to remember, however, to respect group rules! Some groups allow you to post videos on them, but honestly I don’t see a lot of interaction on those posts most of the time. Your best bet is to establish yourself in the groups, post a lot of questions and interact, then when you release a video you’ll have more people willing to watch what you have to share. Spam-posting videos usually get deleted in groups that I’ve seen.
I’ve seen people recommend that you tweet up to 30 times a day. That’s crazy to me and I would never be able to come up with that much to say, I don’t even think I speak 30 times a day haha. This should encourage you, however, that you can’t really post “too much” on Twitter, so feel free to talk about your video multiple times!
3d). Google Plus
You probably have one of these and never update it, but did you know that this one is really important to your SEO? Seriously, think about it: Google runs it, so the more you post there, the more Google will favor you when someone searches for something. When you post your video, use a lot of descriptive words (such as, “haunting country ballad” or something). This way if someone searches for that term, Google Plus has your back.
I am very active on Pinterest (check out my page and follow me if you want great music stuff!) and I can’t tell you how many videos I pin in a day. For music on Pinterest, video is king. Set up a Pinterest account and pin all of your videos. You can create a separate board just for your videos alone, or you can make different boards like playlists for your videos.
This is a question-and-answer type of platform so you’ll need to use this with caution. I would only post a video if it directly answers someone’s question, or if you yourself need to ask a question about your video (is this even possible?) Honestly I think the instructor mentioned this one as a broad answer but it doesn’t really apply to musicians. There is rarely a situation where someone asks “What is a cool music video I should watch?” but if they ever do, you’ll be ready.
I would treat Reddit like a Facebook group and post with caution. Endlessly spamming boards with your videos is a quick way to get yourself removed. Just check the rules of each subreddit before posting. You can use other forums also, but again check the rules. Some boards only allow so many posts in a certain amount of time, to prevent people from flooding boards with their music.
4). Ask Friends and Everyone You Can
He literally said “ask everyone you can,” but I’m going to go ahead and assume that the cashier at McDonald’s doesn’t care about your new video (no offense). I mean, go ahead and do this if you want, but use moderation.
Admittedly, I have no idea how you would do this. I don’t know how BuzzFeed makes their lists, but maybe you could submit your video for something? There is also a way to make your own lists so you could always do that and hope it goes big.
6). Push Notifications
I need to do this for my own website and I’ve been putting it off for years. Push notifications are pop-ups that appear on a site to let people know important info. You’ll need your own website to make this happen. If you have one, you can just make a new push notification to advertise your music video. Typically you’ll see push notifications for things like “Sign up for my email list!” (which you can and should also do). However, there’s no reason you can’t run one for a while that says “Check out my new music video!” with a link.
7). Bored Panda
I know nothing about how to contribute to this, and the class didn’t really go over it, but there is a way to submit your own post. There is an “Entertainment” section, but it seems more geared toward events or articles that impact a lot of people. You’ll want to format your submission to appeal to a wide audience before posting, but again I know nothing about it so whatever you think is best!
8). Embedding in Your Own Posts
Hey hey, this is mainly what I do! I think this is where the majority of my views come from, so I highly recommend it. This allows people who visit your blog to see your videos. I usually try to make my videos relate to my post, but you don’t have to! You can post whatever normal blog and at the end, say, “By the way, here’s my new music video!” or whatever you want.
1). SMS Broadcast
If people leave their phone number in your email list (do people seriously do this?) you can send them a text to let them know your video is available. I guess this is paid because texting costs money? Or does it cost to send one? I don’t know, but look into it to make sure you can afford it!
2). Instagram Direct Messaging and Ads
There are services I guess that will send many DMs for you. He says it’s not exactly “legal,” and in my opinion, people rarely open or care about DMs from people they don’t know. I would instead suggest making this personal and sending it to followers who engage with your posts. It’s a lot more personal that way and, more importantly, free. Then of course there are Instagram ads which are paid. You can either pay for an ad in people’s feed, or you can pay a popular Instagram model to promote something for you. I kind of love this idea but I’m way too shy to ask Kylie Jenner to pretend like she cares about my YouTube channel, haha.
3). Google Adwords and Adsense
I don’t really know a lot about either of these, so this is an area I should improve. Here is how Adwords works, and here is how Adsense works. Basically you’ll make ads that appear on other websites. The course instructor recommends directing people to your website instead of your YouTube page because then you can get them to sign up for your email.
4). Facebook Ads and Boosting Posts
The instructor said this is his favorite method of ads, so that’s interesting. I’ve never done this but I guess you can create a few different ads and see what works best. You can also post on your Facebook Fan Page and boost that post. I don’t think this is very expensive so this might be a good idea to try out!
5). YouTube Paid Ads
You can either create a small ad to go before videos (I’m sure you’ve seen snippets of music videos before other music videos) or you can contact bigger YouTubers and see how much they would charge you to talk about your video and get their fans to watch it. There are many examples of this working out well for people. You’ll want to make sure that their demographic lines up with yours and that they’ll do it in a way that feels natural and doesn’t seem like a paid ad.
6). Paid Posts on Popular Blogs
This one is a lot harder for musicians, because most music-related websites are absolutely flooded with requests to share or post about a new song or video. However, if you’re willing to pay, you’ll already be ahead of the scores of artists trying to get in for free. You could have an Adsense ad on a music blog page, or you could write directly to them and ask for a paid review or write-up.
Following the free advice from above, here is my YouTube video that goes with this post:
So, what do you think you’ll start out with first? Let me know in the comments or send me a tweet!