Frank Zappa once said that without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. Think about what a musician of your father’s age would’ve had to do to get a record contract, or even get noticed. Hours of open mic nights at the bar or even busking in the streets. It wasn’t easy.
But thankfully, with the advent of the internet and the subsequent ubiquity of social media platforms like YouTube, we have newer, easier ways for you to get noticed.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the simple, overlooked ways you can use YouTube to its full potential in growing your audience.
The Secret to Captivating & Keeping Viewers Glued to Your Videos
This is the most essential part of any musician’s YouTube strategy: offer value to your viewers so that they keep returning to your channel for more content.
Part of this strategy is to offer up a variety of content instead of repeating the same videos. The more diverse you can make your content, the more likely people are to stick around and subscribe to your channel.
Here are several ideas to help you keep your videos fresh:
- Tutorials: Dive deep into the how-tos of your music. Whether it’s teaching viewers how to play a specific song or showing them how a particular instrument works, tutorials offer you the chance to show off not only your personality but your expertise.
- Behind-the-scenes: Show your audience there’s more than meets the eye. If your videos have a visually-appealing, polished look, for instance, show them the gear you use to capture great quality video.
- It’s That Time of Year: Pay attention to upcoming seasons and holidays. Viewers love holiday-themed content or something that ties into the season/weather. For example, try a new arrangement of a beloved holiday tune in December, or your interpretation of an Irish folk song in March. There are many possibilities here.
- Vlogs & Commentaries: Once in a while, it’s time to put the instruments away and share your thoughts and ideas about any number of relevant music topics. Maybe you could share in-depth thoughts on the new Beyoncé album, or talk about a trending topic in the music industry.
A side note for publishing vlogs or commentaries: it’s important to use professional-level tools to help your videos stand out. One useful best practice is to take advantage of royalty-free music and SFX (sound effects).
A royalty-free song can set the right tone for your video, and SFX can help to punctuate key points or transitions. You can find plenty of SFX and royalty-free stock music on sites like Soundstripe. They offer unlimited access to old and new music alike, and they have vast libraries of all the music you need for your media projects.
Giving Your Viewers Something to Look Forward to
You need to find ways to stand out from the rest, so make sure your YouTube channel has a look and feel that is uniquely you. Do some research on the type of content you like and model it.
Do you want your videos to be humorous, serious, abstract, or talking-head style? The choice is yours. Just be consistent with your style. You want your content to have a cohesive feel, even when the subject matter varies.
Discover the Ingredients That Will Keep Your Loyal Viewers Waiting on Bated Breath for Your Next Video
In addition to being a solid platform for promoting your music, YouTube is also a useful place to get feedback on it. You can post your videos in forums and groups dedicated to music to solicit feedback from audiences, other musicians, and industry professionals.
And, because YouTube is such a widely used platform, you’re likely to get honest and helpful feedback that can help you make improvements on your work.
Try asking a specific question as a CTA (call-to-action) at the end of your video. Don’t say something like, “Tell me if you like it in the comments.” It’s too generic. Try something like, “What does this song remind you of?” or “What do you think of the background vocals I just added?”
Specific questions help viewers focus on the details.
Boost Your Content’s Visibility
If you want your videos to be found, you need to make proper use of keywords and tags.
When uploading a video, YouTube gives you the opportunity to add metadata (a title, description, and tags). Use this opportunity and include relevant, accurate keywords in all of these fields. This will help YouTube’s algorithm to surface your videos in search results, and it will also help people who are looking for specific content find you.
Don’t just tag “music” or “rock music.” While those keywords might lead people to your general area, you’ll want to find long-tail keywords that increase your discoverability. Make sure your keywords accurately describe your video, and keep your titles short and concise.
Finally, make use of YouTube Autocomplete and Google Trends to find keywords searched by language and country. While being unique is its own gift, it’s never a bad idea to take advantage of what’s trending too.
The Bottom Line
With over 2.6 billion active users and 81% of adults currently using it, YouTube is the second most visited website in the world. You already know that YouTube has a vast reach, so it’s the perfect platform for new musicians to get their start. There’s a very high chance that the target audience you’re looking to attract is already using YouTube on a regular basis.
By implementing the above tips, you’re sure to gain some much-needed likes, subscribers, and followers.