YouTube is the number one search engine for music. Because of this, many musicians have turned to video to promote themselves and their work. Plus, videos on YouTube are an income stream for musician thanks to ad revenue share — especially when there’s a lot of views.
If you’re planning on making a video, try these techniques to boost your views:
1. Give Your Video A “Clickable” Name
Picking the right name for your video can generate views, even if fans don’t know what they’re going to get when they click on it. After all, videos don’t take a lot of time or commitment to try out so titles that are mysterious, sexy, or hint at controversy can get clicked no matter what’s in the video.
Try testing out alternative titles for your videos with friends before posting them to see which one might be the most intriguing. Also, keep in mind picking the right title is also important for your blog posts, newsletters, and other communications. And finally, if you can come up with a title that people are likely to search on you can get hits.
2. Add a Post-Roll after the Video and Add a Call to Action
Don’t just let the video end! You worked hard to get viewers to watch your video, so add a post-roll so you can promote your channel while you still have their attention. Use it to ask your fans to:
- subscribe to your channel
- like your video
- buy your track or music (link it directly in the video description!)
- share your video with their friends
- watch other videos on your channel
- watch other artists and creators you work with
There’s no need to do all of these calls to action, but at a minimum always ask them to subscribe so that you can get one-time watchers to catch your next release. Plus the extra audio means that they can’t directly rip the track from YouTube to listen to it, and will be more likely to buy it or stream it.
3. Make Your Video Cool to Share (The “Nice Peter” Principle)
Pete Shukoff (a.k.a. Nice Peter), who’s one half of the creative team behind Epic Rap Battles of History explained his goal has always been to make videos that make people look cool for sharing them with their friends. With Epic Rap Battles of History videos generating 50 to 120 million views or more, it’s clearly a winning formula. When you make your videos with this in mind, it changes your perspective. For ideas, take inspiration from videos you’ve shared with your friends (even if it’s not music related).
4. Cross-Promote with Other Musicians and Video Creators
Borrow audiences to pull in new viewers. Collaborate with other creators (not just musicians!) on your next music or video projects. For example, Nice Peter and EpicLLOYD worked with Key & Peele, Snoop Dogg, and “Weird Al” Yankovic just to name a few.
You can also target other websites that have audiences as well. If you can find a way to make your videos relevant to what a popular site covers, share it with them and see if they’ll post it.
Also, trade “likes” with other creators since your videos will appear in each of their feeds. And remember that videos can also be cross-promoted on your co-creator’s blog, social media, or newsletter — don’t just limit yourself to the world of YouTube.
5. Use Your Social Networks to Announce and Share Your Content
YouTube made video one of the easiest types of media to share online. So use your social networks to announce when your video is posted to get it noticed, watched, and shared. Also, be sure to encourage them to like, subscribe, and share.
6. Organize Your Channel by Content
If you’re going to be releasing more than one type of music video, organize your channel by grouping related content into playlists so viewers can easily find what they are looking for. For instance, create separate playlists for your music videos, live footage, vlog, behind-the-scenes footage, and so on. Although you can split your content into separate YouTube accounts, it’s better to funnel all of your subscribers and views into a single channel, since higher overall numbers help drive new viewers.
7. Pay to Promote (If It Makes Sense)
Advertising isn’t too expensive given today’s platforms, and YouTube allows for a few types of paid promotion.
Other options include Facebook and Twitter. Make sure to keep an eye on your statistics. This will help you understand which videos fans are liking and responding to so you know if your promotional campaigns are working and worth the expense.
The steps for improving your viewership starts before you create and produce your videos and continues long after the release. The more you plan in advance for generating views, the easier it is to pull off.
Finally, if your video gets popular, don’t forget to modify the video description, discussion, and annotations on it in order to promote your other work. Take advantage of the eyeballs! A single success can be used as a launching point for all of your future efforts.