MTV and VH1 are long past their glory days of being the defining platforms for a music video strategy. However, when it comes to creating videos to promote music, most artists and labels are still operating under that old paradigm, which drastically limits their reach and potential impact they get from video. That old paradigm is thinking in terms of the “official” music video. You know, that one expensive video that takes forever to complete and would meet your expectation “if only we had more money.” For the record, there is nothing innately wrong with the official music video, it can be an amazing artistic expression that helps tell a broader story about the song or the artist, but if you want to create a powerful video marketing strategy, you must think outside that box.
Enter Rotor Videos
Rotor Videos (https://rotorvideos.com) is a video creation site that allows you to upload a song, add your own video clips and/or select clips from their library, add a style to your video, and then automatically edit it all together to match the pacing of your music. The result is a professional looking video for only $25. You can use Rotor Videos to create an amazing “official” music video, but with their tools and affordable price point, you have the ability to take your video strategy to a whole new level.
Right now, Rotor is giving away 300 music videos at 50% off (normally $25). The best part? There’s no limit to how many times you can use the coupon! Which means you can use it as many times as you want until they hit the 300 maximum. Just use the coupon code CDBaby50 at checkout!
Mistake #1: Thinking your song should only have one video
Stop thinking in terms of “official music videos” and start thinking about video as a visual component that helps you target, define, and speak to a specific audience online. We’re moving into an era where every song should have one visual component. In fact, one song can and should have multiple videos that allows you to test different visuals to different audiences and ultimately draw more people into your music.
Mistake #2: Thinking your music video must use the entire song.
Your video is an ad for your song. It does not have to match the “album” version of the song. People are scrolling through social feeds and don’t have the attention span to last to your hook. Give them the good parts right away. They call it a hook for a reason!
Creating a video targeting strategy
The plan: Using ROTOR and 9 short live performance clips from my band, create 3 distinct looking videos that will allow me to test different visuals across multiple target audiences. All the videos below use the exact same clips from the band, but as you will see, the end result is very different for each.
Video #1: Youthful Hip Vibe
For this video, I wanted to have a younger look with people having fun with the music as a backdrop. This worked especially well since there was footage of them running. The test target audience for this video will be a younger demographic that probably hasn’t heard of Smalltown Poets before.
Video #2: Demolition Derby
For this video, I wanted a completely different visual. Since the song talks about driving, I found these demolition derby clips. It’s just an eye catching visual that a certain group will gravitate towards. Fits the music, but not really the message. However, I think for a certain target audience this will work. We’ll see!
Video #3 The Road Trip
With this video, I imagined a group of friends going on a road trip and just doing life together. It has a dramatic style compared to the other two video. These visual feel like they fit the tone of the lyrics best.
Equipped with these 3 videos, I have some serious marketing firepower to test and target various audiences online and see exactly how they are impacted by the song. From what I learn there, I can create more content around the particular style for the audience that performs the best. And when I need more videos, I’ll head back to Rotor Videos armed with data to help guide the creation process.
Can you make a video using only supplied Rotor Videos clips? Yes you can!
I created a video for one of our newer songs that we think is one of our best, but has yet to find a broader audience. I wanted a video that would provide strong visuals that key off the lyrical content, but only used video clips that I could find inside the ROTOR platform (meaning, I didn’t upload my own clips). I edited the song down to just the chorus, second verse, and ending chorus. Basically, to make a shorter video that will grab people quickly, hold their attention, and get the hook of the song in their ears multiple times over a short period of time. After testing the response to this, I plan to make several other videos that have a different look and feel.
Here is the result:
Rotor Videos user pro tip:
The Rotor app works sequentially through the clips in your timeline, cutting away from each one mid-clip to the next based on a) the editing style you’ve applied and b) the rhythm, tempo and intensity of your track. When you don’t put ENOUGH clips in your timeline to accommodate the length of your track, once the app has displayed all the footage in your clips, it loops back to clip 1 and starts the process again. This is why you sometimes see the exact same footage appearing over and over in your draft video (not ideal). So it’s important to make sure to fill your timeline. Rotor recommends around 30-40 clips for a 3-minute track.
Have a video that you created using Rotor Videos? We’d love to see it in the comments!