[Download CD Baby’s Ultimate YouTube Guide for Musicians for free!]

A new report says that the majority of music listeners under the age of 18 prefer YouTube over any other music discovery destination (including iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, etc.) It’s more important than ever that your music be available on YouTube.

Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you make the most of your video presence.

1. Add links at the top of the description field for each video

Let your fans know where they can purchase your music. Simply enter the URL to your blog or website (or to your cdbaby.com artist page) at the very beginning of the video description field (to ensure that it’s visible to all viewers). YouTube will hyperlink it automatically.

2. Make the first 15 seconds count

As the saying goes, “Don’t bore us. Get to the chorus.” You’ve got to hook them upfront. YouTube videos are like pop songs; they’re best enjoyed and shared when short and catchy. YouTube is proving there’s some truth to Andy Warhol’s saying, “in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” Only now, 15 seconds may be all you get.

To help you capture your audience’s attention, the Official YouTube Blog has offered some good advice on how to make the first 15 seconds of your video irresistible:

Make compelling content first…

• Start off with something that will immediately grab attention, whether it’s what you say or a stunning visual.

Make it clear what your video is about early on, so viewers aren’t confused about what they’re watching.

• Tease the rest of the video so the audience is intrigued to see where you take them.

…share your channel branding later.

• A flashy intro may look cool, but it’s not the star of the video — let them see you, or your great content, first.

• Make your branding compelling by making it entertaining or unique to each video

3. Add tags to your channel and videos

Tags are important. Tags are keywords that help people find your video in YouTube’s search engine. What will your fans type into YouTube to find your video? Tag your videos with venue names, your band name (correct spelling and misspellings), song names, city, state, genre and other relevant keywords. Then when someone types in a search for your song or band, you have a much better chance of coming up first.

4. Choose great titles for your videos

Not many people on YouTube are going to be searching for “sadsong-ver.2 w/o vocals recorded at John’s.” Include your band name, song name, the venue or location (if relevant) and maybe even a few specific keywords that accurately describe your music.

For instance: Tommy Jug Band plays Silly Girl at Sunnyside Tavern, Portland, OR – Country Funk and Bluegrass

5. Respond to every comment

Responding to comments will not only make your fans feel appreciated, it will also inspire others to comment on your videos. Try sparking conversation by asking a question, or by pointing out something interesting in the video.

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