As a musician, standing out from the masses in the crowded world of online promotion can be challenging at best, but one of the best platform from which to cultivate a fanbase and grow your notoriety remains YouTube.
As most musicians will know, it can be incredibly difficult to get noticed when there are so many musicians trying to make a name for themselves.
YouTube is a great way to stand out from the crowd and grow your fan base. Did you know that Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran started their careers on YouTube?
Other major artists that were discovered on YouTube are: The Weeknd, James Bay, Shawn Mendes, Carly Rae Jepsen, 5 Seconds of Summer and many more.
But how do you use YouTube to get more fans? You want to focus on music, not on video/online marketing!
Here are 7 ways to promote your music on YouTube:
Optimize title and description
It’s important that people can find your videos. To accomplish this you need to optimize your video listing so YouTube knows when it’s relevant to a search.
When someone searches for ‘techno remix’ or ‘Linkin Park Cover’ YouTube tries to determine which videos are relevant and shown to the user. YouTube looks at your video title and description to determine what your video is about and when it is relevant for a search.
End with a call to action
YouTube can’t watch your videos so it doesn’t know when a video is considered ‘good’. That’s why YouTube looks at other metrics like the amount of likes/dislikes, comments and how many people subscribe to your channel.
To help increase these metrics, add a call-to-action to the end of your video where you ask your viewer to like the video, leave a comment and/or subscribe if they want to see more videos.
When YouTube sees a lot of engagement on your videos they will promote your videos more often in search or in the ‘recommended videos’.
Once someone lands on one of your videos and enjoys it, you need to make sure they can easily find more videos they like and keep them watching your content.
An easy way to accomplish this is to create playlists. Create separate playlists for cover songs, original songs or each album you release.
Create covers or tutorials
When you just get started on YouTube and have almost no subscribers it’s difficult to get some initial traction.
A good way to be found on YouTube and demonstrate your skills as a musician is to upload covers and/or tutorials.
You can upload a cover from your favorite band or show how to play a song with your instrument. This is a great way to get views and subscribers when you are new to YouTube.
A great way to build an audience and connect with them on a personal level is to start vlogging. All you need to start is a suitable camera.
Collaborate with others
Collaborating with other (established) YouTubers is a great way to cross-promote each other. If you collaborate with another musician that makes similar music you already know the audience is interested so you are targeting a good audience.
Just remember that collaborations should be mutually beneficial. It’s hard to convince a YouTuber with 100.000 subscribers to collaborate with you when you have 100 subscribers. Try to find YouTubers with a similar sized audience.
Let Other YouTubers Use Your Music
A lot of YouTubers want to use music in their videos and vlogs but struggle to find good music because of YouTube’s copyright restrictions. To find music they can use, they usually turn to smaller, independent musicians that want the exposure.
An example of a popular YouTuber that uses music in his videos is Casey Neistat. Artists send their music to Casey by e-mail and when he decides to use it in one of his videos he always credits the artist in the video description.
Casey has over 6 million subscribers and some of his videos go viral and get over 20 millions views. This means a huge amount of exposure for the music artist that supplied the music for the video. For free!
Because many other YouTubers also watch Casey’s videos, there is a good chance other youtubers will contact you about using your music as well resulting in even more exposure.
Of course there are plenty of other tips, tricks and strategies to grow your youtube channel but these should get you started. Another good resource to check out is the YouTube Creator Academy. This website contains free training made by YouTube to help you become a better YouTuber.