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How To Effectively Sell Your Music Video on YouTube

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YouTubeLast week I wrote about selling your music video on Facebook. To continue the series of selling yourself as an artist, This week I’m bringing you how to sell your music video on YouTube. You may think that if you have a great music video that it’s going to sell itself. That’s true but it’s not true 100% of the time. You will have to do some work; throw in some elbow grease, and some mind over matter in order to deliver your content to your fanbase and those who haven’t heard about you yet.


Tags

If you haven’t used YouTube yet, or are not familiar with how it works, when you upload a video you have to give it a name, a description and some tags that relate to your video. For example, you made a music video with animals a tag to be used should be ‘animals’ or you can type in ‘dog’ or ‘cat’ if you want to add specificity and narrow down how many people many type in a keyword to wind up noticing your video.

The pros use keywords in their description to help lure in more viewers. They don’t use tags or place tags in the description, like this guy.

 

This is a tag whore. In the first couple of lines of tagging, the user name dropped other YouTubers with similar content. This is a no-no

This is a tag whore. In the first couple of lines of tagging, the user name dropped other YouTubers with similar content. This is a no-no

It’s very unprofessional and makes you seem desperate for views. Instead, use the description to introduce your video by stating the name of the song, the band name, record studio, director, genre, etc. Filling all of this out may raise your chances of being seen by a new viewer. You can, if it makes sense for the music video, introduce the story that’s being told in the video. Don’t forget to give it a great title. A great title doesn’t have to be ambiguous or too generic. Look at how Vevo names the videos uploaded to their channel.

 


Get Clearance

You may or not be in a contract with studio that controls all the rights to the music that you play. Some indie artists want to get paid upfront and sign a deal with a label or studio that ends up controlling the music they write and record. For those people, depending on the contract that you sign, you may need to get clearance to upload the video on YouTube. The chances that the studio or label isn’t involved in the music video production are slim but you never know.

 

For those recording their own music video independently, you may need to be careful of the items in the background of a video or even what’s being sampled on the audio portion itself. If you’re a fan of Batman and there just so happens to be a Batman poster behind you in a shot that may call for copyright infringement. If there is a sound that’s reminiscent to when Link finds a heart that may be a copyright infringement. Copyright is a very tricky subject to decipher.

 

I graduated with a degree in Entertainment Business but that doesn’t mean I know everything there is to know about copyright infringement. However, there is one surefire way to know if your work isn’t infringing on any IP [Intellectual Property]: speak with a lawyer who can break it down for you. Before you start selling your music video make sure you’re in the clear; you don’t want Cease and Desist emails or letter arriving for you.


Be a Socialite

Don’t just type up your description saying who directed the video or the genre of music; it helps but don’t just do that, add something more. Treat the description of the video like an article you write for on a blog. You want your description to be optimized for search engines. In a nutshell this means that the description meets a requirement for search engines, like Google or Yahoo, to appear on a search. In short, this is called SEO, or search engine optimization.

 

Place a link or two in the description to broaden SEO for your video. Preferably, you should put the band website and the Twitter link. After all, you want to engage socially with you fans and draw in new ones.

 


Force your audience

When you upload a video your goal is for it to gain some traction and take off. That can difficult for some. How about forcing an audience. If the title and thumbnail don’t intrigue me, I’m skipping your video, unless the video plays before Keyboard Cat. Everyone has been annoyed with ads before the actual video; just capitalize on that.

 

You have the option to advertise your video, much in the same vain as Facebook where you can determine the audience in which who sees it. The key difference is that the video is thrust upon someone instead of just subtly disguising itself as a real Facebook post. Like a movie, a music video must grab the viewer and hold you tight until the last chord played; with the ad, you have less than five seconds to grab the viewer before they’re clicking that ‘skip’ button.

 

“But the skip button gives you five seconds before you can skip,” yes I know that; you have some people who hover over the button just waiting for it to reach zero to skip right out of there. Intrigue your audience in the first three seconds to hold their attention.

 


Be a karma whore

I don’t fully recommend doing this but share the video to Facebook, Twitter, and even sites like Reddit. Reddit may look like a lax link gate site where users can share their (sometimes very misguided) opinions and the music (or other varying content) they love. Sharing your music video here can make or break you. Just find the right subreddit to do so.
You want to share your video to the world so share it on social media. It’s a no-brainer but sometimes, in the heat of things, you may forget.

 

There are other things that you may want to consider when you try to sell you music video on YouTube: don’t just be a one-hit wonder, upload more content to widen your net; make sure you have a presence online; and make sure the content you upload is the very best you have. There are plenty other things that can be discussed but these are the biggest ones. Godspeed to those selling their music video.

Jonathan Silva is a graduate and current student at Full Sail University going for his Master's Degree in Journalism. When he isn't writing for film blogs like Get The Big Picture or listening to music, he's either watching movies or playing video games. His love for all things entertainment shine through in his writing.