- Uploading Your Video to YouTube
- Researching What People Search For
- Descriptions and Tags
- Promoting On YouTube and Everywhere Else
- Engaging the Community
- Embedding Your Video on Your Site and Others
- Submitting Your Video to Blogs and Forums
- Advertising and Buying Views
I just want to say that this post is not a complete and total guide that covers everything. There’s a ton of stuff to cover when it comes to promoting YouTube videos, and you could probably write a full book about it. But I hope that this post at least gives you an idea of what’s involved. If you like this article, please share it with your friends and if you have your own YouTube promotion tips, or any questions, leave them in the comments below!
Uploading Your Video to YouTube
Now that you’ve got your video created it’s time to get it online. This is pretty straight forward. Log into your YouTube account and hit the “Upload” link at the top of the webpage (right next to your username in the corner – to the left of it). On the next page hit the button that says “Select File From Your Computer” and find the video file you just rendered and saved. Double click on it to start uploading. Now you can enter all the details of the video. If you don’t see the screen in the picture below, just click on the name of the file with the uploading status bar beneath it and you will see it.
This is where you enter in your title, description and tags. The video’s title, description and tags are some of the most important parts of your video. This information has a major effect on how your video gets listed, ranked and promoted in YouTube. So you want to be careful how you label your video. Don’t just call it “Track 1” or something genric like that. Be as specific and descriptive as possible. Here are some tips you can use to make sure you optimize your YouTube tags.
Research What People Are Searching For
The first thing you want to do when deciding on the title, description and tag info is do a lil bit of research. There’s a tool for that. If you’re familiar with AdWords advertising or SEO then you’ve probably heard of the Google Keyword Research Tool. Luckily for us YouTube has their own YouTube Keyword Research Tool. Go there and enter a couple words that are related to your music genre, or artists similar to you to generate ideas for your title, description and tags. For example we could enter in “rap music” and hit “Get Keyword Ideas.”
The results you get will be all the terms people are actually typing into YouTube to find new music to listen to. Right now the numbers are a bit inflated, so to see how many people are actually type in those EXACT terms change the “Match Type” on the right side of the search results header to “Exact.” This changes things but gives us a much more real number. Use this to find some terms you can include in your video title, tags and description.
You don’t have to stuff your video information with all these different keywords – that looks spammy and cheap. Choose 2 – 3 that make sense for the video you uploaded and just make sure they appear somewhere in the title, tags and description. Here’s an example you could use for the three keywords “rap music,” “new music” and “hip hop music.”
Title: New Rap / Hip Hop Music | Lyrical Militant feat. Dele-O – “Never Give Up”
Description: http://LyricalMilitantMusic.com – Check out this new rap / hip hop song by Lyrical Militant called “Never Give Up.” This is new positive hip hop music for summer 2012. Download the free track at LyricalMilitantMusic.com
Tags: New Rap Music, Hip Hop Music, Positive Music, Conscious Hip-Hop, 2012, Lyrical Militant, Dele-O, Tupac, Lupe Fiasco, Talib Kweli.
Note About Description & Tags:
You’ll notice a couple things in the example above. In the description I started off with a link to a website. This is important because YouTube can be a huge source of traffic for you. So if you have your own website, include a link to it at the beginning of the description. I also include a call-to-action in the description (“Download The Free Track At….”). This is also important for driving people to take action and complete one of your marketing goals (i.e. download the free track or buy the single, etc.).
In the tags section you can see I included more keywords that in the title and description. This is ok because you want to make the most use of your tags. Your tags are used to get you listed in the “recommended” or “related” videos section of YouTube search and video pages. I also added the names of similar sounding artists in the tags area. This helps you gain more exposure in a similar way. You may end up being listed along side a major artist by being strategic about this.
Once you’re happy with your video information make sure your settings are correct (privacy = public, category = music, License = standard license) and choose your video thumbnail. The video thumbnail is important. Choose the one option out of the three that YouTube gives you that looks the best, or makes your eyes draw towards it. When people are scanning a YouTube page with dozens of videos on it, the thumbnail is what might make the difference between them clicking on your video or someone elses – Choose Wisely! Click “Save Changes” and video is now good to go.
Promoting Your Video On YouTube… and Everywhere Else.
Now comes the important part – promoting your videos. There are a few different tactics you can use and some are better than others.
1) Engage The YouTube Community
2) Embed on Your Website(s) – Drive Traffic
3) Submit/Post to Blogs / Forums
4) Advertising / Buying Views
Engaging the YouTube Community
What you have to understand about YouTube is that even though it’s a video sharing site, it’s also a social network. The basic idea behind using social media and social networks to promote yourself is to engage the community. What does engaging the community mean? It means being a part of and interacting with the community. It means to first build relationships and trust with other people on those networks, including YouTube.
There are tons of active users on YouTube that you need to start interacting and building relationships with. When I say build a relationship I don’t mean anything cheesy that’ll make you #pause. I mean start making friends with people so they trust you and become interested in your videos. One way to do this is to upload amazing, funny, emotional or inspiring videos. Other ways are leaving comments on people’s videos/channels, replying to comments from people on your videos and other people’s videos, subscribing to other peoples channels, “favoriting other peoples videos and much more. The point is to interact with the community.
Make sure you’re not just spamming people with comments and messages like “check out my music. Listen to my track. Blah blah blah…” That shit is mad annoying and no one cares. STOP IT IF YOU DO THIS TYPE OF STUFF. The best way to make people care is to build that relationship. Check out their videos/websites, interact with them, share cool things with them. You have to pull them into your world, not just push your message out.
Embed Videos on Your Websites and Drive Traffic
If you’ve got a website of your own (and you should if you’re serious about making it as a rapper or singer) then the best place to put the videos is on your blog and video section. Your own website should be a hub for all the great musical content you put out there into the world. Embedding your YouTube video is a great way to keep your fans updated on the latest content from you. Most people will know that to find out the latest about you, they should check your website. That’s why it’s so important to have your own website. We’ll have a blog post and tutorial on creating your own artist website soon.
To embed your video on your blog or website, simply go to your YouTube video page (not your channel, but the page of the actual YouTube video) and click on the “Share” button right underneath the video window. Once you do this a new section will reveal itself that has a link to share the YouTube video. Since we want to embed our video into a blog post or section of our website, we need to click the button that says “Embed” to reveal the code we will put in our webpage.
Normally, YouTube embed code looks like this:
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/dWyuP1k1FcQ” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
What you have to do is put this code into the actual source code of your webpage. If you’re using WordPress, (the platform we recommend for building websites) this is very easy. When you choose to add a new post/page, in the content editor window you just choose to view the “HTML” editor and paste that above code wherever you want to put the video in that post/page. There are also WordPress plugins available that let you easily embed videos on your site. If you’re using a service like ReverbNation or BandZoogle to build your website, then there will be a special widget you can paste your YouTube link in.
Other places you’ll want to share your YouTube video are your Facebook fan page, Facebook profile, LinkedIn profile, ReverbNation profile, Twitter timeline, Google+ page and any other social media sites you are a member of. To do this, all you have to do is copy the link from the “Share” section of your YouTube video page. The YouTube link will look something like this: http://youtu.be/dWyuP1k1FcQ. All you have to do is paste that link into your status updates and hit share, and the platform you’re using will do the rest. It’s a good idea to add a bit of a description or call to action to your status update, so it’s not just a bare link. The social media sites mentioned here are also important in generating traffic to your website, which is what I’ll mention next.
Driving traffic to your website is a huge topic all on its own. There are a lot of ways to drive traffic including advertising, forum posting, blog commenting, SEO, social media and many other tactics as well. We cannot get into a discussion about this in this article. Research some of these areas and find the best way to get traffic to yourself. You may have to experiment but it’s definitely worth it to find a solid way to get targeted visitors to your website, and therefore targeted views of your video.
Submit Your Video to Blogs + Forums
There are a ton of different websites on the internet that you can submit your video to and try and get more views. These are different music related blogs and forums that post up new music or are intended for music lovers and music artists. You will have to do some research as part of this, but once you have found a good list of sites to submit to, every new video you make becomes easier to get out there.
You may have some trouble with the more popular blogs like 2DopeBoys or NahRight.com, but there are several small to medium sized bloggers that love to post independent music on their websites. They get a ton of different submission though, so it’s important that you follow the bes-practices when contacting them and submitting your video. If you just blast an email to every blogger you find with a link saying “play my video,” you won’t have any success. But if you interact with the bloggers website, leave comments and engage in the community there, you may find yourself better received by the blogger. You need to build a relationship before you approach them to help you out. Provide them with something of value first, and they’ll be happy to return the favor. If you do submit your video to a blog, make sure you follow-up in a couple weeks if you haven’t heard anything back. Don’t be annoying and spammy – I can’t stress this enough.
A great place where you can find different websites to promote your music-related video on is a resource called the Indie Bible. (Affiliate Link) This is a HUGE music resource that is basically a directory of all the different types of websites that will post your music or review your music. There are a ton of sites listed that are great places to post up your videos. The great thing is that they are separated by genre in the Indie Bible and the book is updated every year. You can get a digital e-book or a hard copy, but either way I really suggest you pick one up. At PBE Music we use the Indie Bible as part of our artists’ promotional toolkit. The resource is invaluable and saves a ton of time researching these different resources. Check it out here.
When we talk about forums, we are talking about the communities of musicians and music artists out there who are interacting with each other on forum websites. Some of these sites are forums like rapmusic.com, crazypellas.com and futureproducers.com. These are great places for up and coming rappers and singers to get their videos seen and commented on. The same rules apply here. You don’t want to approach forums as a spammer who will just post up their video and not engage the community. If you try and do this, you won’t get very far. You have to interact with the community of users. Look at some of the existing members’ posts, reply to them, comment on their videos and do a good job in building up relationships on the site. If you do this then you will get a ton of people checking out your video, because you’re a respected member of that community.
I don’t think a section on promoting your YouTube videos would be complete (even though this post is FAR from complete when talking about promoting videos) without talking about advertising and buying views. There are many services out there that will sell YouTube views for a cheap price and many people get fooled into purchasing these services. You can also choose to advertise your video on YouTube and Google, legitimately, but this can get very expensive very quickly. So what should you do when it comes to buying YouTube video views?
Firstly, I’d like to say STAY AWAY from any service that will sell you “1000 YouTube views for $10” or something similar. This traffic is usually low quality and won’t do much for your video. A lot of the times, these types of service providers use bots (i.e. software robots) to generate the video views. That means that all of the views are from fake users. There’s no point in promoting your video to viewers who don’t even really exist. The idea behind promoting your YouTube video is to gain new FANS – real fans that like your music and will continue to support you. Do not get tricked into the lure of these “quick-fix” services. The only thing I can say about the YouTube views sellers that is positive is that the views (if they are not actually fake views) may help in the ranking of your YouTube video in the search engine. The higher the views and comments/likes on a video, the higher it is ranked when people are searching for those types of videos. It may also help with your chart placement on YouTube. In any case, I wouldn’t suggest getting these views unless it’s to supplement another promotion strategy.
The other side of the coin is to do legitimate advertising on YouTube and Google for your video. This will actually get real views to your video and maybe even get you some new fans. However, the process of advertising your video is complicated and can get very expensive. Sometimes you have to pay up to $1 or maybe even more PER VIEW of your video. Having said that, legitimate YouTube advertising can be a great way to gain new fans and real views of your video. Make sure it’s good quality if you plan on going this route. Maybe one day soon, we’ll post up a blog showing you how to specifically advertise your YouTube videos on the YouTube and Google networks.
I hope that this post gave you some good insight into the YouTube video promotion world. It’s not entirely exhaustive or complete, but it contains a lot of the stuff you have to consider when you’re uploading and promoting a video.
If you have your own YouTube promotion or video creation tips, leave them in the comments section below. And if you found this article useful at all, please share it with your friends using the buttons on the left. Much appreciated.
Until next time…