For decades now, music videos have been a fantastic way to market new music to a wide audience. Of course, the music itself is always the real focus, but giving that music some compelling accompanying visuals can get people even more interested.
In fact, chances are you already have a number of favorite music videos that keep you coming back for the visuals alone.
Rather than establishing the tone of the song, the visuals in a music video help strengthen what's already there. An aggressive song gets appropriately hectic accompanying visuals. A sweet love song might have a wordless romance play out on the screen that invests the viewer in the song.
But best of all, music videos can be an excellent marketing option for emerging recording artists who need all the attention they can muster to build their brand and open up new opportunities in the music industry.
Here are some really great ways to promote a music video, and don't worry, most of these techniques are completely free.
If you're on a budget, then social media marketing should be the foundation of your promotion efforts. It's free to use and can potentially give you access to millions of different users in countries all over the world.
On its own, YouTube can be a tough platform on which to gain traction. However, linking to your YouTube music video from other social platforms can be a great strategy.
Instagram, for example, has a tag system that can help your post be seen by lots of people who don't already follow your profile.
Using really popular tags like #music and #musicvideo can put your post in the feeds of all kinds of different users. If the post's image catches their eye, then they'll be more likely to look you up on YouTube or just explore your Instagram profile in more detail.
If social media platforms are like giant department stores, then message boards are more like specialty shops that only focus on one type of product.
While the number of users on different message boards can't compare to the vast quantity of people using social media, they're perfect for attracting a specific type of viewer.
It's very easy to find message boards and online communities centered around music, home recording, filmmaking, and even just music videos.
A site like Reddit can be a great first step to finding different specialized communities where you'll be able to post your work and get feedback.
One thing we would urge you to avoid when you're posting your own music video to a message board is not acknowledging that it's your own work.
In other words, be honest and upfront about what the post is and why you're sharing it with the community.
Message boards and specialized online communities tend to be much more close-knit than the average social media platform, and as such, they don't take kindly to being tricked.
So rather than, for example, posting a link to your music video and acting like you're just a stranger who happened on it the other day, just tell everyone that it's your work and that you'd appreciate feedback.
Not only does this establish honest communication, it also encourages other users to watch the video since you're requesting their help, which puts them in a good mood.
When you actually received feedback, keep an open mind. No, not every piece of advice is going to be valuable or relevant, but if you're seeing a specific comment repeated often by different people, then there's probably some truth to it.
Technically speaking, music videos are short films. They very often convey some sort of narrative, and at the very least, they provide compelling visuals.
That said, before we proceed, ask yourself how your brand new music video stands as a piece of visual media. Are you proud of the experience it delivers to viewers?
If you answered yes to these questions, then we have a creative suggestion for how you can market your music video to a much wider audience.
Entering your music video into contests can get your music video seen by a lot more people, even if it doesn't win those contests. If it does win, you'll get even more attention and you might even win some prize money that you can put toward the next one.
Another major advantage of entering your music video into film-centric contests is that you're also more likely to attract the attention of young filmmakers who are eager to work on new projects.
In fact, if you can find a talented filmmaker in your area and they like your music, you might even ask them to help out with your next video.
If this filmmaker is still a student, then they might even be willing to work on the project just to add it to their portfolio.
If you're a working musician trying to get your name out there, then the press is your friend. If you can manage to get interviews with different websites or maybe even make an appearance on a popular YouTube channel, then your audience is bound to grow.
You can try contacting representatives from different media outlets on your own, most likely through email, or you can enlist the help of a PR agency, which will take care of the nitty-gritty details on your behalf, often with impressive results.
Media outlets, even if they're just small websites, want to offer compelling content to their readers, and you want to access those readers and get them to check out your music video.
It's a win-win situation, and unless you're already a worldwide star, no outlet is too small to help you out.
Sites will be happy to embed your video in the article and they might even be eager to talk to you again in the future when you have a new video or just some new music that you'd like to share.