YouTube for Indie Artists: Part Two

Published on November 23rd, 2015

YouTube for Indie Artists

Last week, we looked at the process of preparing a successful YouTube video (you can read it here). If you’ve already seen it, then great. This week’s guide will focus more on launching your video with a strong impact.

So, you have your video and all its surrounding content lined up and ready to go. Before you change the status of the video to “Public”, ask yourself these three simple questions:

  1. Who are my promotional partners, and are they ready to promote the video’s release?
  2. What’s my plan on social media and how do I reach a lot of eyeballs through my platforms?
  3. How much money can I put into the video’s promotional budget, and how will it be spent?

Easy, right? Let’s walk through this together…

Activate Your Partners

We touched on this in last week’s blog, but it’s important so we’re going to say it again. Having influential friends or like-minded media outlets and blogs support your launch will exponentially increase the chance of your video gaining traction right away. Building these relationships with tastemakers, and consistently seeding content through them will prove to be valuable with future content and announcements. So call in your allies and keep them close!

Send the “unlisted” link around with all of your launch details to your key influencers, and let these cool cats know what exciting news you have coming up. Give them the clear date and time of your video’s launch so they can prepare their support.

Here are some quick things to remember:

Do

  • Communicate clearly with partners.
  • Research bloggers and writers of influence for your genre and find their email addresses.
  • Reach out to them as far in advance of the launch as possible. They will appreciate the lead time, and this increases your chance to secure a larger feature surrounding the release.
  • Get partners excited. Consider offering them exclusivity for a certain time frame if they have a lot of influence online.

Don’t

  • Send last minute emails, tweets and Facebook messages asking everyone to post the link to your video. This comes across as disorganized and impersonal.
  • Send mass tweets and tag people you don’t know on launch day. See above.
  • Shove it down anyone’s throat. You want their support because they genuinely like the video and music.

Get Social

A video is considered a content goldmine in the social media world, so don’t let it go to waste by not having a strong launch plan across your platforms.

Facebook

This platform requires the most effort to make your posts reach your audience as it’s the only platform on our list that selectively delivers posts to its users. It also offers the most freedom regarding your content.

  • Make sure your launch post is pinned to the top of your page. This ensures the post will be the first thing anyone sees when they access your Facebook page, maximizing visibility.
  • For the reason above, keep your post copy timeless. Not like Mona Lisa or Hamlet timeless, just avoid references to specific dates. This allows you to keep the post pinned on your timeline without having to update any outdated copy.
  • The first 3 lines of your post are prime real estate. Make sure you have a call to action in these lines so that it appears in the preview of your post when people are scrolling through their newsfeed.
  • Remove the actual video link from the text box once it’s been embedded into the post. This will clear up some space in your post and look more professional.

Twitter

We know you have so much to say about the new video but make sure you keep it under 140 characters! Here’s some ways to do so.

  • Keep your body message short and to the point. Twitter users will scroll right past most things that look too wordy. As a bonus, this also allows space for other necessary elements.
  • Make sure to include your announcement, video link, and a hashtag specific to you or the song. Just like Facebook, pin this to the top of your page.
  • If you wrote a beautiful message surrounding the post on Facebook or your website, and want your Twitter followers to see it, create a bit.ly link to those posts and link to it through a shorter tweet.
  • Look through your interactions and search Twitter for the song title and your artist name. Retweet, Quote Tweet, or reply directly to these engagements, but be careful of overdoing it (i.e. don’t RT anyone and everyone by default; pick and choose your retweets strategically).

Instagram

Although one of the more creative platforms, it can be difficult to entice Instagram users to seek out and watch your content because they like to stay in-stream. Use the tips below to create aesthetically pleasing posts that will pique the curiosity of your followers.

  • Change the link in your Instagram bio to the video. It’s the only clickable link option on the platform. Keep this as your link for at least 14 days after launch, and end every Instagram post with copy leading users to the video. Having the link in your bio also ensures that new visitors your profile are aware of your video.
  • Create multiple 15-second ‘teaser’ cuts of your video to be rolled out on the days surrounding your launch. Each clip should feature an exciting audio or visual moment in the video. Bookend clips with information about the release such as “New Video for XX Now Live” and “Link to Watch In Our Bio”
  • If you cannot create clips, use a high resolution still from the video.
  • Use hashtags liberally. As much as you want to keep your posts very clean looking on other platforms, Instagram is where hashtags come in extremely handy. Using hashtags will drastically increase the amount of people that see your video, and will help your post get featured in the “Explore” tab of non-followers’ feeds.
  • It’s also a good idea to continue to post new clips/scenes from the video from time-to-time after release to keep it in people’s minds. Re-posting previously-posted content is less frowned upon on Instagram as compared to other social media sites.

Show.co Youtube Campaign

Social media and your promotional partners aren’t your only resources when it comes to achieving a successful video launch!

Setting up a Show.co YouTube campaign will not only help increase video views, but also provides an opportunity for fan conversion across all of your social platforms through a beautiful (free!) online activation. In addition to increasing views on your video, these campaigns are designed to help you drive fan conversions and collect data. The activation allows you to to create a standalone minisite featuring your music video, or an embeddable widget that fits seamlessly into your website. Including Show.co in your strategy can also provide valuable insight into your video’s performance. Did we mention it’s free?

Put Your Money Where Your Video Is

Whether you have a budget of $10 or $1000, running a social advertising campaign surrounding your video launch can be of great benefit. This means putting some money behind the above launch posts to amplify their reach to current and potential fans. We could do a whole other blog specifically about promoted posts and AdWords for Video (YouTube Advertising), but here are a few general rules for you to follow:

  • Use your budget wisely. If you don’t have a ton of $ to spend, focus solely on your most engaged platform. For most people, this is going to be Facebook.
  • Don’t be lazy! Get familiar with targeting options across all platforms. Targeting advertisements to the right demographic is going to increase the effectiveness of your dollar ten-fold.
  • You should be able to narrow your targeting to users with like-minded interests in countries/regions that you have been/will be to within a 12 month period.
  • Spread your budget out over the course of 10-14 days. This way you can rest assured that your video is reaching new eyes every day!
  • Check in on your campaign often to see how it’s performing. Look for a low cost-per-engagement.
  • Be patient: sometimes it can take up to 24 hours so see the full effects of the advertisement. That said, don’t be afraid to switch up targeting if you see a way to optimize your campaign!
  • As a general rule, keep the copy of your posts short, with a clear call-to-action early on.
  • Of course there are exceptions to that last rule. If you feel strongly about the video, and its message/importance, feel free go a little more in-depth!

There you have it. Of course, this is not the be-all-end-all method that you absolutely must follow in order to be successful. It’s simply a set of guidelines that we suggest in order to maximize views on your video launch, and to retain that engaged audience.

All this said, we’re talking about art. If your video is terrible, horribly produced or shot, none of this matters. Make sure you launch something great!

Happy YouTube-ing

- Your friends at Show.co 

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