We need to talk about video views. Releasing video content is an essential part of a musician’s marketing strategy. In 2020, YouTube announced that 2 billion of its users stream music content every month1. On top of that, short-form video platforms like TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels have become not only a tool for music discovery but also a tool for music creation and collaboration. We don’t have to look farther than the “Don’t Text Me” challenge to see this shift in consumption
If you’re not familiar, an artist by the name of Stacey Ryan released a challenge on TikTok – she sings the chorus of her original song “Don’t Text Me When You’re Drunk” and leaves enough pause for someone to add their own verse to her song. The challenge was posted on December 29th, 2021, and has generated over 34,000 response videos to date, including the iconic “Space Jam DVD remix”, this author’s personal favorite.
Not only did this challenge generate views of her TikTok, but it also generated streams of her song. The song gained over 3 million streams on Spotify alone within 2 weeks of its release.
Experts predict that 82% of all internet traffic is activity on video2. Just with that statistic, you can see how video is going to be an essential part of your marketing strategy. Even so, video content is shared at 12x3 the rate of text content. Establishing a cohesive video strategy pre and post-release, will help you reach more internet users and maximize the potential for those users to do your marketing for you (by sharing your content with others).
Making your video content the best it can be
We’re here to help you with your video content, no matter where you’re starting. Click below for our best advice for each level.
If you haven’t started yet, establish your accounts before you begin promoting
Sending fans to an empty (or almost empty) channel is like sending a crowd into the venue during soundcheck…. They’re not seeing you at your best. Before you do your big announcement, make sure you:
Decide on what accounts and formats you can manage
TikTok not your thing? That’s OK! Try YouTube or Instagram Reels. Does the idea of editing 15+ minutes of video make you break out in a cold sweat? Focus more on platforms like TikTok where videos under 1 minute are common. Set up profiles that you can update regularly, and that you feel comfortable with. Once you have a few posts under your belt, you can look at expanding into other platforms.
Make your profile complete
- Upload a Profile Picture. Your fans want to know that your account is actually your account. Upload a photo that’s consistent with the rest of your social presence.
- Write a Compelling Bio. Not only is your account for your established fans, but it’s for new ones as well. Make sure that they know who you are, what you do, and why they should care.
- Get a bio link. If followers don’t know where to buy or stream your music, they’re not going to buy or stream your music! Your bio link should be a single page that includes links to your artist profile on major platforms like Apple, Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube. It should also include extras like links to tour dates, merch, and other social profiles.
Watch some content
Before you start posting, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the unspoken do’s and don’ts of the platform you’re on. Do a little browsing, watch some popular videos and get a feel for the community.
Post some videos
Once you get an idea of how people are using the platform, make a few videos. Be authentic and have fun with it. For starters, avoid promo heavy material like “Listen to my song on Spotify”. We’ll get into that later!
If you’re a long-form expert, become an expert in short-form
If you’re already releasing videos in long-form formats, whether those are live streams or YouTube Videos, it’s time to use your long-form skills in short-form. So what’s short-form anyway? Anything under 2 minutes and 30 seconds is considered short-form, but the majority of videos should be less than 60 seconds.
Find the right length for your platform of choice:
For example, the ideal TikTok length is 9-15 seconds4, while around 30 seconds is optimal for Instagram5.
Don’t reuse too much content
It’s totally fine to repost snippets of your long-form videos on short-form occasionally, but don’t make it the bulk of your content. Your fans want a different experience on a different platform. If they’re getting the same content, they don’t have as much incentive to engage.
Get the vibe right
Short-form is all about authenticity and interaction. Big productions with polished effects are great for 20 minutes YouTube videos, but step away from the green screen when making short-form videos. Participating in challenges (or even making your own), encouraging interaction with “Duet this if…” type content, or even just a clip of your cat interrupting your last Zoom call are great ways to let your fans in, and drive even more interest in the process.
Film in portrait
OK, this may sound obvious, but it can be easy to forget, especially if you’re repurposing some content. Short-form is all about portrait mode friends. When in doubt, make it vertical.
If you’ve got it all on lock, it’s time to maximize
If you don’t remember the phrase “Be Kind, Rewind” you’ve probably already got this video thing down. There may just be one little thing to look into…
Add a little polish
I know… I just got done telling the long-form people to not be so polished! I’m not saying you should start filming on a soundstage. It’s easy to let our feeds become an amalgamation of the personal and professional, so now may be a great time to review content and set up separate accounts for you – the person and you – the musician. This doesn’t mean you can’t post personal updates on your musician feed or musician updates on your personal feed. Adding that separation can help you create healthy boundaries (we all need them) and give the people the content they want!
Promoting with Video
Now that you have the content down, it’s time to talk about how to promote with video. I didn’t just push short-form because it’s trendy! Short-form works perfectly in marketing content, from ads to social unlocks. 30 seconds or less is the perfect amount of time to get someone interested, without telling so much that they get overwhelmed.
Using Video Content in Show.co Ads
With our Interactive Ad Builder, you can embed any YouTube video into an ad that will play online, right where a music fan is already browsing. Because we know that video is the most consumed and shared medium on the web, we’re at an advantage just with that. Adding short-form in? Well, you’ll be making a big impact.
But how can you tell what’s working?
Look at your CPM, CPC & YouTube Insights!
Let’s start with some benchmarks:
Video View Goal
Video View Goal
|Show.co Ad Builder|
CPC: Cost per Click
Practically, what’s happening when you spend money on each platform? Let’s pretend we have $100 to spend on each. On average we should see….
Video View Goal
Video View Goal
|Show.co Ad Builder|
With Show.co Interactive Ads, you’re getting more bang for your buck! If you want your video campaign to pack a real punch, Interactive Ad Builder is the answer.
Make it Quality
The last thing we want to look at when evaluating your promotion for a video is quality. There are a couple of types of “quality” to evaluate when promoting a video. One is the quality of your video and the other is the quality of the view.
You can use your clicks data to evaluate the quality of your content (or how much it’s resonating with potential fans). Did you get more clicks than you’d expect for your spend? That’s a great indicator that what you’re doing is working. If you’re getting a lot less, you may want to try out a different video to compare results.
If you’re familiar with some of these ads platforms, you may be asking a very important question right now – why aren’t we talking about cost per view?
Many ads companies report a cost per view when you run a video ad. So what is that? It’s simply your spend divided by the number of views on your video. Here’s why we’re not using it:
What is a view?
All views are not equal! “View” can mean anything from “I watched your whole 2-hour live stream” to, “your video automatically started playing with the sound off while I was scrolling”. One of these things is not like the other.
We want to leave the definition of view to you! That’s where YouTube insights come in. You can see the action on your video through your YouTube insights page. Look for increased views in your ad target areas, see how long people are watching your video. If you want some advice on using your YouTube insights, Sean Armbruster of Camp Hopeless has some great insights!
Pro Tip – I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention – Show.co Interactive Ads have around 50 seconds of watch time with the sound on, creating a better quality view than platforms that force an auto-play.
You’re now a video ad expert! Let’s talk about….
Using Video in Campaigns
Extra video content is always a great incentive for a Social Unlock or Pre-Save campaign! An offer of exclusive footage can really activate your fan base.
So how do you set it up? Simply add a link to a private video as your destination URL in your campaign! Once your fans complete the action (whether it’s saving your release on Spotify, or subscribing to your YouTube channel, or something else you choose), they’ll be redirected right to your video.
If you’d prefer a more streamlined experience, you can also use our YouTube campaigns in a similar way. You can gate a video behind either an email capture or a Spotify Follow. Once that action is complete, your fan can access the rest of your campaign and view your video.
Not sure what to use for an incentive? Try one of these:
- Behind the scenes footage from your last video shoot
- A simple heartfelt thank you
- An early premiere of an upcoming video
- Instructions on how to join a private listening party
- A live performance of one of your tracks
- Access to a private community: a Facebook Group, a Whatsapp Chat, a Subreddit, or a Discord Channel
Be creative, have fun, and happy marketing!