[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Hugh McIntyre and is the second in a series. Catch up on Part 1 here!]
Okay, so you have a music video. Do you think that just because you spent countless hours and a huge sum of money, all of a sudden everything is going to work out in your favor and the universe is simply going to deliver millions of views to your latest YouTube upload?
Sadly, that’s not how things work. You can’t just post your clip and go, no matter how great it may be. Even after all the work of writing the song, recording the track, mixing and mastering the music, shooting the video, editing it, and getting it ready for consumption, there is still so much that needs to be done in order to make sure it was all worth it.
Below are five music video premiere tactics to employ just as your work drops. This is the second in a three-part series that will help you get the most out of your treatment.
1. Make A Big Splash On Social
By the time the video that accompanies a new single is out, you’ve likely been either talking up the release date for some time or suggesting that something very special was on the way. Whatever route you’ve taken, once the work is live on YouTube, it’s time to really up your game on social media. In fact, this might be when you need to become truly shameless about promotion.
Don’t post one announcement and move on! That’s something that can work for the biggest names on the planet, but everyone else needs to do something really eye-popping. Maybe that’s deleting every picture on your Instagram and starting fresh or tweeting an acrostic poem that occupies someone’s entire timeline.
There are endless ideas that could work, but whatever you choose to do to tell the world your new music video has arrived, you’ll want to make sure it’s big and noteworthy…and that may involve a lot of items (more on that next).
2. Post Several Items On Every Platform
As I stated above, you really don’t want to simply share one text post that encourages people to watch your new music video and then sign off. If you do, some people will click the link and head to YouTube, but plenty of people will miss the upload for a number of reasons, and many others might not realize how big of a deal this is, as you didn’t make it seem like one.
You should have a strategy for each social platform (or perhaps they’ll all be connected) by the time the clip is viewable, and you need to spend the day (at least) executing it. Text-based sites like Facebook and Twitter should be hit hard with a slew of directives to watch, and on Instagram, you may want to post more than one item on your main feed, as well as quite a few in your story.
You can either share only your own writing and visual content, or you can take this as an authentic and easy-to-manage opportunity to retweet, repost and reshare what fans are saying about your music video. Make sure to look hard for those talking about it (maybe you encourage them to use a hashtag, which makes your life much easier) and credit everyone.
3. Alert Your Newsletter Subscribers
Some musicians fear that reaching out to their fans with too similar a message in a number of ways can be a bad idea, and I get why. It’s not good to bombard people, but with the way the internet works these days, chances are nobody is going to be overwhelmed (as long as you’re smart about your planning), and you shouldn’t worry too much about hitting the same group too many times.
While social media is a fantastic way to reach your followers, that doesn’t mean it’s the only way. In fact, those who are even more devoted to your art are the ones who have signed up for your email newsletter, as they don’t just want to see pictures of you or read your funny tweets, they want to know everything that’s happening in your world.
You should alert your subscribers that a music video is coming soon (or at least tease it) in your newsletter before it arrives, but once it does debut, don’t wait until your next regularly scheduled email! Send them a special message when the clip is available to view, as these are the fans who will want to catch it as early as they can.
4. Pay For Advertising
Convincing younger, independent musicians to spend money on advertising their music, videos, or even their tours can be tough, as by the point a single and music video is ready for the public to consume, they have likely already spent an incredible amount of money making it perfect. The good thing is that upping the budget just a bit more can yield awesome results, and even a few dollars can make a big difference these days when it comes to advertising.
Anyone can create simple, effective ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter that will reach their audience and will drive traffic to a just-released music video. You may already be posting quite a bit about the new visual, but backing some authentic posts with a few bucks can ensure almost all your followers actually see the news, and it’s even possible to use this new piece of content as a way to get your art in front of new listeners (or in this case, watchers) who have never heard of you before.
5. Pitch The Media
If you’re operating entirely on your own, this is another big task that will take up a lot of time on your music video’s release day. If you have some extra cash and you believe this new treatment could be something worthy of media attention and which may help you accrue more fans, you may want to work with a publicist or a PR firm to reach out to blogs and magazines on your behalf.
Getting writers to post about your latest clip is always a long shot, especially in today’s celebrity-focused journalism industry, but it can still be highly effective. It’s costly and the returns are small and few, but there’s still something to be said for having a well-known publication tell their readers about the great new song they’ve just received and the video that accompanies it.