[Editor’s Note: This is part of our on-going Life During Quarantine series.]
We’re living in unprecedented times, people. But as we navigate through this period together – keeping an eye out for one another, supporting each other, leaning on each other when it’s needed – artists and other creatives are still finding time to work on their craft.
For some, that might mean simply creating, writing, and recording. For others, it’s a time to focus on the business and strategy behind promoting their music. We’re not productivity-shaming here, rather we’re doing our best to offer helpful advice and resources for best practices.
Video strategy overall falls within a few of those topics, we thought it’d be useful to roll out some more helpful concepts to take into consideration.
Traffic across social media channels, video platforms and streaming services is increasing as people all over the world are spending more time on their phones, tablets and computers. It’s projected that available entertainment time will increase by 15% for stay-at-home workers. Whether you’re experienced creating video-driven content or it’s a brave new step, look at the coming weeks as an opportunity to expand and engage.
Basic Equipment Needs
We touched on this a bit in our other pieces, but it’s important to reiterate that a little bit of equipment and attention to quality goes a long way.
Thanks to advances in modern technology, most people have a 4K camera built into their mobile smartphones. While we’re used to seeing artists and fans alike utilizing their hands to snap a picture or video, using a Gorilla pod or Tri-Pod it can change your perspective of what’s possible.
Going hands-free enables you to play instruments and act out more in front of the camera allowing more expression for you to record vlog type videos, covers, updates and more.
We said it before, we’ll say it again: unless you’re intentionally going for bad lighting in the name of creativity/aesthetic, there’s no excuses for a poorly lit video! It’s an element that can make all the difference, yet it’s easy to overlook until you’re ready to hit ‘Record’.
A few well-placed lamps can carry a video quite a long way, and a proper backdrop can keep people viewing. Check out favorite artists/DIY enthusiasts on YouTube for inspiration – SoFar Sounds does an excellent job of utilizing intimate, bedroom/living room lighting.
It goes without saying that if you’re working with limited resources and settings, finding the balance between quality audio and quality video will be tough. If you’re shooting quick, timely content like Instagram Stories and ‘behind the scenes’ content, people don’t have super high expectations of the audio quality. But also consider this: if your audio quality is higher, you’ll get more of a pass on the quality of video you’re shooting.
Zoom Recorders start at around $50 and are sure to take the audio quality of your self-shot video to the next level. Similarly, for on-the-go/smartphone scenarios, a RODE iPhone mic will result in a boost in audio and allow you to cut through the noise.
Check out our Life During Quarantine: Live Streaming Concerts for a deep dive, but below you’ll find some basic tips to keep in mind:
1. Create a Live Strategy and Schedule
Schedule your live stream in advance of your stream date. Consistently tease and promote your event with custom posts for social media. After your stream, consider creating a highlight video to drive core audiences to the full archived live stream.
2. Communicate to Your Audience
Let your community know about your live schedule, the type of content they will see and possible things to prepare before the live event (e.g. Q&A).
3. Engage With Your Fans
Your live content should be a way to connect, interact and even create content with your community.
Create and Release an Official Music Video
Who’s to say we can’t turn our home into a film studio? Whether you’ve ordered a green screen off of Amazon or you’re getting creative, don’t rule out the possibility of releasing an official music video that you recorded while quarantined.
If you (or a friend, if you’re feeling collaborative) have some animation skills, put them to work!
Additionally, Rotor is an excellent platform that helps artists create their own videos without a proper set or big budget. Not to mention, their app allows for easy editing and cutting, so no production skills are required. With thousands of available video clips to work into your video, Rotor lets you create high quality music videos by simply uploading your song to their platform.
In fact, Rotor is continually expanding their library of exclusive, private video clips for video usage. Rotor was founded and built by a team of musicians, directors, and engineers to give artists the opportunity to easily create visually stunning video assets. (Be sure to use TuneCore’s 10% off discount!)
If you’ve poured all of your creativity into your songwriting, show it off with a visually appealing and easy-to-create lyric video. Indie artists of all genres have found clever ways to showcase their songs through lyric videos, so there’s no need to feel like it’s not an interesting enough option. Rotor also offers solutions for lyric videos.
Finally, you can show off a new song from a totally different angle with a ‘behind the scenes’ video. Maybe you’re explaining the song, how it was written, or what recording it looks like – this is a great opportunity to bring your fans into the experience.
Engage With Your Fans Through Content
Whether it’s inviting your fans to submit their own music videos to your songs on Instagram and Facebook, or giving them a challenge to create some content with your music on TikTok, using social media and your email list can help bring your video strategy to the next level.
This quarantine is impacting everyone – fans and musicians alike – so why not give them something to do with a bit of their newfound down time? There’s a whole world of direct fan connections you can make as you invite them into the creative process. Not to mention, we could all use a little lighthearted distraction during this time.
Check out Believe’s Video Playbook for more examples and strategy notes.