[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Rich Nardo.]
While there is no shortage of options when it comes to streaming services and everyone has their own preferred site, YouTube and YouTube Music remains one the most consistent source of new music discovery. Most artists know to post their official videos and often a static or lyric video to YouTube upon release, but there are many other ways to make use of the service and bring people to your page.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at several other ways that artists can optimize their YouTube presence to attract new listeners and keep those who are already followers coming back consistently.
Proper SEO On Your Video
For a lot of people, SEO conjures the idea of digital voodoo that only the most tech savvy individuals know how to use properly. Luckily, that is not the case. Pretty much everything you include in your caption and title can help your video show up in search results. When you’re putting together the caption for your video, make sure to include the following:
- Intro summary about the song: Official video for “<song>” by <artist>. “<Song>” can be found on <artist’s> debut album <Title>, due out on <label if applicable> in June 2020.
- Other Streaming Links – Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Soundcloud, etc.
- Artist Social Links – Instagram, Website, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- Song/Video Credits.
- Copyright Statement.
It’s also important to include 10-12 hashtags. When deciding on hashtags focus more on what will bring people to your page who would be into your music than what you think is cool.
How Often to Add Content?
The simple answer is, the more the better. When properly formatted for SEO, the more videos you add the more chances you have to show up in people’s recommendations and the more your subscribers will be reminded about your music.
That being said, quality of content should not be sacrificed. If you are creating your own content, a good benchmark to set would be to release one piece of content per month. That may seem daunting, but keep in mind that there are many types of content that people will enjoy to supplement the release of new music.
More on that below! Also, if you have the opportunity to do so, it makes sense to create more content in a given time period so that you can bank the videos for the upcoming months.
Alternative Types of Content
Your primary content will be the official videos and static videos for your music, but there is no need to stop there! You can also be doing podcasts, studio updates, play-throughs of some of your tastiest riffs or coolest production elements, tour vlogs, video ‘track-by-tracks’ and even skits if you are comically inclined.
Get creative here, each time you draw fans back to your page, they’re likely to watch more than one video.
YouTube now offers the chance to ‘premiere’ a video live on your channel. I am a big fan of doing so, as it creates an awesome set up for a full social media marketing campaign and makes the premiere feel like a digital event. It also alerts your subscribers to the premiere time/date and there is a chance you can show up on the YouTube premieres home page!
YouTube “Trueview” ads are one of my favorite ways to spend advertising budget. The return on plays for even a meager budget will not disappoint you. The key to effective “Trueview” advertising is to pay particular attention to your “Keywords”, “Audiences”, “Demographics”, and “Topics”. Monitor your ads every couple of days to eliminate any tags that are not performing as well as the other qualifiers and your ads will get increasingly efficient throughout the process.
Using Playlists Effectively
This section deals with the ‘playlists’ on your page, not the official YouTube Music playlisting. Categorize the content on your page so that fans can easily explore the type of videos they are in the mood to watch.
For example, create playlists for “Official Videos”, “<Your Album> Tracks”, Vlogs and “Behind The Scenes” depending on the type of content you are regularly posting.
You can also create playlists consisting of videos from other channels. Just like artist playlists on Spotify, you can put your video at the top of this playlist and the SEO for each of those other videos will work in your favor. Start a “Quarantunes” or “Summer Jams” playlist, put your video first in the tracklisting and add other songs that fit the vibe. This also creates another opportunity to share something to your other socials.
Completing Your Page + Community Tab
It seems intuitive, but a lot of artists don’t fully set up their pages. This is not only aesthetically displeasing, but also robs you of additional opportunities. Always have updated banners and profile icons that are visually pleasing and, if you can, grab your vanity URL to stay consistent with the rest of your social URLs. Fill in your bio and proper contact information in the “About” section and make sure to add your other streaming and social links as well so that people can follow you wherever they spend their time online.
One of my favorite (and tragically underutilized) aspects of YouTube is the “Community” tab. Unfortunately it doesn’t kick in until you hit 10k subscribers, but if you are at that level, use your Community tab EVERYDAY. It functions like a social media platform, and you can add your own videos, other videos, text updates, calls-to-action, photos, GIFs, and anything else you want. It’s a great tool for creating a genuine community around your page, which is the goal with any YouTube channel!