Every musician knows how important it is to have a solid online presence. But it’s hard, especially if you’re doing it all yourself and just getting started. With so many people turning to the internet to discover new music, creating a successful YouTube channel is a great way to build your fanbase and get your music in front of a wider audience. In this article, we’ll go through the steps for creating a successful YouTube channel for musicians, with a deep focus on YouTube music promotion and marketing for musicians.
For more details and links to useful tools – or if you just don’t feel like reading this long article – watch our video on this.
Step 1: Set up your YouTube channel
The first step to creating a successful YouTube channel for musicians is to set up your channel.
Setting up your YouTube channel as a musician is an exciting step towards sharing your talent with the world. To make your channel stand out, you can incorporate unique and creative elements that reflect your brand and captivate your audience.
- Unique Name: When choosing a name for your channel, try creating something memorable and distinctive. Unless your band’s name is unusual and easy to remember, it may not be enough. Consider incorporating elements of your music style or personality into the name, or use wordplay to make it more catchy and memorable. Brainstorming with friends and fans can also help you develop new ideas and give your channel a sense of community.
- Compelling Bio: When setting up your profile, creating an engaging and persuasive bio that gives viewers a glimpse into your musical journey is important. Share your story, your influences, and your goals as a musician, and use language that reflects your personality and style. This can help connect your viewers and build a loyal following.
- Add Links: In addition to your bio, including links to your social media profiles can help your audience connect with you across various platforms. You can also include links to your website or other online stores where your music is available for purchase or streaming. You can immediately add links to your social media and website in the YouTube banner space by going to the Branding tab under channel customization. To add links in your video descriptions, you’ll have to either verify your identity with YouTube or wait for your new channel to age into the option.
- Visually appealing banner and profile: Think of these as your album art. When designing your banner and profile picture, ensure they are visually appealing and relevant to your music and genre. Your banner can include images of you performing or graphics that highlight your music style. Your profile picture can be a photo of you or your band or a custom illustration that reflects your musical persona. And change them up every once in a while to reflect what you’re doing with your music now.
By incorporating unique and creative elements into your YouTube channel, you can make it more engaging and memorable for your audience and build a strong online presence as a musician.
Step 2: Create engaging videos
And we’re not just talking about music videos here. Creating high-quality videos is crucial for any successful YouTube channel, especially for musicians looking to showcase their music and build their brand. The video content you put out on YouTube and social media networks doesn’t always have to feature your music. Videos could be about your lifestyle, practice sessions, life on the road when your touring or your creative process. Here are some ways to make your videos stand out and keep your viewers engaged:
- Invest in good equipment: To create quality videos, you need solid equipment. A high-quality camera, microphone, and basic lighting equipment will help you produce videos that your audience will enjoy watching. This investment can pay off in the long run by attracting more subscribers and fans. To clarify, most musicians will already have a solid mic setup and, if you have a newer generation smartphone, your phone camera should be more than good enough to get started with.
- Plan your videos: Taking the time to plan your videos will help you produce engaging and exciting content. Start by brainstorming ideas for videos that align with your brand and musical style. Think about the structure of your videos – and make sure they all line up with the image and messaging you want to put across. Just like you would for a gig or your music in general. Keep in mind that this is just another way to interact with you audience, like you would on stage.
- Include links in the video description: Remember to include links to your music and social media profiles in the video description. This makes it easy for viewers to find your music and follow you on other platforms. You can also include links on-screen during the video to encourage your viewers to engage with you.
- Keep your videos engaging: To keep your audience engaged, you should aim to create videos that are entertaining and informative. This could mean adding visual effects or interesting transitions, telling a story, or providing behind-the-scenes footage of your music-making process. Keep your videos short and to the point, and don’t forget to ask your viewers to like, comment, and subscribe to your channel.
Following these tips, you can create high-quality videos that showcase your music and build your brand as a musician on YouTube. Remember to be creative and have fun with your videos; your audience will be sure to appreciate your content.
Step 3: Optimize your videos for search
Once you have created your videos, it’s time to optimize them for search. Optimizing your videos for search can increase their visibility and attract more viewers to your channel, which will surely help you with YouTube music promotion.
Here are some tips to help optimize your videos for search:
- Research relevant keywords: Before creating your video titles, descriptions, and tags, do some research to find relevant keywords that people might use when searching for music on YouTube. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or VidIQ to find popular keywords related to your music genre or topic.
- Create engaging titles: Your video title is the first thing people will see when searching for videos on YouTube. Use your research on relevant keywords to create titles that are both attention-grabbing and descriptive. Be sure to include the name of the song or topic you are covering. Consider adding modifiers like “live performance” or “official video” to help your video stand out.
- Write clear descriptions: Your video description should provide more information about the video and give viewers a reason to watch it. Use relevant keywords in your description and provide a brief summary of what the video is about. You can also include links to your website or social media profiles to help viewers learn more about you.
- Use relevant tags: Tags help YouTube understand what your video is about and recommend it to people searching for related content. Use tags that are relevant to your video and music style, and try to include both broad and specific tags to increase the chances of your video being discovered.
- Add calls to action: Encourage your viewers to engage with your videos by including calls to action in your video and description. Ask them to like, comment, and subscribe to your channel and don’t forget to provide links to your other social media profiles as it can help increase engagement.
Step 4: Distribute and engage
Finally, for a successful YouTube channel for musicians, it’s vital to make your content visible to and engage with your audience regularly. This will help build a loyal fanbase and increase engagement with your music, which can ultimately lead to more views and people showing up to your gigs or buying your music.
Here are some unique, creative, and engaging ways to engage with your audience on YouTube for YouTube music promotion:
- Host live streams: Live streaming is a great way to connect with your audience in real-time and get instant feedback on your music. You can use live streams to perform, answer questions, or even collaborate with other musicians.
- Create interactive videos: Interactive videos are a great way to engage with your audience and keep them coming back for more. You can create videos that allow viewers to choose their adventure or participate in a quiz or game related to your music.
- Respond to comments: Responding to comments is a great way to show your audience that you care about their feedback and appreciate their support. Take the time to respond to as many comments as possible and engage in a conversation with your viewers. And if you don’t have comments yet, don’t forget that YouTube is a social network in and of itself – visit other creators’ videos and leave comments or engage in conversations there.
- Collaborate: Collaborating with your audience and other musicians is a great way to build a community around your music and get your fans involved in the creative process. You can ask your viewers to submit lyrics and ideas for music videos or even participate in a virtual jam session.
- Offer exclusive content: Offering exclusive content to your most loyal fans is a great way to keep them engaged and coming back for more. You can create special videos, behind-the-scenes content or even offer exclusive merchandise to your most dedicated fans. Though YouTube has monetization options, those weren’t actually built with musicians or gig booking in mind. But you can set up a Patreon page to collect subscription fees and offer exclusive content or use Virtuosica to offer paid private virtual concerts to loyal fans.
Creating a successful YouTube channel for musicians requires a little effort but the returns can help put you on the music industry map. Follow these steps, create a strong presence on YouTube, and let us know how it goes. We’re happy to give musicians a little push on the interwebs. In the meantime, remember to put your music and your fans first, and have fun creating content that they will love and appreciate.