One Way to Share your Music to Get that Viral Effect | DIY Music Promotion

Do you want to get thousands of people to share your music simply and easily? Then this is the article for you.

When something goes viral, it has to start from somewhere, and that somewhere is you. You simply get your track in front of the right people who will share it and keep doing that.  

And then more people will eventually share it, and the viral snowball effect will come into play for you.

In this article, I am going to explain to you how to share your music and get things rolling. 

There are any number of methods out there that explain how to share your music, but this way is easy to implement, and anyone can do it.

Welcome to the Greet and Retweet Method

You can literally get hundreds of people retweeting your music, and thousands of people will hear your track and share your music.

Yes, we will be using Twitter. The same principle works on Instagram, but the Twitter search function is far superior and makes it easier to connect with the right people.

Step One: Who are You Like?

Find artists similar to yourself. I’m not talking about huge and established artists here, but artists who have quite a few fans and shares, but still quite niche, with an audience proud to find them on Twitter and share their music.

You determine who the right bands are – they will have between 100,000 and a few million streams on Spotify

A good way of amassing several artists similar to you is to go to LastFm and find one artist you are similar to and keep hunting from there until you have a list of 20 or so artists who you think would have the same fan base as you.

last.fm

These artists must be very similar to you, as you will see in the subsequent steps.

For some of you, this might be the first time doing this research, and you are finding out for the first time what artists are similar to you. It is proper research to do.

So now you have your list, let’s move on.

Step 2: Get Onboard the TweetDeck

For this step, we want to find out who has shared those artists on their Twitter Feed, and that is why it was of utmost importance to find artists similar to you.

Every person and their dog might share a music video from Drake, Adriana Grande, or Calvin Harris, but people who share new artists, and their music on their feeds are our targets. 

So to do this, we’re going to be using a website called TweetDeck. You might have heard of it. 

It’s a free platform, which allows you to follow multiple Twitter topics at the same time. That’s what it was designed for. So if you’ve got diverse interests, you can keep track of everything.

But today you are going to use it to find people who have credible accounts with lots of engagements who share similar artists’ music, who we can be confident will share your music.

Pick one of the artists from your list from step one and enter their name and the name of their latest track into TweetDeck.

This will bring up everyone who has tweeted about that track in chronological order. 

Yes, the regular search function on Twitter will do that too.

But what it doesn’t do is give you the ability to filter those results. Tweetdeck can.

What we want to do is filter by engagement – you can set a minimum number of likes or retweets.

When I complete this exercise, I put in a minimum of 30 likes and (optional) 5 retweets. What I want to see is does this person get engagement on their post, when they share an artist’s track.

This task will filter out anyone who has no followers and no engagement. This helps to determine the best people to reach out to and saves you wasting your time on people whose share won’t make much of an impact. 

Now, everyone on that list is worth getting a tweet from (almost).  

Step 3: The Tweeter Acid Test

Hold down Alt or Option key on your keyboard, depending on if you are a Mac or Windows user and click every single username on that list.

This will open up the tab of their profile. I usually do around 30.

These are all people that are willing to share music similar to yours. But, you should only be interested in profiles that have over 1000 followers to share your music..

So I go through those 30 profiles and delete the ones that have less than 1000 followers.

Then I go back into TweetDeck and replace them until I have 30 profiles with 1000 followers and/or the feed on TweetDeck gets a bit old, and the tweets are from a few months ago and stale. 

Step 4: Here Comes the Spreadsheet Bit

Now, we need to create a spreadsheet with four columns.

Column 1 is the username of the person who has the account.

Column 2 is the name of the artist they have tweeted about.

Column 3 is the stage of communication with that user.

Column 4 is the date and time sent.

Fill in columns 1 and 2, with the list gathered from step 2.

Have a look through all the people on your list that don’t have their direct messages open on Twitter and follow them as you won’t be able to message them cold unless you do.

Put a zero in the stage column for those people, and we will come back to them later.

Step 5: Getting The Stage Ready for the Magic

You are going to message all the people who don’t have a 0 in the stage column. And so they know it isn’t spam, you are going to say something like (reword to make it sound like you):

“Hey, insert name, I noticed you shared Artist’s Track title. I absolutely loved it. Thank you so much for bringing it to my attention.”

That’s it! That is all you say on your first contact. You need to wait at least 24 hours till the next contact (and to see if they answer).

On your spreadsheet, enter in a 1 on the stage column, so you can keep track of where you are and the date and time sent in the date/time column.

If this is your first cycle of this method that you’ve gone through, you’ve only got about 30 people on the spreadsheet. 

So in those first 24 hours, you can repeat steps 2 to 4 and increase the number on your spreadsheet until you have got 100 people who you have contacted with your initial stage 1 message (or more if you have time).

Step 6: 24 Hours Later

I know that you really want to get your music out there and get views and streams, but you’ll have to be a bit patient and develop a little rapport.

Check for answers from the people you sent message one out to. They are not going to be sure about you and what you want. So they probably answered something along the lines of “yeah, I love that band.”

Now what you can do is go back again with something like:

“Yeah, they really inspired me and my music. How did you discover them?”

The reason that you’re asking that question is, the more replies you get from them, the more they invest in you, and the more likely they are to share your music later on. 

You see every time that you prove to them that there’s nothing in it for you. You are just having a discussion that improves your rapport and your credibility. 

And that means that when you do ask them to share your music, they’re more likely to do it. 

So next, go back to the spreadsheet and put a number 2 in the stage column and date and time in the appropriate column too. Stage 2 means that we’ve gone back again, trying to get them to answer another question or send us another message. 

Step 7: Moving in for the Kill

You have developed a rapport with these users, you have got into a conversation with them, they know you a little bit and you are ready to go in for the kill.

So after they reply to your second message, you can reply with something such as:

“Awesome, actually love this artist. And if you have any time at all, please do check out my music. If you enjoy that artist, I’m sure you’ll enjoy mine too: link to your music.”

And you don’t even have to ask for the share!

Because we already know they like you and that they will share music that they love.

By asking for the share, you would devalue the entire conversation, and all your credibility is lost as an artist. 

Now go back to the spreadsheet and change everyone who you’ve sent your music to stage 3.

Step 8: Tying up Loose Ends

After three days, if the user has not made it to stage 3, you can message them anyway with the following message.

“Awesome, actually love this artist. And if you have any time at all, please do check out my music. If you enjoy that artist, I’m sure you’ll enjoy mine too: link to your music.”  

At this point, you have nothing to lose, and as they didn’t get back to you, there was no rapport built (but if they do end up sharing and 3 to 5% will don’t forget to thank them).

Also, remember those zeros?

Now is an excellent time to check whether those zeros have followed us back, so we can message them and get them to stage 1 and start the process again.

Step 9: Rinse and Repeat

If you can spend a couple of hours doing this hundreds of times per day, you’ll get a viral effect on your track, or music video. Essentially, you are getting social proof on your track, as if you get 30 to 40 retweets, other people will see that and want to listen too and share your music also.

Over time, you build up a list of retweeters you can come to rely on who will share your music, every time you release something. 

And that is How You Share Your Music on Twitter

If you found this article useful, Burtismo has plenty more ideas and strategies on the best ways to promote your music and how to get other people to share your music. Do let us know in the comments how you get on. 

7 Ways To Get Your Music Out There That Really Work

“How to get your music out there!” you ask,

I hear your cry, the frustration, and lack of recognition in your voice!

You have done all the hard work in getting your track ready and out there. Only to get a few streams on Spotify that come from your family, friends, and social media followers you have gathered so far. 

How to get your music out there means you are going to have to tell more people about it, as they will help you get more momentum in getting your music out there.

If you have tried all the usual suspects like music influencer blogs, local press, radio, and SubmitHub, then I’m going to suggest seven more highly actionable ways how to get your music out there and in front of influential people, who could get your track more attention and interest. 

1. Music Supervisors, Take Aim, Pitch

Go to your LinkedIn account and search for music supervisors. The job of a music supervisor is to locate music that would work well on televisions or in the movies. The easiest way to connect with them is through LinkedIn by searching for “music supervisor.”

If you have no luck with this, you can try a site called RocketReach and use it to try and get the email addresses of the music supervisors you locate on LinkedIn.

To ensure that you find legitimate music supervisors, you can check the credits on TV shows or movies and see who the music supervisor is.  

Music supervisors will have a handful of shows or movies they are trying source music for. They usually work for a producer and are responsible for several music curations.

This is a good way how to get your music out there. The first thing that gets cut on a movie or TV show that goes over budget is the music, which is why so few major tracks are used on a movie soundtrack. This becomes your opportunity to pitch your royalty-free music. 

2. Potentially Get Onto Netflix

A skill that will do you well in learning how to get your music out there is to master networking and the pitch on LinkedIn. This time, look for videographers or filmmakers and attempt to connect with them all. They are easier to connect with than music supervisors because they love to expand their network. 

Filmmakers are useful to connect with as they might get paid to do a music video for you, or get commissioned to create a documentary, advert, short movie, etc., and it is their job to do all of the editing and post-production, hence often they will need to find music quickly, 

Their budget will always be limited, so anyone offering royalty-free music in their network could be called upon. Try and make sure it is you! 

If they choose you, your music could be used on a popular TV Advert, or on a documentary that does well or gets on Netflix. 

Imagine your track could blow up with a mostly free how to get your music out there method.

Orvieto, Italy, March 19 2020: Netflix logo on smart tv. Netflix streaming service for watching videos

3. Take the Option of Being Searchable 

One of the places that a production team of a TV show, documentary, video game, or any audiovisual production might look for appropriate background music, is a music library.

The good thing about music libraries is that the more established ones have an extensive list of clients across all media and locations. They can search their archives for the type of music they need for their current content requirements. 

They are always looking for music so that they will be warmer to your approach than most other options. They are a good choice as they could potentially put your music in front of many clients. With some careful consideration as to what keywords would describe your music tracks well, your track could show up in many searches. And end up being used in a significant audiovisual production. 

When you’re just getting started, considering music libraries could help you get that all-important foot in the door,

Some music library sites to look into are Musicbed, Artlist, Epidemic Sound, and Soundstripe..

4. How Reaching Out to Ordinary People can be Extraordinary

Reaching out to regular people on Instagram and Twitter is a potent method of how to get your music out there.

For this method, you look for artists on Twitter in the same genre as you who have released tracks recently and then find the people who shared their tracks.

Direct message these people who shared the music saying along the lines of 

“Thanks for sharing that track, I absolutely loved it. Would you like to check out my music as they inspired me to make my music.”

People will give you feedback, and the chances are that as they shared the original artist, they are very likely to share your music too. If you do this every day, you can potentially get shares of your music every day, 

Here you can watch a more detailed description of how to get your music out there with Twitter.

5. Influencing the Influencer

If you can pitch your music to an influencer on Instagram and they fall in love with your music and your profile, then they will help you get your music out there. 

The best way to contact them on Instagram is to reply when they post a story. They are more likely to take notice of this than a reply to a regular post or by DM. They will be looking for opportunities to engage and for the people who are engaging with their content. 

If you go straight for the DM, you’ll be going in cold, and once they have replied to you a few times on their profile, they will recognize your name and are more likely to read a DM you send them.

Never beg them to share your music, but ask their opinion on your music track and if they like it. If they reply, you won’t go into the requests pile, but show up in their notifications. When you release your next track, you can let the influencer know that you have released a new track.

Continue to engage with them on their profile and let them know that if they have a piece of content that they need music for, they are more than welcome to use your song royalty-free.

6. Become the Counter-Strike for Copyright Strikes

YouTubers are always looking for royalty-free music, and not enough artists are pitching to YouTubers. It is an opportunity that is wide open and a great how to get your music out there technique.

YouTubers are forever getting copyright strikes, so the offer of royalty-free music is going to be music to their ears. So, opt-out of the content ID on your track, and they can use your music without worrying about a copyright strike.

Have a listen to see what music is in the background and the kind of content they create to determine whether your music might be suitable and if it is, then go and pitch to them. To pitch to Youtubers, you can find their email address in the About Me section of their YouTube channel.

If they ask for the Mp3 version, then send it to them. They will appreciate it as you have saved them from getting a copyright strike. Some YouTubers may use the same track over and over again, as it is so difficult to find a music source to rely on and that their audience likes.

This strategy can result in multiple plays. In addition to this, they will put your artist name and track name in their description and maybe even your Spotify link. If people really like your music, they will stream your song from Spotify.

Some influencers on YouTube have Spotify Playlists that their audience listens to constantly. If you got your music played on a Casey Neistat video, then it will go to his playlist, and people will stream it.

7. Don’t Forget the Twitchers

A Lot of artists have been successfully pitching to Twitchers. Again this is another underutilized method on how to get your music out there.

There are not many artists who pitch Twitchers, and they are ideal for pitching to as they have millions of live views on all of their videos. Their playlists are not updated often, and they loop the same song over and over in the background while they play video games, during the break and even when they are speaking.

Twitch is not just for video gamers these days either; there are live streams of all sorts of things, like sport and skating and just chatting.

You can find their contact details via any of the contact strategies mentioned, like finding their email address on YouTube, or by finding them on Instagram

How to Get Your Music out There Conclusion

So as you can see, this is not your average article full of fluff, but real actionable advice that can really help your get your music out there.

You don’t have to spend a fortune, and any connections you make could result in a windfall of track listens and new fans.

This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the subject of music promotion is concerned. Burstimo has many more words of wisdom to share, so do come back often! 

Holding phone music

5 Alternatives To Making a Music Video For an Emerging Artist

Making a music video is not the be-all and end-all to your band success. So many up and coming artists have invested huge amounts into making a music video, only to see little return.

There is always a small possibility that your music video will go viral. Still, there are no guarantees or quick fixes to make this happen when you don’t have a large audience.  

Making a music video only really works for established artists. Or if you hire an influencer to appear in your music video, where people are going to find your video through searching and watching the video posted by the influencer.

From a YouTube perspective, this is down to their algorithm, which identifies topics and trends that they think their audience might be interested in. New artists just won’t get the same traction as established ones, as the algorithm only works if it can make (substantial) connections with other artists in your genre, and the users that watch a video on your channel. The result being that an established artist will be recommended (pushed out by YouTube) to the viewer after they have watched another established artist’s video in that genre.

Unfortunately, that is not the case for up and coming artists.

Here at Burstimo, we are not advocates of suggesting new artists spend a fortune on making a music video, for little return and no new fans.

There are better alternative methods to invest in that will see a better return. The primary purpose of these alternatives to making a music video is coming from the perspective of getting the YouTube algorithm to work in your favor to push out your video. 

The ultimate aim is to get in front of a wider audience, make appearances on the recommended list, and automatically get a play after another artists’ video.

So, let’s get started:

Alternative to Making a Music Video 1: Vlogging With Your Track in the Background

Part of the algorithm in finding videos YouTube thinks their audience would like to see comes down to the titles and thumbnail of the videos. In fact, the title is vitally important, and if you can get people to click on that, it will, by default, be pushed out to more people.

You can take advantage of this algorithm by creating a piece of content: a mini-documentary, a funny band moment, talking about current affairs, anything really, but you can have your track playing in the background. 

Now you need a clickbait title. The term clickbait title has bad connotations as it has come to mean that you are lying about the content in the video, and it does not relate to the title.

But it is still the best description of how to create a title for your video. You just need to not lie! So your title can be found in the content of the video, but it is something that people want to click on, as they want to find out more.

The best way to come up with these titles yourself is to look at the tabloid papers or sites like Buzzfeed and see which titles make you want to click through.

They use 5 or 6 attractive words in the title (the bait) you into reading (the click) the newspaper or article.

This is the method of how you would title your video.

A title that might work could be “I Can’t Believe Our Guitarist Did This!” 

A thumbnail of a smashed-up guitar might make people curious to click through (as long as your video is truthful to the title).

Then as people watch, they will watch the story unfold, with your track in the background. Ideally, you want the content to be the length of your track, as that makes editing a whole lot easier.

When each person clicks through, you’ll have the opportunity to get a potential new fan, and if they like your track, they can stream it through Spotify. 

AND as they have watched this video, all your future ones will appear on their suggested list or homepage on YouTube.

Voila, you are one step closer to a wider audience.

Alternative to Making a Music Video 2: Making a Lyrics Video

Lots of artists create lyric videos with a fancy background and animated background, which quite frankly aren’t all that interesting. To make it more interesting, you could make what I call a hybrid video – a music video that has lyrics. This format will make it a lot more appealing to the viewers.

Burstimo has found that running this type of hybrid lyric videos as an ad is very cost-effective in getting people to watch the video, fall in love with the song, and becoming a fan.

Making a music video in this way can be filmed on your iPhone or Android and therefore, will not cost much to produce. Still, the animated lyrics bring it more personality, and it gets people’s attention. It is an excellent type of video to post on Facebook and Instagram, as it gets people to stop scrolling.

If the clip grabs the attention of the serial scroller and something interesting happens within the first 5 seconds, especially with text popping up on the screen, the scroller could become engaged, watch it all the way through and become a new fan.

Alternative to Making a Music Video 3: Video a Live Performance

If you can’t afford the option of a professional making a music video for you and you really need a video to accompany your track, you can consider a live performance video.  

Just a static image of your artwork, while your track plays is not engaging, but a live video performance would be.

A live performance video does not have to cost you anything, especially if you have a couple of friends with iPhones to do the honors and record you playing in your studio, garage, gig, on the beach, or wherever.

You would just then edit the footage, make sure it is all synced, and you are good to go – you have a nice video for your fans to watch, while they listen to your music.

This option is limited in terms of attracting a new audience unless it is shared profusely and goes viral. And if people really like the song, they may choose to share it on Spotify.  

However, a YouTube video is universal, as people might not have Spotify, or use Deezer, but everyone can view a YouTube video.

It might not go viral just because it is a live performance. Still, it is more visually appealing than a static image. The chance of going viral is there and can be pushed with paid advertising.

Alternative to Making a Music Video 4: Take Other People’s Content!

This is one of my favorite cost-effective methods and an awesome way to get a new audience to hear your songs. You simply take other people’s content and put your music as the background track!

You will need permission from the license holder of the video (unless you select a video in the Creative Commons and acknowledge usage in your video description).

But a whole new world of opportunity opens to you by doing this. Your track could play in the background of boxing, gameplay, football highlights, drone footage, skateboarding tricks, or even cat videos!

YouTube will give this kind of content a push with its algorithms, but you wouldn’t name the video your band name and song title, but rather something that people are searching for. 

They will hear your track while watching a video on something they are interested in.

You just need to pick something popular and that people are searching for that your song fits and if it is easy to rank on YouTube for – even better!

You wouldn’t want to put a chilled tranquil song over a UFC fight! It could work through in some circumstances to get attention. In essence, the juxtaposition could represent the calmness of the fighter inside his head as he fights.

But generally, you’d want to ask permission to use videos that fit your genre of music. You can credit the original video in descriptions and put your music in the background.

If people like the soundtrack, they will seek to find out what it is and play it on Spotify.

This is one of the best ways to get an organic audience listening inadvertently to your track. 

It is an incredibly powerful tactic to increase your audience – one could argue even more so than airplay on a popular radio station!

Alternative to Making a Music Video 5: Let Other People Use Your Track

In the same vein, you can let people creating boxing, gameplay, football highlights, drone footage, etc. videos use your track.

To do this, you can go onto YouTube and find some fantastic videos where you’d think your track could enhance or add something extra to the footage.  

Next, you’d reach out to the creators and offer your track license free to them. You can also concentrate on more prominent YouTube channels, which might feature your track royalty-free.  

You can also reach out to influencers on other social media like Instagram and ask them if they’d like to use your track royalty-free. Our video How to Promote Your Music Online Using Influencers explores this further.

Remember, you never know until you ask!

It is particularly useful to have in mind who your fans are in terms of demographics, so you know what interests they might have, as this would help you choose the right influencers to target.  

Another approach is to apply a Creative Commons license to your video/song. This would mean that people would be able to use it without asking you, as long as they attribute you in the description or on the video.

With this tactic, your track can end up in the background of videos with hundreds and thousands of views, and if they like the track, they can look at the description to find out what it is. Some of these influencers even have their own Spotify playlists where your track could feature. The best outcome being that you end up being picked up by both the Spotify and YouTube algorithms.

I hope you found these alternatives to making a video useful, please feel free to share it and come back often for plenty more blog posts like these.

HOW TO DO YOUR OWN MUSIC PR | ADVICE FROM TOP MUSIC JOURNALIST

This article was written by David Renshaw who writes for The FADER

Life as a musician should be simple: write and record a collection of perfect songs and then wait for the world to fall in love with you. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Getting your music, and the stories behind the tunes, out into the world is just as important as writing them but how do you do that? Music magazines and websites are the obvious avenue. They can premiere your songs, interview you ahead of a big release or lavish praise on your music in a review. Securing this coverage is not always a straightforward path, however. While you’re unlikely to get on the cover of a magazine without having made a name for yourself, there are inroads to boosting your profile that will make high-profile coverage more of a possibility down the road. As a journalist with over a decade’s experience writing for some of the biggest music platforms in the world I have fielded thousands of pitches from artists on the lookout for an interview or review. This puts me in a good position to pass on my advice but should also be a warning as to how competitive the field is. Every musician in the world wants to be written about, that means you have to make yourself stand-out when approaching journalists who are drowning in press releases and SoundCloud links. There are many dos and don’ts to becoming a press darling, which I will walk you through below. By the end you should be in a position to best understand how to go about approaching music publications with a view to getting coverage and spreading the word about what it is you do.

DO YOUR RESEARCH AND LEARN WHO YOU’RE PITCHING TO

If you’re in a death metal band then you’re not going to get written about by a website specialising in jazz music. Similarly, it doesn’t matter if you’re the next Miles Davis, Kerrang! won’t care. It is vital to establish who you want to write about you and approach them in a way that makes it clear why you want them to write about you. Your first job is to put together a list of the magazines, newspapers, and websites you feel would realistically write about your music. If you’re making commercial-leaning music then your list will be a lot longer than those operating in more niche corners. That shouldn’t put you off, though. Niche publications are able to delve much deeper into their respective fields and, as such, increase your chances of being covered. It might be worth searching for acts you are influenced by to gain a sense of which publications write about the music you make. 

Once you have established where you want coverage from you need to find out who is going to make that happen. Most websites have contact details readily available and some even go into detail as to how they like to be contacted. You can also find individual writers on social media, though the rules for approaching someone online vary from person to person. Spamming a writer with “likes” and DMs is very unlikely to get you anywhere. Politely asking for an email address, however, will work more often than not. I’d advise going through Twitter which is viewed as more of a professional platform than a personal space such as Facebook or Instagram. 

HOW TO PITCH

So, now that you know who you want to approach and have their contact details, there are a number of things you need to get together. If you’re promoting a new song or album you need to make the audio available in advance of the release date. Monthly magazines can work anything up to three months in advance so, if your album is scheduled for a September release you need to be getting it out there in June. This gives editors time to put that month’s issue together, get a writer on the job and for that writer to file his or her piece. Websites are more nimble and would generally prefer to have things a month ahead of release. Alongside a private link to stream the music you will also need to include a good quality promotional picture that clearly shows the faces of the people who made the music and is reflective of them as artists. Two pictures, one landscape and one portrait, are best. It is also important all of your background information is up to date and clear; a press release can be whatever you want it to be but it must contain the name of the artist, the reason for the email, and a hyperlink to said item, as well as an image. I.E. “BAND X ANNOUNCE NEW SELF-TITLED ALBUM. STREAM NEW SONG “X” NOW” alongside a link to the song. You can re-send this on the day of release with an updated link to the audio on streaming services. 

HIRING A PUBLICIST

Technically you could pay a publicist to do the second stage of this process. It’s not a bad idea as they will likely have pre-existing relationships with editors and be able to add weight to your campaign. As an editor I am far more likely to check out something new if it comes from someone whose taste I trust and who I know boasts a track record for establishing artists. However, it is not as easy as hiring a big firm and waiting. If you don’t have an upcoming campaign for a publicist to work on, and you just want to raise your profile, then it’s likely that expense can wait until further down the line. That is the time for DIY promo. Hit social media hard and build up a fanbase the old school way, by playing live shows. “Don’t be scared to go directly to the fans,” Rahim Wright, a publicist who has worked with Migos and Lil Uzi Vert told The FADER in 2017. “If you find an audience and connect with them, you’ll have a larger story to tell. Good publications will notice.”

If you have an album or a series of singles in the pipeline then that is the time to start thinking more seriously about representation. “[Let’s say] the local papers have covered you, some websites have started writing about you,” US-based publicist Monica Seide told Spotify in 2018. “Now it’s time to talk with a publicist to see what he/she thinks is possible as you try to garner more national attention.” 

RECEIVE EXCLUSIVE TIPS AND ADVICE TO YOUR INBOX

MANAGE EXPECTATIONS

The important thing to remember about press coverage for a musician is that it is cumulative. Is it better to be written about by one big website or ten smaller ones? I’d suggest the latter. Each piece of coverage, no matter how small, makes more coverage down the line more realistic. Building up a name for yourself is arguably best achieved through repeatedly crossing a writer or editor’s radar than hitting them once at the exact right time. The right time is different for everyone and it’s an impossible target to aim for. With that in mind, brace yourself for rejection. It’s a harsh side of the industry but an unavoidable one. There are simply far more musicians looking for coverage than there are websites and magazines offering it. So don’t assume anyone hates you or that you won’t get another shot further down the line. I have said no to countless features and video premieres for reasons as mundane as scheduling and time restraints. The bane of all music journalist’s lives is the fact there are not enough hours in the day to cover everything we love. But we get there, eventually.

IN CLOSING

The important thing to remember throughout all of this is that there is no easy way to guarantee coverage as a musician. You could upload a video on TikTok today and be featured on every major music publication by the end of the week or, alternatively, you could grind away for years and be able to count your press clippings on one hand. Some of the biggest acts in the world don’t even always garner that much press attention. Honestly, when was the last time you saw Imagine Dragons or The Lumineers on the cover of a magazine? It doesn’t change the fact that they are a huge success. There is no formula to this stuff. 

So set yourself a realistic goal and work out the route you want to take. If you’re new and looking for that first bit of exposure then be prepared to put in the hours sending emails to your targeted publications and hitting social media until you have a presence across multiple platforms. Get yourself in the best position to do this: tidy up the music on streaming services, get at least one to two good quality pictures, and make your official channels appealing to people researching you after they have heard a song that piqued their interest. Once you have built your profile to a sufficient degree you can think about hiring a professional PR. They will help shape your story, work out a narrative that best represents your music and will appeal to the journalists they know. 

All of this is advice that comes after the hard graft of writing music you believe in and that moves people. You can’t trick your way into people’s hearts with a slick presentation and interesting story. You can, however, have the music in place and still fall short of securing coverage if it is difficult to contact you or imagine how things will look when the time to write about you has come. Only once you have both elements in place then you’re putting your best foot forward in getting your name out into the world. 

GROW A MUSIC YOUTUBE CHANNEL FAST | BEST YOUTUBE STRATEGY

YouTube is a platform artist aren’t really treating as a social media site but with over 2 billion logged in monthly users, YouTube is an effective way for artists to keep their existing audience engaged and make them more loyal, reach a new audience and also managing to monetise.

With over 300 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s not easy to break through the noise but with YouTube’s audience growing yearly, any artist has the ability to grow a highly engaged audience, who can be pushed across to other platforms, leading to growth in social media numbers, streams, ticket sold and merchandise sales.

The world of YouTube may seem impossible for many in the music industry because YouTube is often seen as a place purely for music videos, lyric videos and potentially a behind the scenes of a music video shoot but there’s so many more content opportunities that artists are missing out on. YouTube is a social media platform, so should be treated accordingly.

In this blog post I’m not only going to discuss the content artists can be putting out but the simple tips and tricks which will ensure the content actually reaches the target audience and keeps them engaged. I’m covering everything from what to title a YouTube video to get a high click through rate to which thumbnails work best.

Although a lot of research went into this blog post, the majority of information has been a product of Burstimo studying YouTube as a platform for a year now. If you don’t know who we are, we’re a music marketing agency and decided to create a YouTube channel a little over a year ago. From creating video after video, we soon realised there was a clear formula to getting views and increasing our subscriber base. By our 110th video, we were pushed heavily by YouTube’s algorithm, with one video hitting a quarter of a million views and securing over 20k subscribers in just a week. Now, we’re sat at over 46k subscribers and more than 1.5million views.

THE BEST CONTENT STRATEGY FOR AN ARTIST:

No YouTube channel works without a clear theme. Any artist must find what their theme is and this needs to be representative of their brand, style, music and most importantly, target audience.

There are plenty of videos that can be created which will guarantee millions of views but if that’s reaching the wrong audience, it’s pointless. The videos should be what the artist’s target audience would want to engage with, whilst also being authentic to the artist.

The easiest way to know what content strategy is fitting, is to work around the artist’s key messages and values and then create the content surrounding this. For example, musician Blanks has created a channel purely based on the creative process of making music. He has 3 video styles that populate his channel – Story Sessions where he gets his Instagram followers to write a song with him via voting on story polls, One Hour Song Challenge where he gets a popular track and then recreates it in an hour and then Style Swap where again he takes a popular song but changes the style entirely. With over 1 million subscribers, Blanks has created an extremely dedicated audience surrounding his talent.

This content style won’t be for everyone so what else can be done? Often, artists want to vlog or do tour diaries, which is certainly a content strategy that can be looked at if the artist has a loyal fan base already as they care enough to want to know the BTS. However, for artists who don’t yet have an engaged audience, the growth will be extremely slow. People aren’t invested in the story, so won’t invest their time in watching the artist’s journey, especially when they can watch a vlog from a YouTuber they know and love already.

If the vlog route is something an artist wishes to follow then value needs to be sprinkled throughout the video, so the audience are receiving something in return. For example, if an artist is vlogging their daily life as a musician and some of the day is spent in their home studio, they could touch on what equipment is most useful for home studios and then title it ‘THE BEST EQUIPMENT TO HAVE IN A HOME STUDIO’. This not only adds value to the audience but is likely to have a high CTR (click through rate) as it’s a lot more interesting than ‘MY DAY IN THE STUDIO’, which isn’t engaging for a new audience.

Besides the behind the scenes content, artists can easily educate as they’ve all got a talent, whether that’s guitar, singing or producing. Educational channels do extremely well as YouTube is the second most popular search engine, just behind Google, so just like Google, people search to get answers to their questions. If an artist provides those answers, then they prove they have the skills whilst also reaching a new audience. 

Covers are another route an artist can go down but it’s extremely difficult to monetise on a covers channel as the owners of the music will take the majority of earnings. If money isn’t an issue at this stage, then covers are a strong route to go down as it shows talent, whilst bringing in a new audience. The amount of artist who get signed or blow up purely from covers is fantastic, Justin Bieber and Conor Maynard being great examples.

Once the theme is secured, it must be stuck to. YouTube’s algorithm isn’t going to be able to push the content out to an audience if that audience is constantly changing, as the topics change in every video. If you look at some of the biggest YouTubers in the world, they have one clear theme. You have Matt D’Avella covering self-help, Peter McKinnon focusing on photography, David Dobrik doing funny skits and they have stuck to this from day one.

Also remember no one is good to begin with! If you don’t believe me, go to your favourite YouTube channel right now and click videos, then sort by and date added oldest. It’s fascinating to see how far people come on when they have the practice but also support! It’s strange to think you get confidence in creating content when the number of people following you is going up. Nothing has changed, it’s just a number.

This is all well and good for me to say but I bet some of you are an artist that has already tried YouTube content or at least know an artist that just got frustrated at the lack of views. Well it’s not just the video itself that impacts its reach, there’s the structure of the video, the title, the thumbnail, the description and the tagging which all need to be thought about.

STRUCTURING A VIDEO TO GET A HIGH WATCH TIME:

The structure of a video does actually need to be considered as you want the videos to have a high watch time. This not only helps with the algorithm but if people are watching a high percentage of the video, they’re going to be extremely engaged with the artists and then soon a super fan of the music.

The best way to have a high watch time is to really plan the video in advance. Scripting or even story boarding a video will ensure the audience are engaged as there will be no awkward silences, value added throughout and the pace is quick. Having fast editing also works to keep the audience engaged as every content creator is competing for the watch time. As you sit on YouTube, there’s recommended videos on the screen waiting for you to click and if the artist’s content isn’t fast paced or engaging enough, the viewer will click off, harming the watch time.

The first 15 seconds are everything, so adding open loops can keep the viewer for that little bit longer needed to really get into the video. An open loop is a preview of something which is happening later, so taking a clip from the most exciting part of the video can keep someone hooked.

Getting into the hang of YouTube as a platform can be difficult but we suggest that once the artist is comfortable, that they really push to make longer videos. Always look to get it over the 10min mark as yes it helps with the money side of things, which I discuss later, but it helps with the watch time massively. Imagine you had two videos, one is 6 mins and one is 12mins and the audience watches 50% of each. For the 6 min one that’s only 3 minutes but for the 12 min it’s 6 minutes. Additionally, YouTube favours longer videos as it keeps people on the platform longer and they make more money if the creator is monetising.

Alongside the watch time, YouTube looks at the Audience Engagement Signal, which happens whenever a user interacts with a YouTube video. These signals include likes, comments, shares, and subscribers. YouTube uses Audience Engagement Signals as part of their search and discovery algorithm, so it’s highly important the artist is pushing for these but how? Simply provide a call to action.

To get more comments, providing an incentive helps massively. For example, the artist could end the video with “the person that comments their favourite part of the vlog will get a shout out in my next video”. They can also ask the audience’s opinion, whether that’s on the video or something happening in the video. Pinning a comment to the top which will push people to engage is extremely effective as pinning the creator’s comment can work if it’s a question or pinning a viewer’s comment which is likely to start conversation, all means more engagement. The comments should be moderated always as if there’s too much spam, it’s more likely to force the viewer to either stop watching the video, as it’ll appear as if it’s spam, or stop them actually commenting themselves.

A similar strategy can be taken for getting likes too, by offering an incentive or simply asking the viewer. An impactful way to get viewers to hit the like button is to set a goal. For example, an artist could state “if I get 100k likes on this video, I’ll tease my next track in the next video”.

Scotty Sire is a music-based YouTuber who is a great example of offering incentives to secure likes, subscribers and comments. At the end of each of his videos he’ll do a freestyle rap about a subscriber who commented and liked his last video, which pushes others to get involved.

TITLING A VIDEO TO GET A HIGH CLICK THROUGH RATE:

70% of what people watch on YouTube is determined by its recommendation algorithm, so if a video is pushed out onto someone’s home page and the thumbnail or title doesn’t intrigue them, then the algorithm will no longer push the video out as it’ll have a low CTR.

The title needs to include keywords that people are actually searching for. To know what people are searching, you can simply use YouTube autocomplete, which is when you begin to search something, and it shows the rest based purely on most searched phrases. Besides this, you can use a platform such as Keywordtool.io which provides hundreds of results based on one keyword.

What’s great about KeywordTool is you can see how many people are searching these keywords and then you can watch videos covering these topics and just do them better! If someone has done a video and gets 20k views, then the artist can do an even better one and at least get 20k views, potentially more.

With a YouTube title, you want it to be intriguing but also honest. You may have heard of the term ‘clickbait’ before. This basically means designing a title or thumbnail to attract attention and entice users to click, which David Dobrik does well. He’ll pick one moment from his vlog which he’ll often exaggerate for the title and thumbnail. This will push people to watch whilst not being too exaggerated where it’s not true at all. Exaggerate anything too much will mean your video isn’t fitting to the title, so the viewer will click off, ruining the watch time.

Once the title is written, it can be run through a headline analyser. There are many online that provide information on everything in a title from grammar to readability, keywords to sentiment.

CREATING A THUMBNAIL TO GET A HIGH CLICK THROUGH RATE:

Alongside the title, the thumbnail is also highly important. Similarly, to the title, you want people to click it as they’re intrigued but for it to not be too far from the truth, so they click off immediately, ruining your watch time.

Besides what’s actually happening in the thumbnail, colour is also highly important. You want the thumbnail to stand out, so bright colours and a border can help as it adds depth to the image.

The text on the thumbnail shouldn’t just be repeating the title as it’s unnecessary. Avoid using too much text as it can be slightly overwhelming, aim for 2-4 words if possible, remembering that on the bottom right is the timestamp, so you don’t want any text covered by that.

You don’t need to be a Photoshop wiz for this! There’s a fantastic platform called Canva, where you can create thumbnails and many other free online thumbnail markers.

HOW TO WRITE A WELL-OPTIMISED DESCRIPTION:

Before you can upload anything, you need to write the video description. This is a piece of metadata that helps YouTube understand the content of a video and if well-optimised can lead to higher rankings in YouTube search and boost the video in suggested videos.

The aim should be to reach or go beyond 150 words but really focus on first 2-3 sentences. YouTube’s algorithm puts more weight on keywords that show up in the first 2-3 sentences of the description, so make sure to include the main keyword early on in the description field.

The description also shows when a user is searching for something and the video appears. The first few lines will be shown to the consumer, so optimise the description for a better CTR also. Start with why it benefits the viewer, rather than being the artist’s social media links or a call to action.

TAGGING A VIDEO TO SHOW UP IN SEARCH RESULTS:

The final piece of the puzzle is tagging a video. YouTube tags are words and phrases used to give YouTube context about a video. Tags are considered an important ranking factor in YouTube’s search algorithm and when it comes to video SEO, YouTube pays close attention to the first few tags, especially the very first tag, so make sure that it’s the exact, word-for-word keyword that you want the video to rank for.

The best tag length for SEO is 2-3 words. It’s important to use broad tags too as it helps give YouTube important context about the video but don’t go overboard with tags as adding dozens of tags is a mistake that lots of new YouTubers make. It turns out this can do more harm than good, so stick to 5-8 tags that accurately describe the video’s topic.

If you’re still struggling, TagsYouTube is a free tool that generates a list of related tags for you to use on YouTube videos.

NOW WHAT?…

If the artist is patient and sticks to their chosen content strategy, they will get the audience and that means bringing in a solid income and pushing viewers to engage with them as an artist much more

Initially, the artist must double down on what works before experimenting but once there’s an audience who are dedicated, playing around with content ideas and experimenting can begin. Tech YouTuber Sara Dietschy has an interesting growth method she calls ‘One for Me and One for You’. Being a content creator for many years, she’s found the passion does die so to ensure she still enjoys the creation process but doesn’t lose her following, she creates one video for herself, which she thoroughly enjoys and then one for her audience, which she knows will get the views and is what her subscribers are there for.

Although not for everyone, this content strategy can be extremely effective as it means you don’t get burn out and enjoy the content creation, but you don’t lose your audience along the way.

Once the artist has reached 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours watch time within the last 12 months, they can begin to monetise. The easiest way to make money is with advertising revenue, so money is earnt from display, overlay and video ads. Each feature has its own set of requirements on top of subscriber and view count requirements but once secured, it generates money overnight!

YouTube is a platform the music industry isn’t giving enough attention to right now and the fact it acts as another source of income, is fantastic. It’s not just a discovery tool, it generates money too.  

Besides AdSense, YouTube creates other sources of income as the dedicated subscribers can be pushed to other platforms such as Spotify, which will lead to streaming venue, they’re more likely to invest in merchandise and tickets and brand deals are also on the cards.

NOT PERSUADED YET?

If you’re not persuaded that YouTube is a phenomenal platform for any artist, no matter what their fan base, their music or their brand, then definitely DM us on Instagram at @burstimo.  

I truly believe that one YouTube subscriber is worth 100+ Instagram followers as you have their full attention, unlike any other social media platform. On Instagram the consumer can keep scrolling, on TikTok they swipe away and on Facebook the artist’s content isn’t reaching 98% of their audience but with YouTube, if you can get them to click a video, that content is filling their screen and has all of their attention.

The organic reach on the likes of Instagram and Facebook is dropping rapidly but YouTube’s model isn’t changing any time soon and with an algorithm that favours high quality content, artists have a better opportunity than ever.

How To Write The Perfect Song For TikTok

With TikTok becoming one of the biggest drivers of viral hits in the past year, getting your song on TikTok is something that artists should be taking seriously when it comes to promotion and getting your music heard.

When thinking about getting your music onto this platform, the first thing you need to know is that you have to posses specific elements that make your song suitable for TikTok. You have to think about how it could be used by people on the platform, and if you don’t think it has these qualities, then you can start to write with the intention of making your music more suitable.

If you are wondering what TikTok actually is, then let me explain…

TikTok is a platform that allows users to create and share short form videos. The videos are normally funny little gags, or light pieces that entertain and get audiences reacting and sharing. TikTok was launched in 2017, and now has 500,000,000 monthly users. 29% of users use the app daily, and on average users are spending 52 minutes on the platform every day. Comparing this to Facebook where users are spending about an average of 58 minutes a day, and as Facebook has been active for 15 years, you can see how fast TikTok is growing, and how much potential it has at this current time.

If you believe that TikTok is not for you, or that your style would not fit then don’t force yourself to post, you can instead use your efforts to promote your music through other prominent platforms such as Instagram or facebook.

The feeling some people have towards TikTok is that it is for young teens, and is a bit childish, but this is not the case. People of all ages are engaging with it in some way, and you may be interested to know that Major labels are looking at TikTok and taking note of what is doing well, or what people are responding to.

Now, if you look at the app, you will find that any and all genres are welcome. On the ‘For you’ page, they have country, hip-hop, pop and old school anthems all in one place, but there are 3 things that the songs that have blown up have in common.

Keep The Song Catchy:

Whether it’s the lyrics, the melody or a riff that people latch onto, getting people to remember your hook, and have that in their head all day is a sure way of turning someone into a fan, that wants to listen to more of your music.

A recent example is Stunna Girl’s ‘Runway’, TikTok users took this short snippet from her song, that had an outlandish and comedic quality to it, and this has propelled her to hit around 15,000,00 streams on Spotify.

Write Straight Forward Lyrics:

When people are trying to come up with ideas for inspiration, they may turn to the lyrics of a song. If you gave audiences a chance to act out something like a scenario, or an event that you detail in a part of your song, then you are giving creators a chance to take your idea and run with it in their own way.

For example, singing about a dance routine is something that blows up on this platform. You are giving the users something to bring to life, and this can be a way that people can show their personalities and their fun, playable side, which is what the platform caters too.

Write a Part That Can Be Taken Out Of Context:

Just like the lyrics will have a quality that allows the user to bring to life a certain dance or routine, having a small gimmick that is 15 seconds or under (15 seconds being the maximum duration of a TikTok video) will make the user easily take this part out of the song and turn it into a video. You can look at stating a fact about anything and everything, there is nothing too strange to work with!

By turning this into your hook as well, you will instantly get attention from creative minds trying to explore and film new videos.

In Conclusion:

So, as you could probably tell, we here at Burstimo are strong believers that TikTok has the audience and the tools to help artists get their music heard. The last little bonus fact I’ll throw in here, is the fact that if you see popularity on this one app, it can mean that you may be shared by users on other platforms such as facebook or instagram, and see rapid success through other forms of social media.

Now, you don’t have to write specifically for TikTok, and if you really don’t think its for you, then that is absolutely fine, but if you see any qualities that I’ve listed here in your own music, then we do suggest taking a look and seeing if your song would fit.