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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.


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.


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. 


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. 


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.” 



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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

How To Promote Your Music Video | Music Promotion

Get millions of views on your next music video, using these tips

Have you ever released a music video, only to find it gets a couple of hundred views, maybe even a couple of thousand if you’re lucky? You’re not alone.

We’re seeing far too many artists wasting their money on music videos because they believe the quality of the music video alone will bring in views but that’s not the case. If you don’t promote your music video, it won’t be seen and that’s just wasting your money

Imagine your music video gets millions of views overnight and you’re getting DMs left right and centre, you’re getting tons of streams, well you can make this happen.

At Burstimo we follow this strategy to make sure musicians are getting the exposure and the views they deserve on their music video and this has led to artists getting millions of views, their video getting played on national TV but most importantly, more fans.

I found an article the other day on Music Business Worldwide that stated More Music Is Played on YouTube than on Spotify, Apple Music and every other audio streaming platform combined. This stat blew me away and made us realise I had to do write this article, because the audience is out there for you guys, you just need to be promoting your music videos correctly to get in front of them.

I’m actually going to start on pre-release, showing you some tips of what you can do before the video is out because there a few things you can be doing which will secure your first couple of thousand views, which will trigger YouTube’s algorithm to push you out to more.


Before the video is out, you need to have a release date in mind – pick a week after audio. So once you have released your song on all streaming platforms, following up with more content that is prominent and fresh with audiences will prove to be a huge advantage to your strategy.

Announce the release date on socials, maybe have a countdown clock and premiere it on YouTube – current fans will watch it!.

You can also premiere the video using press, so having a blog or other outlet premiering the video can attract new audiences, as well as gain you credibility when writing a EPK or press release

Once released:

When trying to get press for your video, approach with the intention of getting a feature or review on the video.

Post on Reddit  – Music Videos, Ifyoulikeblank, Listentothis

YT ads – YouTube ads are an under-priced resource in marketing right now. What is fantastic about YouTube ads is how well you can target your audience, you can run your ad before other music videos or any other channels which may relate to your genre of music.

You can set up your YouTube ad campaign by setting up a Google AdWords account and choosing a video campaign.

To set up a Youtube ad, simply go to your channel and enter the “Youtube Studio”. Find the video you’d like to promote and there will be a promote option. By clicking this you’ll be taken to Google Adwords where you’ll need to make an account in order to promote your music video.

Social Media ads – create a short promo for you music video, put text over the top and run as an ad which is linked to your Instagram. Hard to do on FB as they don’t like you leaving the platform to go to YouTube, but if you can make a video that features the logos of all the different blogs that have featured you, and paint them all over the screen for the first 3 seconds, then you can get away with running your video as an ad.

Influencer Marketing – get major names to do swipe up stories, big budget can do a post and link in bio.

Micro influencers: type in a band similar to you, look to see who has shared one of their songs and dm them saying you love the band too and you have a similar style and you’ve just released a music video. Pin video to your page and then get retweets.

Create other content/build your audience – It sounds strange, but YouTube isn’t actually designed for music videos, so if you can fall into the content creator side of YouTube, you will be giving yourself the best chance of getting noticed.

BONUS TIP: Pay for a famous person to be in the video, now I know what you’re thinking…but it is possible, for example, famous YouTuber Liza Koshy was recently featured in a music video, when she had never been involved in anything like that before. So there is market there that not people are taking advantage of, it’s still a pretty new concept. And with the video currently at over 8million views and over 30 million streams, it wouldn’t be the easiest idea to pass up.

Why Social Media Perfectionism is an Artist’s Worst Enemy

Social media will be an industry mainstay for the foreseeable future, with 9 out of 10 users participating in a music or artist-related activity according to Music Watch. Social media have radically changed models of music consumption and distribution, and at Burstimo, we cannot stress enough the importance of any up and coming artist to actively engage with their social media strategy to build a loyal fan base and generate good return-on-investment. However, there are always two sides to an argument and artists have started to talk candidly about the challenges of social media marketing on their careers and personal lives such as feeling a need to be “perfect” all the time (i.e., social perfectionism) and finding one’s identity as a musician. 

Of course, it’s now part of an artist’s job to present themselves as best as possible online because this is essentially self-promotion. But music managerial and marketing professionals need to acknowledge their clients’ perspectives because firstly, musicians, like all of us, are humans (not perfect superhumans!), and have feelings about their work. And secondly, technological consumption has massive implications for artists who already face many other industry-related pressures. Together, all of these can be overwhelming for musicians that eventually they want to open up to someone, ironically, using their socials as an outlet for this. So in this blog, we’re going to explore some of the ways social media perfectionism influences an artist’s outlook, which will help you to better manage and understand your clients when you’re next discussing social media strategy with them. 

Trend and image-driven expectations 

The increased promotion of good mental health within the music industry has enabled artists to speak out more about their struggles with social media. In a 2019 report from the Record Union, 39% of independent artists reported that taking time away from social media improved their mental wellbeing. A number of famous faces have also talked publicly about the impact social media has had on them like Selena Gomez, who has spoken about becoming addicted to social media having had the most followed Instagram account, and having seen other people’s “perfectly filtered lives” online that don’t represent what real life is like. Ed Sheeran shared similar feelings of self-comparison on George Ezra’s podcast, having compared himself to “people like Justin Bieber or the One Direction lot,” “I was like, ‘they’re so photogenic and they’ve got six packs…and I should look like that.’”

There are various strategies artists can implement towards the pressure social media invokes to look a certain way or to be a certain kind of person. While there are artists who don’t care about what messages they see on their feeds, this is not necessarily the case for everyone and for many music practitioners, there are actions they have to intentionally implement into their routine to not let one post or comment destroy their lifelong passion for music. In last month’s blog for World Mental Health Day, we recommended several things such as practising positive thinking daily, scheduling content so artists can consciously have screen breaks, and strategically choosing what accounts to follow and controlling their settings to view content that encourages more positive feelings than negative. 

Again, acknowledging that social media advertising is a vital component of an artist’s work (e.g., influencers) will help your clients, and indeed yourself, see your posts in a more objective way. For example, it was recently disclosed that the average amount for a sponsored Instagram post in 2019 is $1,642 (£1,276) so invariably, the post has to look amazing in order to sell the product the corporation is asking the artists to promote.Ellie Goulding and Rita Ora are among 16 celebrity influencers who have agreed by consumer protection law to mention in their posts when they’ve been incentivised to promote a brand so these practices explicitly put industry-based social media marketing in a work environment.

But while it’s important to take your marketing work seriously, it’s equally important for artists to not take themselves too seriously. Case in point – while many users find themselves going down the rabbit hole of Instagram, Lewis Capaldi is tweeting about comparing his face to a potato smiley! JBut in some ways, a post like this is actually more relatable than artists constantly posting flawless, airbrushed photos because it shows that they’re human, or even “perfectly imperfect.”

Unhelpful thoughts about music creation and performance

Another area where social media perfectionism affects artists is their creative and performance practice. Returning to the idea of self-comparison, it’s very tempting for musicians to scroll through their feeds and see videos of their colleagues riffing or playing fast and feel that they’re not good enough. The previous Record Union report cites pressure to succeed, negative pressure, fear of failure, pressure to deliver and being evaluated by others as several factors that impact music creation, all of which are by-products of perfectionist thinking and expectations of social media marketing. But more than often, these are pressures we put on ourselves that are not based on factual evidence but our own opinions of ourselves, what we think music industry professionals think of us, or flashbacks to past/negative experiences. 

While it’s important to aim for high standards artistically in this competitive industry, striving for perfection creates unrealistic goals. Aiming for perfection also creates physical tension (e.g., tight throat, shaky hands) and mental block (“writer’s block”), the opposite of what we need to be creative, expressive musicians. On the other hand, aiming for an excellent, optimal or “good enough” performance is far more attainable as it takes into consideration the fact that there is no such thing as a “perfect,” social-media-facing performance, and that mistakes are to be accepted as part of life. 

There are lots of free resources available for musicians to help them better deal with performance anxiety and perfectionistic/social-media-related thinking, which I would strongly recommend artists to read and implement into their creative practice. Much in the same way as athletes or entrepreneurs regularly practise mental strategies to enhance their performance, this is just as important as physically practising your music. 

Additionally, perfectionistic tendencies are strongly linked to procrastination as people are scared about getting things wrong so they put off their work. But this creates a vicious cycle whereby users go on social media to procrastinate but then looking through other people’s “seemingly perfect” feeds frequently invokes negative feelings. This is counterproductive, which makes it even more important for musicians to take time away from their socials to fully focus on being creative and “getting the job done.” Your clients will need to use the Internet for their admin, work and music production so if social media is something that your artists find difficult or distracting to look at, the Freedom app is one brilliant tool which blocks sites and apps of their choice to allow them to work productively. 

“Vanity metrics”

We know that record companies and managers are now looking at artists’ social media follower count as one factor to determine their popularity, pre-existing fan base, and career success (also known as the “like economy”). However, even if an artist has a million followers, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have it all. Many other ingredients contribute to a successful social media strategy such as sentiment analysis, reactions, algorithms, and now, it’s not uncommon for marketers to invest in paid advertising, curated content or sponsored branding to guarantee more followers. 

Moreover, in Nancy Baym’s recent paper on the implications of online data for popular musicians, several artists commented that despite their large count of followers, not all of them are actually engaging with their content or music. What matters more is the quality of engagement. However, measuring online value is still a tricky area, as Baym comments: 

“In some ways it is trite to point out that metrics cannot capture the emotional value of art, or that the emotions art invokes are beyond commodification. Yet at the same time, it is art’s power to give voice to such affect that motivates creators to create and audiences to spend money on those creations.”

In Conclusion

Even in today’s image and trend-driven culture of social media marketing, audiences are ultimately going to invest in artists for their music, not the way an artist looks or one Instagram post, although this will partly influence their purchasing decisions. 20 or 30 years ago, social media didn’t even exist, however, the music industry has significantly changed. So if your artists aren’t feeling great because of social media, or if you can sense that something’s not fine with them, it’s essential that you implore them to take practical measures. And social perfectionism can subsequently influence managers and promoters because we’re on the sites all the time. So as adults, it’s important to take responsibility for how we want to feel, think and act, especially with the many expectations posed not only by our feeds but the music profession, and indeed, ourselves.