In the business of making music, promotion is as essential as crafting great songs. And for independent artists, it’s all on you to make noise about the music you’re making. One of the most useful devices you can have in your marketing tool kit is the music video. Think the music video has had its day? We’re here to set you straight with five reasons every artist needs a music video strategy.
Reason 1: If You’re Not Being Seen, You’re Not Being Heard
Did you know that video accounts for 52% of on-demand music consumption worldwide? That’s more than paid and free audio streaming put together. What’s more, 93% of the most popular videos on YouTube are music videos.
You can’t effectively promote yourself if you’re not where the music consumers are. So if you’re not making videos to showcase and promote your music on channels like YouTube, Vimeo and Vevo, you’re ignoring demand, failing to provide what the market wants, and cutting yourself off from valuable exposure.
Reason 2: Fans Don’t Share Audio Files
When was the last time a friend sent you a .wav or .mp3 of their new favourite song? Probably 2010. There are a few reasons:
- As free and subscription-based audio streaming services rose in popularity, the amount of digital music we owned declined.
- As you know, while free and subscription-based audio streaming services allow sharing of links to tracks, if you’re not on the same platform as your friend, you only get to hear a short snippet of the song, not the full track—hardly satisfying and too limited, so nobody bothers to share music this way.
- Social media is called ‘social’ for a reason. It’s 100% about sharing. And today, users share video more than any other content format. It’s rich, it’s dynamic, it’s lightweight, and it’s accessible. If you’re not creating video assets to support your audio assets, you’re not making it easy for people to interact with and share your music with others, which will reduce how many people your music reaches.
Reason #3: More Exposure Requires More Content
Music marketing is about quality, but it’s also about volume. Our ability to recall information depends on repeated exposures—so the more (quality) content you post, the more times that potential fans will be exposed to you and your music. Think of it this way, in sales it typically takes 6-10 touches to sell a product. It takes at least that many to familiarise an audience with your song, and far more than that to build awareness of you as the artist behind that track.
Music videos can help you repurpose a single track into four or more shareable pieces of content. Output all of those videos in horizontal, vertical and square formats, and you’ve got a dozen assets to distribute across social!
Reason #4: Making Music Videos Is Faster And More Affordable Than Ever
It used to be that the only independent artists who could afford professional music videos were those with a budget averaging $5000+ or those signed to a record label who fronted the bill (and sometimes recouped the cost from the artist!). But these days, it’s easy to make a music video inexpensively. You can film in HD on your mobile phone, giving you high-quality footage literally at your fingertips. There’s lots of free and cheap software available online for editing your videos together, and there’s even a music video creation tool called Rotor available that’s been designed specifically for musicians.
Reason #5: Longevity
Unlike other forms of video content, which get viewed once or twice and then quickly slip out of view in a person’s feed, music videos are evergreen. Their relevance doesn’t expire or diminish over time in the same way that video announcements, vlogs about what you’re up to that week, and some interviews do.
Just like your music, which a fan will listen to over and over across years, music videos get played repeatedly by individuals. So they offer a depth of engagement that other video content can’t match. That’s not to say there isn’t merit in other types of video content. There is. But it’s about using different content and strategies to achieve different goals. A piece of video content that is watched only once by 1000 different people is useful for building reach, awareness, and maintaining a light-touch connection with existing fans. But a music video that is watched dozens of times each by just 500 fans? That’s behaviour that builds true connections to your music and fan loyalty.