Today we’re going to look at how to make a music video for Youtube. I will be looking at some of the options available to you, as well as introducing you to my favourite tool for the job: Animoto.
There are two main ways to make good quality Youtube music videos: By recording footage with a video camera and editing it on your computer, or by using Animoto to make a video based on pictures and / or video clips you own. With both of these methods you can make a good Youtube quality video in a relatively short amount of time. Great if you want to make a low budget music video.
Below I will look more at both of these options, so you can decide which method is best for you.
2. Find people who have shared similar music videos
The best people to target are those who are fans of other artists, your fans aren’t going to come from nowhere, they are currently fans of other artists, so you need to identify which bands have a similar fan base to yourself and target their fans.
If you are an indie rock band and are looking to get more views on your music video, you can use lots of different search functions on social media to see people who have shared artists similar to you.
For example, you could search Twitter for “Foster the People” or take their latest single and search the URL directly in to Twitter. Create a shortlist of all of the people who have shared that track, them DM them all saying something along the lines of…
“Hey, I noticed you shared the new Foster the People track, I absolutely LOVE that one.
Check out this track too, I hope you like it, and if you really love it feel free to share it! :)”
If you can get 10 people with 1,000 followers each to share your track, that’s a 10,000 person reach which has cost you absolutely nothing.
Bonus tip: If you have the budget, there is a fantastic online tool called Buzzsumo which allows you to search any link and it will show you who shared this link online and how many followers they have. Which makes finding people to share your music much easier.
3. Get your track added to another YouTube channel
I don’t think artists are utilising this one enough. Sometimes artists can be too precious about getting the views to their own YouTube channel, but our objective here is to get your music promoted to as many people as possible, if your music is good enough, they will find you and listen to your other songs.
Almost every YouTube channel has a contact email address which allows you to submit your music, simply go to the channel and then the about section and click “view email address”.
5. Facebook ads
Following on from Social Media, I wanted to include this tip because Facebook advertising can work incredibly well, but we see so many artists making mistakes with Facebook ads for their music video that they may not realise their money is being burnt in to thin air.
You need to think about your audience’s current frame of mind, and attention you give to sponsored posts when you scroll through your Facebook feed, how often do you stop and watch a sponsored video?
Because that is exactly how others are going to react to your music video. So, although Facebook can give you data which looks like incredibly high numbers, getting 100,000 views for as little as $300, what these views actually represent may be soul crushing to you.
Facebook considers a view to be someone who watched the first 3 seconds of your video. That’s enough for people to simply scroll past and not even listen to a single note of your track.
If you are going to upload your music video directly to Facebook, you need to give people a reason to stop scrolling, turn their volume up and listen. You could do this by putting reviews on the video which validates why the video is worth watching, or you could put up a title such as “For fans of: Catfish and the Bottlemen” then promote only to Catfish and the Bottlemen fans.
If you really wanted to be clever, you could run Facebook ads for 3 different videos, with different bands mentioned. For example:
Video ad 1 “For fans of The Hunna” as the title promoted to The Hunna fans
Video ad 2
“For fans of Blossoms” as the title and promote to Blossoms fans
Video ad 3
“For fans of The 1975” as the title and promote to The 1975 fans and so on…
You could direct each ad to your YouTube video (this is a lot more expensive than a direct upload to Facebook), and you can be absolutely sure each view will be a potential fan of your music
8. Utilize sonic frequency and tone
Studies in the realms of physics and neuroscience show that there are predictable physical and psychological responses humans have to music. Tone and frequency impact us in certain ways and should be considered when choosing music for your video. Are you finding, for example, that you have to turn down your music in order to hear the voiceover, so much so that it becomes indistinguishable? When your video contains a lot of voiceover, it’s wise to avoid choosing tracks with complex melodies played on instruments that use the same frequency spectrum (notes and tones) as the human voice – instruments including guitar, violin, cello, viola, and parts of the piano and keyboard instruments. If you want the quality and mood of these instruments, then use tracks that have simple melodies or repetitive chord progressions. This way, you will have more room to turn up the volume so the emotion in the music can be clearly conveyed. If you want to convey power and strength alongside a voiceover, try using instruments in the low frequencies (bass, for example).
Below is a chart that can act as a simple guide to considering the emotional impact of instrumentation and frequency. Keep in mind that the quality of the chords being played (minor vs major, etc.), must also match the desired mood.
Updated in 2017: Music As The Star
Since this post was originally published, a new trend has emerged in video marketing that we felt was worth an update! Oliver does a great job of outlining the steps you need to take to ensure your music is the perfect fit for your marketing video, but what about when your video features nothing but music?
Tubular Insights put together a great post on how to create ‘silent’ marketing videos – or videos that take a page from silent films of yesteryear and feature only music – so I won’t rehash too much of what they have to say. But take a look at the examples they have shared for some inspiration!
One of the added bonuses of music-only marketing videos is that they make great content for social networks that auto-play videos without sound to begin with. Viewers may not always be in a position to have audio with their video (i.e. watching content while on public transit) so assuming that your prospects may hear nothing at all on Facebook is always a good bet. Videos that feature only music and no narrative or sound effects must be compelling enough visually to draw people in without the promise of dialogue, and this effect can be achieved with or without the sound.
Creating a video that features nothing but music is no easy task, but as you can see from the above example, and the additional ones in Tubular Insight’s post, the results can be moving, spectacular, and memorable.