Why YouTube is especially important for Musicians

In this weeks article I discuss why it’s critical for musicians to setup and optimize a YouTube profile. YouTube profiles are great for building a fanbase and combating plagiariasm. Hey, it worked for Justin Bieber, right?


by Ramaniscence
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Just the Tips is a weekly column of helpful tips to help musicians promote their music on the internet by Doug Arley. Doug is a web developer and project mananger for an Orlando based web marketing company where he helps professionals nationwide manage their online reputation on a daily basis. Whether it's developing a social media presence, or setting up artist website, Just the Tips has something for every aspiring artist.

Update: This week we’re going to talk about YouTube, however there have been some important changes in Facebook since the last 2 weeks and I wanted to fill everyone in on those first. First of all, Bing is now using the Facebook API to show what your friends have liked within their searches. What does this mean? Well, Bing has been having a growing in relevance as far as web exposure recently, and this is a huge step towards making it a real competitor to Google. Two weeks ago I talked about how Facebook’s biggest draw is that people are more likely to be interested in what others in their social circle are interested in. By leverage the “Like” data from Facebook, Bing can now theoretically become the most powerful tool for finding searches relevant to your interests. I say theoretically because, despite their pretty video explaining everything, I’ve yet to actually find a search that actually displays Like information. More information on that as it becomes available, but again I absolutely can not stress enough how increasingly important it is to have a Facebook presence.

Additionally: Remember all that stuff I said about setting up an engaging Facebook Page for musicians and using FBML to make a nice custom landing page? Throw that out the window. The new hotness is setting up your landing page using iFrames. Mashable explains it in length better than I could, but to summarize: By using iFrames now for your Facebook Page landing page you can now utilizes languages like PHP, ASP, JavaScript, etc, to give your page some dynamic content. You can still use FBML to make an engaging and effective landing page, but for those who know how to use it the ability to be able to use iFrame to deliver data is incredible.

In just 2 weeks things that I have talked about have changed pretty drastically from a marketing perspective. The internet, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, all change like the wind, and can get difficult to keep up with, and that’s absolutely why I write Just the Tips.

So back on track:

Why YouTube is Especially Important for Muscians

So immediately I’m going to give you a pretty powerful stat: What do you think the 2nd most powerful search engine on the internet is? Bing? Yahoo? Facebook? Well you can probably guess by the context: It’s YouTube. Not only that, but Google now embeds YouTube search right into it’s dynamic search. That’s pretty incredible stuff if you’re looking to get exposure. By why is it especially important to musicians?

  • Videos have sound. GASP! It’s no brainer that you can upload a video with your music in it to YouTube. People do it all the time. This gives fans and fans-to-be a way to listen to your music without having to dedicate any hard drive space or time into download an MP3. Users and listen to it on the go, fans can pull it up on their iPhone and play it for a friend, or stream it at work; the amount of applications are endless.
  • Videos have VISUALS. Well…they should anyway. Your video doesn’t have to be playing guitar, or sequecing a song live (though it could!). You don’t have to do a whole AMV to post your music on YouTube. You can simply just have a static image, or a loop video like OCReMix does. You make something like this pretty simply in iMovie or Windows Movie maker, and it doesn’t have to be all sorts of flashy. My advice to you is to put as much information about yourself as you want people to know, without over doing it. I’ll go over this in much more detail in the upcoming weeks.
  • Talented artists get a A LOT of exposure on YouTube. Have you heard of Justin Bieber? I mean, you probably have, but did you know he got discovered on YouTube? I don’t hate the kid. I don’t care much for his fan base, but he got where he is today by having some degree of talent, and a YouTube account. Be warned: This isn’t the last time I’ll bring him up in my discussions of YouTube, either. So be ready.
  • To combat plagiarism. As I’ve said before in the OCR Plagiarism thread: You absolutely can not control whether or not you or your music will get onto the internet, because it absolutely will. It will not necessarily be what you want to end up on the internet, and it will not necessarily be in the places you want it to be on the internet. You can’t stop it, however you can control it. How? By making sure that all the information you do want to show up shows up first, more often, and more relevant. If you get popular enough, it is certain beyond a reasonable doubt that someone will post your music on YouTube. It may have an innocent omission of information about you, or they may be trying to pass it off as their own. You can search down every iteration of your song on YouTube, and flag all of them as inappropriate, and how YouTube takes action against them eventually or you can post your music yourself, with all your legitimate information, so that there’s absolutely no question what the official source is. I can guarantee you that if you post a video of “Zelda Ocarina of Time/Chrono Trigger: Eponapoch (Guitar Remix)” posted by Willrock07 with a video about you, and links to your Facebook Page, and website, and all kinds of info, it will get more hits on YouTube than some kids “ZELDA KRONO TRIGGR GUITAR MIX” with a picture of a dancing storm trooper by coolkid0009 with 30 videos of the same thing and bad spelling, and hopefully yours will show up in the “Related Videos” sidebar when that DOES happen. Optimizing video titles, tags, and descriptions will be important for this as well, and will also be discussed in the upcoming weeks.
  • People can’t stop watching YouTube. The thing is addicting. I go to watch my own video of Shnababula‘s amazing live Terra remix, end up clicking on the Batman playing Terra in Black Video, then I see Terra in Black in Guitar Hero, then I see You Are Not Alone from Final Fantasy 9 in Guitar Hero, then I find You Are Not Alone on Classical Guitar, then katethegrate’s Roses of May from Final Fantasy 9 (love her, by the way), and then…crap I’m supposed to be writing a column here. SEE WHAT I MEAN? Powerful stuff. You want your video to show up on YouTube, because people will find it, and they will watch it. Hopefully they’ll like it and know where to go to find out more about you and your music!

So there you have it. As mentioned about, in the weeks following I’ll be explaining how to optimize your videos themselves, your profile, your titles, tags, and descriptions. I’ll also go over some other ways to drive traffic to your profile, and get yourself some more exposure: namely covers. Pretty huge, but that’s for another time!

As always if you have questions about anything discussed, or suggests on what you might hear about in future articles, post a comment!

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