The Importance of YouTube and How to Build Your Audience

We’ve all been there, binge watching hours worth of carefully suggested YouTube content and not realising how much time has passed – until it’s too late. Now, just imagine the number of YouTubers waiting to discover your music and become a dedicated fan.

There is no denying that a professional looking Youtube channel with engaging content can be a great way to expose your music to a previously untapped audience. People want to be sure that they really like a song before spending money on it and YouTube is the most popular online tool for music discovery. Throughout this blog, we will be giving advice on how artists can grow their audience and benefit financially from the video streaming platform.

How to build your audience on YouTube

Building your audience stems from hard work, careful planning, organisation and creativity. Here are a few potential ways to increase your YouTube following that are worth trying out:

Content

  • Boosting subscribers should be the main priority. By creating top quality content that engages your audience, most of the hard work is already complete.
  • A viral video is not what you are looking for. Instead, you want to consistently build your audience.
  • Like your social media presence, make sure that your brand image is strong and consistent. So use consistent, fonts, logos, colours, settings etc. that fit in with your sound.
  • Publish things often so that your audience gets used to the rhythm of your releases and it becomes part of their life. Overtime, they will come to expect a video release, and miss it when it doesn’t happen.
  • According to James Mulvey, senior copywriter and content strategist on Hootsuite’s brand team, a good aim is 1 video per week and four videos per month.
  • He goes on to state that “we’ve found that the first eight seconds of your video are the most important”. So play the music straight away. Go straight to the best content or start with an intriguing image that forces people stick around to get answers.
  • Suggested/Related videos – to make the most of this feature, make sure you are detailed when tagging your videos and profile.

Promote

  • Don’t be afraid to promote your videos. Post them on social media MULTIPLE times and ask people to go and watch them. Ask them to share the video and ask their friends to follow it.
  • Promote your page on Facebook groups.
  • Do your promotion at the end of videos. People will quickly click away if you try to sell to them at the start.

Understand your audience

  • Use trackable links and find out where your audience is coming from, create a strategy and target these places.

Make it social

  • YouTube has integrated social media into their platform really well, so people can share your tracks with their friends quickly and easily – another great way to expand your fanbase.  
  • Similarly, YouTube makes it easy for users to share your music. It is a social listening experience, with comments and easy access to social media pages. As an artist, you need to encourage people to quickly share your music with their friends and expand your fanbase. Never under appreciate the power of simply asking your fans to do something.

Collaboration 

  • Collaborate with other content creators. Or have guest speakers on your videos and encourage viewers to follow both channels.
  • Collaborate with a designer to make your page visually appealing. This could also give you some fresh, eye-catching content for your social media pages.

Be Creative 

  • Create themed playlists to help new viewers see grouped videos based on what they might be looking for. This is also a good way to spread out content from one large video into a series of smaller ones and encourage people to return to watch the rest of the series.
  • Some playlists to consider:
    • “New to this channel? Watch this”. Introduce your channel and what you do, be at your most charming.
    • Task orientated – for example a tutorial on how to play your song, broke into the sections of the song.
    • A series on how to write a certain style of lyrics, using your track as a case study.
  • “How to videos” encourage people to return when they practise and loop sections, to closer analyse how to do something. This a great way to boost views and, hopefully, people will follow your channel knowing that you provide help and advice.
  • Create something that people want to return to. For example, post a video of you teaching the viewer how to play a guitar riff in your song. Or yourself talking about how you wrote a song or what it is about. Allow your personality to come across naturally.
  • Fans like behind the scenes so consider themes that give your fans an insight into you as a person.
  • Using consistent characters and gags are a tried and tested way to make content consistent and retain the interest of viewers.

How to make money from YouTube

As well as gaining new followers, YouTube can be a great source of revenue for musicians. Look at the money made by famous influencers/YouTubers, for example. They’re making a living and in some cases, earning millions from YouTube content.

It’s all about attracting traffic, keeping viewers on your channel and turning these viewers into dedicated followers who subscribe to your channel. Once you have built a strong following, you have numerical evidence of how many people you are regularly reaching and this can lead to sources of income for you. Below are some examples of how you can make money from YouTube:  

  • Sponsored advertising.
  • Promoting your physical releases and merchandise.
  • Product placement.
  • YouTube’s recently introduced “tip jar” feature
  • Royalties collected through content ID. For more on content ID – check out this blog by our sister company Horus Music on maximising your outreach to fans on Youtube.  

It’s safe to say that YouTube is an exciting platform for artists to promote their music and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. We hope that you have found this blog useful and YouTube will become a valuable form of exposure and source of income for you in the future.

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