YouTube is a vital promotion tool, if you're a independent/obscure artist and you're not lucky enough to have your music uploaded by someone else to YouTube, don't just sit around waiting for someone to do it. You have two options, send uploaders your music or create your own channel. I recommend you do both, it's great for all artists to have their own YouTube channels, that way you control the music and how you want your self to be perceived.
What I will share with you today are just some simple tips to get your channel up and running and build a steady fan base. If your goal is to make a channel with 30k Subscribers and get partnership then look elsewhere, this advice is just for normal artists seeking to bring in the fans they already have.
First, set up a account in your artist name, get the page looking good and when it comes to uploading music have this in mind:
- Google the most popular times in your country when YouTube has the most traffic and pick the best days (In my opinion Thursday and Sundays are perfect days).
- Spread out your uploads, don't upload more then one thing at a time. The first upload will get less hits then the last upload as people will overlook it.
- Tag your videos correctly and honestly! Don't put nothing like "car crash martian conspiracy", tag your music by genre, artist, year and maybe even a couple similar artists.
Now if you are already an existing artist and your music is already on YT the first thing you need to do is: Harness your fans. You do this by collecting the usernames from people who have commented on tracks of yours that are already on YouTube. Collect those usernames up and put them in a notepad file and separate them by a comma.
Now it's easier to contact them and inform them that you have a new channel where you will uploading your music and content from now on; if they want to follow your new music then they can subscribe. Don't be pushy or beg for subscribers from these people, your preaching to the choir! These people are already fans of your music so your only goal is to notify them of your existence on YT if they won't to subscribe that's down to them.
Now bare in mind when it comes to contacting these people you can do it several ways, you can write on their channel walls or you can inbox them, if you inbox them you can batch message 25 people a time in a comma separate username ID list but you run the risk that people will ignore the message because they think its spam as it is a bulk message. Either way, you should notice an immediate response.
In my opinion there is no point in having a YT channel if you are not going to engage with your listeners, appreciate the feedback you get, ask for opinions...etc and if someone takes two minutes out of their life to send you a message saying "thank you for making blah blah I love that song, it changed my life" then take 2 minutes out of your day to acknowledge them.
If you are a new artist or a lesser known artist, how do you go about gaining new fans on YouTube? This is a tricky situation because unlike above you are not contacting people that already know you, so some people may view it as spam. But if you target the right people, they will thank you!
In this day and age it's hard to find new artists so when your messaged from a artist who you like it's a win/win situation! The hard part like I stated previously is finding those fans. If you make deep conscious hip-hop there is no point contacting people you find on a Lil Wayne video asking them to check out your music, if you do that do us all a favor and don't start to begin with. Instead find your target audience by narrowing down similar artists to yourself, people who you have a similar sound to. For example if you make music similar to say: Sage Francis you wouldn't just contact Sage Francis fans you would narrow it down more by including another artist you are similar to.
How? Use Google! Narrow down your search by searching:
Google > YouTube.com "channels" for example. Atmosphere or Sage Francis
By putting YouTube.com in the search field it means Google only searches that site and by putting brackets on "channels" it will bring up channels making it easier for you to contact these people. Now remember there is a thin line between promotion and spam, if you think you can just click subscribe on all these peoples channels and they will subscribe to yours, then that's a stupid idea. Contact ONLY the people who you truly believe will appreciate your music if any at all.
Target hip hop heads, people who are part of the hip hop community don't target everyday folk who use YouTube to watch make up tutorials but also who happen to like the same artists whom you believe your self to be similar with. There is a huge hip hop community on YouTube. Use the above advice at your own accord but don't spam or ruin YT for the rest of us or make it harder for other artists who are using those tactics properly, don't put a stain on fellow underground artists.
A couple Do's and Don'ts:
- Your own videos for songs be creative or if you don't have Album artwork..etc use good high res images.
- Post your videos to other similar popular videos as a response.
- Keep your channel active, spread our uploads out and keep people up to date.
- Post all relative information in the video description: Downloads/FB Fan page...etc.
- Buy "fake" views or subscribers. It's obvious and achieves nothing! If your main goal on YouTube is to get popular then ask yourself why! Your main goal should be to get and maintain a steady, dedicated loyal fan base.
- Post comments on other videos telling people to check out your music, it's totally different from what I mentioned above and most people will just thumb you down anyway!
- Get pissed off with people if they leave a negative comment, one of the best reasons for a artist to have YT is for fan feedback, if someone don't like your music that's life! Appreciate their opinion and don't get involved in petty internet arguments.
- SPAM! I've said it already but you will gain nothing spamming people, you will probably just piss people off and they will just dislike your videos without even giving it a try.
And remember YouTube is a huge site, any of the advice will work, you just need to be dedicated and time will provide results.