Music Video Marketing Guide – Replay Science

Video is the fastest growing digital medium, with podcasts not far behind. Used well they can boost interaction, helping you to grow your audience.

We’re delighted to have the team from Replay Science come on board as part of the Audiohype team, and share with us their video marketing expertise in this music video marketing guide. This post is a collection of some of their articles from their site that cover how to promote your videos.  

Going forward we look forward to creating more guides on how to use videos to grow your audience. 

Why Video Is So Effective

When it comes to conveying your message to your audience, video is one of the most effective mediums you can use. Video is becoming one of the most important approaches out of all the different marketing ideas at your disposal.

If you keep up to date with marketing, you’ll be well aware of the forecasted growth of video and the importance it plays in building a brand.

Here we’ll break down some of the key reasons why video is such a great way to build your brand and engage your audience.

It Grabs Attention

Video is great at grabbing users attention. Videos can convey an additional aspect to you music and build on the story your music is telling.


With the short attention spans today, a lot of tracks on streaming struggle to capture the audience in the short time that a listener makes up their mind, but video can grant you the extra level of engagement to grab their attention.

Awareness and Recall

In addition to explaining more, visual imagery has the added benefit of being recalled easier – convey your message through video and it’s more likely to stick in your audience’s heads.

How Does the YouTube Algorithm Work?

When is comes to music video marketing, it’s important to understand the philosophy behind why YouTube wants to rank certain videos higher and how you can make the most of this in your YouTube promotion efforts.

The first thing you need to understand is that when a person enters a search term YouTube wants to return results that are both relevant to the search query and high quality, well, at least not rubbish or spam.

To work out the best results to show, YouTube uses an algorithm to figure this out – this is basically an equation that looks at multiple factors and weighs them up to work out the best video to show. Algorithms can be seen in many of your favourite tools, for example Google’s algorithm and Spotify’s algorithm.

Relevance

So how does YouTube know whether a video is relevant to a query?

In the initial stages of a video’s life there isn’t much for YouTube to go on to know what a video is about, except for the information that you give it.

This is where metadata comes in. Metadata in YouTube is the Title, description, thumbnail and tags which you give to your video.

While these should be crafted to entice people into your video they should also be relevant to what people are searching for and to what your video is about.

Like I said, this information is only useful in the beginning, once your video has more views, YouTube will be able to rank your videos with information from watch time and other behavioural signals.

Quality

YouTube really has one priority, to get people to watch more videos so that they can show more ads.

In the long run people won’t continue to use YouTube if all they see are rubbish videos, even if those videos are related to what they searched for.

So YouTube needs a way to promote the high quality videos that mean people watch more videos.

What characteristics of a video show it as high quality?

The answer that’s worked well so far is popularity. Maybe in the future this will change, but for now YouTube figures that popular videos must have something about them that people want to watch.

The obvious answer is to promote videos with more views.

The problem with this is that it leads people to care more about getting clicks than giving people good quality videos.

People would create the perfect title and perfect thumbnail to make people click, and then have a completely irrelevant video that no one wants to watch.

While this works for the short term goal of getting people to watch more videos, it isn’t very good for the long term when people no longer want to use YouTube.

Shift to Watch Time

This is where YouTube’s current popularity/quality measure comes in; watch time. If lots of people are watching most of a video then that video is likely a very good one. This is similar in a way to Spotify, with them paying close attention to how long people listen to tracks for.

You might think that with this philosophy of relevance and popularity that factors such as thumbs up or down, or the number of embeds a video has would have an effect on the video’s rankings.

The problem with these factors is that it is too easy to game them. There are a lot of useful factors that could be used to rank videos. However, YouTube has a problem, if it chooses a factor that people can easily manipulate then people will manipulate that factor.

Future Proofing

Watch time is likely not the best factor that determines the quality of a video and YouTube might change this in the future.

But one thing that is very unlikely to change is their desire to improve the rankings for high quality videos that give people what they want.

That’s why to future proof your music video marketing approach the only things you should be focussing on are creating a good video, that keeps people engaged throughout the whole track, and optimizing it so that people will watch it in the first place.

How to Write a Perfect Video Title

The title of your video is important. It’s important for searchers and search engines.

Along with your thumbnail it is one of the only things a person on YouTube will use to decide whether to watch your video.

And before YouTube has any information from users it uses your title among other things to decide when to show your video in search results.

So it’s clear that you need a title that is both catchy for users and descriptive for YouTube.

How Do You Make a Perfect Video Title?

Most of the time your title is going to be your track name, but in some instances you will be creating other content that supports your marketing, and in this instance it’s important to get the video title right to reach your potential audience. 

Keyword Research

To make sure your video shows up when users are searching for a video, you need to do some keyword research.

Preferably you should have done this before you even started the video, however, if not then now is the next best time to do it.

Keyword research is how you check for the popularity of certain searches, i.e. the number of times that certain things are searched for.

Google’s keyword planner tool is great for keyword research, however, the terms people use when searching for videos are sometimes different to when they are searching the web.

A good thing to use is a combination of the Autosuggest on YouTube’s search bar and the AdWords keyword planner.

Once you have found the keywords you want, make sure you use them in your title.

Title Length

Your title should not be long. This is for 2 main reasons.

  1. People skim through the titles of search results, if it is too long, it won’t be read properly.
  2. In Google searches long titles will be cut off meaning people won’t be able to read them even if they wanted to.

A good title length to go by is between 50 and 60 characters long, preferably 50 rather than 60.

Include the Episode Number

If your video is part of a series then make sure you put an episode number in the title e.g. part 1, or episode 3. This helps YouTube recommend your videos better and it also helps users know which video they want to watch next.

So now you know the do’s and don’ts of writing your video title the next bit is much more subjective.

Making Your Title Catchy

Putting keywords in your title makes sure they turn up in the search results, but once they’re there you’re still going to be competing with a load of other videos for a person’s click.

This is where you’ll need an attractive title, check out the tips below for some ideas on how to make your title catchy.

Use Expressive Language

No one wants to watch a video titled “These 3 Tips Are Quite Useful”. You need to create a title that gives a bit of an emotional reaction. Like “3 Fantastic Tips For Music Video Marketing Success”.

It’s up to you whether you want to take it as far as some clickbait titles – “You’ll Never Believe How Simple These 3 Amazing Tips Are”.

Personally we think those titles are cheesy and people will stop watching when they realize that they can believe how simple the tips are.

Use Numbers

4 Things You Won’t Believe Will Improve Your Mixing

7 Ways To Optimise Your Video

10  Mindblowing Facts About Music Marketing

 You’ll have seen titles like this a lot, and there’s a reason, they work. If you’ve created a video that can be formatted as steps or a number of facts then you should write your title like that.

People respond well to these sort of titles because they give clarity on what the video is about and what they can expect.

Unleashing the Power of YouTube Playlists

Playlists are a fantastic YouTube feature, and one that a lot of artists ignore – probably because they don’t understand what benefit they can get from them.

music video marketing playlists

For those who don’t know, playlists are a way of grouping together similar, or related videos so that they can be watched one after another. You’ve probably come across them on other platforms, Spotify Playlists, or playlists on Soundcloud for example, and the concept is the same on YouTube – they look a bit like this.

At first glance it’s hard to see how this will benefit your marketing, but carry on reading and you’ll find out why playlists are an indispensable part of your video marketing strategy, and how you can benefit from YouTube promotion.

 The Benefits of Using Playlists

1. Better Rankings

We’ve mentioned before about watch time as a factor for YouTube’s ranking algorithm. This basically means that YouTube takes into account not just the length of time people have been watching your video, but also how long their whole viewing session on YouTube is once they have watched your video.

It’s easy to see then, that a playlist that lets a person sit back and watch video after video without having to do anything will increase the likelihood that they’ll watch more of each video, and also the amount of time they will spend on the site in total.

This means that your videos and your playlist will be looked upon favourably by YouTube’s watch time algorithm.

2. More Chances to Rank

Playlists don’t only appear on your channel page, but they also appear in both YouTube’s search results and Google’s; they also appear in suggested video sections.

Considering how much you want just one of your videos to appear in these sections, imagine how great it would be for a playlist containing ten of your videos to appear there.

3. Target New Keywords

Because playlists appear as separate entities, they also help you rank for keywords you may not be targeting with individual videos.

For example, categorizing your music into different playlists to target different subgenres of your sound.  

4. Increase Views For Less Watched Videos

There is no restriction on which videos you can put in a playlist, they can be yours, someone else’s, or a mix of both.

This means that you can mix in popular tracks that belong to you or other people with some of your own which haven’t gotten as much love therefore upping the view count and watch time of the videos that need it. 

How to Optimize & Promote Your Playlist

Now you’ve got your beautifully crafted playlist you’ll want to make sure it’s set up to make the most of it.

1. Intro

This is something that most of the time shouldn’t be needed. However, if the playlist needs a bit of context then you should create a small intro video that quickly lets people know the point of the playlist without boring them so they go away.

Also YouTube currently only lets you choose the thumbnail of one of the playlist’s videos to be the thumbnail for the whole playlist. So, if you don’t like any of the thumbnails of the videos, you can upload an intro with a custom thumbnail that you like.

 2. Only Select The Relevant Parts

There’s a good feature for playlists that allows you to choose the start and end points for a video in a playlist. Most of the time this won’t apply as you will want to have the full tracks being played. 

But it is useful if a lot of videos have similar intros or ends that should be cut so people don’t watch them again and again.

Also if there is just a small part of a video that fits into the playlist then it should be only this that appears in the playlist to stop people from getting bored. The last thing you want is people leaving your playlist.

3. MetaData

Optimizing the metadata is similar to how you would optimize a single video, except there is less to optimize. You need to create a catchy title and description for your playlist which contains the keywords you want to target.

The playlist’s thumbnail should be something which is likely to attract clicks while still being relevant.

4. Promotion

Finally you can promote your playlist in a similar way to promoting a normal video, by sharing it on your social profiles, putting it on your channel page, and allowing comments.

In addition to this you should also keep the playlist updated as every time you add a video to the playlist it will show up in your feed, giving it more exposure.

Now you know the benefits of using YouTube playlists you can start unleashing the power of this underused tactic.

The YouTube Creator’s Guide to Sponsored Content

Here we are going to take a deeper look at sponsored content – talking about what it is, how to deal with sponsors, and how to get sponsored content right.

Does YouTube allow sponsored content?

Yes, for certain types. The main rule you need to know is that if the advert could be placed on the video in a similar way with YouTube ads, then it should be done with YouTube ads.

So you can’t have an advertiser’s video advert just appear at the beginning of your video as this is something that could be created with pre-roll ads, the same thing applies for image overlays and other ad formats that youtube supports.

YouTube reserves the right to remove your videos or penalize your account if you aren’t complying with their terms.

 Who do you need to tell?

If you have some sort of product placement or sponsored content then you will need to tell YouTube when you upload the video.

You can find the checkbox under the monetization tab in your video manager.

As well as informing YouTube, you may also be bound by law to tell viewers of your video that it contains product placements. This obviously depends on what the laws are in your location. We’d recommend always telling people anyway but we will cover that later.

This might mean that Google will stop showing ads on that video as the content you are reviewing might be in conflict with the adverts Google might display.

Make the sponsored content fit well with your content

If an advertiser is paying you to mention their product then you should blend it into your content. Obviously, if the whole video is a review of a product then this doesn’t need to be said.

However, if the advertiser is paying you for a mention then you should try not to break the flow or feel of your video with their mention.

You don’t want the audience to feel like they are watching an ad break that they should just skip over, this won’t help you get subscribers or help the advertiser.

Walking the fine line 

The final point to make on sponsored content is that there is a fine line to walk. You have to be paid for your work somehow, so it is tempting to have as many ads as you can, but the reason sponsors are willing to sponsor your content is because you have an audience.

Overuse of ads, camouflaging, being dishonest to please a sponsor, among other things are all ways to get you more money in the short term.

But if you erode away at your subscriber base, get yourself banned, or have videos that don’t make people want to subscribe, then you run the risk of damaging your audience’s trust and will  lose out on money in the long run.

People understand that YouTubers need to get paid, and so don’t mind advertisers, but they do mind being misled, tricked, or made to feel like they are watching an advert instead of the video they came to see.

The main concern you need to have as a creator posting sponsored content is that your videos please both your subscribers and potential subscribers – because as long as you have enough subscribers, you will have people willing to pay to get in front of them.

Understanding YouTube’s View Count Policy

The amount of views your video has is a key metric people use to determine the success of your video on YouTube.

Because of the importance placed on views, people have come up with a variety of ways to manipulate these metrics, which can seem tempting to video marketers looking for a quick fix.

So what is a view?

YouTube defines a view as:

“a viewer-initiated intended play of a YouTube video that’s been despammed… A view isn’t an autoplay, scripted play, spam play or playback. Views should only be a result of pure viewer choice to watch a video, not as a result of a transaction through incentivised views.”

This basically means a view is when a video is played because a viewer has chosen to click play out of choice – not for manipulation purposes.

Artificially Inflating View Counts

When YouTube started out, view count was simply determined by how many times the video had been loaded. The problem with this approach is that it’s very open to manipulation. The video publisher only had to keep hitting refresh and the view count would continue to increase.

In addition to this, online providers started offering services to artificially inflate the view count, allowing people to buy thousands of likes for just a few dollars.

A quick search for “buy YouTube views” will return a whole range of companies offering them:

This started to become a real problem when YouTube looked towards monetizing videos, and as a result, they implemented a process designed to cut back on manipulative views.

So How Does it Work?

Up until you reach 300 views the process is very similar to how it used to be. Every time the video is played it counts as a view, and for low viewing figures this system is fine.

Below 300 views you don’t really need to worry about manipulation as it’s too low a figure for anyone to gain significant financial return – you’re looking at a few pennies at most. Because of this, YouTube doesn’t worry about committing resources to checking views below this level.

Once you reach 300 views YouTube used to automatically freeze the view counter (which is why you often used to find videos stuck on 301+ views).

While the view count was frozen YouTube carried out an audit on your views, looking for signs of any manipulation. These are things like all the views coming from the same place or autoplaying the video on a webpage without viewers deciding to press play.

At this point any suspicious views are removed and the view counter reset.

You’re Still Under Scrutiny

YouTube is on the constant look out for manipulative tactics. They will periodically audit video views and weed out any suspicious views from the overall view count.

The system is pretty good at telling the difference between natural and artificial views, which make buying views a pretty ineffective route to go down.

While it might seem like a quick and easy way of boosting your authority and increasing trust in your video – the reality is that these views will just be removed over time without providing you with any real benefit.

There’s also the real risk of running foul of YouTube’s policy and getting your video, or even your whole account completely suspended.

What Are The Alternatives?

f you’re looking to grow your view count, stick to the tried and tested natural approach. Share the video with your colleagues and customers. Promote it across your social media accounts and reach out to industry websites to see if they would share it.

If you’ve got budget and need to give your videos a boost then consider running Google Ads. It’s easy to get set up and views can be very reasonable. 

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Buying views can be a risky move for a business, and it’s something anyone with longer term goals should avoid. If you’re looking to build long term value, invest your budget into developing quality, engaging content and actively engaging with your audience. This will pay dividends further down the line.

What is Video Sitemap and How to Create One

If you have your own website and host your videos on it, putting up a video sitemap up is a good idea. 

Before we get into how to create a video sitemap first we will explain a bit about what a sitemap is and what it is useful for. If you’re already confident on this point then just scroll down to the section below to get straight into the nitty gritty.

What is a Video Sitemap?

A video sitemap is a file which you upload to your site which gives search engines information about video content on your site. A sitemap is an xml file which follows the sitemaps protocol.

A video sitemap file contains information about pages which contain video and information about that video such as the title, date of upload, duration etc.

Why Use It?

Video content is great for your search engine performance. But a downside is that, unlike standard text, search engines can’t just look at the video to understand what the video is about and other information related to it.

One of the ways you tell search engines about that information is through an xml sitemap.

Another benefit of a video sitemap is that you are explicitly telling search engines about where video content is stored on your site rather than hoping that they will find it on their own.

How Do I Create One?

The best way to create a video sitemap is follow along with Google’s official guidelines here: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/sitemaps/video-sitemaps

Once you have included all the information for your different videos then you just need to add the xml file to your site and tell Google where it is via Search Console and then you are finished.

How to Restore a Deleted YouTube Account or Video

Occasionally we have seen issues where people have deleted their YouTube accounts. This can obviously be extremely detrimental to your marketing efforts. In other instances accounts may be terminated if you haven’t followed the YouTube guidelines. There is a difference between a YouTube account being deleted and terminated.

A deleted account is something that you have done yourself, either purposefully or accidentally, you told YouTube or Google to get rid of your YouTube account and the data associated with it.

A terminated account is something that YouTube blocks access to your account because either you broke their rules or they think you did.

As for deleting an account – there are a couple of ways you could have done this:

  • You deleted your YouTube account straight up – the most obvious way to delete a YouTube account.
  • You deleted your Google account along with all the products and services associated with it.

If you straight up deleted your YouTube account

Either you somehow accidentally made your way through the YouTube settings ignoring their warnings, or more likely you deleted the account intentionally and are now regretting it.

If you requested your channel or profile be deleted, Google has to comply, and delete it. Just imagine the backlash that would result from them keeping everyone’s information for years after people asked for it to be deleted.

Unfortunately there’s nothing you can do to get this channel back!

If you deleted your entire Google account

You can’t just recover your YouTube channel, you have to recover your entire account first.

Again, just like with the deleted YouTube account, time is of the essence. You can’t expect Google to hang on to all your data forever.

But if you’re quick, you can recover your Google account by heading over to this page: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6236295?hl=en 

A Video is Not Worth 1.8 million Words

One statistic which we see time and time again is that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. While video can be an extremely powerful medium, this fact isn’t quite accurate. 

Almost everyone attributes this factoid to Dr James McQuivey from Forrester Research. Quite a respectable source. But absolutely nowhere actually points to the research, it is just mentioned.

If a picture is worth 1000 words and there are 30 pictures in a second of video, then a minute of video is worth 30*60*1000 = 1.8million words.

Not only is there no scientific basis behind the maths used to come up with this “statistic”, but the maths is based off of another made up statistic – that a picture is worth 1000 words!

Even though video isn’t quite that powerful, it’s still an essential part of any artists marketing plan.

Grow Your Audience

Hopefully you have found these tips useful. As always be sure to sign up to receive updated on new posts, and thanks again to the Replay Science team for coming on board to join us on this journey.

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