Make music videos and grow your audience
Once you’ve got your channel up and running on YouTube, you get started uploading and sharing your music. YouTube audiences expect to feel a personal connection with the channels they love. Consider creating videos that showcase you and your personality to make viewers feel like they’ve got a backstage pass.
Make music videos, lyric videos, and cover songs
Music and lyric videos are a central part of most Artists’ channels. Your existing fans are probably already looking for your music on YouTube, so it’s a good idea to ensure there are videos for them to find. Plus, top charts like The Billboard Hot 100, Radio.com, Yacast, and TopHit incorporate YouTube views into their rankings!
Creating covers, and allowing others to cover you, is really just another type of collaboration. By creating and allowing covers, you can attract audiences or other Artists that may not have found you otherwise. Learn more.
- Strive to create lyric and music videos that are fresh, creative, and unique to inspire fans to share your videos.
- Upload a lyric or art track as soon as your tracks are released to capture viewers searching for you.
- See which videos your viewers spend the most time watching with the watch time data in YouTube Analytics. Reference "Music charts & insights" to see your top tracks on YouTube.
- Create covers of popular tracks that you enjoy and encourage other Artists and fans to cover you.
- Include the word “cover” in video titles of cover songs so viewers understand you've made a cover.
- Know your rights and responsibilities when it comes to the original Artist. Review YouTube’s copyright policies.
- View your traffic sources in YouTube Analytics, and click “YouTube search” to see if viewers are finding you by searching for Artists and songs that you’ve covered.
- Use your YouTube channel to connect your music to your fans with music videos, lyric videos, and art tracks.
- Cover songs are another popular video format for Artists on YouTube. Be sure to put the word 'cover' in the video title if you're performing a song by another Artist.
Many musicians make the mistake of only uploading fresh content when they’re releasing new music. Your viewers want to watch you and your videos all year round. Give them a reason to return to your channel by uploading as much as you can. While viewers will likely find your channel through your music videos, you can also make videos that complement these. Making other videos can help you stay on a regular upload schedule in between album releases. Try to leverage events and performances you’re already doing for b-roll and extra footage.
- Try to upload at least one video every other week. Many successful channels have found this number of uploads helps keep channels fresh and interesting to viewers.
- Communicate your schedule in your channel branding.
- Consider making behind-the-scenes videos, share live performances, shoot studio sessions, or branch out and try vlogging about the music, choreography, or even fashion, in your videos. In-person events are another way to interact with your audience.
- Create a “launch moment” by setting your video upload as a Premiere, then building anticipation for the debut. This can be a great way to get fans excited about your new music release--they’ll see a two-minute countdown before the Premiere and can begin live chatting with others.
- Uploading often can bring your audience back to your channel.
- Try out video formats beyond music videos.
- Measure your success by looking at your watch time data.
Collaborate with other Artists or YouTube creators
Collaborations can help your music be seen by a whole new audience. Look for partners whose style resonates with your own.
- Consider non-music collaborations, like inviting a fashion channel to partner with you on costumes for your music videos.
- Use YouTube to cross-promote. Advertise the collaboration in description links, playlists, and cards to push audiences to and from both channels.
- Check your subscribers in YouTube Analytics and see how the collaboration affected your subscriber base.
- Collaborations are a great way to get your music heard by a new audience and grow your fanbase.
- Find collaboration partners with a complementary sound and audience.
- Use built-in YouTube tools to advertise the collaboration on both channels.
Interact with your fans
When a viewer takes the time to comment on your videos, create a cover, or unofficial music video for you, they’re likely showing you they’re a fan. Consider taking the time to thank them and highlight their creativity.
- Use the Comments tool in YouTube Studio to regularly reply to positive comments on your videos, especially from viewers who regularly comment.
- Use specific calls-to-action at the end of your videos, such as “what song should I perform next” to spur engagement from your community.
- Work with your label, publisher or music distributor to enable Content ID so that fans are able to upload videos using your music.
- Consider highlighting some of the most creative fan uploads either in a compilation or a curated channel section.
- Look at your channel comments to see how often and on which videos fans are commenting.
- Use "Music charts & insights" to see how many views you’re receiving on your uploads and claimed fan videos too.
Note: These strategies are suggestions pulled from our experience with YouTube creators and are not promises or guarantees for success.
- Fans show support in various ways. Some start a conversation with you in the comments, others may go so far to make a fan video or cover song.
- It's helpful to highlight fan generated content because it shows you appreciate your fans' efforts.
- You can use “Music charts & insights” and the Comments in YouTube Analytics to monitor fan engagement with your music.