YouTube has become a huge promotional tool for musicians, being the number one search engine for music. Since YouTube is owned by Google, the largest search engine in the world, it’s no surprise that it will likely continue to be the leader for music discovery.
Whether you’re using YouTube for the purpose of marketing your music, monetizing your music, or both, the number of views you accumulate should become a priority. But — how can you boost the number of views you’re getting on videos without digging deep into your budget?
We’ve put together a list of our top 5 tips for boosting your YouTube views organically.
That is, for absolutely free.
Have a Searchable Title
In order for your video to be ranked higher in search engines, you must make sure the title of the video is clear, concise, and includes keywords. Keywords are words that directly relate to the content of your video but are also highly searchable. If your title includes words that people don’t often search for, it is unlikely the video will rank high in search results.
An easy way to test out if you are including helpful keywords is by utilizing the YouTube search autofill feature and noticing if that keyword automatically fills in when typing.
Search engines are also sensitive to the order in which your keywords are placed. Therefore, place your most searchable and most important keywords in the beginning. Many times, this means placing your artist name first followed by the song title at the end.
Use an Eye-Catching Thumbnail
Having a thumbnail for your video that catches the attention of potential viewers is just as important — if not more important in some cases — as your video’s title. People are attracted to visual appeal and navigate to YouTube much of the time for visuals. Therefore, your thumbnail should be a compelling, distinct, high-resolution image that honestly depicts what the viewer can expect when watching your video. A misleading thumbnail has a greater chance of making people click away from your content shortly after beginning the video, or may even violate YouTube’s spam policies.
Collaborate with Other Artists or Content Creators
As a musician, one of the best ways to cross-promote is by collaborating with other artists or content creators. In doing so, you are able to pull in new audiences that you may not reach otherwise. Cross-promotion between channels is becoming increasingly more popular with ways of doing so including:
- Featuring other artists in your music or video content
- Collaborating with non-artists to reach different audiences
- Adding other channels to your “Featured Channels” section of your channel
- Promoting on co-creator’s social media, blog, or newsletter
Share Your Video Everywhere
We mean everywhere. In sharing your video, you should be using every medium available to you. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the more obvious platforms that are responsible for a large amount of videos going viral. YouTube has made it incredibly easy to share videos on these platforms with the click of a button. Additionally, though, you should utilize websites such as Reddit and other forums to submit your video links. Sometimes, forums have the ability to create even more traction than the traditional methods of social media sharing.
Now it’s a given that you should be sharing your video the day of its release, but we recommend you announce when the video will be premiered days to weeks to even months beforehand in some cases. Upon posting the video, share it multiple times per week for the weeks following the release. However, do not be excessive to the point where followers see it as “spamming,” causing for them to hit the unfollow button. Keep your content fresh in their minds, but don’t overdo it.
Encourage Viewers and Followers to Share Your Video
Having a CTA (Call-to-Action) at the end of your video, within your description, and in social sharing is a highly effective way to get new viewers and current followers to share your video content. CTA’s are meant to be straightforward and to encourage viewers to take an action that benefits them, and in turn, you as the content provider. By telling viewers to simply like, subscribe, share, or provide feedback, you are directly interacting with them and doing so drastically improves your chances of getting more views.