A music video is a powerful promotional tool. It can help your band portray an image while reaching new markets and fans. There is much more to releasing a music video than just tossing it up on YouTube. Here are 8 points to remember when creating and releasing a music video.
Make a Big Deal – Bands spend hours, days, and weeks creating music videos. The same hard work and effort should be put in to promoting your music video. Spend time formulating a plan for the release of your video and how you will promote it. The key is remembering to put just as much work into promoting your video as you did into making it.
Follow Examples – Take a look at other bands and research how they released their music videos. If you are in a new touring band, don’t start researching Radiohead’s last music video release. Find bands that have a similar fan base to yourself. What press outlets did they use? What social networks did they post their video on? What kind of write ups did they get? Don’t be afraid to reach out to other bands for a quick advice call.
Plan a Release Show – A great way to spread the word of your new music video is by screening the video at a “Music Video Release Show.” Find a venue that has a nice projector to screen the video before your set. Every time you promote your show by hanging posters, getting blog previews, blasting social networks and so on, you are promoting the release of your video. Be sure to make it clear on all promotional materials that this is your “Music Video Release Show.”
Contact Press – Work with your publicist, or if you don’t have one do this yourself. Reach out to local, national, and international blogs about your video. To create hype, have a “password protected” page set up that allows only press to view your video. Do this through YouTube, Vimeo or any other websites offering this option.
Exclusive Preview – This is a creative way to get some extra press for your video before it is officially released. By offering an exclusive preview of your video on a blog, you are allowing that blog to display your video before it is posted anywhere else, including your website, YouTube, and so on. Be realistic when picking a blog for the exclusive. Trying to land a huge blog like Pitchfork may be tough if your band isn’t that well known yet. There are plenty of blogs that would love this opportunity.
Find Some Friends – Make a list of bands you have strong personal relationships with, as well as your super fans. Get in touch with them about your upcoming video. Politely ask them if they would put up a couple posts on their social networks linking to your music video. Having other bands/fans post about your music video can open up the flood gates for exposure.
It’s Not Over Yet – The day you release your music video is not the day you stop promoting it. Hopefully by this point you had some nice previews from several press outlets. Maybe you found a blog to do an exclusive release of the video. You just played your music video release show, and the video is posted on all your social networks. The work has just begun. Over the next 2-3 months, continue to promote your video. Add the video to your Facebook posts, include links to the video at the bottom of your email blasts, and keep talking about it to your fans.
Put It On Display – Several months ago I was at a show and saw something I hadn’t seen before. At the merch table, a band had their music video playing on their computer with headphones so people could listen. They had a sign saying “Watch our Video, get free music.” Everyone who came over and watched the video got a free download card. Not only did this get people to watch the video, but it started conversations between the band and potential new fans, building strong personal connections.