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This is an excerpt from my new book, The Five-Minute Music Marketer: 151 Easy Music Promotion Activities That Take 5 Minutes or Less – from a longer section that covers 11 things you can do on YouTube.
You are probably already aware of this, but just in case: Online video is huge! People are consuming video content at astonishing rates. And the granddaddy of all video sites is YouTube. In fact, YouTube has become the second most popular search engine on the planet, second only to Google, which is its parent company.
That means you would be wise to put a little effort into developing a free YouTube channel and optimizing it for success. What follows are some basic steps you can take to beef up your YouTube presence when you have a few minutes to spare.
1) Research options for your YouTube channel art
When you create a channel, you can upload a wide image that appears across the top of your YouTube channel home page. The site refers to this as “channel art.”
There are some detailed things you need to keep in mind when designing and choosing your channel art. Ideally, it needs to look good on various devices: laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc. While it’s not likely you could design this image in five minutes, you can spend a short time researching best practices.
Here a good place to start: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2972003
2) Craft the wording for your channel description
When you’re on someone’s YouTube channel home page, you’ll find links to various sections within the channel. They include Videos, Playlists, Channels, Discussion, and About. YouTube calls this About page the “channel description.” It’s where you can write a few paragraphs about who you are and what you do. You can also include links to your website and other social media profiles.
It’s amazing how many people leave this page blank or fill it with only sparse details. But you can be different if you take a few minutes or so to craft the wording that will appear here. Maybe you can even borrow some text from an existing current bio from your website or press kit.
3) Optimize your video titles
This step and the next one assume that you have already uploaded at least one or two videos to your YouTube channel.
You may have noticed that while your video is uploading, you are presented with a number of ways to describe it. The three most important elements are the Title, the Description, and the Tags. I’ll use this section to address the first one.
The Title of your video should be self-explanatory. It’s the name you give it. The more descriptive the title, the more likely it will be found by someone searching YouTube or Google for the words you include.
Here’s an example of a weak Title:
New Song from January Recording Session
Here’s a much stronger Title:
Hammered Dulcimer Instrumental by Atlanta Musician Bill Davis
How likely is it that someone will search YouTube for “New Song from January”? Not very. But there are probably a lot of searches for “Hammered dulcimer” or “Hammered dulcimer player in Atlanta.”
Take a few minutes and look at your existing videos. How could you edit the titles so they are more descriptive and more likely to be found on YouTube?
4) Add a call to action to your video descriptions
Another way to let people know what your video is about is to describe it in detail in the “description” field. What you put in this important section can be fairly lengthy and can include links to your website and social media profiles.
But here’s the thing: Only the first couple of sentences of your description will be displayed on your video watch page. There’s a “show more” link that viewers can click to read the whole thing, but most people won’t do that.
Therefore, it’s vitally important that you put the most important detail in the first sentence or two. Most video marketing experts agree that should be a call to action with a link, if appropriate. Here are some examples:
- “Subscribe to my YouTube channel. Click the subscribe button above.”
- “What do you think? Post a comment below.”
- “Click here to get a free download of this song and get on my VIP list: web link.”
- “Purchase this song on iTunes here: web link.”
Get the picture?
Take a few minutes to look over your existing videos and update the first couple sentences of the Description field. Ask yourself, “What do I want people to DO after they watch this video?”
What have you done to beef up your YouTube channel? How have you used video to market your music better? I welcome your comments below.
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