How to Promote Your Art Through Video (Part 2)

In our last post, we discussed how to set goals for a promotional video. This week, we’re moving onto the next step and discussing how to actually use that video to promote yourself as an audience.

Videos go viral every day, seemingly without any effort at all from the people create them. Unfortunately, you don’t get to see behind the scenes. Most videos aren’t accidental overnight successes. The creators know how to create a great video, and how to share that video. They already have an enthusiastic audience in place. The success of one video is often a result of years of work.

So, how do you do the same thing? Well, we’re actually going to start out by backing up a step. When you post your video on YouTube, you have the opportunity to write a description and title, pick tags, and select a custom thumbnail. These are all opportunities to bring in more viewers.

Working With Search Engines

When you write your title, description, and tags, think about how you want people to find your video. What terms are people most likely to use when searching for videos similar to yours? Understanding how people look for and find videos allows you to tailor your descriptions and title to match.

The words and terms people use to perform an online search are called keywords. To really understand how keywords work, you can check out this article from Moz.com, but to explain it quickly, Google pays attention to which terms people use when they perform searches, and then they try to match those users up to sites that use the same and similar keywords. When you research keywords for your niche and use those keywords on your website with the goal of being easier to find through search engines, that’s called Search Engine Optimization, and it’s a big thing in the web design and marketing world. All you need is the basics of how to pick and use keywords, and then put that information to use for your videos (and website, if you have one). That’s a topic for another post, though.

So, when you’re uploading your video, or later, if you’ve already uploaded and are going back now to edit your description, title, and such, pick the words you use with care. Using the right ones will make your video more visible on not only YouTube, but also on Google, Bing, and other major search engines.

Sharing, But Then What?

Now that you have that taken care of, it’s time to get your video out there. Share it with friends and family. Post it on Facebook and Twitter (both personal and professional profiles). Crop the video down to a shorter version for Instagram. Get your video out to as many people as possible.

But, once you’ve shared it through the social networks, what happens next? You’ve gotten a few views, but unless you already have a big following, you might not be getting the number of views you’d like. What else do you need to do?

Build Interest In Advance

Before you even get to the point of publishing your video, you can share pictures of the recording process, short clips, or even just social media statuses about the video in the days or weeks leading up to its release. Get people excited. When you’re video finally launches, it’ll be to an audience that is already primed to watch and share it.

Have a Newsletter

All artists should have a newsletter, something they send out once a month or so that keeps your fan base updated on new projects and things related to your artistry. If you don’t have one, they are quick and easy to set up (Mailchimp is our favorite newsletter service here at WHP). Share the sign-up link through Facebook and Twitter, and add it to your website. It takes time to build up a following, but once you have, you can take advantage of one of the greatest marketing tools available to any artist. Once your newsletter goes out, it lands in the inbox of every person on your list. They’re going to see it, and most of them will open it up and read it. Add your videos to your newsletter when you put them up. If you have a back catalouge of videos, feature a different one each time.

Add Video to Your Website

One of the best benefits of loading a video to YouTube is that it is so easy to share, and not only through social media networks. YouTube makes it easy to embed your video right into your website. Rather than just linking to over to your videos, the people visiting your website can see your best work without needing to travel to another site. Convenience is a big thing in marketing (the easier you make something, the more likely it is to work), so not having to take that extra step is going to turn into better results.

Build Your Channel

It’s a lot harder to promote a single video than it is to promote a dozen videos. When you have more than one video, it’s easier to build up an audience, gain subscribers, and promote yourself as a dancer. When you have multiple videos, people are more likely to find them in search engines, and you’ll be able to share them on Facebook and Twitter with more regularity. If you’re going to share one video a week, people are going to respond better to a wider range than they will to the same two videos shared over and over on alternating weeks.

If people like the first video they watch, they’re more likely to watch another, and maybe another after that. There’s something to be said for leaving people wanting more, but not when it comes to videos. Video views grow when you have more available for people to watch.

Of course, after all of that, you still want people to show up for your shows or learn more about your work as an artist. Make sure that you have something in place to bring them back to your website. The easiest, and most effective, method is to put a link in the description and end the video with an invitation for them to click on it to learn more or to see your upcoming schedule.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of ways to promote yourself through video, but these methods will get you started. Like most other marketing techniques, it takes time to really see the full effect of the effort you’re putting in. Keep at it. Keep making and sharing great videos, and you’ll eventually see the results you’re looking for.

About the Author

Margo is a writer, a marketing consultant, a mom, and a novelist-in-training. When she’s not working, you can find her chasing her children or snuggled up with a good book.

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