Sure, some videos on YouTube get 100,000 views naturally. They come at the right time, are seen by the right people, and create a buzz because of it.
But to help make a music video go viral, you can't depend on “natural” means. For most of the biggest YouTube hits, chances are that there was a publicity team behind it with a strategy to help the video go viral. You can use these same strategies to help their own videos go viral.
How to Make Your Music Videos Go Viral
1. Promote Your Video
Over 50% of video views come within the first week, so it's important to promote your video during this period to get on trend lists, most viewed lists, etc.
[Tweet “Over 50% of video views come within the first week”]
Blogs: Reach out to blogs that deal with your genre of music. When reaching out to blogs, you want to personalize your pitch as much as possible so it doesn’t look like you just sent spam. If you have the budget, you can even pay to sponsor a blog post featuring your video.
Facebook: Set up a virtual video release event on Facebook prior to the posting your video on YouTube. It will automatically send out reminders on the day of the event. Once you've released it, share your video with all of your fans on your Facebook page. Don’t just post the video once. Since not everybody will see the video the first time, you want to post it a few times over several days to keep it at the top of everyone's newsfeed. You should also utilize your personal Facebook page to market the video.
Twitter: Share your video with your followers on Twitter, and encourage them to retweet your message. Just like Facebook, you want to post this multiple times throughout the day as your post may get lost within your followers' streams.
Forums: Start a conversation thread on a forum like Music Boards, Music Discussion, or Unsigned Band Web. Post only on the boards that you know your target audience would visit. Start threads talking about something that relates to your video and make it catchy enough to encourage conversation. The more forums that you do this on, the more powerful it will become.
Your Website: Post the video on your website. By posting the video on your website, you are giving your core fan base a chance to check it out first. Also, you want to keep the video pinned at the top so any unique visitors to your site are more likely to check out the video when they arrive at your site.
Email Lists: If you have an email list, you can send out your video to all of your subscribers. Encourage them to share the video with others if they like it. If you don’t have an email list, there’s plenty of industry email lists for your genre that you can pay to send out your content. While this isn’t always cost-effective, it will definitely help.
2. Create a Compelling Thumbnail
When people are browsing through videos, they are typically drawn to the ones with the most compelling thumbnail. YouTube allows you to upload a custom thumbnail, so be creative with what you pick.
The videos with the most controversial thumbnails get the most attention on YouTube, such as those with almost nude women, but that doesn’t mean yours has to be the same (although it does help, just make sure you don't break any of YouTube's community guidelines). The most important thing to consider when uploading a thumbnail is that it is clear, relevant, and easy to see.
[Tweet “The most important consideration for a video thumbnail is that it is clear, relevant, and easy to see.”]
3. Utilize Facebook Fan Pages
Facebook fan pages are the new blogs. Find a Facebook fan page that posts music based around your style and has a healthy amount of fans (at least 50,000) and engagement (10+ likes, and 5+ comments on each post), and reach out to the owners to see if you can get your music posted on the page. If they won’t do it for free, try offering to pay them to post it on their page. This strategy is a very effective way to help your video go viral: Whenever someone likes it, all their friends see it. You'll automatically benefit from the network effect.
4. Utilize Powerful Bloggers and Twitter Users
Create a list of at least 300 Twitter users and influential music bloggers who could potentially tweet or post about your type of music. You can do this by utilizing sites like Followerwonk, which will help you find Twitter users in your music niche. Reach out to them through email, and ask for them to post a link to your video. If they are hesitant to do it, ask for the possibility of actually paying them to post your video on their Twitter or blog.
5. Pick the Right Keywords
Did you know that YouTube has a keyword tool just like Google? (https://www.youtube.com/keyword_tool). Utilizing the most relevant keywords, pick a smart and searchable title for your video. The keyword tool also lets you choose the demographic you want to target, which can help you have more focus when picking your keywords.
There are no guarantees when it comes to getting your music video to go viral, but by following each one of the steps above, you increase your chances.
Guest Post: Billy Bones is a music marketing expert who runs BBE Booking Agency, a music booking agency that works with event planners in talent acquisition and event production.He is also the marketing director at Celebrity Contact Info, the music industry contact information database.