Youtube Video Dos and Don’ts

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably used Youtube to post some of your concert videos.

Youtube represents a great opportunity: it’s a chance to get “discovered” by a people via sophisticated related videos algorithm and a chance for you to release promotional materials that anyone can embed and help spread the word about you. That’s exactly what monday motivation is about.

Matthew Hinsley talked about the benefits of having a good youtube video in his interview. A promoter can use that to get people in the door to your concert. So here are a few tips.

Give Us a Something Worth While

Unless you make a really cool album “trailer” (I think Imogen Heap’s is good), you should probably not give viewers clips.

Use entire pieces or movements, and don’t bounce around to different pieces. That’s kind of a let down for viewers: they start getting really into it, then the video is cut off.

It’s also worthwhile to try to get different camera angles or at least a shot that’s close enough for people to see you. It’s good to have concerts videos, but watch the camera placement. Youtube is a visual and audio experience.

Display Your Brand, but Not too Much

Putting a splash screen before a video is okay, as long as it’s not long or obtrusive. Most people search youtube by bouncing around from video to video until they find something they consider worth watching. That means you have 10 seconds to get them to stay on your video.

It better be a good ten seconds. Don’t waste too much of it on a splash screen.

You can still display your brand (your name, what you do, etc.), just watch out that it doesn’t get too lengthy or, even better, move it to the end of the video. You also don’t need to place a splash screen with the composer name and piece title because you…

Give Your Video a Good Title

This requires you to take a step back and think about how people search. Unless you’re a classical guitar rock star (do those exist?), no one is likely to search for your name.

Deprioritize your brand (name, instrument) and start prioritizing what people search for in the video title: composer name and piece title. Put those first, and add your name afterward if there’s room. If not add your name in the description.

Not only does this make you more searchable, but it gives people the information they’re often looking for right in the video title: what piece and who wrote it.

Use the Tags, Video Descriptions, and Annotations

Video descriptions are your chance to interact with the audience. What do you want them to do? Probably go back to your website and learn more about you — maybe buy a CD or three. So insert links into your description (be sure to include the http:// to make them clickable) and use calls to action:

“Click here to check out [your name]’s new CD: [Link]”

“For more interviews visit /interviews/

A description is also a great time for a few program notes or something similar.

Annotations pop up over the video. If you’re going to use these, keep them unobtrusive and don’t put them over the center of the video. These can be calls to subscribe or links to other videos. Movements from a multi-movement work can link to the previous and next movements using annotations.

Advice from Youtube Junkie

These are just some words of wisdom from me as user and as a marketer. Which of them you use is up to you, but I’d strongly suggest that you at least consider the titles of your videos carefully and add links in your descriptions.

Posted on in Music Business Tips


  • dave

    many thanks for the video of John Fositer. Isn’t he awsome?
    thanks again for a great site!