For almost two decades, I’ve seen far too many visuals never see the light of day due to poor planning or a lack of promotion. Navigating the video marketing landscape has become increasingly difficult. The nuanced requirements for a successful music video marketing campaign are a lot to digest: digital delivery, closed captioning, ascertaining who to pitch, choosing a compelling thumbnail. It can all be confounding and overwhelming.
Although YouTube dominates, new viewers and fans connect with music videos on many diverse platforms that you may not have included in your current music video promotional package. Perhaps you didn’t even know that they existed! If you’re going to go for maximum exposure, you might as well go big! If you’ve sunk tons of time, effort, and resources into a must-see, music video clip, why limit your promotional push to YouTube and sharing on socials? Rising above the noise is difficult. Becoming omnipotent and omnipresent is tougher than ever. Why not enhance your chances to secure a superfan in new, various ways that truly move the needle in your musical career? We live in a video-centric world, and your music video remains your most potent piece of marketing currency.
If you’re saying “OTT…I think I’ve heard of that”, you’re not alone. Many people are confused by the acronym OTT. It stands for “Over The Top,” a box that sits on your TV that allows you to receive visual content via the internet. Now more than ever, music-loving fans are cutting their cable and having their visual content delivered to them via the internet to their TVs, smartphones, tablets, laptops, watches, etc. These international platforms include some probably familiar names: Hulu, Amazon Fire TV, Google ChromeCast, Apple TV, Sling TV, among many others. OTT platforms are growing in popularity, giving music fans all over the globe the opportunity to connect with your brand, your music, as well as the visuals you create.
Have you, as an aspiring artist, ever wondered how music videos end up on the screens at your favorite nightlife location, department store, or fitness center? I’ve got the answer for you! All of these businesses have employed a company to help them create a sonic and visual presentation within their location that will keep their clients and customers engaged and entertained.
Do the math. If your video is programmed for a full month in a retail location or fitness center with hundreds of locations nationwide, viewers will see it throughout the shopping day, amounting to significant impressions. You’ve tapped into a captive audience (on a treadmill, waiting in line) that could quickly become a fan and share their experience with their family and friends (“I was waiting in line at Foot Locker and saw this cool music video from an artist I’d never heard of before….”).
These content provider companies are always looking for fresh, compelling music videos for their numerous clients’ presentations. Having your latest music video in consideration could lead to hundreds of thousands of impressions! So whether it’s a Hot Topic, nightclub, shopping mall, New York Sports Club, cruise ship, Journey’s, department store, amusement park, etc., pitching to video retail pools and content providers is an amazingly effective promotional resource to expose your music video to a captive audience in hundreds of locations throughout North America and beyond.
Now more than ever, it’s of the utmost importance to have a strong presence on reputable music blogs and websites. The artistic validation that this kind of exposure brings to an up-and-coming band or artist can’t be understated. That said, while there are many online opportunities out there, there’s a ton of competition too. This online real estate is competitive, and these decision-makers and opinion-leaders set a very high bar. Your visual needs to make a genuine, lasting impact. It needs to stand out. So pour everything you’ve got into it and take chances! And always remember when it comes to the visuals you create, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
If you’ve got a terrific music video, why not be proactive, share your “positive vibration” with as many potential new fans as possible! You want to be able to reach out to potential new fans on all the various social media platforms; especially Instagram and Twitter. By baiting your hook with your heart (the visual masterpiece that IS your new music video), the fish will always bite!
Think of Instagram and Twitter (and even Facebook) as uniquely separate entities, with distinct sets of users. You’ve got to cross borders, even if they’re unfamiliar territory! Instagram is highly visual, where Twitter can be a bit more conversational, (especially in a stream of consciousness kind of way). Embracing both platforms and committing to spreading the word of your latest release is a must! Of course, there will be users that use all the platforms equally, but most users have their favorite and spend most of their time on that particular platform.
By sending your music video to the most active fans of those bands and artists, you feel confident that their fans will embrace you and become your fans. Social media is an exposure opportunity you can not neglect. There is such a significant amount of engagement, interaction, and exposure that takes place that it’s an important marketing strategy that you need to implement.
Do not believe the hype. Television is a time tested medium. It is not going anywhere. As immediately gratifying it is to watch whatever you’d like, whenever you’d like, on your phone or laptop, nothing beats big screen, surround sound! What’s more, placements on TV still have clout! Yes, the programmers are rather discerning, but let’s face it, it’s better to try something and fail, than do nothing and succeed! And all these channels are seen online, apps, and OTT platforms, enhancing the exposure. Your video can be pitched to and placed on high-profile channels like BET Jams and mtvU; there are also countless opportunities like this on the local/regional/multi-market level. It’s quite the promotional vehicle to lend credibility to your story and brand.