I originally wrote this article on October 19, 2012 and I still believe that these points are true. How do you use YouTube? Do you post your performances? Do you make comments on other posts? Please leave your thoughts below.

We all know that YouTube is a valuable source for any musician. According to YouTube’s statistics, 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. We all know that there are a lot of bad videos included in this number, but there are also many videos that are educational and worth watching. So how do you use YouTube? Chris Robley wrote a blog post on the D.I.Y. Musician Blog (a service brought to us by CD Baby) detailing the “Top 5 Tips for Effective Music Video Promotion on YouTube.” Some of the top tips included:

1. Add links at the top of the description field for each video

This is very important since you only get about three lines of text before the you have to click the “Show More” tab on the window (see below). Unless someone is really interested in the video, they are not going to click the tab to see more information. You need to grab their attention immediately, which leads to #2.

2. Make the first 15 seconds count

How many times have you gone to YouTube to watch a video and clicked away because you did like the beginning of the video? I am guilty of clicking away from a video if it does not immediately capture my attention. Here are some other things to think about relating to this topic:

  • I would also suggest not doing a pre-roll (similar to going to see a movie). In my opinion, no one cares about the title, director, etc. at the beginning of the video. Go right to the action and put all of that in the comments (below the “show more” tab). Or, use a strip at the bottom of the video if you need the information to be seen (like I did in this video: PanSon – Dave Gerhart).
  • Use a tripod.
  • Upload the highest quality video possible.
  • Forget all of the iMovie transitions/titles at the beginning of the video. These videos are not just for your Mom; you want everyone to watch it.

3. Respond to every comment

This is a common courtesy. I make it a point to respond to every comment, whether they are good or bad. This shows that you have pride in the video you are posting and also make a personal connection with the viewers. If you are responding to a negative comment, politely ask the viewer why they thought the video was bad. This is a learning experience for everyone. If the comments are unkind or abusive, you can always report the comment to YouTube and remove it from the comment section. (Don’t do this often.)

Please check out Chris’s post for more great tips. Click here for the “Top 5 Tips for Effective Music Video Promotion on YouTube” and to download CD Baby’s Ultimate YouTube Guide for Musicians for free!

What tips do you have about promoting yourself on YouTube? Let me know.

Dave Gerhart
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