How to get your music known on YouTube: the key steps to getting yourself known
To succeed in promoting your music on YouTube, it’s essential to know the key steps to follow to differentiate yourself from other artists on the streaming platform. In this article, we’re going to look at the possibilities available to you on YouTube, and above all the steps you need to take to get your music noticed, as well as providing you with the tools you need to promote yourself on YouTube. Our Red Label Agency experts will show you how to create compelling content and optimise your promotion strategy to generate a bigger audience and raise your profile.
Is it better to pay or to make a name for yourself on YouTube for free?
YouTube is an invaluable tool for artists, as it is one of the most popular social networks on which you can promote your music for free. Artists can also pay to improve their visibility and get more views and subscribers.
The main difference between free and paid promotion is the time it takes to get results, and the money, of course.
Paid YouTube Ads campaigns are quicker to set up, as they take effect immediately after they have been configured. They enable artists to reach a wider audience more quickly, or on the contrary a specific audience, which can be useful if you are looking to make a name for yourself quickly. However, advertising on YouTube requires you to have a certain recurring budget to put into your campaigns, which is not the case for all artists or groups.
Note that YouTube adverts are not very expensive compared with ‘traditional’ adverts, so you can try them out for a while and then stop as soon as you like to see if this solution is right for you.
The main problem with YouTube ads is their control. Since it’s not your job, it can be complicated to set up advertising campaigns properly. The wrong settings can lead you to target the wrong audience or pay a lot for poor results. Ideally, it’s better to delegate this task to a specialist agency, such as Red Label Agency, to get a quick return on your advertising investment.
A free strategy will generally take more time and effort, but it can be very effective if it is well executed. Even if you’re advertising, we recommend that you optimise your channel and your videos in all cases. This will enable you to improve the retention and loyalty of your audience!
But you still need to know how to go about it effectively?
Here are 13 key tips for improving your visibility on YouTube.
13 steps to promoting your music on YouTube
The following 13 tips are to be taken in any order you wish – they are not necessarily ordered. These 13 tips are based on our experience as a YouTube Ads agency with the hundreds of artists we have supported to date.
Your YouTube channel must reflect your identity and your world
As an artist, you have your own identity and musical style. To remain consistent with this identity, your YouTube channel must reflect your image.
So make sure your logo and banner match the image you want to project to your audience and the people who discover you.
When an Internet user discovers your channel, it should act as an entry point into your world. So don’t forget to fill in your description (which acts as your bio), to have a personalised URL if necessary, and above all to include links to your other social networks or to your website.
The first point of contact with the Internet user will often be one of your clips (or a partnership), which means that when they come to see your channel, you should also think about having a specific presentation video.
It all depends on your choices:
- you can highlight your latest clip, which is a classic and effective way of doing things
- or you can create a presentation video from scratch, or use a making-of video, for example, to show a more “human” clip or one that is more “staged”, depending on your preference.
Finally, think about making it easier for web surfers to find what they’re looking for, or for your audience to find what they’re looking for, by sorting your sounds into different playlists (representing one album each, for example).
Keep to your publication schedule
Both for YouTube’s algorithm and for your viewers, it’s important to set a posting frequency that suits you, and above all to stick to it.
This frequency of publication is useful for several reasons:
- Encourage the algorithm to regularly identify you as an active channel
- help you plan your production
- but above all to give your audience a ‘date’ to keep up the hype around your sounds.
To get your music known on YouTube, it’s important to keep a sense of organisation and a certain rigour in your publications and production rhythm.
Look after the appearance of your videos
If you don’t use advertising, Internet users will only see your music clips via a thumbnail and a title. So make sure they are attractive enough for web users.
Of course, the quality of your music and your video clip (if any) is also very important to appeal to web users. But if you want to have a chance of getting people to click, your video needs to look enticing.
However, we advise you not to gear your visuals and your title solely to this objective: be consistent with what you are offering. Your thumbnail should represent the cover of your sound or a visual from the clip; the title will almost always be identical to the title of your sound.
There are two other elements that are often overlooked, but which are nonetheless important to take into account when referencing your music videos: tags and description.
The referencing of your video will be important for all Internet users who search for a specific type of music on YouTube. As YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, and ‘music’ is one of the most searched-for terms on the platform, you, more than any other YouTube channel, need to work on your SEO.
To do this, make sure you write an interesting description that is optimised for the keywords you are looking for.
To find these keywords, for example, you can use the Ahrefs YouTube keyword search tool.. This tool allows you to use a specific query (such as “rap”) to find all the keywords related to this term, with their corresponding monthly search volume.
In addition to this description, tags are important to define in order to help the search engine “classify” your video during a search. You can use the previous tool to complete your tags. Tags work like hashtags on other networks.
To maximise their impact, make sure you :
- don’t put too many tags so as not to dilute their impact (5 to 10 tags should be enough)
- use tags that really represent your style of music. They should not be too general (e.g. “music”) and should accurately represent your style. In practical terms, you’ll often put similar tags on your various music videos.
If you want to promote your music effectively on YouTube, the first step is to make the right choices and set the right parameters for your channel and your videos.
Encourage your audience to continue their discovery
Once the viewer has listened to your clip, they may or may not be satisfied; they may want to leave YouTube, listen to other music or watch another video of some kind.
Take advantage of the fact that you have their attention to encourage them to do what you want them to do: listen to more of your music, buy from your website, subscribe to your channel…
To do this, the “end clips” in each video represent the part that concludes your video. Don’t hesitate to use them systematically and include calls to action to keep the visitor in your world. In a way, the more time Internet users spend with you, the more likely they are to become fans.
Some examples of calls to action to place at the end of a video:
- send to a thumbnail of the “making of” video
- send to a thumbnail of another of your music clips
- sending to your social networks
- send to a virtual ticket office to buy a ticket for your concert or tour
- link to your website to view your tour calendar
- send to your online shop for merchandising purposes
There are many reasons why you can give your clips a final touch. Your aim is to grow your audience and improve your fanbase: put all your chances on your side by encouraging Internet users to do what you want them to do.
Do featurings with other artists
As an artist, you may already have a solid fan base. Your audience may be large or small, but you’re always looking to grow it, both in quantity and quality. One of the best ways to do this is to join an existing community.
And that means collaborating with other artists.
Don’t forget that you’re not really competing with other singers: even if Internet users’ attention spans and time are limited, they are free to listen to music by different artists.
Featurings are therefore an excellent way of making yourself visible to your partner’s community, and growing your audience. In theory, the benefits are similar on both sides.
We tend to advise you to do featurings with artists from the same musical universe as you, because the communities are similar and you have a better chance of attracting new fans. But in reality, you can also try collaborating with artists of a very different musical style to see what happens.
In any case, don’t hesitate to do regular featurings: this will both grow your audience and add freshness to your content.
Don’t forget to release solo music: you remain an artist or group in your own right, with your own identity and your own music. So it’s important not just to appear in collaboration with other artists, but to have your own unique sounds.
Create your own playlists to showcase your own sounds and those of other artists
We’ve already talked about playlists and their importance in organising your YouTube channel. But playlists have other benefits too, not least getting your music noticed on YouTube.
This is the case if your playlists are well referenced and attract a large number of Internet users.
However, this is rarely the case for playlists that only feature your music, or else they will be referenced using keywords that represent the name of your artist or group.
To maximise your chances, you can create a playlist based on your musical style and add your own sounds to it, as well as those of other similar artists.
The aim here is twofold:
- Highlight your music in playlists that are listened to
- Provide value to your users by not offering a playlist that is solely geared towards self-promotion
To a lesser extent, it may just enable you to obtain positive, even indebted, behaviour from other artists.
As you’ll have realised, there’s no question of publishing all your music here: you’re making this playlist primarily for Internet users.
It’s an interesting strategy, but it’s not designed to put you specifically in the spotlight. But it will never be as effective as putting your music on playlists that are already well-referenced and widely listened to.
Contact the owners of channels or playlists dedicated to music
Appearing in playlists is good. Having your sounds on a popular playlist or a channel dedicated to music is the holy grail.
Being featured on such playlists or channels gives you exposure to a huge number of Internet users who don’t know you directly, which is extremely useful for promoting your music on YouTube.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get a presence with such players, or you need to have good contacts (or invest in placing one or more of your sounds).
So this is another, more indirect way of promoting your music on YouTube for a fee. We advise you to find out which playlists and channels are closest to your world and most likely to accept your sounds.
Covering famous songs
Another way of attracting a large number of Internet users is to do a cover version of a famous song. This method has both advantages and disadvantages:
Plus points :
- You have a large potential audience to attract, which is a very interesting plus for your digital visibility
- No composition work required, but the aim is to incorporate your own artistic touch.
- A takeover does not represent the full extent of your creations. Internet users who are attracted to you may not want to find out more about you.
- The fact that you are attracting a very heterogeneous audience means that you will undoubtedly be attracting Internet users who do not correspond to your target audience, and who are unlikely to appreciate your other sounds.
You can therefore use this strategy to promote your music on YouTube, but it’s more of a gamble, because there’s no guarantee that your cover version will go viral, that you’ll like it or that it will even benefit you.
Boost your visibility with advertising on YouTube
Once again, one of the best ways of getting yourself known quickly on YouTube is to advertise.
In this way, you can target your target audience more specifically by incorporating their interests or musical tastes. You can also target more specific audiences, which don’t correspond to your target audience, to test and see if this could bring you new fans.
Unfortunately, if you want to advertise, you’ll have to spend a lot of time training yourself, both through tutorials and by practising and spending money. When you start out, you’re bound to lose money because your campaigns aren’t set up properly. Correct the situation by analysing your data.
Or if you prefer, you can rely on our team of advertising professionals to set up your advertising campaigns. Our rates are transparent and you have control over the data and the return on investment of your advertising in real time.
If you would like to find out more about our offers, you can take a look by clicking on the button below
Keep an eye out for feedback from your audience
Making yourself visible is a good thing. We’ve shown you a number of ways to promote yourself on YouTube, but the question is whether these methods work?
So don’t hesitate to have a look at what people have to say about your various productions.
This includes YouTube reviews of your latest clip, or your making-of video, to see what your audience thinks of your production.
Feedback is the most important element in improving yourself: don’t hesitate to use it and abuse it to improve yourself.
So analysing comments is a good way to go, but you can also check your various statistics in your YouTube Studio interface.
Consult your statistics to analyse the performance of your chain
YouTube Studio may look a little scary at first glance, but its interface is simple. Feel free to explore the tool to find out a little more about the impact of your music videos on your audience.
This can help you to :
- See how your latest music video was received
- Study the ratio of likes and dislikes for a particular video
- See the number of comments on a particular video (if it’s higher than average, this can be positive or negative depending on the comments, so take a look)
- see the peak number of views, the duration of viewing and the moment when most Internet users leave the video
- see if your community listens to your sounds all the way through, or if they stop before you do
YouTube’s tool gives you plenty of options. Don’t hesitate to take a look at it as soon as one of your videos is released and in the days that follow to study its success and impact on your community.
Take your chain to the next level with OAC certification
The OAC (Official Artist Channel) is another point that musicians are very keen on, and which gives you a certain status on the platform.
You’ve no doubt already seen some on the platform, which often contain the VEVO (video evolution) label.
Obtaining such a label instantly improves the perceived value of you to Internet users, because you are represented as an authentic and recognised artist or group.
To obtain such certification, however, a number of criteria must be met:
- The channel represents a single artist/group. The videos you share represent your creations only, and not those of other artists.
- At least 3 publications on YouTube must have been delivered or published by a label or specialist distributor.
- If one of your videos has already been reported or withdrawn due to a breach of the rules, you are not eligible.
- You must either be working with a YouTube partner manager, or be part of the YouTube partnership programme, or have your channel be part of a network of labels working with a YouTube partner manager, or have your sounds distributed by a music partner identified in the list provided.
You can find the details and make a request on Google Support. .
Make your communication channels communicate with each other
Being a YouTube star is a great thing. But once again, your objective is visibility: you need to be present wherever you can be, and in particular by getting your different social networks and communication channels to communicate with each other. Have you shared a new making-of video? Share it on your various accounts. Has your music been covered for a Tik Tok or Instagram trend? Film your reaction and reply to your audience, then share it on your various networks.
As long as you are visible to your users, you will improve your reputation, which will enable you to get your music known on YouTube, as elsewhere, to as many people as possible.
The advantages and disadvantages of promoting your music on YouTube
As you can see, there are many ways to improve your visibility through YouTube. And for most of the solutions proposed, you can put them in place today!
But while there are advantages to promoting your music on YouTube, there are also disadvantages.
Advantages of YouTube
In terms of benefits, the platform is accessible to all and offers artists a broad reach and increased visibility, enabling them to increase their exposure to a potentially wider audience. In terms of benefits, the platform is accessible to all and offers artists a broad reach and increased visibility, enabling them to raise their profile with a potentially wider audience. Users can interact with artists by commenting on their videos and sharing their creations on other platforms.
As we have seen, YouTube also offers integrated tools for managing the channel and analysing video performance. This means you can optimise your content for better user engagement and improve your chances of reaching a wider audience.
Disadvantages of YouTube
Despite all these advantages, there are also some disadvantages associated with promoting your music on YouTube. First of all, there is a lot of competition on this platform because it is so popular. This means that to get noticed among all the other creators, artists have to implement effective marketing strategies to attract the public’s attention. What’s more, although YouTube is free to host audio and video content, that doesn’t mean there are no costs associated with promoting your music on the platform. For example, it may be necessary to use various software or paid services to improve the quality of the content or make it more visible.
Being visible for free is therefore a myth, or it will take a lot of time. To go faster, you can use YouTube Ads or collaborate with bigger artists.
In conclusion, YouTube offers artists a powerful platform that can be used to promote their music to a wide audience. To make a name for yourself on YouTube, it’s important to follow a few key steps and plan your strategy in advance. It is therefore essential to take into account the various factors that contribute to the promotion of your music on the platform and to be persistent if you want to stand out from the crowd and break through.
Not all musical styles will appeal to everyone: some are mainstream, while others are very niche. Depending on your style of music, you can reach a wider or narrower audience. With a little time and patience, you can achieve your goals and get your music known on YouTube.
FAQ - Promoting your music on YouTube
The first step in promoting your music on YouTube is to create your YouTube channel. Create an account and add videos, descriptions and other metadata so that your channel is visible to YouTube users. Make sure you choose a unique and catchy name for your channel that reflects your musical style and stands out from the crowd.
It’s important to protect your music from unauthorised use. You can register with a copyright management society as well as register with YouTube using the Content ID programme, which enables creators to protect their music content from unauthorised use. In addition, you can also brand your videos with a Creative Commons licence, which stipulates the authorised conditions of use for your content.
To promote your music on YouTube, it’s important to optimise your videos and create engaging content. Make sure your titles and descriptions are clear and self-explanatory so that they are easy for YouTube users to find. In addition, make sure you configure the video category and format correctly so that it is played correctly on all the devices where it can be delivered. Finally, include links to other websites or social networks so that people can follow you easily.
Once your YouTube channel has been created, the aim is to increase the number of subscribers who can follow your channel and be informed of new music releases or updates. To achieve this, it’s important to share interesting and engaging content on a regular basis, such as exclusive interviews, making-of footage or excerpts from tours.
Don’t hesitate to collaborate with other designers to share their respective audiences and organise competitions or special promotions to attract the attention of potential fans. To boost your results and visibility with a specific audience, you can also use YouTube advertising. It’s still quite affordable, and it’s very interesting because of the many possible settings.
To measure the impact of your music on YouTube, it’s important to consult the Analysis section of the YouTube dashboard to see how people interact with your content. Take a look at the time spent watching a video, the total number of views and the retention rate to learn more about what works well and what doesn’t. You can also analyse the main sources (such as the YouTube search engine) to understand how people find your music and draw useful conclusions to further optimise your YouTube marketing strategy.
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