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Using online video as a means of musical promotion

Video is quickly becoming very important when promoting goods or services and that means your band and music. Your music is an important service to humanity and is doubly important because it brings you an income. Youtube is of course still the most popular of the video hosting sites and you can use their site to promote yourself and your bands website through video publishing.

Firstly consider your subject matter. A band interview? A live performance. A studio jam? A studio tour? A rehearsal, fly on the wall style ? Or any combination of these ideas. So sit down with your band members and thrash out some ideas on what might be of interest to your fans and people who might casually visit your website.


Equip yourself

You are going to need some equipment, this does not need to be expensive (especially when sharing costs between band members), a camera that can shoot decent quality HD video can be bought for approx $130.00, I personally use a Canon SX150 (currently $123.00 online), get a chest height floor standing tripod, (2,500mAh + Ni-MH rechargeable batteries for this camera is an absolute must as it kills alkaline AA batteries in minutes) and of course a large sized memory card 16GB + recommended.


The entire kit will cost you around $200.00. I tried a few freeware video editors and actually found Windows 7 in built Movie Maker the best of the bunch for PC users. Of course iMovie is going to be in the running for Apple users. I find if I just try and fathom out whats going on with a new bit of software I know within 10mins whether it is intuitive enough to work with or not. Thats a non scientific way but I wanted to get started quick doing basic edits, adding fades, titles and credits and it’s a quick way to work out if an application is for you. This assumes you know a few basics when it comes to video terminology. Here are few to start you off:

Fade in = Fades in from black to your video
Fade out =  fade to black from your onscreen picture
Titles: often a good place to put your band name/contact details
Credits : again band members names or simply band name is good and  contact info
VO = Voice over
Render : To export final cut


What are you going to say?

You need to spend some time preparing the message you want to promote, consider your unique points and try and deliver them in a way that means something to your viewers. Once you have a script get a third party to scrutinize it to see if you have conveyed any key points and get there feedback. Making the video and producing a voice over can be great fun but also time consuming as I am finding out. You can make a video as simple or as complex as you wish but make sure you keep to the core message you want to deliver.


Uploading your video

So once you have created your video and challenged Spielberg to the top directors title you are ready to upload the video to Youtube, you need to set up an account with an email, Googlemail users should be able to just log into Youtube when they login to check emails. Look for the “upload” button and follow the instructions, most standard video codecs are supported and you can double check supported codecs on the Youtube site before rendering your final cut.


Some tweaks to the video on youtube

When you have made your video there are a few great tips to know about. Title the video with your band name in it, add tags in Youtubes ‘Video Manager’, one with your band name and one with your musical genre such as ‘acoustic folk’ or ‘ambient’, you can even add band names that you like that are similar to your musical style etc. Another good thing to do is add annotations to your video (small text boxes that appear at certain video time codes). Make sure you get your band name and interesting comments for fans in these boxes from time to time as the video plays. You can also add a webpage link in the description field so visitors can click and visit your site directly.

You can easily get the html code to embed the video into a website page by going to the video (when you are logged in) and clicking “share” then the ” embed” tab and copying and pasting the code in the box, here is an example of the code from one of my own new short videos :

” <iframe width=”640” height=”360” src=”” frameborder=”0” allowfullscreen></iframe> “

Which results in something like this once embedded into a webpage:

Promote your video

You can promote your new video in many ways, I recommend uploading it to Vimeo and Dailymotion as well and of course linking to the Youtube version from your bands Facebook page and Twitter feeds, linking to it via Soundcloud, Bandspace, ReverbNation and Myspace. I somewhat over looked social media and video and started a little late in the day. It does seem it can enhance your page positions in search results and also connect with your clients/fans/customers in a direct and informative way. I am still working my way through it to some degree and thought it would be great to share my journey and discoveries whilst they are fresh in mind and not too complicated.

Barry Gardner is the mastering engineer who operates Safe and Sound Audio Mastering. A low cost, high end mastering studio.

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