Radar Music Video Workshop – 2.30pm, The Coal Room, 2.10.10

Caroline Bottomley, Founder of Radar Music Videos – a service connecting music video directors with artists and record labels – ran a session this afternoon which contained material from her forthcoming e-book on the subject of “10 Ways to Promote Your Music Video Online for Free”, and as a documentary and music video director/editor myself I was keen to attend with the hope of walking away armed with new tips and tricks. The workshop was a pretty thorough rundown of the most important things to do when releasing music videos online and I did pick up a couple of new nuggets of information to play with when I get back to London.

Though dogged by the leakage of over-amplified acoustic artists playing in the main hall of the Peoples’ Museum, Caroline did a stellar job of steering us through the whistle stop tour intact, happily encouraging attendees to chip in with their own views on the 10 categories as we went along, summarised below:

1 – Choose a great track and commission a good idea
Note that performance videos are less successful than quirky promos because they’re predictable – people know a guitarist is going to play the guitar and the drummer is going to drum. Better to spend the time and money on something more original.

2 – Prepare your video for online
- choose a good thumbnail – upload your own if the service allows you.
- choose a good title – band name, track, official (so people know it’s not just a still with music behind it) – with the potential addition of extra words to entice people in.
- call to action and a link in the first sentence of the blurb next to the video – only the first 75 characters of this show up in the preview so this is key if you want to make it easy for people to find out more about you.
- use tags – put the most important ones at the front, with band name, name of the track, location, artists that you sound like all good tags to include.

[Brief pause to watch part of the Duck Sauce Barbra Streisand video, which the attendees found hilarious]

3 – Get good SEO for your video
- create a video sitemap on your website using Google tools – click here for newteevee.com’s post on the subject, including a video tutorial.

4 – Use social media
- for example, make the creation of your video in to a story – involve people from the beginning by asking them to be extras, suggest names for characters, contribute artwork etc if you’re happy to do so or tell people you’re using a particular director, send links to their work, photos of storyboards etc.
- treat your Twitter account with care – space out bits of news that require action from your followers. Update Facebook as well and use your mailing list. Caroline recommends MailChimp as an email service but there are others including YMLP.
- schedule tweets to appear at different times in different timezones using a service like Social Oomph.
- ask other people to share their video with friends – don’t be afraid to ask for this sort of help!
- run ads for your own video with a link in all your own media – add links to the signature of all your emails, for example, add to your Twitter biog, Facebook status etc.

5 & 6 – “Feed the people where they want to eat” – Ariel Hyatt

- put the video everywhere (using a service like TubeMogul to distribute so you only have to upload once) but drive traffic to your YouTube account because that’s where people measure your social worth.
- use video responses to increase traffic [though the owner of the other video has to approve this and it's better to build a relationship with them so this can be more relevant and useful].

7 – Orchestrate your traffic
- Direct people to videos at a certain time of day all at once, and ask them to click like, comment etc – this sustained attack helps you to get on most watched lists and create a buzz, garner more views and potentially sales.

8 – Get your video on to blogs
- start making a note of which blogs you read and are interested in and start commenting. Not selling yourself, just building a relationship – be organised about it, keep a spreadsheet.
- look at the blog rolls on the blogs you like and check them out to see if they’re useful for you as well.
- always thank the blog for featuring you if they do.
- write a good short press release when you have a list of editors to send to.

[Comment from the floor - make the emails personal and personable, people know when something's copied and pasted.]

- a cool tool to use for this is Press Release Grader.
- another trick to try is to ask a blog for an exclusive, say, a 2 hour advance on your latest music video release so they get traffic from your network.

9 – Enter awards and popularity contests to raise the video’s profile
- it’s great to be able to cite competitions you’ve won – it doesn’t matter if your fans have heard of the festival, so don’t worry about that, just enter.
- don’t expect anyone you don’t know to go and click on your video and like it, you have to ask your friends.

10 – Analyse everything you do
- use Google Analytics / TubeMogul / Facebook page stats to see what you’re doing right and what isn’t working.
- use the geographical elements especially if you’re touring.
- use the Engagement tool on YouTube which tells you how long people watched your video for and at what point they stopped watching.

Finally Caroline mentioned that Radar watch every music video that’s submitted via their site, so there’s the opportunity to get featured on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo and some get entered on the editor’s hot list which is sent to their top video contacts at all the major companies.

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