Hard to believe that I haven’t covered this here – it’s one of the most important things in the music industry after all. Video content is the key to hacking visibility and getting more people to check out what you have to do. Obviously, I’m someone who has made a lot of money over the years with his video content, but I want to assure you – I am not the only one whom can be productive with his use of video content. All bands can get more traction by creating video content and I am going to delve into a bunch of it, figuring out how to help you generate value and to dig deeper into the world of the heavy underground. Having video is probably the single most important thing that your band can do in 2019 and watching the bands who get this grow is going to be really exciting. Watching the ones who can’t hang fall apart is going to be a telling turn of events or those of us searching for some sort of answer to this grim spectacle.
Long story short, Mark Zuckerberg and his ilk are trying to beat YouTube and become the worlds primary deliverer of video content. This is huge because it means he is pushing video in the algorithm further than anything else. There’s a reason your bands’ video is getting thousands of views on Facebook and minimal on YouTube. This being said, don’t get too enamored with Facebook’s high video counts, Facebook counts the view on a video from the second it starts, for YouTube you need to get thirty seconds in or so for the view to count. This is because YouTube pays out ads, Facebook does not. That being said – advanced metrics still lead me to believe that there is more than enough reason to invest in video content on Facebook, it’s the sort of thing people click on. Moreover, it’s the sort of thing that people spend more time on and which ensures that they are able to remember your product and if they can do that then you’ve already won half the battle.
Instagram, while videos are limited to just a minute, is also a really exciting place to push video content. Instagram videos tend to get way more comments than static images. One idea that not a lot of bands take advantage of is to get a set filmed for like $150 and then clip that forty-five minute (or whatever) video into a ton of little chunks. Sure, not everything might be usable, but you are definitely going to get twenty odd pieces of content if your band is worth a shit. Metallicaare masters of this, they are among the greatest creators of video content in the Metal-sphere. This is because they have near infinite money, but they also understand that good video content is incredibly valuable. Hell, it doesn’t even need to be a live video or a part of a music video. It can just be you guys hanging out or talking about music or doing any of a million other band things.
The important bit to remember is that for Instagram because the platform is so ephemeral you don’t need to worry about the videos being of super high quality, they just need to be good enough, then the rest will sort itself out. Now please note, that the low-quality thing only really works for Instagram where things get lost in the feed. On Facebook and YouTube, you have content that really has a much longer shelf life since the videos tend to be sorted out and saved in a single fixed location. This means that if you upload a shitty video it will be a lot easier for people to find and judge you on. The fact of the matter is that these platforms also place a much higher significance on longer videos so the odds are you won’t be uploading content that is super relevant to Instagram in the first place. It’s just something to keep in mind as you decide which content goes where.
Tied into the fact that not all your video content on Instagram needs to be top notch is the concept that consistency is going to be the most important thing. If you only upload to your YouTube channel once or twice a year like a lot of bands do, then you’re not going to really find any sort of meaningful success. Meanwhile, if you post daily on Instagram then you are starting to get somewhere meaningful with this whole thing. People look forward to regular content, they know that they have something to click back too. Think about it in the context o your favorite YouTube channels. You check back on the ones that update regularly all the time, the ones that don’t do that.. well… why should you even bother? That’s how I’ve always felt at least – and the numbers seem to suggest that many others are like me. The thing is, consistency sucks to establish, it is going to take you a little bit before people start to associate you with consistency, but once they do the world is your burrito.
So again the basic rules of video content are the following. First and foremost – it’s fucking important, don’t slack on it, it’s how people get traction these days. Second, there is all manner of videos that might make sense for your social media, it doesn’t just have to be live stuff and music videos, come up with a video strategy built around that. Third, the quality isn’t super important on ephemeral platforms, you just need to embrace that. Finally – none of this is going to matter if you’re not at least a little bit consistent and if you can’t prove that to yourself then you are not going to end up with the sort of success that you were pulling for in the first place.
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Matt Bacon is a consultant, A&R man, and journalist specializing in the world of heavy metal. Having worked with everyone from Glam Rock icon Phil Collen of Def Leppard, to post Black Metal titans Alcest, by way of legendary thrashers Exhorder as well as labels including Prophecy Productions and Ripple Music, he has dedicated his life to helping young bands develop. Having started his own blog at the age of 14 he views his career in artist development as ‘a hobby that got out of hand’. In 2015 he formed Dropout Media in order to better support the artists he loves. We sit here now, years later with countless tours booked, records released and deals signed, and loving every minute of it.
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