You should make videos. Period. Here. End of the article.
Alright maybe I’ll go into more details.
Videos are pretty much as important as your music. First of all, people want to see videos of bands. They want to see you, they want to see you do things, and videos are the best medium for that.
The good news is: you can create videos way more frequently than you’ll release music (unless you’re Buckethead). There are tons of subject you can address in videos, and this will feed your fans with content and make them happy.
In this article we’ll see some of the basic (almost mandatory) kind of videos you can put online.
Full stream videos
That’s what I would consider the minimum. You don’t have to spend too much time for this, since people will probably just play the music without looking at the video. Using the cover of your release as background is a good start. You can add logos of platforms where people can buy your record or stream it, if you are endorsed, put the companies logo in there too and that’ll make them happy.
If you are comfortable with basic After Effects work, put some wiggle here and there and it will look pro.
|David Maxim Micic “Eco” full stream. Simple, effective, beautiful.|
Now you have two schools for full streams: one long video with the whole record, or multiple videos (one for each song). I personally like the latter more, as people can listen to their favorite songs individually, add them to playlists, or share them more easily. Now I don’t think there’s a bad choice either way, but whatever solution you choose, there are mandatory rules to follow:
- if you’re making one long video, create a “table of contents” in the description, with the song titles and the timestamp. This will allow people to jump quickly to any song they want.
- if you’re taking the one-video-per-song road, be sure to create a playlist with all of them (one playlist per record). This way people can start the playlist to listen to the whole record seamlessly.
Lyric videos are very popular in the music industry. The idea is simple: you make a video with the lyrics of the song (hence the name). These videos come in all shape and forms, from something simple to crazy animated videos with lyrics coming and going. Obviously the style of video you’re aiming at will determine the time needed to make it, and the budget if you’re having someone make it for you.
Ever seen a video with a bunch of dudes headbanging in the middle of an abandoned warehouse? Well you can be that guy!
I’ve never been in a music video, but in my opinion, unless you have a really good budget for it, avoid going the amateur route or it will look dumb. If you’re planning on looking badass in your garage with some obvious iMovie transitions, you might as well go the easier way of making a playthrough video.
Playthrough videos are really cool to show off. Make sure to bring your A-game: position yourself in front of your most beautiful studio gear, clean your hair (please), and do a couple of push-ups before so your fans will be impressed by your muscle.
Now you can either go full realistic by recording your song in one take and one angle of camera, or make it look more dynamic with multiple angles, which will allow you to cut into multiple performances. Whatever you do, make sure to plug a cable into your guitar, or you can be sure you’ll have comments pointing that out.
From there you can be creative with your video: you can play the whole song or just an impressive part (usually a solo), you can do it by yourself or do a combined video with other members of your band, or go crazy and do it in the fields in the middle of a sheep herd. But remember: even in the middle of a herd, plug in your god damn guitar.
Studio report videos are on the fine line of teasing without revealing too much. But from fans who want a sneak peak at your upcoming release, to audio engineering nerds, most of your fans will enjoy them. They’re also a good occasion to show band members as fun-having humans.
Now some bands have the opportunity to record in beautiful studios, and some just record themselves on a laptop in their messy bedroom. But that’s ok (but still clean your bedroom). They will probably enjoy seeing you working on some new material.
Are you going on a tour? Pack your camera, and like studio updates, film backstage moments and on-stage if possible. They can be a great way to show your fans how you are when you are on the road, and make them want to see you live. And fans who couldn’t make it to your shows will get a glimpse at it and feel more engaged with you.
If your fans are always asking you questions on social media about your records, your life, or any subject, why not make a Q&A video? Gather the most interesting questions, and then film yourself responding. You can do that as a “normal” video that you record, or even do it live (Facebook or Youtube can do that). Obviously making it live will be harder. You’ll have to make it at a time where your fans are online and available to watch and ask you questions, and you’ll have to come up with answers on the spot which can be scary. And if nobody asks you good question, you’ll have to find something to talk about.
Do you have an upcoming tour? A cool show? Some new merch? Why not make a video for it? Announce the dates and the bands you’ll be playing with, and show the new t-shirt designs you have in stock. It doesn’t have to be a long video with tons of information, but your fans may enjoy having news this way, especially if you have something physical to show.
Those are some obvious videos you should make, but now your imagination is the only limit. Making videos and having a Youtube channel is mandatory for bands nowadays, so start as soon as possible or you’ll regret it later.
In a future article we’ll talk about some tips and tricks to make your video stand out from the crowd and how to attract as many people as possible. So make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to be updated when that comes out!