Why images, videos, and podcasts are important for your brand
Twenty years ago, bands and musicians concentrated on touring, selling merchandise (including albums) and publishing.
Today, the music industry has expanded so much that focusing on these key areas is not enough.
Music now crosses over into film, television, gaming, fashion, mobile technologies and online presences. Physically shipping and stocking albums is a fading experience as fans can now find your music online without leaving their home.
The average attention span of humans is decreasing. It is becoming increasingly more important to use images, videos and podcasts to develop your brand in the music industry.
Here are reasons why all of these formats are important:
ImagesPeople respond to visual content so you should make sure your images used in conjunction with your brand reflect what you want to say with your music.
Firstly, if you use other people’s images in conjunction with your music you should ask permission and at a minimum credit the source.
If you have your own images, keep them consistent across your brand and profiles – on your Soundcloud, ReverbNation, website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundclick, Pinterest, or press kit.
Know your genre and ensure your images and photos sit well with that – fans won’t add you to playlists if they’re not sure about who you are from your album cover.
You may have recorded your tunes in your home studio in your grungy old sweat pants, but make sure you have high quality photos and album cover art as it shows dedication and commitment.
Hook yourself up to Instagram and learn the tips and tricks to get fans and keep them interested. Instagram has the potential to help you gain thousands of fans for free. Do your best to use that social network to your advantage!
MTV helped a lot of people realize the importance of videos to the music industry.
The purpose of your videos should be to reinforce your image and give meaning to your music. Of course, some artists are better known for their videos than their actual music.
Videos can show your personality and creativity, and many artists have received huge jumps in popularity after their YouTube videos have been noticed and the songs have been used for television or theme songs.
There are lots of gray areas with copyright restrictions when making videos, but its best for your brand to create your own content as you don’t want to encounter any legal hiccups using other musicians work.
Podcasts are audio or video clips uploaded online for viewing or listening at a later time. They are a good format for video press releases, and excellent for tutorials. Musicians tend to avoid using Podcasts to their advantage. Even though it’s not the most popular way to promote your songs, Podcasts can still be an effective way to communicate directly with your ever growing fanbase.
Simple tips for creating podcasts
– For the best results, produce a high quality AAC encoded feed with embedded chapter artwork. Some easy options for podcast recording – if you use a Mac you can use GarageBand; PC users can check out Audacity.
– Make sure you specify a 1400 x 1400 pixel image for your artwork if you ever want to be featured on iTunes as Apple has strict guidelines.
– Keep it simple! 1. Start with an introduction with episode number and topic. 2. Follow with a few comments from fans, then your podcast content. 3. Conclude with your website/contact details, and a teaser of what’s featuring in your next podcast.
How to get more exposure for your podcast
Add your podcast to directories such as Allpodcasts.
You can also submit them to the iTunes Store podcast directory (you’ll need an Apple I.D), find out how here: http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/creatorfaq.html
Even if you’re not in the iTunes Store, fans can use the Podcasts app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and just paste your feed URL into the search field and subscribe. In iTunes, from the File menu, they can choose ‘Subscribe to Podcast’ and enter your podcast feed URL.
Another site worth looking at when you’re stumbling around for inspiration is The Podcast Host – they have Top 10 Music Podcasts and lots of ‘How-To’ guides.
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