So you might love the artistic music videos from Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Britney Spears, Madonna, or any of the other artists who can afford to drop more than a dollar or two on their production budget, but you’ve come to realize that you don’t have the time or money to pull off something as elaborate as the superstars. On the other hand, you want something that you consider Youtube-worthy and up to the standards of your personal brand. After all, you still want those hits! Instead of just playing your song to a static image like many artists do on Youtube, try out these simpler music video strategies that might be interesting to your viewers:
1) The Split-Screen
The split-screen video, if done well, can create a seemingly complex video that draws in viewers much faster than a single shot of a band playing their instruments in unison. While it is not as visually stimulating as a high budget music video, the split-screen technique can work well if you have few people that you can use to shoot the video (as with this one-man band). For songs that are more technical, the split-screen is a great way to show off your guitar chops or any of the other many instruments you might be playing in your video.
2) Live Footage
If you have footage of some of your past concerts, you can edit sections from each concert that are from the song you want to make a full music video for. Unlike with live footage, you can maintain the sound quality of your song by just having the concert footage muted and playing the studio track in sync with the live footage. By using footage from a variety of live shows, you can give your viewers a better flavor of what your live show has to offer. When you incorporate more than one show’s footage, you will keep the video interesting because the lighting will probably vary from concert to concert as well as the personality of the audience and your stage performance.
3) If You’re Willing.. Be Outrageous!
If you come up with some outrageous premise for your music video, you can probably get hits just out of the sheer audacity of putting yourself out there and thinking outside the box. Whether this means being a cross-dressing virtuoso bass player or just being yourself, originality (and shock tactics) often work wonders in getting hits for your video. Just remember to stay true to the message of your song and refrain from going too crazy if it doesn’t fit the image of yourself as an artist.
4) Hit an Emotional Nerve
Appeal to more than one emotion and you will draw in more viewers to your video. If I’m scared and curious, then you’ve got me hooked. If the video is tranquil, moving, and sad, I’m probably going to want to listen and watch attentively. A fan-made video of Rusko’s “Cockney Thug” is equally disturbing as it is playful and interesting. Rather than relying on a large production budget, the creator uses his production and editing skills to create a visually provocative work. The more time you invest learning the tricks of video production and editing, the more complex you can get with your lighting and effects. Regardless of the production value of your music video, you don’t want to leave your viewer feeling nothing midway through the video. It’s better for your viewers to love or hate your video than for them to be completely apathetic, so be willing to take chances. You can’t win over everybody, so don’t try.
5) Have Someone Else Do The Work For You
Fans on Youtube often spend a big chunk of their time making remixes of videos or posting their own videos for their favorite artists’ songs. If you have a big enough fanbase, try to run a contest that asks your fans to make your video for you. Choose the best video from all the entries and promote the video all over the web and give credit to the creator. Alternatively, you can dedicate your video to your fans and make a sort of collage of footage that includes your fans in the video itself.
Feel free to post any of your own homemade video techniques in the comments sections below!