Haulix Advice: The Importance Of Video Updates

Hello, everyone! Welcome to the final Advice column of the week. We’ve had a lot of fun exploring various aspect of life as an artist in recent days, and in today’s post we’re going to focus on sharing your life with fans. If you have any suggestions for a future installment of this series, or if you have a question you would like to see tackled in the weeks ahead, please email james@haulix.com and share your thoughts. You can also find us on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

People like to talk about how technology has changed the way we do things in life, but it has also dramatically impacted the way we relate and connect to one another as people. When The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show people watching at home had to put in A LOT of effort to learn about the band who had just blown them away on television. They had to find news articles on the group in big papers, or hope someone on another television program would mention or feature them in the future. There was no internet, no text messaging program, nothing.

Back then, even bands far less popular than The Beatles had a gap in their relationship with fans that no longer exists in the modern age. Now when people see someone on Jimmy Kimmel (or Kimmel’s YouTube channel) they can immediately learn everything about them, or at least how they are perceived, with a few simple clicks. They can download their discography while visiting the band’s website, then look up reviews of recent releases, return to YouTube for music videos, follow/like social media pages to ensure they never miss another update, and buy tickets to the group’s next performance without leaving the chair they were in when they first discovered said group 5-10 minutes prior. The capabilities of the internet are no doubt amazing, but unless you take an active approach to engaging those interested in your music the perception of your work will be left to the anonymous and numerous bloggers/commenters/journalists/etc lurking online. The best way to do that for the time being is with video, and in today’s post we’re going to look at what makes the role of video so important in your future promotional efforts.

First and foremost, video is far more entertaining than pretty much any other piece of content you can put online aside from new music (and if you’re releasing music in 2013 it better have a YouTube stream included). It’s the next best thing to interacting with you in person, and it offers your fans a chance to learn about the individual personalities that combine to create the art they love. You’re a band and a business, yes, but you’re people first and your fans want to feel like they know the human beings who feel the emotions being conveyed in the music.

As you begin to plan your video content, keep in mind that quality far outweighs quantity, and the better your promotional materials look the better your chances will be of getting said material featured on news sites. Journalists, like fans, are not all that interested in grainy cell phone videos shot in areas with lots of external noise. Spend some time researching affordable and transportable video setups, then find time each week/month to focus on connecting with your fans. You can take the straightforward route of having members update supporters on the latest developments, which should at least happen seasonally, or you can take a more creative route and deliver original content on a recurring basis. For some this means running a cover song series that asks fans to submit answers via social media (great cross-marketing trick), while for others it means a monthly Q&A based on questions submitted through Tumblr (also good cross- marketing).

The possibilities for video content are relatively endless, but if you start something it is of the utmost importance that you see it through. The updates, whatever they may be, are forging new connections with listeners who will expect to be given attention on a regular basis. This means new content, and as long as you can stick with it you will see those supporters begin to grow. Like falling in love with a television show, people who anxiously await for your updates will want to share their excitement with others. Keep it coming and the word will continue to spread.

We put together a bulleted tipsheet to help get you on the right track with your own video efforts. Some of the following points were inspired by our friends at Wistia, who know more about video than anyone we know, while others were crafted specifically for this column. If you have any questions, feel free to comment at the end of this post.

  • Keep your script conversational and write it in your own words.
  • Don’t be afraid to show your personality.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things
  • Focus on content, not on polish; don’t be afraid to show that you’re fallible!
  • View every video you make as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with fans
  • Make video consistently.
  • Ask viewers for input, and take what they have to say to heart.
  • Set a schedule and stick to it
  • Promote your own content

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.