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How To Get More Views With YouTube “Hit-Stalking”

Promote your music with YouTube

Have you heard of Tiffany Alvord? We featured her in our “How To Become a YouTube Superstar” post – and with 294,000 subscribers and 52 million total views, she is fantastic example of a young musician using YouTube with remarkable results.

She uploaded her first music video 2 years ago (aged 16) and has had enormous success since. She recently spoke with Ariel Hyatt and shared some tips on how to build an audience on YouTube.

She has some really great advice for any musician hoping to reach a similar level of success:

1. Learn From The Best

Find some other successful musicians, subscribe to their channels, watch what they do and emulate!

Start by visiting youtube.com/music, look for independent (non-vevo) videos and subscribe to these musicians. This will show you what they do and what works well. It will also let you see what it feels like for a fan who will subscribe to your videos in the future.

2. “Hit Stalk”

While you’re looking at the biggest indie songs of the day, look at the biggest main stream songs too. Find any that you like and that suit your style and consider doing cover versions.

Cover versions are always a fantastic way to introduce your music to a new audience, but this method can often prove even more effective by “riding the wave” of popularity. You’re not trying to be that other artist, but you are trying to introduce their fans to your voice, music and style.

(thanks to Chris Rockett for coining the phrase “Hit Stalking”!)

3. Cross-Pollinate

This is one of the most successful strategies for growing an audience of any type. Pro bloggers will always recommend writing guest posts on high traffic sites, which will in turn attract attention to your website. This approach is the exact same.

Find a musician with an audience on YouTube (the same size as yours or larger), get in touch and offer to collaborate with them. If you’re good, most musicians would be delighted to take you up on the offer – it gives them good content for their channel and gets them even more hits.

This is how I first discovered Tiffany. She collaborated with Kurt Hugo-Schneider and appeared on his YouTube channel (which has over half a million subscribers). The video got over 1 million views and got Tiffany tens of thousands of new fans.

Even though the views were all on Kurt’s channel, this still proves the strength of the advice to “give away your best content.” Would Tiffany have attracted 1.2 million views on her own channel? It’s unlikely.

4. Upload Regularly

This is advice which we’ve definitely found to be true – consistency trumps frequency. It’s not too important how often you make new videos, just as long as you keep the timing consistent. This gives fans a reason to subscribe and lets them know what to expect. Most musicians find one new video every week or fortnight to be the right amount.

5. Mix Covers With Your Own Material

Assuming your goal in all this to earn a living from your music, you should introduce your new audience to your own material every so often. Tiffany says she does one original song for every 2 to 3 cover songs, but every artist finds their own comfortable ratio.

Once your YouTube audience become familiar with your original music they will be comfortable with purchasing your songs on iTunes, your next album or even a t-shirt from your website!

To summarise, this is how musicians like Tiffany use YouTube to earn a living making music:

  1. Cover Songs attract views
  2. Views become subscribers
  3. Subscribers become fans
  4. Fans become paying customers

9 Comments

Music Marketing Chris 1:13 pm - 10th January:

Thanks for the mention Peter, this is a really fast way to get traffic for your music.

I’m going to do a massive test on this over the coming month.

Will let you know how it goes.

Chris.

Peter Tanham 3:18 pm - 10th January:

If there’s one thing we love here it’s testing! I’m really looking forward to it 🙂

christine dixon 2:13 am - 17th August:

Thank you for the helpful info!!

Christoffer Brandsborg 3:01 pm - 29th October:

Thanks for the help, but I still find it pretty hard…
I’m a fingerstyle guitarist from Norway!
Check out my newest composition:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXadmB9tQG8

prashank mishra 7:59 pm - 13th May:

pllsss check out my covers on my youtube channel- prashank PM mishra
i’ve done 4 cover songs but still lacking in views and subscribers plsss help…

Monkey Style 12:02 am - 27th August:

Very nice thanks for the help. I produce songs and hip hop beats feel freen to check it out Peace!!!

http://www.youtube.com/user/PoppeProductions?feature=mhee

Ajob 10:08 am - 15th September:

wow nice your welcome to see my channel : http://www.youtube.com/user/st7yt 🙂

ilan 4:48 pm - 7th November:

Check out my cover of “The only exception” by Paramore! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SmaCWG8K94

Rajib Kumar 12:58 pm - 26th November:

Nice tips. Definitely this will help me to increase my views. Thanks for share.