Cover The Basics – Get The Views

So, a post about covers and how they can help boost your views. When I say covers,  I don’t mean doing your own “rocked up” rendition of “Call Me Maybe.” This will only be a short post as it’s something most bands and artists do anyway but it’s also something they don’t use to it’s full effect.

Now most musicians grow up playing their instrument or singing along to music that influenced them at the time. I have to admit I dabbled in a bit of 80’s Glam Rock when learning the drums, mostly because I liked the stick flicks but there we go. I got out of that phase without a mullet, and it’s left in the past.

But to use covers now, when you’re an ever so serious “professional” musician creating your own art seems backwards right? Nope. It’s a great tool! Especially for you savvy digital lot.

(First off, if you haven’t got a Youtube Channel, make one. Seriously, what are you doing? Also Set yourself up a Soundcloud account, both are free and are great for musicians. Get EVERYTHING you have onto those sites, and make sure all your other links (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) are in your info, everything must link to everything else.)

Now, hopefully if you’ve took on board anything I wrote about in Collaborations, you’ve scouted about and found similar bands to you, that maybe share a similar fan base in a different location. You can use this same information with your covers.

First, find a song you like from these bands, (think strategically about what band and song you choose, no point doing it if you get nothing out of it) learn it and do yourself a cover. It could be acoustic, or if you have the time, a rough live version during practise. You can video it (not on an iPhone please) or just record the audio, either way make sure it is uploaded to Youtube. When you’ve finished uploading, check the tags the original band have used for that video, use those same tags but also add you own. Add links to the original band in the description and also the links to your own profiles. With all this data added and with your tags mimicking the original, your video will show up alongside it in the search results.

When that’s done, lets everyone know about it. Let the original band know about it. Let their fans know about it. The band will be flattered you’ve chosen one of their songs to cover. They will almost definitely Retweet it, if not to show off that they’ve been covered but because they like it. They might repost the video with a shout out to their own fans to check you out. That recommendation & influence will get you views of the cover and from your cover lead them to your own music. Simple. However, don’t get spammy with your posts, make sure they’re targeted, for example, if the band has a Fan account, post your video to them, they are, after all the people you want to get on board. Also something to look into is making you video a Video Response to the original as well as any related videos you can find.

This type of strategy works best with bands around your own level, don’t drop a cover video of Snow Patrol’s “Run” and expect the band to go “Well bugger me, a band from Runcorn has covered Run, why has no-one done this before?! RTRTRT” won’t happen. The douche bags.

But if you want to cover some bigger artists you can. Have a look what an artist named Jay Alexzander (@JayAlexzanderUK) is doing with popular songs his fans enjoy.

Jay has started his own “series” if you like, of covers on his Youtube Channel. The songs are chosen by his Facebook & Twitter followers who vote for what song they want him to cover. Jay will then video a version and upload it, tracking the hype on Twitter using the hashtag #JACS (Which I think stands for Jay Alexzander Cover Sessions or something similar) Jay has got big numbers on all his cover videos, and they’re just simple acoustic covers of songs voted for by his fans. The reason he’s succeeded is because he interacts with his fans, gets them involved in what he’s doing, and gives them something in return; music. It makes them more accessible when it’s time for Jay to post a link to his own music. It’s worth looking into if you have a very vocal fan base.

So there it is. Two different strategies for what you can do with covers. Simple as anything, which anyone can do, and if done right can work wonders. Now I proof read this, that wasn’t short at all. Bugger.

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What I’m Listening to: Fitz. – Caves

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About Tom Satchwell

Community Manager at Fortitude Magazine. Read Tom's Industry blog at: www.BeatsOnToast.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter: @TomSSatchwell

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