by Simone Armer
Connect with new and existing fans, as well as other artists by promoting your art on YouTube, the world’s most popular video sharing platform. When anyone wants to watch or share a video, YouTube is the place they go. Art videos have become especially popular in recent years, with everyone, from world-famous sculptors to painters to museums curating their own channels. If you’re new to this marketing technique, creating videos of yourself might seem like a daunting task, but fans and buyers will appreciate your insights and expertise. You just have to be yourself and do what feels right for you and your brand, and you’ll soon join other artists reaping the rewards from having their own YouTube channel.
YouTube is the second largest search engine and third most visited site in the world. It’s available in 88 countries and 76 languages on a multitude of devices, from PCs to smartphones or tablets. As an artist with your own YouTube channel, you’ll have exposure to more than 1.5 billion monthly visitors who are watching over an hour of content a day!
In addition to high traffic numbers and worldwide exposure, promoting your art on a YouTube channel provides many viral marketing opportunities. Videos are easily embeddable on websites and shared on other social media sites. This helps increase your rank on search engines, the number of views on your videos, and subscribers to your channel.
In addition to helping you attract fans and buyers to sell your art to, YouTube also allows you to generate income from your channel itself. Once you’ve reached 4,000 hours of watch time and gained 1,000 subscribers, you can monetize your account with ads.
Customizing your channel
Setting up a channel on YouTube is easy and completely free – you just need a Google account. After you sign in, follow the prompt to create your own channel. Then it’s time to show off your creativity to help viewers understand who you are and what kind of art you make. YouTube has several features which you can utilize to reflect your style and branding.
- Channel name
The first thing you need to decide is what you want to name your channel. You could choose to go by your own name, or your business name, but you should keep it consistent with your brand to ensure maximum visibility in search results.
- Channel icon
The circle that appears next to your name should contain an image that is most recognizable to fans and clients, whether it is a photo of yourself or your business logo. It’s one of the first things viewers will see on your channel page and will appear every time you comment on or upload a video.
- Banner art
The image across the top of your channel is a great way to show viewers what kind of art you make and you can change it periodically to promote exhibitions or new projects that you’re working on.
- Channel trailer
The video that sits at the top of your channel page can be used to showcase your most popular video or your most recent upload. If your channel is new, consider using the space to introduce yourself to give viewers a sense of what kind of videos they can expect to see.
- Featured channels
Channels that you choose to highlight will appear on the right side of your channel page. This is a great way to cross-promote artists you like, are inspired by and/or collaborate with.
- Channel sections
You can visually organize your videos into different categories and give them descriptive names, which will appear in sections on your channel page.
- About section
Be sure to fill in a description of your channel and links to your website and other social media profiles in the ‘About’ section of your channel page. Viewers will click here to see your channel stats and send messages to you.
To start creating videos for YouTube, all you need is a video camera, a tripod, and some basic video editing software. For beginners, there is a wide range of the latter available to use for free on the web. When you have your equipment ready, you’ll need to decide what kind of content you want to create. Whether you choose to stick to making just one type of video, or want to create a range of different types, your content should always target your niche. We’ve put together a list of ideas for inspiration!
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Searches of ‘how to’ content on YouTube is growing year on year, so teaching your viewers how to paint, draw or sculpt can be a very effective way to build your online presence. These kinds of videos can be as simple as recording yourself creating art and adding audio commentary about what you’re doing and why. Committing to uploading a weekly or monthly tutorial video is also a great way to encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel.
Fans and buyers are just as interested in the process of creating art as they are in the final product. Videos in which you show your creative process from beginning to end have the most potential for becoming viral content.
Why not take your subscribers along to the next gallery opening or art exhibition you attend, or show them around your studio? This can be a great way to engage with viewers who are geographically far from you.
If you’re more of an extrovert, creating videos about yourself and your views on the art world can be a great way to use your personality to promote your art.
Do you have a favorite brush or pastel, or any new art materials you’ve been dying to try out? Creating product review videos can help your fans discover new products and techniques and create opportunities for partnerships with other brands.
Promoting Your Channel
Once you’ve started uploading content, you’ll need to promote your channel to attract viewers and buyers. One way to do this is to be social on YouTube itself, by ‘liking’ and commenting on other videos. You can also share your videos on your other social media accounts, on your artist newsletter or your blog/website.
In your videos themselves, be sure to include a call to action, asking viewers to like and subscribe to your channel. You can do this verbally, or by adding YouTube ‘cards’ to your videos. These interactive panels slide in and out while a video is playing, encouraging further interaction by the viewer. You can add up to 5 cards per video, which include text, clickable links, and images.
The titles, tags, and keywords of your videos are also an important factor in determining what gets viewed and shared. Do keyword searches to find what people are looking for and then craft your video titles around that.
By making use of tracking software, like YouTube Analytics, you can see how engaged your audience is, which geographic locations are watching and how your videos are performing over certain periods of time.
YouTube also offers courses, workshops, events and competitions to help build your skills through its Creators section and a benefits program that lets you unlock perks and rewards as your channel grows.
The opportunities for using YouTube to market and grow your art business are boundless. It just takes a bit of persistence and creativity, of which we know you have oodles of already!
Looking to enhance your career and build a presence in New York? Submit your portfolio to us and get the opportunity to present your work to a broad range of national and international art collectors and buyers.
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Artists famous on YouTube according to Forbes Magazine.
Simone Armer is a writer, photographer and content creator. She was born in New York, raised in South Africa and spent four years living in Japan. She blogs about her travels at www.simonearmer.com.
This post is also available in: Spanish