5 Reasons Great Visuals Are Vital for Music Promo Today
In the past decade, music has morphed into an ever more visual medium. Streaming is the dominant way people listen to music, with YouTube being the most popular streaming platform. This means that every track uploaded must be associated with a visual element, and while many are happy to put up their latest release with a still of the album art, people are beginning to realise that’s not enough to stand out in such a crowded marketplace. Visuals are also vitaly important for social media. With audiences spending vast amounts of their time on various social platforms, eye-catching content is key to stop users scrolling past.
Yes Please Productions have specialised in making visual content for the music industry for over 10 years, and we’ve learnt how valuable it can be to both labels and artists. Here are 5 key ways that great visuals and design help artists and labels.
1: Audience Growth and Engagement
We all know the importance of putting out regular content on social media to grow your audience, but poor quality content won’t have nearly the impact of well thought out, beautifully designed, consistent visuals. Your fans aren’t stupid, and they can sense insincerity. If you put out bad content because it’s cheap and easy, they’ll notice. We’ve seen first hand how well audiences respond to exciting, original content made with love. Give them consistently great stuff, and they’ll begin to feel part of something. They’ll be excited for your next post, and be keen to share it.
At Yes Please, we pride ourselves on being music obsessives. We all have an understanding and enthusiasm for music of all genres, which gives us a great foundation to understand the audience of the acts we’re working for. And understanding the audience is the first step to successfully engaging with them.
2: Defining The Brand
A strong visual identity can transform an artist. It can turn a struggling new artist into a viral sensation. It’s a brilliant and effective way of making your artist stand out from the crowd. A well defined, striking and consistent aesthetic will help your audience instantly understand and recognise an artist. If done correctly, it can become a brilliant shorthand for an act – just think of the Rolling Stones’ ‘Lips’ logo, or the Ramones’ Crest. Both are brilliantly iconic. You could see either one 100 yards away and know right away what it represents. Both perfectly and simply convey the attitude of the band – the ‘in your face’ rock ‘n’ roll vibe of the Rolling Stones, and the gang-like mentality of the Ramones. Branding this successful is difficult, but it does pay off. The Ramones have sold more T-Shirts than records!
3: Shareable Content
As previously mentioned, any form of audience engagement these days relies on the constant creation of quality content. Visual content is the best way to do this and videos are by far the most popular and shared type of post on social media, and consistent, eye-catching content will ensure that they don’t get ignored.
Having a clear strategy for your visual content can really increase the impact you get out of it. For example one killer visual concept can be spread over multiple channels. A single lyric video can be turned into several instagram clips or stories, twitter posts, vertical videos for TikTok, SnapChat and Spotify and can even be repurposed into live visuals.
4: Audience Interaction
Great visual content makes an audience feel involved. They begin to associate with not only the music, but also the aesthetic of an artist. Strong, consistent visuals get more subscribers and a more engaged audience. They comment, like and share more, and look forward to the next piece of content being released. It also helps an artist stay engaged with their fanbase between releases. Creating new content for a track from an artist’s back catalogue works wonders too and we have created new content for classic tracks that both revitalises the track and engages a whole new audience.
The ability to promote certain tracks very quickly is more important than ever. No longer can artists and labels rely solely on predictable release schedules and big campaigns with long lead-in times. ‘Nowness’ is the currency of social media, and tracks can start trending for a myriad of reasons. A TikTok dance craze might take off from an album track that has no content attached to it, or an obscure catalogue track might be used in an iconic scene in a movie. Whatever the reason, artists and labels need to move fast to capture the zeitgeist. With a strong visual identity for an artist already defined, a good studio can produce content in days as opposed to weeks, therefore tapping into all that sweet trending action.
We were commissioned to create a lyric video for ‘Out of Time’ by the Rolling Stones to coincide with the release of Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ as the track featured on its soundtrack. With our Creative Direction for this period of the Rolling Stones output already in place, we were able to deliver this content quickly.