This guest post was written by Aditya Mahesh, founder of AMBeat.com, a complete resource for entrepreneurs complete with advice articles, start-up profiles, interviews, news analysis, and more.

It was about eight months ago that I was talking with a friend of mine who had been rapping recreationally for a few years and had built up a small group of local fans for his work. His lyrics and beats were great, but he had never had access to a medium that would allow him to attract a larger audience and build up a serious fan base for his work.

His primary promotional technique was to distribute mixtapes and MP3 files to friends and family and encourage them to share it with everyone they knew. While his content was good enough to get him some traction in the community, this strategy never allowed him to reach an audience beyond a limited geographic area.

It was only once he began to promote his work online that he was able to start to gain traction in the area. The first video we created an uploaded to YouTube, a remix to the hit song “I Love College” by Asher Roth, took off amassing over 450,000 views and leading to requests for concerts, interviews, possible recording deals, and countless messages from new found fans. This is how we did it:

There are hundreds of up and coming songs released by unsigned artists on YouTube every hour. Most of these songs never attract more than a few dozen views. In order to get past this barrier, we had to do something different. A look at the industry showed that “I Love College” was a song that was quickly gaining popularity, but hadn’t quite reached mainstream media. Realizing the opportunity, we created a remix to the song and posted it on YouTube. While there wasn’t a lot of competition that this point, we knew we had to promote the video a little to get it to appear near the top of YouTube search results for “I Love College”.

One of the easiest ways to spread a video at first is to leverage social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace. Seeing how most of our Facebook friends were college students, it was fairly easy to post links to the video on our friend’s profiles and have them spread around quickly through our personal network. You can also set up a page for yourself on Facebook and invite as many people to join as possible. (Invite all your friends and ask your close friends and family to invite all their friends)

Another very effective method is to find related forums and post links to your video. However, you have to be careful not to spam. Make sure your video is something the audience would be interested in and provide some background information on why people should watch it. Even though you are promoting your content, make it seem natural, not like a sales pitch.

It is important to get as many views as possible in the first 24 hours so that you can get your video on the “Most Viewed Page”. It may be difficult to get it on the main “Most Viewed Page”, but it is much easier to have your video featured on a specific category’s “Most Viewed Page”. This video was featured on the page for the subcategory Rap and Hip Hop under Music.

This allowed YouTube’s system to see that the video was related to “I Love College” and was something viewers were interested in. This allowed us to be ranked #2 in searches for “I Love College” behind the official video. The timing was perfect as it was just as the song began to get major radio play and the video amassed 100,000 views and then 200,000 views very quickly. Yet, YouTube search results are fickle and the video began to drop in ranking and eventually began to disappear and reappear from the first page. When this happened we had to take an alternate approach to keep the video growing.

While growth tapered off, we still amassed over 250,000 more views through our tags which allowed it to appear alongside more popular videos in the “related videos” sections, accepting video responses which placed a link to our video from other uploads, and continuing to comment which kept the discussion going and kept people talking about the video.

One thing we found after the process was that posting the video as a “video response” to a large related video was a good way to attract large quantities of targeted traffic.

The Results

To date the video has been viewed over 450,000 times and attracted over 575 comments. It was “favorited” 2000 times and was featured on Maxim.com. One of the things we did with the video was to put our phone number at the end of the video which has attracted hundreds of calls, mostly from new fans, but also from people interested in performing concerts, other artists interested in collaborating, and some possible production deals. Not bad for something which was simply a hobby and a video which was created with just a Macbook.

It was also the largest remix to “I Love College” on YouTube, which is especially remarkable considering remixes with well renowned rappers from Ludacris to Lil Wayne have been created.

While I know most of you may not be rappers, the situation is similar. Chances are you have quality content, but have trouble getting it out there. Video promotion is a great way to attract some publicity. As a few final recommendations, market to those you know through social networking and book marking websites in the first 24 hours to try and get on the “Most Viewed Page”. Always respond to comments and tag the videos so they are featured next to more popular related videos. As a last reminder, take a look at what is currently being talked about, or better yet will soon be talked about, in the industry and create a related video.

You can view the video below:

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

54 thoughts on “How Video Promotion Launched a Rap Career: A Complete Guide”
  1. When you have guest posts…Why does it say “by Jeremy Shoemeister” instead of having it by the person who wrote…It should say “Published by, Written by” instead…It confuses me…

    1. It’s probably because it’s physically published by Jeremy himself that’s why.

    2. Well if you will have a close look at the starting of the post Shoe has already mentioned that it is being written by Aditya Mahesh. So in simple words to make you understand its is written by Aditya Mahesh and posted by Shoe …

  2. […] How Video Promotion Launched a Rap Career: A Complete Guide […]

  3. Awesome post… thanks!! =) … we’re going to give it a go with our Electro Pop band STAARK … our singer (Kat Valerie) has an amazing voice and writes amazing songs and we want to see her get the success she deserves, but just haven’t been able to break through the crowd until now … thanks again for a great article.

  4. Not surprising at all!

    After hearing all rags to riches stories, this seems to a far cry.

  5. I’ve only seen one other person on youtube that has a shot at making this work and its this guy named Ryan Knorr. He is has some pretty popular vids and when I found him a while back I was so amazed at his talent.

    You can check out his youtube page here:
    http://www.youtube.com/knorrby11

    Seriously wow…

  6. […] How Video Promotion Launched a Rap Career: A Complete Guide […]

  7. As a music lover I am absolutely thrilled with the freedom of choice the internet brings. Anybody can get their work heard, and no more record companies censoring and filtering what music we listen to works for me.

  8. Great guide, not just for musicians or such, but for anyone using Youtube for promoting themselves, business, blog or whatever. Pay attention to targetting spesific category, use “keyworded” title to target spesific search and tag your video with tags on popular videos with similar topic (to get yourself to the related videos section).

  9. Video promotion of website content is a very interesting idea; however, not everyone has a sweet looking nanny in a logo t-shirt like Shoemoney to feature in the vid…..

  10. Video is direct comunication and one of the best tool for everyone with online bussiness!
    This is top stuff
    P.S.If you want to know how one man bought a Brand New $1.2 Million Home using ONLY affiliate commissions earned while he was unemployed go to event:http://tinyurl.com/lgt4em

  11. DAMN! It never ceases to amaze me how quickly you can become a celebrity with a little video marketing!

  12. Video marketing has always been very impactful and rewarding. I have not done too much of video marketing though, but of about 7-8 videos that I have released, 1 video gained popularity and is the sole biggest source of traffic to one of my minisites and I make a good amount from that site.
    It indeed is powerful, but the time and effort that it takes to make a video is what drives me away from it.

    1. What, you think those bicinni clad dancers are going to become celebrities now?

  13. Video marketing is one of the most powerful tool these days for VIRAL marketing. I have also found Aditya Mahesh’s few posts on Jogn Chow blog, he seems to be pretty interesting writer.

  14. It’s great that young artists have a way to reach the masses if they know how to use the internet correctly. Let’s face it, talent shows happen once a year and, speaking from the UK, very few of them come to anything. Real talent is found when videos like this go viral because they are genuinely talented at what they do.

  15. Thanks for sharing! I definitely had to pass this along to a few friends! Hopefully it can help their band promoting skills!

  16. There’s no doubt some of the social media sites have changed how marketing efforts can be undertaken. Pretty nice article.

  17. Thanks for all the compliments guys, if you have any specific questions feel free to ask and I will get back to you as soon as possible

  18. I like the video… I guess video promotion is the next big hit in the web space.

  19. I really like it that you sometimes let other people write post here. Kind of bring new fresh air in here.

  20. Wow – is this guy another cool Israeli? Seems like an Israeli name.
    Who needs the American Idol tv show when you’ve got YouTube.

  21. That’s the power of the Internet, everyone has a chance to get noticed.

  22. […] How Video Promotion Launched a Rap Career: A Complete Guide […]

  23. I guess video promotion is the next big hit in the web space.I think the total online video space is around 17 billion or may be more then this.

  24. that is one if the dumbest strategies ever. all they did was help promote the actual artist that made the original song. If any one was really attempting to contact this guy for shows , its because they thought they were contacting Asher Roth. not to mention he’s wack!

    Please do not do what these guys did. If u are going to do a freestyle to a song..do your own video. dont use the same shit. geesh

    200,000 views for nothing lol

  25. […] How Video Promotion Launched a Rap Career: A Complete Guide (shoemoney.com) […]

  26. Best Internet Marketing Posts of 2009: Social Media, SEO, PPC, Small Business, Web Design, and More » Techipedia | Tamar Weinberg says:

    […] How Video Promotion Launched a Rap Career: A Complete Guide (Shoemoney): This article might be specific to a rapper’s evolving career, but there are general video promotion ideas in here as well. […]

  27. Best Internet Marketing Posts of 2009: Social Media, SEO, PPC, Small Business, Web Design, and More » Techipedia | Tamar Weinberg | Business-Blog-Consultant says:

    […] How Video Promotion Launched a Rap Career: A Complete Guide (Shoemoney): This article might be specific to a rapper’s evolving career, but there are general video promotion ideas in here as well. […]

  28. […] How Video Promotion Launched a Rap Career: A Complete Guide (Shoemoney): This article might be specific to a rapper’s evolving career, but there are general video promotion ideas in here as well. […]

  29. I was looking a case study like this, since I have a friend who is launching a song on youtube (for those who might want to watch it, this is the link, but I warn you that he sings rock in spanish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAz1_4pHIsU).

    We started giving video responses, and got good traffic the first days, but then the owners of the related videos deleted the video response. So it is important to choose carefully which video you intent to respond

    Regards,

  30. This was a really good read, informative and well written. Great idea too. Keep up the great work! *Note* the video is actually not available anymore. I guess you could keep the link up for effect but it actually serves no purpose because the original poster deleted their account.

  31. hey blogger! Im at Texas A&M and having a great time here studying the effects of rap on my psyche! Anyway im a sorority and enjoying life, parties, men, you know!

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