Keywords for Bands & Musicians
Keyword Research for Bands, Musicians and Music Videos is off-beat and a different breed.
If you were into Dry Cleaning, Restaurants or something similarly mercantile, your Keywords would be all about location. But location is a passing thought for bands. The only time you need to think about location is when your promoting a gig or going on tour.
Getting your name out there is the ‘name of the game’ for a band and that’s Branded Keyword territory.
Besides a heavier focus on branded keywords, music also lays on another layer of complexity. I’m talking about the ill formed litany of mixed up music genres.
These are damn important, but it’ll take an entire post to sort them out, and put them into a useful context. In this post we’ll be concentrating on establishing your name, your Branded Keywords.
Youtube Music Videos have turned the music industry on its head. Music labels use to spend millions to produce videos, and then jump through hoops to get them featured on MTV. Not anymore!
“Though MTV continues to show videos on some of its channels, like MTV Jams and MTV Hits, it is now the YouTube hit that labels covet: hundreds of millions of views translates into a steady surge in album sales.” NY Times
It’s not like it used to be, you don’t even need a record label to make it big. Yet, if you want to get discovered by hordes of online fans you need the right mix of keywords.
Keywords are the word on the street, the phrases that people relate to, talk about and use to describe you.
Your fans don’t know you, they know your image. It’s shaped by the keywords of your fans Your image is how you’re recognized, understood and adored by your fans.
Nobody likes being put in boxes, especially artists, but isn’t your image just a fancy name for a box?
Keywords are sound bites that sculpt your image. They’re talking points that are easy to digest and remember by both the populace and the Search Engine.
Keywords are the clothes you wear in the mind of your fans. They’re absolutely vital to exposure, publicity and selling music.
Keywords & Youtube Ranking for Musicians
Do know where your Music Videos rank on Youtube, Bing and Google? Are they buried at the back of the line, beneath billions of tons of digital refuse?
If you don’t know how your videos are ranking, check out Tube Tracker. They make it easy to tabs on your videos.
Don’t you want your videos to be one of Youtube’s Top 10? Of course, you do!
But ranking number one for Pop Music isn’t quite the same as ranking for a keyword like, electric martian mental grunge. Is it?
Even if you rank number one, what good would it do you? No one will find you because no one is looking for electric martian mental grunge. That’s why you’ve got to choose keywords that count.
Ranking at the top of Youtube, Bing and Google for popular Keywords is like headlining at Madison Square Garden, or maybe even better. With 4 Billion daily views and growing, Youtube is the hottest place in cyber space?
The problem is that millions of music videos are going after the top spots. You don’t want to start out competing with Beyonce for keywords like Pop Music. No, you want to start out with keywords that are popular but not too competitive, like Soft Pop Live in London.
Before we size up the competitiveness of unbranded keywords and Genres, we need to backtrack to take a look at the power of your name!
Branded Keywords for Bands
You might not realize it, but your stage name, the name of your Band is your most important Keyword. It’s your brand, your branded keyword. It might irk you to think of your Band as a brand, but we live in a branded world.
Where ever your Band Name appears in the Media, in Music Video Titles, Tags, on Websites or Social Media, your Band is promoted as a brand. Of course, this is great because it boosts your name and your popularity.
The more your name appears in public, the more people will recognize it. This leads to more searches, traffic generation and social sharing.
If you already have a good size Fan Base, then each time you make a splash, release a new track or music video, your numbers will shoot up and more people will come into the fold.
But what if you’re not famous? The problem is that if people haven’t heard of you, they won’t search for you and it is unlikely they’ll find you on Youtube, Bing or Google.
The idea is to get the best of both worlds, to get your name recognition boosted and to get found by the people who have heard of you.
Your Branded Keywords are a bit broader that what you may expect. You see, all the plausible variations of your stage name, the official name of your band fall in the category of Branded Keywords.
In fact, anything that is directly associated with your Band, like, your albums, tracks and tours should also branded keywords.
Take the Rolling Stones for instance. The Rolling Stones and the shortened version, ‘The Stones’ are the primary Branded Keywords of their Band.
“The Rolling Stones on Fire”, their current 2014 tour, is a good example how they build on the power of their primary branded Keyword, “The Rolling Stones”.
Even though albums like, ‘Bridges to Babylon’, Emotional Rescue and ‘Exile on Main St’, are Branded Keywords in their own right, the Rolling Stones is prominently splashed across the covers.
How about Keith Richards and Mick Jagger? Wouldn’t they also be Branded Keywords? You bet! I’m sure you’ve heard of vocalist that gained massive notoriety. It’s common for big name performers to branch out on their own, like e Phil Collins and Paul McCartney.
What’s in a name? These days, big bucks and a staggering amount of market research goes into a name. The Naming conventions for the Branding of Bands, Hollywood Stars, Companies and Products aren’t left to chance. From wiring people to measure their reaction on a Functional MRI Scans to focus groups, naming is serious business.
Even without the Nero-Research behind them, over at the Brand Names Site contextual Band Name Keywords are being sold for crazy prices. There not even that good; Tune fork is listed at $3,995 and Sonixer for $4,850. Would you want to be known as the Tune Forks?
Most Bands who are just starting out can barely make ends meet, let alone drop a load of cash down to get a search friendly name. You’re also not going to have a million dollar ad agency working on your behalf.
So, here’s some guidelines for you to keep in mind.
You’ll want to pick a name that is flexible enough to fit into a broad range of content. Stick to one or two syllable words if possible.
Make sure that you’re aware of the cultural associations of your name. What does it imply? Does it have baggage or is it a relatively clean term? You probably wouldn’t want to call yoursevles the F’ck Heads!
If the contextual relevance somehow relates to music, that would be a big bonus. Of course, you’ll also want to consider the competitive ‘searchability’ of your name. You wouldn’t want to call yourself the Stones, but maybe the Jazz Brothers would work.
I’m just pointing this out to reiterate how important it is to make sure that your Band name, that your primary keyword…
- is catchy, easy for people to pronounce and remember
- is contextually relevant to music
- is unique and search friendly
- is an integral part of your story
- is able to fit into a wide variety of semantic structures without sounding forced
Ok, lets say that my Band Name is ‘Blank’. From what you’ve picked up thus far, can you tell if Blank is a good name for a Band?
On its own, Blank doesn’t have anything to do with music. At first glance it doesn’t suggest that I’m a musician whose in the Blank Band? Besides, I wouldn’t only be competing with other musicians and songs that use the word Blank, I’d also be competing on the Search Engines with every other Blank in the world.
Your Branded Keyword is what you want to be known for. It’s what you want to pop when people hear your name. So wouldn’t it be better if it popped with a beat, with some music?
As my Band Name, wouldn’t the Blank Band be much better than simply, Blank? Everyone would immediately know that I’m a Band and not just a Blank.
You do want your primary branded keyword to appear everywhere that it can naturally fit into the context.
Being a fairly neutral term, the Blank Band is flexible enough to suite a full range of different usages. It can easily be woven into your content in all sorts of ways. So, it’s easy to mix and match with popular non-branded Keywords.
For example, I could have The Blank Band (Official) Youtube Channel, which would feature Music Videos like:
- The Blank Band Unplugged
- The Blank Band Live in New York City
- Soft Rock Ballads with the Blank Band
- Hey Jude by the Blank Band
- Top 40’s by the Blank Band
By the way, I haven’t registered the Blank Band, so if you act fast you can give it a go. Seriously though, do you see what I’m getting at?