Drew Gula is the copywriter at Soundstripe, a provider of royalty-free classical music and SFX to help businesses produce better content.
We live in a video-obsessed world. The average person takes in an estimated 100 minutes of video content per day.
But people only have so much mental capacity, and that means every minute of screentime is becoming more and more valuable.
In other words, if you aren’t using video content in your marketing strategy, you’re falling behind the competition. More importantly, you are also failing to connect with your audience in channels they already use every day.
Part of creating good content is knowing how the pieces fit together.
One-piece that people often overlook is music. The right song choice can create an emotional pull for your marketing videos, or make boring topics more interesting. And if you can find a way to let the music do that heavy lifting for you, you’ll have a powerful tool that can improve every video you produce.
It’s no secret that storytelling is the most important component of good video content. But it’s easy to forget that music can tell a story just as easily as a good script can.
Rewatch some of your favorite videos. (It doesn’t matter if they’re clever ads, travel videos, or an exciting action sports reel.) One common trend you find in any memorable video is music that makes you feel something. If a song generates an emotional response, that almost always leads to a lasting connection in our brains.
Music can share a powerful message even without a single word, and that’s an important tool for anyone that wants to use video marketing to its full potential. And the more you learn about how music affects the brain, the more you realize that genre and song choice can have a big impact on how successful your video is.
Choosing when to play music can also make a difference. Here are the five most important times to use music in your video marketing, whether it’s an ad or a web series or even a behind-the-scenes documentary project.
This might seem like the most obvious choice, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Starting your video with music is a fast and direct way to set the tone for the entire viewing experience. The right intro music will also catch a viewer’s attention — we all know what it’s like to get pulled into an ad or autoplay video because the music piqued our interest.
If a video is part of a larger series, you can build a sense of cohesion by creating a theme for every related video. That will help viewers build a sub-brand for your videos, and it’ll also give you an opportunity to create some awareness about a channel or series that’s a big part of your content strategy.
While transitions have been part of filmmaking since the beginning, YouTubers have popularized the art. It’s something that viewers have come to expect in certain video styles, and — with the right component parts — it can be a useful addition to your video content.
Compressing large chunks of content into small, digestible pieces is something we all do in our marketing projects. When it comes to videos, transitions provide a way to move between topics or scenes seamlessly.
Video editors know all sorts of clever tricks, but pairing that with some music will smooth things out and ease viewers in and out of the transition. The song becomes a sort of bridge that gives the editor some extra room to work.
There’s a popular misconception that background music is boring. It’s easy to hear ambient music and assume it’s a boring song. (And that’s not even addressing everyone’s least favorite genre, elevator music.)
But when choosing music to pair with visuals, it’s usually better to avoid bombastic songs that could overwhelm the audience. Finding music to play in the background can affect the viewer’s emotions, even if the voiceover isn’t calling attention to it.
In other words, background music is a way to steer viewers to feel how you want them to feel. The last thing you want to do is draw someone’s focus away from your video’s message. And because music can create that emotional response, you already know it’ll be a successful tactic to use.
Montages are another popular video trick for condensing a lot of visual information. And because these segments speed through a lot of content, adding background music will hold the audience’s interest during that process.
You can also use your song choice to build excitement or add humor. In fact, background music for a montage can be an opportunity to prompt whatever emotional shift that video needs. (And if you use a montage as a transition, you get twice the value with one great song choice.)
Think of this the same way you tackle your video intros. You want to use music to bookend your video, regardless of whether or not it’s part of a larger series of related content.
An outro also gives you an opportunity to shift the tone again. If you want to end videos with a CTA or an opportunity to encourage engagement, a song can provide the backing you need to change gears at the end of a video without surprising the viewer.
It’s easy to find tutorials and webinars on how to make the most from video content. But we don’t all have the time to step back, evaluate our channels, and overhaul our strategy.
At the end of the day, there are some guaranteed quick wins that you can implement right now. And you won’t find an easier opportunity than learning when and where to add music to your videos.