IHM News

IHM Road Tips Vol. 10: 6 Steps to Creating Great Online Content with Your Live Performance

Posted By : IHM, Posted On : September 13, 2013


The following blog post assumes you have great music and a solid live show before hitting the road. Not sure? Contact Bram, head of IHM Artist Relations & Support about a show evaluation,, on twitter @bram_rocks or call 877.994.6446 xt. 2.

“Someone records what was a truly amazing performance and posts it on YouTube and it starts to get attention, that could help the performer who might not have any other way of reaching out to such a broad audience” – Mark Katz

Sharing videos of your live performances is a great way to build a fanbase, but the content has to be great. No one can predict what will go viral, but spending time and effort getting consistent quality content from your adventures on the road could pay off huge and cost next to nothing. In #roadtips 9, we discussed how to create a memorable live experience that can’t be replicated on Youtube. Here in #roadtips 10, we’ll discuss how to create compelling online content using your live performance and Youtube. In the immortal words of Tenacious D “Always Record” so when you capture that incredible moment on camera, you could go viral.


6 Steps to Creating Great Online Content with Your Live Performance:  

1. Rewrite your song to bring out the moment: The biggest mistake artists make in their live performance is playing songs as they recorded it on their album – even if there is a better way to present the song live. As we discussed in #roadtips 9, you must rewrite your songs for a live setting with a focus on bringing out unique moments that engage the audience. Your live show comes down to a simple math equation – the more moments you create, the more music and merchandise you sell afterwards. In this case, you want your video to engage the audience watching from their computer, but the importance of creating memorable moments still applies.

2. Tell a Story Through Stage Visuals: Ask yourself the following two questions: First, do all your songs sound alike? Of course not. Secondly, does what the audience sees on stage for your live songs look alike? That’s a more difficult question to answer, yet is essential to creating a memorable viral video. According to Tom Jackson, 55% of your communication with the audience comes from what they see on stage, which highlights the importance of telling a unique, visual story with every song. Make sure your live performance visually matches the tone of the song you’re capturing on video.

3. Focus on Sound Quality – Get as professional of a video camera as you can, although you can still create an effective, high quality video with your smartphone and a couple savvy moves. First, mount your recording device on a tripod. Then, position yourself next to the soundboard for optimal sound quality. Recording quality sound is the big difference between a bad home video and an effective viral tool. There are companies that make exterior microphones for smartphones to help with recording sound affordably. Other companies are catching onto the live experience – Nokia built marketing campaigns around the ability to clearly record live concert footage.  

4. Make Your Video Short: Your viral video should be 3 minutes or less – make sure you have a memorable moment in the first 30 seconds, YouTube viewers have the attention span of a goldfish which is about 9 seconds.

5. Make your video SHAREABLE through EMBEDDING: More than half of Youtube views come from the audience tweeting out the link or embedding the video into their website. Make it easy for the audience to interact with your video through “likes” and comments.

And don’t forget to upload your video in high resolution along with a quality thumbnail image, write a description that has the critical info in the first few lines so it is easily seen without expanding, and make sure to tag it with relevant keywords. Not sure what keywords to use, search some terms and see what is trending.

6. Let Your Network Work For You – Similar to promoting a tour (#roadtips 4) or creating a successful Kickstarter campaign (#roadtips 7), spread your live video across as many social media platforms as possible. Make it easy for people to find you. Create hashtags promoting your video – for a guide to creating an effective Twitter hashtag, check out #roadtips 5.

Alternate Uses For Your Video – Although the goal of your video is to go viral, footage of your live performances can be used in other areas. You can put links to your performances within a Kickstarter campaign. Make your video part of a standout EPK to apply for music conference showcases as discussed in #roadtips 3.


Want to see some examples of great moments caught on camera? Check out:

  1. Indiehitmaker Artist David Mayfield Parade get the crowd sitting on the floor of the venue singing songs during an awesome touching moment:


2. Watch Foxy Shazam work the stage like nobody’s business, this band knows how to throw a live show. Notice how they work as a team on stage:



  • 3. You never know when a video will go viral, the more you post the better your chances. Watch The Arcade Fire’s interaction with their audience for their final song during the Reading Festival:



People share videos to gain social status by being the first to show others what’s cool or coming next. Got something super cool? You could go viral. More importantly, build a stronger loyal group of followers over time by posting tons of great content so when it’s time to tour their town you’ll have fans at the show.

Join the indiehitmakermailing list and receive more tips on funding tours and getting the most from the road. Have a question, comment or feedback? Tweet us @indiehitmaker #RoadTips, like us on Facebook, orcontact us online.

IHM Road Tips Readers get one month free when you register for IndieHitmaker monthly live venue reporting services. Click toSign Up for the Newsletter Now and receive your immediate discount code.  Code lasts for a limited time only!




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