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  • Writer's pictureIan Ruas

5 Types of Music Videos to Promote Your Career

Updated: Dec 24, 2021

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about music videos?

Well.. music videos have been a staple in the music industry for years and it can be a powerful marketing tool for your music career. But what if I told you there are many different types of music videos out there for you to choose from? Some are purely performance-based while others may be more creative and experimental.

Perhaps this information is not news to you but think for a second if you’ve truly been using different types of music videos to your advantage.

The best type of music videos vary depending on what you want out of them. And it's important to think about what kind of video your audience would like to see in order to effectively promote yourself as an artist.

So let’s go ahead and check out 5 types of music videos that are being used on social media platforms currently, and how they can help you on your road to success.

Starting with...


Social media is a great way to get your music out there. It can also be an incredible tool for building relationships with fans and interacting with them on the platforms they love using most. Creating engaging videos that are shareable across social networks will help you gain more followers, drive traffic back to your website, and spread awareness of what you do in ways traditional marketing cannot accomplish as effectively.

The first thing you need to understand is that social media videos are a category of its own. A mistake many artists make when it comes to social media videos is to simply recycle snippets of performances and music videos and post on their pages. And although I do not discourage you from promoting your work that way, I do need to remind you that social media requires specific types of content in order to trigger the best possible results.

Algorithm patterns have shown that shorter and concrete videos perform better on these platforms, mainly because we have only a few seconds to catch people’s attention. So if you post the 30-second intro of your beautiful narrative music video, by the time the song starts the audience might be long gone.

My recommendation is that you pick a video that is visually clear, well lit, and straight to the point, with the performance happening from start to finish. We’ll talk a little more about social media videos at the end of this article. For now, stay with this example of a social media video that expresses exactly what I’m talking about.


Live performance is the second type of music video we’ll be talking about. This type of video is particularly important because not only it gives you credibility as a performing artist and shows your performing skills, but also it contains the audience’s reaction and your interaction with them.

As a comparison, think of the fake laughs used by Hollywood in their comedy shows. Their intent is to provoke in the audience an element of social proof, in which we feel more comfortable laughing, applauding or interacting with the show. Likewise, posting videos in which there's an audience's response to your music, might cause the same effect and draw people closer to you.

Check out this example of live performance with the audience interacting with the artist.


This is an incredibly powerful type of video, yet many artists miss out on the opportunity to create them.

A music documentary is a film or video that depicts an artist at work. They were originally used to document concerts, but now they are often filmed in the studio and on tour. With these kinds of videos, musicians can show off their personality and creativity. It also provides an opportunity to tell the story of how they got where they are in life today - not just as musicians but as people.

There is no better way for you to connect with your audience than by creating a personal connection through this type of content that shows them who you really are. Here is an example of a music documentary.


Do you ever feel like the music is telling a story? I do. It's not just about rhythm and melody, it's also about lyrics. Narrative music videos are films that illustrate the song being played in its entirety, often without any dialogue or narrative interruption from other songs. They tell an entire story with visuals alone, which can make for a unique viewing experience!

Narrative music videos are a new genre of video that can be used as an alternative to the typical lyric video. These videos tell stories about life, love, and adventure through song lyrics in a cinematic fashion. The videos often consist of shots from different locations depicting people's daily lives- such as going to work or waking up on the morning train. It provides a way for musicians to share their story with fans in a nontraditional format.

Here, what matters is your ability to tell a story through song. As artists, we must explore every possible way in which our music can be heard and experienced by as many people as possible. Take this opportunity to check out one of my favorite music videos ever. “The Scientist”, by Coldplay.


Viral music videos are different from every other video type mentioned in this article for the simple fact that it's essentially created, meant, and thought out to be SHARED. Period.

So, not only does it need to be concrete and grab the attention of the audience in a few seconds, such as social media music videos, it also needs to be extremely shareable.

And there are several examples of ingredients a video needs to have in order to go viral, such as specific types of emotion, association figures and surprise elements. Check out the Viral Musician Formula to find out a few ways you can use these videos to your advantage.


Choosing the right type of music video is just as important as choosing the perfect song for your artist. The type of video you create should be based on the kind of artist that you are and what your goals for promotion are.

Whatever you decide, make sure it’s something that will resonate with fans or potential clients so they know exactly who you are from just one glance at the screen.

If you’re in need of a little help, make sure to check out the DIY Music Video Workshop, which will walk you through the technical and creative aspects behind all the 5 video types mentioned in this article, so you master the craft of making videos for your music.

Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below. Take care y’all!


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