Choosing Music for Your Videos

October 10, 2023

Do you remember hearing this for the first time? Dn, dn…dn, dn. Two musical notes that inspired a whole lot of feeling within each of us. Because music has power. Which is why today we’re talking how to use that power in your video marketing. That’s right, this week it’s all about choosing music for your videos. And how choosing the right music can make boost your message.

What’s Your End Goal?

When it comes to choosing music for your video, you’ll want to first know your video’s end goal. What’s the purpose for your video? Music should serve whatever that purpose is; for example, you created a channel trailer for your brand’s YouTube page. Probably best to choose something upbeat and inspiring to get your viewer feeling excited.

Knowing your end goal will also help determine if your music should be more background or forefront. Are there moments where your music should be front and center? Or is it just an underlying current, helping to move your story along?

This is also a great opportunity to develop a style of music as part of your branding kit. The same way you selected fonts and color schemes for your brand, you’ll want to create a musical persona that suits it as well. This will help with keeping your “style” easily recognizable as well as selecting music much easier over time.

Who’s Your Target Audience?

It’s important to know your target audience for many reasons, but also to help you in choosing music for your videos. What’s the age of your audience? What do they listen to? What music might you use that will resonate with them in some way? For example, if your audience is predominantly business-minded, with an age range of 30-50’s, selecting more subtle, “background” music may be in your best interest. However, if the product you’re highlighting is geared to a younger crowd, current, contemporary beats will pull them in faster, and encourage them to listen.

After all, music is a universal language. It is the quickest form of communication we as humans comprehend.

What’s Your Music Budget?

It is important for you to factor in music when it comes to your video budget. While there is a wide array of cost options when it comes to music, you’ll most likely have to spend something on procuring it. One of the most common ways is via music licensing platforms. There are numerous choices out there when it comes to these, but we’ve taken the time to put together a few of the best options for you here.

Outside of these, you could of course hire a composer, should you want your own original music. Good examples of this need would usually be for indie films, or art videos of some sort. But really, it’s up to you on what your needs and vision are. A couple of suggestions on where to connect with potential composers would be Upwork or Fiverr, where freelance artists go to promote their work and availability.

When to NOT Use Music

As the age old phrase goes, “Silence is golden.” And when it comes to choosing music for your videos, we believe silence can be super golden! Meaning, don’t allow your music to overwhelm your video or drown out your message. And also, sometimes less is more.

Take this scene, for example, from Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest”. In it, music is not used at all, until the very end (and quite effectively, at minute 3:30, if you don’t have time for the full video–although this movie still holds up, FYI). So, look for the pauses, for the “breaths” in your music. Sometimes they can be the most powerful moments of your video’s soundtrack.

Does Your Music Tell a Story?

Storytelling is a pivotal part of your brand’s video. And the music for your video is no different. While music helps tell your video’s story, it should also tell a story all on its own. Meaning, as with any good story, does it have a beginning, middle, and end? In musical terms, this could be acquired through the use of dynamics. Does the music build (or crescendo) when your message does? Perhaps there’s a pivotal moment in your video that could best be supported by a musical build. Or maybe a touching story, best paired with a quieter musical resolution.

A picture may be worth a thousand words. But, we might add, the right musical phrase is worth ten thousand.

So, go have fun with this! There are limitless possibilities with music. It is, again, a universal language. So use it and choose it well as a better means of speaking to your audience through the power of video.