I’ve seen a whole lot of upcoming artiste who are yearning for an effective online music promotion having one poor or bad cover design or another. Most of them go to the extent of using their smartphone to design a cover art, and worst of all affix a photo they also snapped with a smartphone. And some because they have access to or own a system unit or laptop end up doing the design by themselves instead of seeking the services of a professional graphic designer.
Having observed all these and lots more, I finally came to realize that majority of upcoming musicians do not know the importance of a cover design when it comes to online music promotion, that is why they pay less attention to it. And for that reason I decided to write this article, hoping it will help a lot of upcoming artiste achieve an effective online music promotion after reading it.
A cover design, also known as artwork, is what represents the contents in your audio track or music video that is uploaded online.
Before now, you have invested a lot of time, money, energy, emotions, ideas etc. into composing, recording, mixing and the mastering process. You have even gone as far as shooting a very niece video for your track.
You’ve done it all and it sounds good and looks niece, and it’s about time for you to deliver it to the world via the modern delivery system known as the internet.
There are hundreds of online platforms for music promotion; some are free, some charge less while some even charge a huge amount, promising thousands of views and downloads. And even your choice of having your music online settles on a free online music platform, there is one thing that will be required to be uploaded alongside your song and that is the cover design. In the website dashboard we call it a feature image.
Now permit me to clearly state here that it is this cover design, artwork, feature image or whatever name else you might give to it, that will attract a viewer and compel him or her to click on a post that leads one to listen, watch or download any music online. In other words, online viewers will not just click on any post and start listening to a song, something must compel them to do it, and that’s when your cover design comes to play.
Now one might ask why viewers do not click on an upcoming musician’s song online just like that, and the answer is that they are afraid to waste their time and data on a song that is whack, or is poorly recorded.
I was opportune to live with a very popular DJ back then in Wazobia FM, Lagos. Everyday this DJ will return home with several CD’s being submitted by upcoming artiste who wants their song to be played on air. We will then sit down to listen to the songs one by one in order to ascertain if they are ok to be played on the radio because radio stations have their policy on the kinds of songs that must be played, and breaking of those rules always carries a penalty.
So after accessing those songs one after the other, we will always discover that most of them were either whack or had low or no production quality at all. Some you will not even hear what the artiste was singing, especially the rap songs, while some the artiste rendition would be good but the studio production a total mess up.
Now while I was having those experiences I never knew that I will one day become an online music promoter and have lots of music being submitted to me by upcoming artiste for online promotion. And permit me to add quickly here that most of those songs I receive today are a total mess up.
I can however stand in for the upcoming artiste of those days who had poor studio production because Nigeria was not advanced in the art of audio making as it is today. There were very few recording studios in Lagos back then, and the cost of recording a track was also very expensive.
I remember in 2005 when I went to Kennis music to inquire about recording a song, a track was 15,000 Naira, and their minimum track recording was 4 which made the sum total of making a track 60,000 Naira. They even called those 4 tracks a single.
But today there is no denying of the fact that Nigeria has advanced so much in the art of making good music to the extent that an upcoming artiste can achieve a very good sound recording even from a home recording studio. He can even choose to buy a beat online for a low price and pay little in the studio for the voice, mixing and mastering processes. Therefore, poor sound quality in audio making should not be raised or discussed as a problem in today’s music industry.
Having taken the pains to explain all this to you, I hope you now understand why online viewers do not risk their time and data to click on an upcoming artiste music they find online.
They will instead prefer to search for new songs dropped by the big artiste, knowing that those ones are already certified to give them what they want.
But then I can bet it on my life that it will be very hard for an online viewer to scroll by without clicking on a post from an upcoming artiste music promotion that carries a very niece and attractive cover design. The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” cannot be applied here because it won’t take the viewer much time to confirm the authenticity of the music once he clicks on it. And of course if the song is good he would end up downloading and even including it in his playlist.
I hope you now understand that your cover design is the first view an online viewer will have about your work so you must ensure that it represents the quality of the music you have online for promotion.
So if you want your music to have lots of online listeners, watch time and downloads, make sure you go for the best cover design you can ever think of.
I will even advice you not to try to do it by yourself, even if you are the best graphic designer, connect with another best graphic designer and share ideas with him and in no time you will see what great cover design you guys will come up with.
Good graphic designers are everywhere; you can even meet a lot of them online. Contact them, tell them to send you samples, negotiate price and soon you will see what great cover design you will have, plus how the views of your online music will increase sporadically.
But before you contact your graphic designer or still decide to do it yourself, you need to have an idea of what makes up a good cover design.
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