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Adding music to brand videos – why, what and how?

Clients often ask us about adding music to their brand videos. It’s a really powerful tool for engaging  and inspiring your audience, which is why it’s so important to get it right.

Music creates an emotional response in us and that’s a key goal for any marketing content, to make a connection with your audience. But, as with any emotive content, the wrong type of messages can cause confusion and potentially have negative consequences so any music you choose needs to be aligned with your target audience, brand and key messages.

So instead of choosing your favourite track to add to your brand video, think about what will help you achieve your goals. Below are some questions to ask yourself to help choose the right music for your brand videos:

What do you want the music to do in your brand video?

Typically music is used in the following ways:

  • In the foreground instead of a dialogue – this is often used when a video shows activities that don’t require a verbal explanation, and with social media ‘silent’ videos where many viewers may watch with the sound off.
  • In the background – this might be used to help tell a story, keeping viewers watching and highlighting key messages. It also plays a supporting role that drives viewers to the end of the video.
  • To bookend your video – this type of music helps set the tone for your video and signifies when it ends. You might also feature music within the video too, in which case it’s important to decide whether the same track is used throughout or whether you need different clips for different roles.

What emotional response do you want from your audience?

The tone of the music you use should reinforce the rest of your video content, so if you want to generate excitement around a product the music needs to be upbeat and energising. If you want viewers to feel empathy with the subject matter, a reflective soundtrack could be effective.

Using music that’s recognisable, whether that’s a well known song or a similarly sounding track from the same genre, is also highly effective. Many brands use this technique to align their brand with particular cultural references.

What’s your budget?

Before you brief your video production company to buy the rights to Beyonce’s latest song, make sure you know what your budget is. Music rights are quite complicated as you pay for the publishing rights as well as the performers / artist’s rights. How much depends on all sorts of variables, not least the popularity of the song and artist.

Most video production companies will recommend sourcing a track from a music library as the least expensive and least complicated way to license a track. However, depending on your budget, you may want to explore options including commissioning a composer to create a bespoke piece just for your brand.

What’s your demographic?

Make sure you don’t turn your audience off with the wrong music! If your brand video is targeted at a wide demographic you’ll need to play it safe with a track that’s not too challenging and has broad appeal. Whereas the more niche your audience, the more niche your music can be. And the more you know about your audience, the more confident you can be in your music choices.

What tempo and tone works with your video content?

Another thing to consider is how the tempo and tone works with the rest of your video content. There must be some alignment because otherwise viewers will find the experience of listening and watching very challenging! For example, if you need to communicate a lot of information a soundtrack that’s very complex will make it hard for your viewers to process both the audio and visual elements of your video.

Voiceovers and background music must be handled carefully as if they both have the same frequency your voiceover can get lost. Certain instruments like strings are on the same frequency spectrum as the human voice.

How can you use pace to drive engagement?

A consistent rhythm helps drive viewers from start to finish and can also be used to highlight key messages within the video. This can be done by slowing down sections, pausing them, fading in and out or other techniques without losing that driving thread throughout the video. So when choosing a track consider whether it offers these opportunities.

Can you add the music to a video yourself?

In most cases your video production company will add your chosen track in post-production. However, if you have existing videos and want to enhance them with music, can you add music yourself?

If you have Windows 10’s Photo app you can open your video using this app and then click on ‘Edit and Create’. Choose the option ‘Create a video with text’ and then select the music tab to add your own track. There’s limited functionality with this app so if you want more options download a video editing tool for Windows.

Mac users can add music using iMovie choosing tracks from your iTunes library. However, you must have a music licence to use any songs or compositions so get this in place first. If you buy music from a music library you can download it and add to iTunes.

There are also a number of online tools that let you upload your video and your music to create videos with music. As with the above options they do have limited functionality, so if you want to try different techniques and editing options you’ll need more professional video editing software.

Get in touch if you would like to discuss any of the subjects covered in this blog post, or if you want to explore creating brand videos in more detail!

Debbie Hills

Author Debbie Hills

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