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How to Use Music to Connect with Your Viewers

Soundstripe Team

May 5, 2021

Have you ever heard a song that triggered a distinct memory for you? Most likely, yes, you have! When it comes to leaving an impression, music is an incredibly powerful medium.  

The power of music in video

Through music, the brain has the ability to tie emotions, to recall memories, and to impact the listener’s mood. If you’re looking to create bonds with your message or information, powerful music is a great way to make it happen. 

So how can music become even more powerful: by pairing it with video, another impactful method of connecting and communicating with others. Music inspires us by making a video (and its contents) more interesting, more exciting, and more worthy of our attention. 

Even more, this emotional impact also motivates audiences to take action. When you create a video, you are trying to share information. Adding music can help secure that message and your business into the mind of your viewers. 

Sounds awesome right? It is! However, choosing the right music is difficult. There are millions of songs in the world with their own unique sound, and some of them will be better for your video than others. How are you supposed to know which track to use?

License music that complements your video

One thing to consider right off the bat is the legalities that exist in music usage. For commercial videos (and anything you want to share online), you need to consider musical royalties. The information varies from song to song, so it’s best to look to a music licensing site to begin your search. With over thousands of tracks to choose from, make sure to keep it inline with your brand’s tone.

Through royalty free music, you do not have to worry about copyrights or any type of infringement. You can add it to your video, worry-free. 

The Emotional Impact of Music

Another key component to consider is: what kind of emotions do you want to inspire in your viewers? For example, if you are creating an explainer video to introduce and onboard new employees to your company, you would want to use uplifting, inspiring music to release serotonin and urge a connection to new employees and your brand.  

If you are an organization looking to secure donations and goodwill from your viewers, you would likely consider music that is serene, gentle, and delicate. For example, many of us can picture the ASPCA commercials every time we hear Sara McLachlan sing “Angel.” 

Not only does that song make you feel sad about these animals, but it also evokes an emotion of heroism that they connect through you. This means pulling out your credit card with the intention of wanting to donate to their organization. Emotion can often convert into currency when using these strategies. 

Branding through music

Your choice of music in video also helps to define who you are as a brand. Traditional and elegant videos would make sense with classic and predictable music, but a new explainer video or other modern topic would make sense with unique music that piques that audience’s curiosity.

In a world that is heavy on media, you are able to remember what type of music a specific brand uses. “Music in Advertising: An Analytic Paradigm,” a paper written by David Huron, a professor at School of Music at Ohio State University mentions "music can serve the overall promotional goals in one or more of several capacities.” Music brings value to a brand through enforcing identity, engagement, and conversion. 

Music hits a nerve in an audience that creates action, for a brand this means conversion rates. Audiences want to stand with brands that embody their ambience and what they believe in, and music plays a huge role in how people perceive brands. 

Retail stores often play music they know their target audience is listening to. This reinforces not only their brand identity but the fact that the brand is also a part of the individual’s external identity. 

Make sure to experiment with the types of emotions different music tracks can bring to life. COO of Brolik Matthew Sommer, who scores both commercials and films explains, “Music is critical to the feel and tone of almost any piece of video content. Simply changing the backing track for a video can totally change the mood, and sometimes even the implied meaning of the content.” 

Music has its own power to evoke and even if your video is saying one thing, the background music can make it seem like it's saying another. Like the tone of someone’s voice, music acts like the tone of the presented information. 

Using music to break down videos

Last, you can experiment with foreground and background music. Foreground music is often used in videos that show people doing some sort of activity, but not talking, and foreground music is quite a bit louder than background music. 

This is intentional: if music replaces dialogue in your video, you want the volume to be higher so people notice it. Conversely, if it’s in the background, you want people to be able to hear whatever else is happening in the video, so the background music should be a few levels lower than the voiceover or dialogue in your video. 

This tactic could be used to transition on to another idea, or tell the start and end of a video. This helps simplify not only your ideas but your video overall. Sectioning off important concepts and ideas allows your audience to compartmentalize and digest your information easier. 

Now that you are aware of the considerations to take when selecting music for your video, you are ready to look through thousands of artist curated picks. To make sure your search is worry-free of any copyright licensing, be sure to check out Soundstripe’s royalty free music library to find the perfect complement to your video.

Further reading

Interested in reading more top resources and getting our best filmmaking tips and tricks? Here are a couple of our most popular articles from across the Soundstripe blog:

Daniella is a marketing intern at simpleshow, which is the leading provider of products and services around explainer videos. She enjoys studying interactive media and creative marketing at the University of Miami.