How to increase YouTube engagement with music

Ever made something amazing? 

Whatever it was, chances are your first impulse was to show someone. It’s a human thing. Whether it was a crushingly rude limerick or an objectively perfect meatloaf recipe, acts of creativity are meant to be shared.

And YouTube is our species’ ultimate invention for show and tell – the flux capacitor of flex if you will. But getting your content seen on YouTube isn’t easy. With over 500 hours of content uploaded to Youtube every minute, building an audience requires a magical thing to happen. You guessed it: YouTube engagement.  

So let’s take a look at YouTube engagement, why it’s important, and how the right music can make it happen. 

Why is YouTube engagement important? 

Picture this scene. 

You and an old friend are meeting up at your favorite swanky bar downtown. You grab your fancy drink of choice, order some delicious appetizers, and choose a quiet little booth far from the kitchen. You both sit down, grin at each other as only old friends who know a bit too much about one another do. Then you whip out your phones and settle in for a silent marathon sesh of Candy Crush. 

The key ingredient missing from this frankly kind of depressing little tableaux? Engagement!

Just like that cozy little downtown bar, your channel can be well-curated, your production standards through the roof, your smorgasbord of content bang on – but without the spicy chipotle dipping sauce of conversation, you and your audience are both missing out. 

An engaged audience will give you three things:

  • Feedback – An engaged audience will tell you what they like, give you ideas about where you should take your content next, and generally hold a (hopefully metaphorical) mirror up to your content. 
  • Visibility – An audience who engages with you will also tell others about you. Sure, that feels good, but far more importantly, having promoters in your corner makes your marketing task so much easier. 
  • Encouragement – Let’s face it. It sucks to pour your heart out only to be met with stony silence. An engaged audience will tell you when something you make rocks. A little bit o’ praise goes a long way to keeping that fire in your belly. 
How to measure youtube engagement

How to measure YouTube engagement 

OK, so we know YouTube engagement makes good stuff happen to your content. But what’s the best way to measure your YouTube video engagement rate, and hopefully get more of the good stuff? 

A few metrics will be your close ally in your quest to increase YouTube engagement. 

Watch time

Watch time describes the total minutes your viewers spent watching a particular video.

So let’s jump back to that metaphor of having drinks with a friend. Whether or not they showed up is the equivalent of the total number of hits you get. Useful, sure! But it doesn’t tell you a whole lot. 

YouTube watch time is the equivalent of how long your mate sat at the table with you to listen to your scintillating conversation (and on point Candy Crush advice). This is far more useful, because it shows you how interested they were in you specifically, rather than the content in general. 

Oh, and it’s probably worth hanging a lantern off the fact that YouTube places a lot of significance on this engagement metric as well. The better your watch time, the higher you’ll slide up in YouTube’s search results. Always a good thing. 

Likes and dislikes

Be mindful that one thing that likes and dislikes won’t really shed light on is the actual popularity of your content. 

Weird, I know, but here’s why: A vanishingly small percentage of Youtube viewers bother to click on those little thumbs of judgment. So you can’t look at a like or dislike and conclude much from it in isolation. 

What you can look for, though, are prominent, overarching trends. 

Seeing a huge spike in thumbs (whether up or down) across some of your videos? What’s causing people to react so strongly to these? Should you be doing more of that or less of it?

This might seem a bit counter-intuitive, but prompting any reaction, both positive and negative, is better than a completely neutral response. Even disagreement is engagement! And any engagement makes you memorable and gets people talking about you. 

As you figure out how to increase engagement on YouTube, remember that likes and dislikes will reveal parts of your content that generated strong reactions, but they won’t show you the whole popularity picture. 

phone with emotions coming out of it on a table social sharing


There’s something in the old adage, “sharing is caring.” 

A social media share from one of your audience is a loud and clear signal that someone out there cares enough about your content to put their name alongside yours. That’s the gold standard of engagement right there!

Evaluating your shares is an excellent way to check that your content resonates with your target demographic. 

Using YouTube analytics, you can get even more granular and take a peek at where exactly your content is being shared. Seeing a lot of Facebook love? It might be time to double down on your channel’s FB brand presence. Observing a decent dollop of Twitter chatter directed your way? It may well be time to wade headlong into the conversation, dispensing crunchy tidbits of content popcorn to an ever-expanding audience. 

Shares prove people care about your content and give you valuable opportunities to continue the conversation with a new potential audience. To increase your YouTube engagement, know where conversations about your content are happening – and be there. 


Thus far, we’ve looked at engagement metrics you can throw on a bar chart. These are all appealingly quantifiable and will give you valuable insights into what people are doing with your content. 

But what about the why

A comment shows what your viewers are seeing, thinking, and feeling when they watch your content. In other words, every comment is a chance to learn about why people watch you. You’re getting right to the source of what makes you unique. 

And this is striking at the heart of how you can consistently increase your YouTube engagement over time. Know what others find unique about your content. 

Oh, and a quick aside about comments. They’re also your golden Willy Wonka ticket to converting an interested viewer into an ardent fan, so it’s a really good idea to set aside time to give each comment the attention it deserves. 

Why music is important to YouTube engagement 

Ever seen the movie Chariots of Fire? It’s an oldy but a goody.

The movie tells the story of two British athletes who were competing to represent Britain in the 1924 Olympics. I won’t bore you with the details. The important factoid here is that the movie won an Academy Award for Best Original Soundtrack.

Now here’s an experiment for you. Go back and watch it with the sound turned down. Suddenly, a once-moving scene becomes just a bevy of buff beachside Brits in baggy britches. It’s fairly boring, and frankly, a smidge ridiculous. 

The point? Music made this scene. In fact, it made the whole film. Music made the characters relatable. It placed their weird facial expressions and muddy runnin’ togs into a grander context.

Music invited viewers not just to watch them, but to feel what they were going through. 

young girl listening to music with headphone with yellow background

Your visual content sells the idea. Your music sells the emotion

That, right there, is why music is vital for your YouTube engagement.

Music gives your audience powerful cues to emotionally interpret what they’re seeing. And as this Psychology Today article explains, a lot of that processing occurs subconsciously. 

You can tell your audience what they should feel until you’re blue in the face, and all you’ll likely achieve is annoying them. We humans are a stubborn lot!

But place the right tune behind your visuals, and music will set the scene for you. 

Lickd is how you find that perfect piece of music

Lickd is a digital platform devoted to giving you the music you need to make a lasting emotional connection with your audience. 

Using Lickd, you can:

  • Find music that’s legal to use – It’s one thing to find that perfect tune that makes your content pop. It’s another thing entirely to find music you can use without breaching copyright. All content available through the Lickd platform is legal to use. With Lickd, you can relax about the legal stuff, and focus on finding the right tunes to increase your YouTube engagement.
  • Use famous music (again, legally!) – Lickd is the only platform that lets you quickly and easily license famous music from famous artists. Let’s face it. Sometimes the best and only song to accompany your content is the one everyone knows. Want to make your content bubble along to Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy?” Through Lickd, it can happen. 
  • Support the artists who make great music happen – Lickd changes how content Creators and music Creators can work together. Through Lickd, the artist whose music you use will benefit directly. Maybe it’s stating the obvious, but people like to be rewarded for their hard work!
  • Quickly find the music you need – Start by defining the mood you want to create and search from there. Lickd offers over a dozen moods, from aggressive to uplifting, from sexy to tense. Designed with content Creators in mind, the Lickd platform will get you up close ’n personal with the style you’re after with minimal messing about.  

Other ways to boost YouTube engagement

If you want to increase YouTube engagement, music is going to be a touchstone for building an emotional connection with your audience. But getting your viewers fully engaged is a sultry fandango of many complementary content choices and stylistic elements. 

The perfect formula is going to be different for everyone, but if you’re serious about learning how to increase engagement on YouTube, here are a few rules of thumb.

Don’t neglect SEO! 

Love it or hate it, people find YouTube content using a search algorithm. The right concentration of keywords and phrases in your description is crucial if you want more people to find you. 

Not going to lie – this is a big topic to sink your teeth into. But Google’s SEO Starter Guide will set you on the right path. 

Talk to your audience, not your camera

If you look at successful YouTube content Creators, one trait most have in common is that they’re great at speaking with their audience as though they’re friends. 

Yep, this takes practice! 

But once the camera is rolling, try to forget about all the technical wizardry behind the scenes. Set aside your ruminations on the intricacies of music for YouTube videos and engagement rates.

Focus instead on talking to your audience as though they were right there. 

And here’s a suggestion based on way too much trial and error (mainly error). Building a persona of your target audience may help you find that crucial emotional connection. It can bring that person you’re speaking to into sharper focus. Take a look at your YouTube Analytics to determine who your audience actually is.

Make a great first impression

Ugh. It’s such a cliche that first impressions last, but you’re dealing with a visual medium here. It’s just unavoidable. The first five seconds of a potential viewer’s experience of your brand are make-or-break. 

First thing’s first: Your thumbnail game needs to be sharp. Yes, it’s tempting just to publish your content and move on with your life, but spend real time making your thumbnails look great, not only in isolation but as a consistent set representing your channel. 

The first few seconds of your content should set the scene emotionally (which brings us back to music!) and in terms of content relevance. 

Whatever content you make, show its relevance to your viewer immediately.

Music is just one facet of building up your YouTube engagement, but it’s an essential facet! By creating a strong emotional connection with your audience, you’ll increase your YouTube watch time metric, build relationships with your viewers, and earn that sweetest show-and-tell prize of all: engagement.

So now you know how to increase your YouTube engagement. But, what does Lickd have to do with it?

Lickd gives you access to a massive library of chart-topping music that’ll help you grow your audience in no time. Plus, Lickd creates customized quotes that adjust based on the size of your fanbase. So, if you’re a new YouTuber, you won’t have to pay superstar prices. Want to know the best bit? You even get 25% off your first track!

Content and SEO Marketing Manager

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