Background music refers to playing any soundtrack behind the scenes as an accompaniment playing in a marketing, journalistic, or instructional video background.  These tunes allow you to present your ideas cohesively and systematically, especially when switching between scenes or thoughts.

But why all the fuss about videos and accompanying soundtracks? Why is video marketing such a big deal?

Well, videos were popular even pre-pandemic–as early as 2016, where 83 percent of marketers admitted they were willing to create more videos if they had enough time and resources.

However, it seems like everything blew up with the spread of COVID. First, the demand for videos went up amid stay-indoor restrictions and increased online traffic. Now, more than 60 percent of businesses use video content as a promotional tool.

As videos become the order of the day, marketers who don’t upgrade to this new trend may lag. Even those who adopt and ignore trends like adding soundtracks to their video content will fall behind their forward-thinking competitors.

That being said, this article will discuss the importance of adding soundtracks to your promotional videos and tips to pick the right track.

This post has been updated in September 2021.

What is Background Music?

Background music refers to any musical accompaniment that plays in a marketing, journalistic, or instructional video background. For example, these tracks could be recorded instrumentals or vocal tracks (complete with beats and human voices).

Video makers add music in the background of their soundtracks in order to:

  • Attract the viewers’ attention
  • Set the right mood for the message
  • Reinforce the message
  • Change from one scene to the next
  • Present ideas systematically

The tunes are also common in podcasts, documentaries, and movies, where they play the same roles discussed above.

Background Music: Types of Background Tracks

Music triggers emotions. Therefore, choosing the correct type of background track is crucial in sending the right emotional message.

With that in mind, let’s understand the genres of music to use as accompaniments and discuss their impact on viewers to help you make an informed decision.

●       Cinematic

If you are working on an intense video, go for accompanying music that viewers can hardly ignore.

The track must be an attention-grabber right from the start. Anything that sweeps them off their feet and keeps them glued to the screen fits the description.

●      Ambient

Unlike cinematic music, ambient tracks are more laid back and soothing. They ease the viewer into the mood, allowing them to concentrate. In essence, it is the appropriate music type when searching for something less distracting.

For ambient music, go for any piece that sounds calming to the ear and mind.

●      Hilarious

Humor has long served as a marketing tool, and the trend persists because human beings are forever comedic. A recent case in point is One dollar Shave Club’s ad–arguably the funniest commercials of our time.

You might want to try this approach because funny contents get lots of likes and shares. Moreover, they last the longest on social platforms.

Nevertheless, if you choose this strategy, do not forget to accompany your video with a hilarious track to make it funnier.

●      Classical

Classical soundtracks are a popular background music choice for most video makers. Use these sounds when looking to add a rustic and dramatic feeling to your clips.

Consider a solid and inspiring orchestral track to inspire your prospects’ interest in your brand’s products.

background music

How to Pick the Right Background Music Track

Soundtracks are mood-setters. Beyond allowing you to present ideas cohesively, they help set the mood for your message.

However, pointing the finger at the right track is arguably the most challenging part. No wonder most marketers wind up between a rock and a hard place trying to choose an accompaniment for their promotional videos.

You must plan the search to zero in on the right piece. Follow this guideline to simplify your search:

1.    Consider the message

Your video’s message should determine the mood, and ultimately the type of music to use as accompaniment.

Do you intend to earn a viewer’s trust or create a sense of urgency so that would-be customers swing into action ASAP?

Well, with lots of music to choose from, you can never be spoilt for options regardless of the message.

2.    Decide the mood you’d like to create

It’s counterproductive to focus on video production without factoring in the background track. But, unfortunately, most promoters only begin the music search when they get to video editing.

To avoid plunging into such mistakes, always plan your videos with a behind-the-scenes track in mind. When planning for a video, ask yourself; what kind of music will fit this particular clip?

To make an informed decision, mull over the mood you’d like to ignite in your clip. It can range  anything from:

  • Hilarious
  • Gritty
  • Playful
  • Melancholic

Before making a decision, be sure to go through the entire video once more while trying different types of background music.  That way, it’s easier to make an informed decision based on your experiments.

3.    Tailor the track for your audience

You’re working on a video, and some track is playing on your head, then you start thinking, “this sounds like the perfect song for my video, doesn’t it?”

No, it doesn’t.

A commercial video is not the place to enjoy your playlist. Instead, please do a thorough study about your focus group to find out more about them, including their age and preferences regarding music. Then, to avoid sounding irrelevant, consider corporate soundtracks, classical music, and ambient tracks.

Nevertheless, feel free to choose something more modern if you are developing a video for younger people.

4.    Draft a budget

The budget for a background track can range anywhere from very cheap to extremely expensive.

When planning your presentation, be sure to include a budget for this based on your needs and pocket. Below are your options when it comes to budgeting:

  • Basic: If you don’t have enough funds to spare for this project, go for soundtracks categorized under the public domain. You can also check out music licensed under creative commons.
  • Standard: If you’ve set aside a few more dollars for a background track, consider royalty-free These sounds are better quality than those that fall under creative commons.
  • Premium: Companies with hundreds to thousands of dollars to spend on background music can enjoy the prestige of custom soundtracks. These could cost anything from $200 – $1,000. But once you pay such a significant amount, the soundtrack remains yours and can be replayed in other promotional content.

We’ll learn more about these options later on in the article.

Money shouldn’t be a stumbling block when looking for music to play along with your videos: There’s something for everyone.

5.    Choose between vocal tracks & instrumentals

Background music plays various roles in a video. For example, these tracks could be recorded instrumentals or vocal tracks with beats and human voices.

The right approach for you depends on the type of content you’re sharing. For example, if the production was recorded together with audio, it’s best to use instrumentals in the background. That way, you avoid clashing human voices, which may compromise message clarity.

For plain videos (without audio), it’s okay to choose a vocal track that sets the mood and reinforces the message.

6.    Don’t let the background track interfere with the message

Loud background music can affect the quality of your message. Therefore, these tracks should play behind the scenes, with their volume being lower than the audio in the video clip. Moreover, if someone is talking in the video, their speech should be audible.

Music should only serve as an accompaniment: playing the background sound louder than your video undermines the whole essence of using it in the first place.

Background Music: Types of Licensing

Because of copyright issues, you cannot just embed any track you feel like on a video and share it with the public. Doing it can be at the expense of a hefty lawsuit. Such court cases may threaten to ruin your small business financially.

Understanding how music rights work helps you avoid “usage” that may be considered copyright infringement.

Below is a complete guide through the types of music licensing and what they mean from a legal perspective:

  • Public domain: Tracks that are not copyrighted are classified under the public domain. These tracks are free to use as they don’t even recognize the artist(s) behind them. Therefore, you do not need any permit to use these sounds.
  • Creative commons: Any soundtrack listed under the creative commons license requires that you issue attribution every time you use it for a different purpose. Be sure to double-check the clause because songwriters and artists specify how they’d like to be given credit or recognized for their work.
  • Royalty-free: Unlike its name suggests, royalty-free tracks are not free of charge. This term only means that you do not need to pay royalty fees every time you use them. Once you pay for it once, you can use the track multiple times.
  • Copyrighted: A copyrighted soundtrack is a licensed audio track. You can’t use these sounds without a legal permit from the artists behind these voice tracks.

Before using a track, be sure to understand its license and follow the usage laws as stipulated in the relevant clause.

Non-Copyright Music Vs. Copyrighted

Songwriters and artists strive to compose, record, and put out records. Hence, do not plagiarize another person’s work. If you love a track and would like to use it in your video, it’s crucial to seek usage rights or permission to do so.

If you use copyrighted music without permission, your clip could be taken down from the various streaming platforms or banned altogether. Even worse, you could face legal action from the soundtrack’s rightful owner.

Thus, to avoid legal problems, use public tracks or affordable royalty-free music.

Hire an Audio Expert to Help You With Background Music

After a grueling video-making process, it can be hectic to choose and add background tracks to a clip, especially if you did not plan for this upfront. Hence if you hit rock bottom, feel free to outsource this project to an expert.

Audio experts understand the niceties of these projects thus work to ensure your background music matches the video.

Submit your project to Bunny Studio and hire an audio expert to take care of the background music fundamentals.