So you want to promote your music and have created an ad, and you’ve got to that section on the Facebook ad manager and got stuck in your tracks.
Or maybe you’ve arranged for an influencer to shout out your music.
But your stumbling block is what link to give and where to direct people.
You’re not alone!
Unravelling the Mystery of How to Promote Music with Ads Successfully
In this article, I’m going to take you through all of the options you have available to you, whether you direct people to your YouTube, to your Spotify, Apple Music or your Instagram profile, or to the same platform where you are advertising.
At Burstimo, we have this dilemma every day, because we advise our artists where the ad money is best spent.
100,000 views to a random Instagram post may not be of good value, nor likely to convert visitors into fans. These are just two primary considerations when deciding where to send people.
# 1 Promote Your Music YouTube Links
I’m going to start with YouTube because I love sending people to YouTube as a platform. The reason is that each view of your video or channel is an asset. YouTube will retarget those viewers on your behalf.
Suppose someone watches the majority of your video. In that case, when you release your next video on YouTube, the algorithms will suggest your latest video via their homepage, even if your last video was from 3 months ago.
Ads can cost a little more to get people onto YouTube, but you will likely get a lot more views for your money.
On the first appearance, you might get less of a return. But you have to factor in the extra future views from the YouTube algorithm.
You get longevity.
And if they subscribe to your YouTube channel, you can potentially create a lifelong fan.
Also to watch videos on Youtube you don’t need to download anything, unlike Spotify and Apple Music which require an account.
In all likelihood, the view will have a Google or Youtube account that signs them in automatically, so in one click, they will be able to view the video.
There will be no additional steps, accounts to sign up for, or apps to download.
Another advantage of sending traffic to YouTube is that you can make use of visuals. With a good music video, you can show them just that, without messages pinging or an overactive newsfeed.
The only distraction is the next video in the queue,
One of the cons of sending people to YouTube is if people are on their phone, they aren’t able to listen in the background.
When they go to YouTube, click it on their phone, it will take them away from the app.
They might start listening and even think it is a good track, but then when a message comes through, or they go back to what they were doing before they saw your link, then YouTube will not play in the background.
I know some Android phones have a picture in picture feature or a workaround. But, in general, it is a lot more challenging to leave tracks running in the background on YouTube.
For example, you get on a bus, and you want to lock your phone, and put it in your pocket and listen to Youtube on your headphones. You can’t do that with YouTube.
Directing people to Youtube will only work well if the video you are leading them to is not a static image with music playing. We have tried ads before that look visually stunning, but directed to a static image and they have not been that successful.
If the video is just a static image with music, if people are on their phone, it is unlikely that they will sit there and listen to it because it needs to be visually pleasing as well to keep their attention.
YouTube Deciding Factor
So the deciding factor on sending users to YouTube is whether the artist has visually compelling videos on their channel, and they upload frequently. Youtube’s algorithms would pay off in dividends.
#2 Promote Your Music Links on the Platform You Are Placing Your Ads on
The next option is to keep traffic on Facebook or Instagram.
So this is where someone is scrolling through their newsfeed, and you’ve managed to entice them with your ad. They may sit there and watch it without the need for leaving the app.
You’re just going to run a video as an ad, for video views, which is excellent for general awareness.
But I feel it comes with a lot of drawbacks because these platforms come with a considerable amount of distractions, and it is your job to break the flow of endless scrolling.
You have to stop the scroll with a pattern interrupt, and that is not always an easy feat.
A lot of marketers will tell you to break the pattern and get the viewer to take any action because otherwise, there are just so many distractions.
The audio on the phone through headphones is never going to be that good a quality whether its Instagram or Facebook and people tend to search with the sound off as it sounds horrible hearing the 3 seconds of video from everyone you scroll by!
If you want them to watch your video ad, then they will need to take the additional action of turning up the volume. Bearing this in mind, It can be just as useful to send them to another place to get a higher level of investment than watching a music video with no volume!
I would happily do ads on Instagram and Facebook for video views, but only if you have a good retargeting strategy.
This is a good strategy, and I cover this in more detail here: Facebook and Instagram ads tutorial video about video views and a retargeting strategy. It works well.
Same Platform Deciding Factor
You should not expect people to invest in that initial piece of content you create an ad for because, you need to bombard people three to four times to be able to get them to invest, of which the first step is getting awareness from the video views.
#3 Promote Your Music By Linking to Spotify or Apple Music
You would think that Spotify or Apple music would be the logical choice to send visitors to as streams are everything for an artist. If you’re going to invest your money into advertising your music, then you’re likely to want to get your stream count up.
Spotify does have a strong algorithm, so you can get for your money if you can get people to Spotify, and listen,
It counts as a stream if they listen to 30 seconds or more of the track.
If you’re getting a lot of clicks from Instagram or Facebook, and people have gone and listened, and you are not getting streams:
- Perhaps they’re not listening to the full track.
- Maybe you are directing people to the wrong place
- It is possible you should have sent them to YouTube.
- It could be they just weren’t invested enough, and you need a retargeting campaign.
You need to reassess the original content or the journey to understand why. Perhaps the bit of the track that you advertised is the strongest bit of the track and when the visitor starts to listen, they realise that they don’t like the track at all.
So there are lots of things to consider.
However, you do get follows, and you do get saves on your track. This all helps the algorithm, and you can end up getting placed on a lot of good playlists.
They might only have 50 to 100 followers if its a personal playlist, but this is still an asset and still helps the Spotify algorithm.
I can totally see why people would want to place ads and direct them to digital streaming platforms. You also now have a lot of smart URLs and link tree type websites, which allow you to people to click through, go to a website and select whether they want to go on Spotify or Apple Music.
This again helps with retargeting as it allows you to upload a pixel and retarget people who have clicked through to Spotify. You can then retarget them with your Instagram profile and get more followers that way, knowing that they have now heard your music.
So there are lots of things you can do with linking to streaming platforms, but linking people to Spotify does come with a few drawbacks.
I think the main drawback is that people might not have Spotify installed or Apple Music. So you end up wasting a lot of money on people who don’t have it installed.
I know you can target people on Facebook, who have an interest in Spotify, or Apple Music and narrow them down. But Facebook doesn’t know who has what installed. They know that they’ve mentioned Spotify, or perhaps been on the Spotify website, or searched Spotify.
Narrowing your audience down is not necessarily enough as you are taking a huge gamble that they’re going to click through and decide to open it up because they’re going to get a notification saying are you sure you want to open Spotify?
And if they have Spotify installed and clicked “Yes”, they are going to lose the last playlist that they were listening to and risk losing their place in that playlist. So it’s also quite a significant commitment to get people across to there.
A tip here is if you’re finding that your ads are not converting very well, you can try filtering to only people who are browsing Instagram or Facebook on a mobile device. You might find that because of the nature of your ad, it works better on a mobile device. And you know that people are on the move, and more likely to sit and listen to music.
Whereas if someone is browsing Facebook on a laptop, they might be at work, they might be bored, or they might be sitting watching TV.
So you can filter people to a mobile device only as an audience and then you know, they’ll probably have a digital streaming platform installed.
Run an ad and test them against each other and see which one is the cheapest.
Streaming Platforms Deciding Factor
Directing traffic to digital streaming platforms is the default choice if there is nothing else.
If there are no other assets, it’s just an artist with good music. Yes, Spotify or Apple Music will be where we send people, but it does have its limitations.
It does make it very, very difficult for you to convert someone into a lifelong fan that understands you as an artist and wants to feel like they know you on a personal level and want to tell a friend about you.
But if it’s just about the music, the default is Spotify, to get the streams, the release radars, followers up, and grow the algorithm presence, as well as hopefully landing on some playlists.
Promote Your Music By Linking to Your Instagram profile
Lastly, you can direct them to your Instagram profile.
One of the metrics that artists love is to see that they’re getting followers because there’s nothing better than putting up Instagram stories and seeing people interact with it. They reply to you, you walk down the street, and people recognise you. If you want that, then Instagram is the place to send people because that is the place where people get to know your face.
To achieve this, you do need to have the music in the ad itself. The viewer is going to need an opportunity to hear your music, but they’re not going to click follow if they don’t like your music.
You are a musician, that is essentially what you do, and music is the content type you’re providing.
If your music is good enough, then you can send people there.
A mistake I see a lot of artists making is sending the traffic to their Instagram profile, but the content on that page is not worth following.
They end up just wasting their money trying to get followers, and they say to themselves,” when I’ve got the following, that’s when I’ll start putting effort into my content”.
But unfortunately, it just doesn’t work like that.
You have to show that you have good content and are worth following. First-time visitors will take a glance at your Instagram profile, and maybe they’ll click through on a couple of posts, if they like what they see, then you are more likely to get visitors converted into followers.
That’s when you can plug your music, and you’ve got a ready audience that will go and stream your new music when it comes out. They are invested in you. They know you, and they want to support you.
So there are so many advantages to it.
Instagram Deciding Factor
When deciding whether to send traffic to an Instagram profile, we would take a brief look at the Instagram profile and as ourselves: is this a profile that people will want to follow?
If you have a decent profile, it is good to send traffic there. You can plug your music from there knowing that your followers are invested in you, grow your audience and grow real fans.
So which Promote Your Music Linking Strategy is Best for You?
You need to take a good look at your overall online presence and see what assets you have available. Think about where your strengths are, and from there you can conclude where to send your traffic.
If you have found this article useful, take a look around and read more promote your music articles, or you can check out our music marketing videos on Youtube.