I'm a huge fan of using Facebook and Instagram ads to promote my music (and other people's music), but there are plenty of things to consider before you get into running ads or doing any type of music promotion. In this post we'll explore 7 tips you should do before paying for music promotion.
To get an outside perspective I reached out to Adam Ivy, and he made an awesome video for my channel. You can watch that right under this paragraph, and after that i'll break through each of these topics with my own perspective so you have two sides to consider.
Understand your target audience
To even run Facebook ads, you have to choose what audience will see those ads. But even aside from ads, if you were to hire a promotion company or try to get on a Spotify playlist you want to make sure the right people are hearing your music. If you skip this, you will fail.
If you're a lofi hip-hop artist, you probably don't want to be posting only futuristic sci-fi looking content on your social media pages because it doesn't fit the aesthetic (unless you make it part of your brand). You probably wouldn't show your friends who only listen to rock music your stuff, because they obviously won't actually be into it. Whatever genre you're in you want to understand the fans of that genre incredibly well - what other artists do they listen to, what websites do they hang out in, what products do they buy, what movies do they see, how old are they?
Having enough content
You want to be sure that when you're sending people to your Spotify profile or social media pages that you have enough interesting content for them to consume if you want them to follow you. Your Spotify profile should have more than 1 song, it should have a bio, images, and links to your social media pages. Your social media pages should be frequently updated with content that your target audience is likely to enjoy.
If you skip this you might still get decent results up front, but people won't stick around long term.
Know how to grow organically
By knowing how to grow organically you'll give yourself an insight into what content people enjoy, and you'll know what to do with an audience once you have one. You don't want to amass a following of 10,000 people only to never engage with them and have them lose interest.
Before paying for ads or marketing I think every artist should go through trying to grow organically so that they gain these skills. Not only is organic growth free, but you'll be ready to fully utilize all the extra attention you're receiving. The last thing you want is to spend thousands of dollars in marketing only to stop releasing music and posting on social media for 6 months.
Understand your budget and timeline
Marketing in general shouldn't be a 1-time thing. It's much better to have a small slow burn over time than a short burst with high volume. On one hand this will give you more time to learn and improve your marketing activities over time, but it will also keep you in the back of your target audience's minds for longer.
Maybe you can afford to spend $300/month on your music marketing and you release 1 song per month. In this case you might spend $250 on each song campaign, but you'll keep $50/month as background growth in other campaigns or activities. You might also decide to put 90% in Facebook ads, and 10% in SubmitHub credits, or maybe you'll do 50% in Facebook ads and 50% in Google ads. Whatever it is, you need to understand what you're doing.
Set a goal
Never promote anything without a specific goal, and it should also be ONE goal. A good example of a goal is 'to increase streams on my new single on Spotify', a bad example is 'to get more people to hear my music'. An even better goal would be 'to get my song to 10,000 streams on Spotify within 1 week of launch''.
As song as you start generalizing your goals or adding multiple goals to any marketing effort you start reducing the quality of your results. Without a goal you also have no way of measuring success, which means by default your campaign is a failure.
Know your analytics
Prior to marketing your music you need to know how you're going to measure the results of the marketing. On Spotify this means understanding Spotify for Artist data, and on Facebook this means knowing how to use the ad platform to properly interpret that data. On social media this means getting access to a business account so you have all those analytics in the first place, and on a website this means installing a Pixel and Google Analytics code so that you can properly track visits and events.
Set your expectations
You need to know ahead of time that any marketing effort can fail, which means you can't rely on your campaigns being successful. Whatever budget you set should be money you can afford to lose and whatever goal you set should be realistic and possible based on what you know at the time and your analytics. Part of this is mentally preparing yourself to not expect the impossible, but the other part is financially preparing yourself so that you don't screw yourself over.
If you're interested in learning how to market your music using Facebook ads, I have a course called Spotify Growth Machine with that exact purpose in mind. Check it out here: https://generastudios.thrivecart.com/spotify-growth-machine