Using Paid Social Ads to Promote Music

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Paid social media marketing is essential to any musician’s marketing strategy. It can get your music in front of people who may have never found it otherwise. It is possible to build a strong and loyal fanbase from paid utilizing paid ad’s alone. Major labels are doing this to successfully promote their artist through memes and video content. It is a key part of the marketing funnel, which starts with brand awareness and ends with fans that fall in love with artists. In this guide, we’ve highlighted the key steps you need to follow in order to create effective ad campaigns that will help you make it to the big time!


It is key to have a plan when doing any type of marketing, especially when it’s involving spending your hard earnt cash. Many musicians will jump in and start boosting their posts on Facebook without a structure or roadmap. You want to first know who you want to target, what you think they will like, and what you want them to do. So firstly you should be only targeting users who will like your music. You need to be producing good content which your target audience will engage with and then retargeting them once they have. When running ads, you want to have a goal for each promotion you run. There are 2 key goals you can have. The first is building awareness by just getting your music in front of people and the second is getting someone to do something.  A good idea is to write down your marketing strategy before you launch your first ad. This can help you keep on track if you feel you’ve gone off course.

Targeting Audiences

Paid social media advertising allows you to target specific audiences based on keywords, hashtags, or users’ interests and demographics. When using social media organically to promote music your content can sometimes be lost and not find its way to the right users. If you already have some sort of an idea of who your target audience is then paid advertising is a must-have your marketing strategy. Being able to target by demographics can be incredibly useful as a 20- to 30-year-old engage with your content a lot more than someone over 60. If your music is similar to a particular artist, it can be a very successful marketing tactic to simply copy their audience when setting up ads. There is a very good chance that the user who likes music similar to yours will also enjoy your content.

Good Content

There isn’t any point in investing a huge amount of money for paid ads unless you have some good content to go with it. There is an endless number of ideas for content that you can utilize to step up your advertising game. The most common is content is simply to show a well-shot music video, this can not only showcase your sound but also highlight your style. You could think jump on current memes and try to catch people’s attention by making them laugh and something they can relate to. It’s even possible to create your own meme and try and go viral. Going viral is the golden egg of any marketing campaign and if you achieve this you will have guaranteed success. Another good content tactic for musicians is to license a video (like extreme snowboarding) and add your music on top. If you target your audience correctly you can generate a buzz around your song. Challenges are also something which you could jump on to grab people’s attention. Something like singing your songs while doing a handstand or anything a bit whacky. The main aim is to stop people scrolling past your content and pay attention.

Brand Awareness

Many major labels will utilize paid social media ad’s to create brand awareness around an artist. This works the same as other types of brands, for example, if you see an ad for Starbucks you may be more inclined to walk into one to get your next coffee. The same logic applies to music, if you have seen/heard an artist, then when their song comes up on a Spotify playlist you will be more likely not to skip over it and maybe even click on their profile. This can then have a ripple effect of someone going on to buy tickets to see them live and become a true fan. This could lead the artist to sell more merchandising and even being booked for music festivals. All of this could be traced back to that paid social ad which triggered a butterfly effect.


One of the most effective ways to get people to engage with your content is to target users who have already engaged with your content in some way. For example, if you have run several ads that focused on brand awareness you can create a new ad that targets users who have already watched your videos. This means that if you had a video that included your song in the background you could create a music video ad targeted at people who have already heard the song. The users won’t know where they’ve heard to track before, but they will recognize it. This can lead them to think the song is a big track. Sometimes people may want to add in CTA to these ad’s but it is better to be a little bit more subtle at this stage. Lot’s of musicians will skip this step and jump straight into targeting new users and expecting them to steam their music. This unfortunately can lead to a lot of wasted ad spend.

Call to action

A common mistake is that artists will throw money at paid ads but not have CTA (call to action). This could be anything from getting people to visit your website, streaming a track, or even following your social media account. If you don’t have any ads with CTA’s your essentially wasting a huge amount of investment. Now that you’ve promoted your music to the correct audience and they’ve heard your track several times it important to lead them to stream or download it. At this stage, because you have already built a rapport with your audience you don’t need to have creative content here, simply having the name of the track with a direct link to steam it. The main reason why you should leave links out of your ads until you have an engaged audience is that social media platforms will charge you more when you take users away from the platform. Social media platforms want you to stay on their site so that’s why they bump up the cost.


Ensuring that you are only spending what you can afford is a vital part of any paid social media marketing plan. When you are starting out, it is a good idea to set a monthly ad spend budget. You could break your ad spend down into a different form of advertising or just keep it very high level. A good place to start is building a spreadsheet with your income and outgoings for a month and working out how much you have leftover, from this you can work out what your budget may be. When you are setting up ad’s you set a budget, this typically is split into a total or daily budget. A Total budget will keep showing your ad until it hits the maximum spend. This can be a risky strategy as your budget may disappear in a short period of time if your targeting is too broad. This could leave you not getting as much exposure. A daily budget is good to approach as you can then effectively manage how long your campaign will last.

A few more tips

When setting up ad’s it can be very useful to target them at certain times of the day. You want to target users when they are not likely to be not busy at work, school, or just out doing something. Monday to Thursday and Sunday evenings typically are the best time to deploy ads. it’s also important to look into the analytics of your ads after they’ve run. Each social media adverting platform has in-depth analytics, which allows you to deep dive into what worked and what didn’t. Social media companies want to give you as much help as possible to improve your ad’s as it will keep you using their platforms. You can see which of your ads got clicked the most and was engaged with the most. Understanding your fan’s behavior will help you create new content that will deliver you a better ROAS (return on advertising spend).


Almost all artist are promoting themselves on social media, it’s become one of the most effective ways to promote music. A new artist can easily become a viral sensation with a clever marketing strategy and it can be an uphill battle if you don’t ignore paid social. Hopefully, this guide will help you make it to the big time!

Tags: Musicians

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