What you can learn from scrappy musicians who use paid social ads to find new listeners

If you know me then you know I'm a music fiend and at this point my discography is starting to rival professionals in the DJ/elecgtronic music world. Earlier this year I made it a goal to get my Spotify numbers in a more respectable place.  So here we are at nearly the end of the year when Spotify gives each artist an annual report called "wrapped" that sums up their numbers.  This year my my listeners increase 610%. Running ads definitely helped. More on that in a moment. 

Fun fact, there's no quality control for Spotify and sadly a ton of band-width is used just to host songs hardly anyone listens to. Here's a stat from 2022 from Music Business Worldwide. LINK
"Nearly 80% (78.4%) of artists on Spotify today – around 6.3 million of them – have a monthly audience on the platform smaller than 50 people."
Each year if you have music on Spotify and are registered as an artist, you'll get an annual report called "wrapped."

Looks like  the 80/20 rule applies to Spotify with the top 20% of artists generating 80% of the results.  Based on what's above my streaming counts would put me in the top 20%. 

Anyhow, Spotify promotion has some similarities to say SEO & ecommerce. For example when a song is new it makes sense to drive users to that song to jump start early activity which can then cause Spotify's own AI to start promoting the track organically.  This is separate from getting on well trafficked playlists.  

Once a song takes off - let's say it's an artists most popular song in the last 28 days. Then it makes sense to put it as the 1st song in an artist playlist.  This way when you drive a user from a paid social ad to a playlist that contains 5-10 songs from the artist you tend to get more streams per listener this way. 

So how does his all work in Facebook Ads Manager?

What music marketers do is use a landing page to drive traffic to. On the landing page, there's a button to click over to Spotify.  

Clicks on the button would be an event, this is the event that get's defined as a conversion. Mind you this is a much softer conversion than a purchase or email subscription. 

Anyone once in Facebook Ads, you then set the conversion goal - which in this case is a click of the button on the landing page, or the customized event.

In many other situations the conversion event would be a purchase. BUT if you have quality in mind, which musicians do, they don't want clicks for the sake of it, they want quality people who will click over and engage with the music on Spotify. 

In music marketing circles, it's known that letting meta optimize your ads for clicks generates clicks and not much else. 

The consensus among musicians is to avoid using "clicks" as the performance goal...

What you don't want to do is use the options below.  In a past life I oversaw a test where this option was used. I get the thought process, which is something like "Gosh it's really expensive running campaigns that drive sales, if I can get people to the site cheaper, perhaps some will convert and if they do then maybe the ROI will be better."

The other attraction is that management types who swoon over words like "full funnel" will "think" this is a viable way to grow awareness. 

In theory yes but in practice no. This is where a little hands on experience and testing is crucial. 

In practice maximize clicks generates clicks and nothing else.

The test I ran with a former employer resulted in some 7,000 users hitting the site. It surely exceeded the traffic from other "sales" campaigns. But engagement from these users was poor and not one purchases was made. 

And this is my point. If musicians who run ads are weary of of the "Max Clicks" performance goal and all they are asking of users is to simply listen (no purchases or sign-ups required) then you probably don't want to use this objective or performance goal either. Especially if you're looking to drive revenue or even quality visits. 

Check Facebook Ad Expert Jon Loomer below or visit this link.  He states that in practice the idea is that people who click will care about your content but in practice this is far from the case.

The solution is to optimize for an actual event like the click of a button on page, or a scroll, or time on site.  Optimizing for clicks attracts the click happy to click and do nothing else, it even opens you up to undetected bots.   BE CAREFUL if using cold audiences, that's where trouble can arise.

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