10 Reasons to you should buy ads for your music
This post is loosely Gab & Jam 234. Should you buy ads for your music?
We KNOW that this is a contentious topic, but give us a minute to explain why we are emphatic about it....
While this idea was piqued my interest from the Creative Juice podcast episode 221, but it really builds on what we’ve heard from some of our favorite fellow creators, like Brian Hazard (of “How I’m Promoting My Music” email), Tom Ray’s Art Podcast, and ALSO is the cornerstone of the artist mentoring program that we JUST completed recently (https://bit.ly/217artistmentorrevealblog ).
Isn't there another way?
So, what we’ve learned is that ads are a necessary evil, if you want to get folks to hear your music (beyond your family and friends, and the 10% of the followers that your social media platforms THINK should see it. ) (If you want to know more about how we feel about sharing on MANY social media platforms, check this out;https://bit.ly/Ep141moresocmedblog .) But we’re not favoring one platform over another, since in all the folks that we’ve mentioned above, though most do Facebook ads, they also mention that they do TikTok, Spotify, and Google ads to draw people to their music.
Here are the 10 reasons you will want to buy ads for your music:
1. You want reach.
If ALL you’re doing is organic, you have to depend on luck to go viral. There are SO many factors that weigh into folks seeing your posts, notwithstanding the fact that social media may only share to a small portion of your actual followers, that you want to be able to target certain demographic/psychographic/geographic data for your post, and—the BIGGIE—that your followers MAY NOT even be the folks who would MOST dig your music. 😳🤷🏽♀️ So, in order to have more opportunities for your music to be discovered by targeting it toward who you think MIGHT be interested and putting money behind it, so that thousands of folks can encounter it—instead of just the few who are likely to see it if it’s only organic? 😬
2. You want to build an audience.
The goal for MOST is to continually draw folks to you, so that you build up your fan base. The great part about ads is that, once you set it all up, it runs day and night, drawing in new folks each and every day. Eventually, you will have QUITE a list of people, who know and appreciate the art you create.
3. It's a way to buy back time and effort.
Sure, you can create a ton of content, in order to get favored for sharing by the algorithm. —In the podcast episode we listened to, they talked about a band that made 60 short videos out of a couple of their music videos for the purpose of posting a few times a day on Instagram reels. 😳—THAT'S a hell of a lot of time and effort to put into 2 week’s worth of posts! That SOUNDS exciting at the onset, but is THAT kind of pace sustainable? Whereas, putting time into 4 or 5 video clips and sending ad traffic to them is something that allows you to take your “hands off the wheel,” so that you can do OTHER things—like write new songs, do long-term planning, or, shit, JUST to get some sleep! 😳🤷🏽♀️😬 —You will appreciate that this amount of money is worth missing a few lattes to buy back your time, energy, and effort. —At least, it has in our cases. 🤷🏽♀️
4. It's a way to get as many targeted eyes/ears.
We HATE to keep beating this drum, but EVEN if you DO make 60 social media video posts—as we talked about above—there’s the algorithm—on ALL the platforms—that ONLY shows your content to about 10% of your followers. So, putting up these posts COULD end up feeling like trees that are falling in a forest. —Yep, sometimes we literally get crickets when we post to our over 30k followers on the 35+ social media sites that we’re on (see this post for more about that; https://bit.ly/Ep141moresocmedblog). —This means that, EVEN the folks that you are SURE will love it, may not see it. 😳 🙄 —That’s not only a bummer, it is discouraging, because it feels like a lot of hard work is going down the drain. —We’ve found that, with ads, we KNOW that our videos will be distributed to thousands of people each day—ESPECIALLY those that we have targeted (which are “funk” and “fans of Funkadelic” right now). When we see people listening to our music, and liking, commenting, sharing, and even better, joining our Facebook group and our email list (through a funnel that our artist mentoring program helped us create; for more, click here), this gives us motivation to do more.
5. It's WORTH the money.
We are NOT going to lie; we were cussing and fussing about how much we are spending each month on ads. 😳 But ACTUALLY, we did the math and for about $2.50 per day, we get traffic 24 hours a day. —And if you add in ALL of the components of the funnel (created through the artist mentoring program; https://bit.ly/217artistmentorrevealblog ), we pay roughly $17 a day to have this magic happen. I don’t know about you all, but we spend more on takeout and coffee than we are spending on building our music empire, which REALLY doesn’t seem to be TOO much to ask. 🤷🏽♀️ —Let us give you some context: we have languished for decades, NOT having a way to truly connect up with and/or nurture people who might like our music, so to have spent a nice income tax check on the artist mentoring (to get it all set up for us) and to spend about $17 a day to keep it going is NOT too much to ask. Because of the ads, we went from having 8 people on our email list to nearly 250; from having no Facebook group to having 700 people in there now; and from having scant numbers of music views to have a steady stream of about a hundred per month. —For some people, this sounds minuscule, but for us, this is HUGE! And one of the BEST things about it is that it happens 24 hours a day, as long as we keep the bills paid. As folks who have tried QUITE a few “shortcuts,” this is FINALLY something that is working for us (otherwise, we WOULDN'T recommend it).
6. It's the longer-term game winner.
Now, we are NOT going to tell you that setting up ads is the ONLY thing that needs to be happening to make your music marketing journey successful , but we can attest that it is a critical part to a longer-range plan. As one of the hosts of the Creative Juice episode mentioned, this is a method that helps build brand awareness, so that you can take advantage of it for your other goals. (He talked specifically about targeting ads to particular cities in an effort to let them in who you are before you start contacting venue managers to set up your live performances. Since even though gatekeepers can see your impact (when you send your highly engaged ad links), they are MORE likely to book you. Or if you are planning to release something new, if you are getting folks in your groups and on your email list, you are likely to get them into Spotify to “spike the algorithm,” so that Spotify will share your songs more. —That’s what happened with us; in our funnel, folks can choose to go to Spotify or YouTube to listen to our songs. Now that there are more folks going there, we’ve been added to a Spotify playlist, so we KNOW this works. 🥳 —Are we rich and famous yet? No, but we are a hell of a lot better off, brand wise, than we were when we began running targeted ads with a funnel back in September 2021. —So, as a part of a bigger eco-system, this has been the magic bullet to get eyes and ears on our music.
7. You will WANT to tweak them.
However, even as well as they work, over time, there will be a drop off in the number of circulation you get. —For instance, we used to get 20+ folks joining our street team, but now, some days we get as few as 3. What this means is that, using the targeting that’s in place (“funk” and “fans of Sly Stone”) and whatever cities we chose, Facebook has hit the majority of them. That’s why it’s necessary to go in and change the targeting to find some different parameters and also to try some different videos. If we don’t then we are paying more to reach each potential listener than we could be. Consequently, we could be reaching more people with the SAME amount of money. 😳🙄🤷🏽♀️ So, we know that we need to go in and try to change things up, which is a necessary activity when running ads. However, in this SUPER busy season, it’s nice to know that, even when they AREN'T working at their MOST efficient levels, folks are STILL going to listen to our music and sharing our ads to their friends on Facebook. 🤷🏽♀️😬
8. You don't realize how crucial ads are.
We have had folks scoff at the idea that we would use ads to sell our music, citing that, if the music is “good,” it will find its audience. (Here’s our post on part of that discussion; https://bit.ly/233isasongahitblog .) What we have begun to realize is that folks having been using money to get their music in front of fans from the earliest incarnations of the music business. Think Elvis in movies, and payola at radio stations, and taking out ads in the paper to let you know your favorite folks are coming to town; all of those are ads of some kind. And in the current day and age, endorsements, cartoons, radio play, playlists, movie placements, interviews, product placement, influencer tweets, etc.—ALL attached to a dollar spend—are the ways in which we experience “buying ads” to get you to listen, stream, and buy music. In fact, it’s one of the PRIMARY major label responsibilities is to use the company’s money to get music artists in front of current and potential fans. All we’re doing is harnessing this same power, but at the level that we can afford. And now that we see the “magic” of it, we’re not likely to stop. 🤷🏽♀️ Instead of running from the work that comes with being a business, we are leaning into what businesses do to become successful. Running ads is one of those backstage moves. 💥🙌🏾
9. However, ads alone are not the secret….
We know we’ve mentioned it earlier, but ads are NOT the only thing we’re doing. As the Creative Juice podcast mentioned, once folks come to visit you on socials—which is highly likely, if they’re digging you—you want to already have a built out, thriving community (which is where #5 comes in). So, remember, you DON'T just collect them and forget them—see Summer Promo Tips for more on this; add link. You are going to want them to see other content and that the band engages with fans—besides just asking for more money. So, sharing some of that behind the scenes content and asking questions in your group and sharing older material that new fans have never heard are ALL ways to be sure that when you invite people, it's a place that they’ll want to come back to. So, keep sharing even after starting ads. By continually adding content to your socials, not only do you nurture the fans who have ALREADY bought in—like we talked about in ep. 232. (https://bit.ly/232summerpromoblog )—but you also will provide this lovely place for new people to go down your rabbit hole of goodness.
10. Ads are the "hack" for critical info for new bands.
Oh, yeah, another GREAT point that the Creative Juice podcast mentioned was that this activity could be JUST the hack that a new band needs to get a foundation built under them. What they talked about was that, it would take years for a brand new band to draw an audience if they JUST relied on social media and live shows, but that, if they would take MUCH longer than it will to set up some ads sets….
So, THERE you have it! No, we DON’T receive ANY kickback from writing this post. We just felt like, if we had seen this post 5 years ago, we would have started considering doing it sooner and look how much further we might be.
So, no matter which social media channel you choose, you MIGHT want to consider buying ads, if you want to build–and nurture–your fanbase quickly for all the aforementioned reasons.
What do YOU think?
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!
Talk to us in the comments below.
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