Instagram is a great platform for promoting your music. Advertising your music on Instagram can be highly effective if you use the right approach. However, you need to put in some work to get the most out of music Instagram adverts.
Instagram adverts are an excellent way to promote your music to your ideal audience. We’ll show you what you need to know and what you need to do in advance to ensure your adverts are as effective as possible.
Instagram ads can be highly effective for musicians if done right. Instagram can be a great way to promote your music, boost sales and attract followers. Below we give you a simple step by step guide of how to make an Instagram ad, plus essential 9 tips to optimise your ads to ensure they are successful.
How to promote your music on Instagram
There’s no point advertising if you don’t have a social media presence or you aren’t doing open mics or gigs. You need some substance behind the ad. So, before you even think about paying for adverts, promote your music for free. Get your social media sorted, settle on an Instagram name and do some gigs so you have some content.
Once you have content you can start to build a fan base and have some tracks to share. Now you can think about advertising to help build momentum and Instagram is one of the best platforms.
Why should you advertise on Instagram?
Instagram has more than 1 billion active users per month and 72% of Instagram users say they have purchased a product they saw advertised. Surveys have shown that the top five most popular topics on Instagram are: music, fashion/beauty, TV/films, hobbies and food. So Instagram users are looking for what you are offering!
For more Instagram stats take a look at this article.
You should be using Instagram already. If you aren’t, try it out for a while to get a feel for what content works before you pay for an ad.
Almost all of the content on Instagram is visual and it offers a great opportunity for musicians to build their fanbase. If you promote your gigs and open mics on social media, this can offer a way to connect with fans.
However, there is a lot of competition for Instagram users time and it can be difficult to ensure your content is seen. This is where Instagram adverts can help you stand out from the competition.
How to build an Instagram Ad
There are basically two ways to make your ad, the Instagram app or the Facebook ads manager (Facebook own Instagram).
The easiest option is probably to use Facebook ads manager. Otherwise, you have to register as an Instagram business user. Instagram help has advice on this.
Either way you need a Facebook page.
To create an ad with the Facebook Ads Manager:
- Click on the drop-down arrow in the upper-right corner of any Facebook page
- Select “Manage Ads” from the menu
- Click the green button that says, ‘Create Ad’ (see it’s easy so far)
- Choose a marketing objective – what’s your aim?
- Name your ad campaign. If you are running multiple ads, then choose names that help you remember
- Set up your ad choices – there are lots of these as Instagram ads are very targeted
- Know your audience – who do you want to see your ad?
- Define your placements – you can specify in a lot of detail where you want your ads placed
- Set your schedule – you can set when and how often your ad plays.
- Define your budget – you can set an average daily budget or you can set an overall budget
- Create the ad itself or use an existing post – this is your chance to be creative
So we’ve covered how to set up an ad but how can you make the most of it? Below are 9 ways you can get maximum value when advertising your music on Instagram.
#1 Know your audience
You probably know your typical fans but take a moment to analyse what they are like. Think about your social media comments, any analytics you have and the feedback you have got from gigs. This should give you an idea of their gender, how old they are, where they live, which other artists they like, and what their other interests are.
Think about what your fans are likely to look at on Instagram, and what they would like to see. You can even do some research with your Instagram stories by using emoji sliders or polls to get more insight into what your fans want.
Remember your fans are your supporters, so treat them well and give them what they want and they will reward you.
#2 Target fans
The most successful ads are highly targeted so you should design your ad to appeal to your fan base, and even if you want to expand your fan base, you shouldn’t do anything that will alienate your existing fans.
Instagram uses Facebook’s advertising system and this means you are able to target your ads. You can specify your target audience’s location, demographics, interests, or you can specify that you want to target people like those who have interacted with your Instagram account before, so based on your current fans, Instagram can reach out to potential new fans.
#3 Keep it authentic
If you dress in designer clothes and like to be in control of every aspect of your performance so every gig is polished and perfect, then your ad can look like that too. But if you are happier in jeans and a baggy jumper, then an ad showing you head-to-toe in Armani is going to look false.
Try and make your ad look like the rest of your Instagram posts and other online presence in terms of production and style, and ideally, it should reflect your look and personality. Fans like to get to know the real you, and keeping it real will help you develop a bond with your fan base.
You should try and keep it real but you should also make it look good. Remember, Instagram is a visual platform. You can use a mobile phone, but make sure you use the best footage.
#4 Make it look good
You have to produce great looking visual content that your audience wants to see in their feed. If you sound amazing but your video and photo content is grainy and badly shot, then no one is going to hang around long enough to hear from you.
Using high-quality images and video doesn’t need to be expensive, as most mobile phones can capture great images. However, it has to be well lit and framed so it looks appealing and stands out.
Imagine you are a potential fan, would you stop and look at your ad? Given all the other content and the amount of time people spend on Instagram, you have to earn their attention. So, think about the things you stop and look at on Instagram, think about the things that make them appealing and try and recreate that feeling in your ad.
#5 Use good captions
Instagram can take captions of up to 2,200 characters so you could use captions for a short blog if you wanted, but I prefer to keep it short and sweet.
The length of your captions is up to you and should reflect your style. But remember, Instagram allows hashtag searches, and both hashtags and emoji have been shown to increase engagement, so you should definitely use them.
Think about your fan base and what they like or what they would expect to see, then think about your style and image, and then use captions with hashtags and emoji’s that fit with that image and expectation.
Potential fans want special insights and they want to be part of an exclusive club. With the right captions, a behind the scenes photo of you in the studio or setting up your equipment for a gig will draw in more people than a manufactured ad
#6 Use the 3-second rule
You need to grab people’s attention, spend time on funny or attention-grabbing captions, and use short video or images that tell a captivating story in an instant.
A three-second clip of you interacting with your audience, chatting with fans at a gig, or a clip of your most perfected singing or guitar riff is much more likely to catch people’s attention than a full-length post of your latest single.
Once you have their attention, then you can point Instagram users to your full content through links and hashtags, but the main thing for an ad to do is to catch their attention in less than 3 seconds, so keep this in mind when you are agonising over the exact font to use for the credits at the end of your ad!
Instagram users might use the app a lot, but each visit is quite short, sometimes only 20 or 30 seconds. There’s a lot of competition for their attention, which means they aren’t likely to watch your beautiful 3-minute video.
#7 Create teasers
Your music might be amazing with a great 3-minute music video for your latest single. But remember, you can’t force people to watch your video and they will probably have moved on after 3 seconds before you even start singing.
Therefore, you need to find the best bits of the video or a great photo of you performing or making the single in the studio and make them into a teaser. Then you need to caption it right with stuff that will make people pay attention. From here you can now draw them in to listening to your single.
Once you have captivated your audience, you can draw them to more detailed content and they will then actively seek out your music, and watch your videos without the need for an ad. Remember, your ad is a teaser like a shop window is designed to draw buyers in, not to give them a detailed description of the product.
#8 Call to action
Your ad should have a specific purpose, rather than just shouting ‘look at me’, it must have a very clear call to action. It could be focused on promoting your new single, getting more subscribers to your mailing list, or selling tickets for a gig.
You need a strong message that advertises what you are offering and give people a compelling reason to click. You need to think about what’s in it for the fans who sign up and you need to make this clear.
Offering special discounts or extras via your Instagram will add a lot of value and will help create a bond with fans.
#9 Optimising your budget
Instagram allows you to set either a daily budget or a lifetime budget for your advert. The daily budget is the average amount you will spend on your ads every day. The lifetime budget is the total amount you’ll spend over the full run of your ad.
Instagram uses the Facebook bidding platform to buy ad space. You will be bidding in a global auction for ad space, you are effectively paying for clicks or views and the average cost per click (CPC) is between 50p to £1, with 25-24-year-olds being the most expensive target audience and 13-17-year-olds being the cheapest.
This may sound a lot but remember, Instagram is a highly effective targeted platform, and the clicks you get will be from your exact target market, so the return on investment (ROI) can be high in terms of ad performance.
On average, for an ad to promote a single or a gig you should look to pay between £25 and £100 to get a decent level of exposure.
#10 Make sure you have fun making your ad
If your content is too polished, it won’t look spontaneous. This won’t show your true character and your ad will have less impact.
Don’t spend too much time on this stuff and neglect your music, remember that you are a singer, not a digital marketing executive (unless that’s your day job in which case you probably don’t need these tips!).
Try and use real footage or images of your performing at gigs, in the studio, or chatting with fans and other musicians. This will look more natural and as long as the quality is good, will probably be more engaging.
#11 Check if advertising your music on Instagram worked
You have spent your hard-earned cash on an ad, so you should check if it’s working. The Facebook Ads Manager ( https://en-gb.facebook.com/business/tools/ads-manager) has tools and metrics for you to measure performance. You can monitor how your ad is doing while it’s running and make changes and tweaks to see if you can improve it.
Once you learn how to analyse the data, you can use it to inform your future campaigns. This will hopefully make each release more and more effective and help you better understand your fans.
Advertising your music on Instagram
Overall, you need to know your audience, set your budget, be realistic, keep it real with your other social media. Have great quality, have a clear objective, optimise your captions, check your impact and have fun!
Do you use Instagram ads to promote your music? What tips would you give to those just starting out? We would love to hear about them in the comments below.