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How To Optimize Spotify Conversion Ads To Grow Your Streams

By Matthew Vultaggio

November 22, 2021

If you’re looking to learn how to optimize your Spotify conversion ads to grow your streams, I’ve used Facebook ads to pass 4 million Spotify streams and will show you optimized my ads to do it in this article.

To optimize Spotify conversion ads, you need to make sure your pixel tracking is properly set up and then create new split-tests every 3 or 4 days with a focus on audience targeting.

More than anything else, targeting your campaign to the right potential fans is what can really make or break a Release Campaign – much more important than what your Facebook Ad looks like or says, what your Smart Link page looks like, etc.

Also – although this article mostly speaks about Facebook Ads, these optimization tactics can apply regardless of which advertising platform you use (although FB ads seem to be the best for artists right now).

P.S. If you need any extra help with any of the steps in this article, check out my free 7-Step Spotify Release Checklist that I used to pass 4 million streams on Spotify, my friend. 🙂

What It Takes To Grow Your Spotify Streams With Conversion Ads

Although properly marketing your music is a skill that can be learned and improved upon, let’s talk about the elephant in the room first:

The quality of your music will have a significant impact on the outcomes you will be able to achieve.

Remember that you will have winners and losers, hits and duds, in your music career – a song you thought would be a hit might not land with your audience, and sometimes a song you don’t care for may end up being their favorite song for years.

This is why my first recommendation to improve your Spotify conversion ads is to commit to releasing a new song every single month.

You’ll be able to test out different songs and get much more experience running conversion ads – both of which can really help improve your results.

The 7 Things That Can Impact How Well Your Spotify Conversion Ads Perform

Here are the top 7 things that can impact your results and how well your Spotify conversion ads work to grow your streams:

  1. The quality of your music
  2. The quality of your Audience targeting
  3. The quality of your ad experience (ie: does your fan “know they are in the right place” based on how your ad, smart link page, and Spotify link look and sound?)
  4. How much you are spending on ads for each campaign
  5. The quantity and quality of data built up in your advertising pixel(s)
  6. Not checking in on your ads campaign enough
  7. Making too many changes to your campaign too often (aka not waiting at least 3 days before deciding to make a change)

Remember that when starting out with running Spotify conversion ads, half of artists will see better results, and half will see results that need more work and optimizing.

However, as long as you commit to constantly continue releasing new music for your fans and keep trying to outdo yourself in both the marketing and the actual songwriting…

The only place to go is up.

…the first step?

Make sure that your conversion tracking is airtight so that there are no technical issues behind why your ads are not performing the best they can.

Spotify Pixel Tracking Explained

To be able to properly run conversion ads to grow your Spotify streams, you need to make sure you have the proper ad tracking in place.

This is where the mighty Facebook Pixel steps in:

The Facebook Pixel can be installed onto your website or Smart Link pages so that the Facebook Ads platform can track when a fan or listener takes an action you want them to take (ie: streaming a song on Spotify).

This way, Facebook can show you how many results you are getting, how much those results cost and then optimize itself using its algorithm to get you more results for less.

…the problem?

No advertising pixel be installed on Spotify.

This means you are not able to have the Facebook Pixel track exactly when a listener streams your song and optimize your ads around that highly specific event.

To get around this, this is the best practice for Spotify conversion ads:

Send your potential listeners to a Smart Link page first and set the ‘Conversion Event’ that Facebook will track and optimize for to be a “Listen On Spotify” button on that page.

So now you may be asking…

Why Not Use Ads To Send Listeners Straight To My Spotify?

Sending potential fans directly to Spotify greatly increases the chances of the Facebook algorithm optimizing around bots and click farm accounts instead of real fans.

Although Facebook Ads can be great, they have a severe issue with bots and click farms.

Using a “Traffic”, “Link Click”, or “Landing Page View” campaign dramatically increases your chance of wasting your hard-earned money on bogus results.

So before diving into what you can actually do to optimize your Conversion ads throughout the life of your music marketing campaign…

Let’s take a quick moment to make sure you’re properly tracking conversions.

Properly Setting Up A Facebook Pixel For Spotify Growth

If you do not have your Facebook pixel properly set up to track Spotify conversions, here is what you need to do:

To get started with a Facebook Pixel for Spotify growth, you need to create a Facebook Pixel, install it, set up your custom domain and custom conversion events, and create a Facebook ad that is optimized around that conversion event.

For a more detailed look into setting things up the right way, check out my full article called: How To Set Up The Facebook Pixel For Spotify Conversion Ads 🙂

Now with tracking properly in place…

Let’s finally take a look at what you can actually do to optimize your Conversion ads throughout the life of your music marketing campaign.

How To Optimize Your Ads for Music Promotion & Spotify Growth

Each time that you release new music, it is important to focus on these tasks:

To make things easier for you while you are neck-deep into your release campaign, I’ve created a guide that you can follow throughout your release.

Pre-Release

A massive component of the Spotify Success framework is that 95% of the work is all in the lead-up to release day.

This way, once the song release’s there is very little stress for you and you can focus on getting ready to drop the next song.

For a thorough look at the pre-release steps and when you should complete them, please refer to the 7-Step Spotify Release Checklist.

With that said, when you are first starting out, there can be quite a bit of work that needs to be done as you are learning how to optimize your ads and fine-tune your audience targeting through testing and experimentation.

So let’s dive into what you can expect to do throughout your release.

First 3 Days

It is important to be chill during the first 3 days of your campaign as the Facebook Ads algorithm is doing a whole bunch of testing to optimize itself on its own.

This is why it can be completely normal to see wildly fluctuating costs per results during this time – don’t be alarmed.

With that said, you will want to check in on your results within the first 3 days simply to make sure that your results aren’t wildly off.

Here are some examples of what to look for:

  • If you are seeing 0 results in the Facebook Ads Manager: your pixel, conversion event, or campaign may not be set up correctly
  • If you are seeing very high costs per result (ie: $5 or more): you may want to look at and reconsider your audience targeting
  • If you are seeing results in the Facebook Ads Manager from a country but not in the Spotify For Artists dashboard: you should cut out the country/location that is getting those useless results from your targeting options

However, if your costs per result look reasonable and you are seeing streams come in on Spotify, then you can chill for the first 3 days (even if you wish the cost per results would be lower). 🙂

3 Days In

After 3 or 4 days into your campaign, it is a great time to dig a bit deeper into the Facebook Ads Manager to try to make some optimizations to how your campaign is running.

Here are some optimizations you can make at this point:

  • Remove the worst performing ads from your Ad Sets so that there are only 1 or 2 Ads running per Ad Set (if there are clear worst-performing ads)
  • Replace 1 or 2 of the worst performing Ad Sets with new Ad Sets that have different audience targeting options that you want to test
  • Reduce your ad spend to an amount you want to spend more long term (only if you decided to front load your campaign with a higher ad spend)

7 Days In

After 7 days into your campaign, your campaign should have already hit the first Friday of it’s release cycle, so you will want to see if you had any significant increase in streams from Release Radar.

Next, if you have not made any changes to your Facebook Ad campaign within the last 3 days, you will want to review the results you are getting inside of the Facebook Ads Manager.

Here are some optimizations you can make at this point:

  • Remove the worst performing ads from your Ad Sets so that there are only 1 or 2 Ads running per Ad Set (if there were no clear worst-performing ads the last time you checked)
  • Replace 1 or 2 of the worst performing Ad Sets with new Ad Sets that have different audience targeting options that you want to test
  • Add the video ads you have been running into a “75% Video View” and “95% Video View” Custom Audience and add this Custom Audience into your Ad Sets

2 Weeks In

After 2 weeks into your campaign, you will want to do these 2 tasks:

  1. Check to see if you had any significant increase in streams from the Release Radar playlist
  2. Begin preparing for your next release if you have not already

Additionally, there are some optimizations that you can consider at this point:

  • If you are not seeing the best results – keep testing! Replace 1 or 2 of the worst performing Ad Sets with new Ad Sets that have different audience targeting options that you want to test
  • If there seems to be 1 Ad Set that is clearly performing the best: remove all other ad sets, make a copy of the best audience and switch the locations for this new Ad Set to Yellow/Tier 2 locations to help lower your cost per result. Run both a Green/Tier 1 and Yellow/Tier 2 version of this Ad Set.

3 Weeks In

After 3 weeks into your campaign, I would recommend to stop running your ads for 2 reasons:

  1. If you haven’t yet triggered the Release Radar playlist by now, I don’t think it is worth spending more to try to trigger it since you will only be getting additional streams from that playlist for just a few days
  2. If you haven’t been getting the best results from your Facebook Ads at this point, your time will be better spent licking your wounds, reviewing your results, and thinking up ways you can make your next campaign better

Although you can keep your ad spending going after this point (wether you have been getting good or bad results) I’m personally more of a cheap-skate and wouldn’t personally keep going.

The only time I would keep going is if the results were exceptionally great, in which case I would consider continuing to run the campaign but change the Smart Link so that the Spotify button is pointing towards a Spotify playlist that I’ve made with the release’s song at the #1 spot.

This way, you can keep the results coming in and start building a following on a Spotify playlist.

Why Facebook & Instagram Ads Are Best For Spotify Conversion Ads

There are 5 key reasons that Facebook ads are so effective for Spotify growth:

  1. There are in-depth targeting options for a very wide variety of interests in addition to basic demographics – interests range from brands to genres to artists to products and beyond
  2. You can “scale” the ads and control your budget – the more you spend the more results you get, in comparison you can only post on social media so many times in 1 day before people get upset
  3. Facebook’s learning algorithm can optimize all by itself to get you the most results possible for the lowest cost possible
  4. You can place people that engage with you into “Custom Audiences” and Retarget them with ads at a lower cost than it took to reach them in the first place
  5. You can leverage the Facebook algorithm to create “Lookalike Audiences” which are 1+ million people that are similar to the people that are in your Custom Audiences

By combining all of these together, you have the power to send highly targeted listeners over to your Spotify profile and then leverage the Facebook algorithm to find more of those people for less over time.

This increase of highly targeted listeners on your Spotify profile, in turn, increases your chances of tripping the Spotify algorithm which will push your music out to even more of those people for free.

This strategy can quite simply be called “The Spotify Algorithm Hack“.

But first, if you would like to learn more about how Facebook ads for Spotify growth work, check out this article on Facebook & Instagram Ads For Musicians To Grow Spotify Streams. 🙂

How To Use Facebook Ads To Find Fans

Did you know that you can sign up to the Facebook Ads platform and actually use some of its tools for free without even spending on any ads?

Musicians and artists can use the Facebook Ads platform to find their potential fanbase for free by using the Facebook ‘Audiences’ feature to research and create different audiences based on the data Facebook collect on its 3+ billion users and then easily pay to reach them with Facebook ads.

After properly using Facebook’s ‘Audiences’ feature to build multiple target audiences for your music to test, you can then run Facebook ads to actually reach these fans when they are on Facebook and Instagram as well as on apps and websites on Facebook’s network.

..the best part?

Facebook’s advanced algorithm can optimize all by itself to reach the most fans possible for the lowest cost possible and you can create create “Lookalike Audiences” (1+ million people that are similar to your fans) to find even more fans for less.

To learn more about this, check out my full article called: Facebook Ads To Find Fans. 🙂

What gets really interesting, is when you combine Facebook’s algorithm with Spotify’s algorithm to be able to reach even more similar fans and listeners for free on Spotify…

The Spotify Algorithm Hack

Hands down, the best way to get lots of streams from Spotify’s algorithmic playlists (like Release Radar, Discover Weekly, and Radio) and editorial playlists is to ‘hack’ the algorithm.

To hack the Spotify algorithm you need to consistently send real, targeted listeners to your music from multiple sources such as directly from your profile, average user playlists, and more influential Spotify user playlists.

If you’ve been trying to ‘hack’ the Spotify algorithm by paying to get on playlists that are too good to be true or definitely use bots or click farms to artificial boost streams, it’s a good time to cut that crap out.

…so what is the right way to ‘hack’ the algorithm then, you ask?

You need to get real listeners over to your music.

This is exactly what I did to get on 7+ Spotify editorial playlists myself and hit over 4,000,000 streams on Spotify – I used Facebook/Instagram ads to target potential fans who listen to similar artists and drive them to Spotify.

Here’s how it works:

By bringing over listeners who are likely to enjoy your music, you can expect your song to have a higher than normal Save Rate and Repeat-Listen Rate, which are a few of the signals that the Spotify algorithm is looking for when trying to find songs to recommend to its users.

These targeted listeners are more likely to follow your artist’s profile and add that song to their own playlists.

This lets you enjoy your artist’s music being streamed by these listeners for a longer period of time, these new followers being notified of future releases, and for these positive signals to be sent back to the algorithm.

Plus, the algorithm will notice you are getting an increase in songs from your profile and other user playlists. If you’re lucky, maybe your ads will hit a more influential Spotify user or 2 who might then add your song to their playlist.

When the almighty algorithm notices a song is worth recommending, it can start placing your song on algorithmic playlists like Release Radar, Discover Weekly, other artist’s Radio playlists, etc.

However, there is something that you should know about this strategy, my friend…

It’s not easy or quick…

This strategy is not easy or quick. If it were, everybody would be doing it.

Your first release probably won’t pop off, which is why you need to adjust your music release strategy so that you are dropping a new song every 4 to 5 weeks.

By releasing music more frequently, you have more chances to trip the algorithm, but you also have more chances to build a relationship with the Spotify editors.

They have access to all this data too, so if they see your music continuously growing and you are consistently helping them do their job of maintaining playlists by giving them frequent music.

Ready To Get Started?

For a thorough look at all of the steps need to run Spotify conversion ads and when you should complete them, please refer to the free 7-Step Spotify Release Checklist.

This checklist is the exact same one I’ve used to pass 4 million streams on Spotify and I know it will be useful to you as well, my friend. 🙂

Some of my favorite music marketing tools

Thank you for reading this article, my friend, and I hope you found it helpful as you build your own successful career in music. 🙂

Here is a list of my favorite and most recommended tools and resources that I’ve personally used to get my music streamed over 4,000,000 times on Spotify as an artist.

Any of the paid services or tools listed here are most likely affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a small commission.

But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I personally use, love, and recommend to anyone – including my own friends and family.

Music Distribution

To get your music on Spotify on all the other streaming services, I use DistroKid because you get unlimited song uploads for a low annual price.

If you want to learn more about DistroKid and music distribution, check out the in-depth DistroKid review that I’ve put together.

Or, if you want to get started with DistroKid right now, you can save on your first year with the DistroKid discount.

Music Publishing Royalties Collection

For collecting all of the publishing, mechanical, and live performance royalties owed to me whenever my music gets streamed or played, my go-to is Songtrust.

Songtrust is a publishing administration company which means that in addition to collecting all of those royalties for me, they do it on a global level.

To learn if Songtrust is right for you, I’d recommend checking out this article on Songtrust vs BMI.

And if you want to get started with Songtrust right now, I’d recommend learning about the Songtrust discount code so that you can get the best price. 🙂

Website & Smart Links

I’m personally not a big fan of the link-in-bio and smart links for music pages like ToneDen and Hyppeddit.

Instead, I prefer having a full-blown WordPress website that allows me to have a full website in addition to unlimited music links.

For getting started with this, I really like Bluehost because it is the cheapest and a theme called Thrive Themes because it is the most flexible and easiest to use.

I’ve actually created a free Smart Links Course that you can take to learn how to get set up and start getting more streams with custom smart links (I’ve even included the templates I am using!).

Want more tools and resources for your music career?

If you’d like to see even more of my favorite marketing tools and resources for musicians and music artists, I’ve created an even larger list on this page: Best Marketing Tools & Resources For Musicians (& Music Artists).

P.S. There are even some free tools and resources included on that page as well! 🙂

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