If you want to learn how to use smart links so that your music marketing efforts actually grow your streams, listeners, and fans, I’ve researched and tested smart links for the last 3 years and put everything you need to know here for you.
Smart Links for music marketing are web pages that artists create so that fans can easily find links to an artist’s song, album, or playlist on different streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.
Also called music links or smart URLs, these links can be sent directly to fans as well added into social media profiles or “link in bio” areas.
However, one of the more interesting ways to use smart links is by using a promotional strategy that leverages the Spotify algorithm to massively grow streams, fans, and listeners.
To learn more about how you can use smart links for music marketing, growing your streams and fanbase, as well as how to pick and set up a smart link, simply keep on reading, my friend. 🙂
How Smart Music Links Can Hack The Spotify Algorithm
Spotify rewards artists that bring highly targeted and engaged listeners to their platform by giving artists the opportunity to get placed on Spotify’s algorithmic and editorial playlists.
Getting your song placed on one of these playlists means your song will get shown to thousands of new listeners who are similar to your current listeners for free.
From my personal experience of releasing 20+ songs, getting over 4,000,000 streams, and landing on 20+ editorial and algorithmic playlists…
I have found that if the Spotify algorithm notices that ANY song is streamed, saved, and listened to at higher than average rates it is much more likely to push that song out to similar people.
It does this by placing your music on algorithmic playlists like Release Radar and Discover Weekly of Spotify users that aren’t even following you on Spotify but are similar to the group of listeners you originally had.
Spotify wins because they have increased user activity on their platform and you win because you get more listeners.
If you can get the Spotify algorithm to work for you in this way:
The increase in positive numbers from release to release can also greatly increase your chances of catching the attention of Spotify editors, which may lead to lucrative Editorial playlists in the future.
How To Get High-Quality Listeners To Your Music Links
In my experience, I noticed that social media posting is not enough because you can’t scale it up easily since you can only post so much in one day.
Playlist pitching also doesn’t work because your song is only playlisted for so long and the listeners don’t pay attention enough to save the song or follow the artist.
…so what does work best then?
Facebook Ads provide in-depth targeting options, flexible budgeting, and has an algorithm that can optimize itself to get the most results possible for the lowest cost possible.
You have the power to send highly targeted listeners over to your Spotify profile from Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
You can then leverage Facebook’s tools, machine learning, and algorithms to optimize your ads by themselves and find you more of those fans for less.
Which can then lead to a snowball effect of increasing your chances of tripping the Spotify algorithm which will find you even more of those types of fans for free.
Why Smart Links Are So Important in Music Marketing
The big catch with Facebook Ads is that in addition to being a bit difficult to set up and use, the Facebook Ads platform has an issue with bots and click farms.
This is why it is important to direct your Facebook Ads to a music link page instead of directly to Spotify.
Although it is more steps, you can set Facebook to optimize around everyone who clicks on the “Listen On Spotify” button on your page (which is an action that significantly fewer bots and click farms will click on).
Setting up your ads in this way is called Spotify conversion ads because you set them up in a way that tells Facebook that the “conversion event” is that particular Spotify button.
A bit more complicated, for sure.
But at least you are spending money on growing your streams from real fans and not wasting your money on getting clicks from bots.
When used correctly, you can use music links in this way to not only promote your songs but also for building playlists and growing your Spotify followers.
In addition to this, music links are a key component that helps potential listeners build up enough trust in you to the point where they eventually become a loyal fan of your music.
However… please understand this…
The number of streams you will actually get directly from a Facebook Ad is insignificant compared to what you can get with the Spotify algorithm.
A solidly performing ad campaign will get you a stream for about $0.20 – $0.30 per stream and I don’t need to tell you how much you get back per stream.
This is why it is important to remember the true point of running Facebook Ads for growing your Spotify streams: it’s just about triggering the algorithm as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
Using Facebook Ads With Smart Music Links
It’s possible to massively grow your Spotify streams by using Facebook Ads to send highly targeted listeners to your music links in an effort to trip the Spotify algorithm to get your similar fans and listeners for free.
However, setting up Facebook Ads requires some technical skill to get set up correctly and will require patience and determination to truly dial your ads in optimally over time.
With that said, Facebook Ads are incredibly powerful not just for streams but for increasing merch sales, selling tickets, and just about any other goal you may be looking to achieve later on down the road.
Learning the basics of Facebook Ads sets the foundation for you to be able to apply what you’ve learned to several other areas of your music, business, and life.
To learn exactly how to set up Facebook Ads, check out my free Facebook Ads For Musicians course (no email or sign up required!).
How To Choose The Best Smart Link For Promoting Your Music
Choosing the right smart music link service ultimately comes down to:
- Your budget
- How you want your music links to look
- What extra features you might be interested in
With that said, if you want to use music links to their maximum potential by running Spotify conversion ads with them, all you really need are 2 basic features:
- The ability to integrate advertising pixels (like the Facebook Pixel)
- The ability to set up custom domains (so that your music Facebook Ads work with iOS14)
Because if the only reason you are interested in music URLs is to be able to share links directly to people or add links to your social media profile or bio:
You’d be better off simply looking at the best free music links available to you and saving some money. 🙂
If instead, you want to learn more about the best music links that are available to you and how you can make sure you make the right choice, check out my full guide on the best music links.
In that guide, you will find reviews for the best premium, budget, and free music link options available to you.
Once you have a music link tool selected, you will then want to learn how to optimize it so that you increase the number of streams that it is likely to get you.
How To Optimize Your Music Links To Get More Streams
Music links, music URLs, smart URLs, and smart links are all just marketing speak for something that is known in the world of marketing as a “landing page”.
A music landing page is a webpage that fans and listeners can visit to get access to an artist’s music (ie: song, album, or playlist), to make a purchase from that artist, or to simply learn more about that artist.
An effective music landing page is one that is laser-focused on 1 single end result – this could be getting a Spotify stream on a new release, making a merch sale, or getting a fan to follow a playlist.
Also in marketing, this end result is called a “conversion” (aka when a visitor reaches your landing page and completes your desired action or goal).
By leveraging simple marketing tactics (already used by the largest companies on the planet) to increase conversions…
You will be able to improve your landing pages so that you get more streams, sales, or whatever you are trying to achieve.
To learn more about how you can optimize your music URLS with these methods, check out my guide on music landing pages. 🙂
…Does It Really Matter What Smart Link I Use Then?
There are an endless amount of music link tools and website builders out there, that can allow you to start building music landing pages.
The truth is that you are free to use any tool that meets the conversion-focused requirements I mentioned in this article (and that you can follow along with in this free cheat sheet).
With that said…
I recommend hosting your own WordPress website and using a premium drag-and-drop plugin because it can allow you to create unlimited links and set up your links properly without having to upgrade or connect to another service.
It also allows you to future proof your web presence later since you can add an online shop, membership program, or whatever the next trend in online music marketing is after music links.
I’ve also created a free course that teaches you how to get set up with this combo and even includes the music and “link in bio” templates that I am currently using.
If you already have a solution for a website or music links already just make sure your current solution meets these requirements first:
- You can install advertising pixels like the Facebook Pixel
- You have access to a domain (www.you.com) and its DNS so you can verify your website domain to Facebook
- You can create unlimited web pages and music links
- You can easily customize and modify your music links
The above course also shows you how you can optimize just about any music link tool if you already have one or want to use something else.
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.
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.
Facebook Ads For Spotify Success
Although Facebook Ads can be a real pain to get working properly, there is no denying that they are incredible for growing Spotify streams and getting your music in front of real fans.
This is why I’ve put together a completely free course that you can check out called Facebook Ads For Musicians’ Spotify Streams. 🙂
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.
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! 🙂