Having a strong organic social media strategy is important for every artist, but it's not the full picture. Supplementing your organic efforts with sponsored posts on a platform like Instagram, is a great way to quickly grow your reach.
As of April of this year, Sprout Social had Instagram has the 6th most popular social media platform on the globe thanks to their 1 billion monthly active users. As you can imagine, with an audience of that size, it creates a great opportunity for artists like yourself.
Getting Started with Sponsored Posts on Instagram
Everyone reading this will undoubtedly be at a different knowledge level, so it's best to start with the basics so that we include everyone. I personally believe that HubSpot has the simplest and cleanest definition for this. So, in their words, "A sponsored post on Instagram is paid for by the poster to reach a wider audience." Simple enough, right?
As easy and straightforward as it sounds, having a strong strategy is the way that you will execute better than other artists and grow your listener-ship. Building a good ad on any platform starts with having a specific goal and offer in mind. In other words, what do you want to get from your ads, and what will your audience get in this process.
Let's look at a few types of goals to start and then we will look at some offers that can help you hit those goals.
Goals for Instagram Ads
These goals will be specific to each artist but there are some primary categories of goals that are really common. Let's examine a few of those goals that you can set here:
- Grow Your Instagram Followers
- Grow Your Spotify Followers
- Grow Your YouTube Subscriptions
- Sell Merchandise
- Create Brand Awareness
- Drive Traffic to Your Website
Now, you can have multiple ads running and serving multiple purposes. But, for each group of ads you are running, make sure you have a specific goal.
Create Offers that Matter
The goals are what you want, the offers are what your audience gets. Being specific in terms of what the audience gets and it will lead to more conversions. The way you get this offer across is through the ad copy you write, but we'll get back to that in a minute.
As an independent artist, you are trying to grow your audience to people who are not familiar with who you are. Let these prospective listeners know what they can expect if they follow you and give your music a chance. Some ideas can include citing artists you sound like, activities that your music makes sense for (if you play loud and fast tell them it's good workout music), and include samples of your music in the ads so they get a taste and want more.
Create Ad Copy That Works
Ad copy is at the forefront of everything you do from a marketing perspective. This is how you get your messaging across, this is how you drive conversions, and it is the path to your follower pipeline. Make your offer clear, interesting, and worth their while.
Use Engaging Visuals
Whether you are running image or video ads, your visuals need to stand out and grab the attention of the users enough to drive them to action. That is your job on this. Every visual you use should be professionally done and consistent with your brand and this will help your sponsored Instagram posts perform better.
Use Strong Call to Actions (CTA)
Have you ever clicked on a social media ad before? Chances are, if you have, the ad had a strong CTA. Begging for people to listen while adding no value is not a winning strategy. Tell the listeners how popular the song, video, or album is, do not beg them to listen as an act of charity. Create value and see the audience grow.
Instagram Ad Types
The last piece of the puzzle here is using different ad types. There are many different ways to run ads on Instagram so we'll cover these briefly here.
- Story ads
- Photo ads
- Video ads
- Carousel ads
- Collection ads
- Explore ads
- IGTV ads
- Instagram Shopping ads
For a more detailed breakdown on these ads, Hootsuite provides a great breakdown.
Wrapping it All Up
Sponsored posts on Instagram are a great way to get your music and brand out there and to grow your audience. Most musicians get into music to have a more creative career, but even in this scenario, there is still a certain business mindset that you need to have. The steps laid out here will help you and your music get to the next level.
We understand that this can be a lot of work but crafting strong Instagram ads will help you reach a much bigger audience and create more fans. To help in this process, we offer our free DNA Tool Kit which includes a guide to running ads. Let us help you take your Instagram game to the next level and expand your reach.