It’s the age-old struggle of musicians everywhere – how to translate their skills with music into something that can put bread on the table and hopefully earn them a bit more. That’s part of the point of a platform like Spotify. Not only can you get your music out there less expensively and to a wider audience than ever before, but it also opens up all manner of advertising opportunities that can help pay the bills to keep you jamming for years to come.

Of course, there’s every chance you’ve heard this song and dance before and don’t feel inclined to hit “Repeat.” After all, it’s notoriously difficult to make it big as an artist, even with online mediums democratizing the process a bit more. You may not have to deal with sleazy managers and the gatekeepers of The Music Industry™, but that doesn’t mean that you can automatically get people to click on your songs and translate them into an artistic and advertising success.

That’s why you’ll want to take a look at this guide to doing just that and boost your advertising game on Spotify Ad Studio.

1. Understanding Ads and Metrics

Spotify has responded to criticisms from its creators that its platform is hard to advertise on with Ad Studio, a new extension on the site that allows you to advertise and gain extra money for your songs.

Of course, as with any launch, there were immediately some questions, namely how to keep track of clicks, listeners, and other vital metrics, which are important for crafting any strategy.

Spotify’s new setup allows marketing via several kinds of advertisements, including:

  • Display ads
  • Audio ads
  • Video ads
  • Brand podcasts
  • Sponsored playlists
  • Organic playlists

It also distinguishes between Pre-Exposed and Already-Extant Listeners to help you see if your band (and brand) is growing. The former category refers to Spotify listeners who listened to a song 28 days before they heard the ad. If they have, they qualify as a Listener, but if not, they are a New Listener – an important distinction to make as it might mean they’re new to the band and brand, which can help both track data on conversions made after that first exposure to both.

The conversion window is pretty wide at 14 days since nobody wants to interrupt a great song by clicking on an ad immediately. What’s more, we live in an age of replaying songs over and over if we really like them, so a user might replay a song a few times if they like it, developing a greater bond with the song and band before finally deciding hey, why not click that ad in the corner?

2. The Importance of Playlists

There’s no denying it – getting on playlists is one of the biggest and most significant steps you can take toward launching yourself toward Spotify stardom and starting to see some real money come back your way. According to Spotify’s Ad Studio Guide, users are likelier to continue listening to you if they add you to a playlist. That’s pretty common sense, but what really makes that significant is that users who streamed songs multiple times within that 14-day conversion window were twice as likely to continue listening to artists 30 days after they’d heard or seen the ad.

In short, if you can get added to people’s playlists, you can increase your chances of being heard (and multiple times at that) while simultaneously improving your conversion rate.

Getting listed on organic playlists by having music that meshes with Spotify’s algorithms for crafting them is already a great way to get free exposure, so this is where you should focus your efforts.

3. Interest-Based and Real-Time Targeting

There are two main advertising approaches on Spotify – interest and real-time context targeting.

The former is just what it sounds like, targeting people based on their interests. Every musician crafts an image and eventually a brand for themselves, and like molten metal filling a cast, fans often fit right into that mold.

Taylor Swift fans have a very different average age range and set of interests than, say your average Punk, Goth, or Grunge band.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions or that people can’t like more than one kind of music, but simply that the kind of bubbly, perky ads targeted at Tay-Tay’s Teenage Girl to Millennial Woman core demographic probably won’t score as well with Kanye West or Heavy Metal fans. Of course, if you already know some of your fans’ core interests from your own interactions with them or past marketing deals, this can help bolster your targeted ads all the more and help you and the company advertising boost your chances at scoring conversions.

Real-Time Targeting, by contrast, works to time ads to the optimal time of day. You may be more receptive to ads about coffee or yoga in the morning, for example, or different food products around lunch and dinner time. Timing is everything in art, and it’s true of marketing as well, making Real-Time Advertising on Spotify so critical to your overall music marketing efforts.

4. Target Your Audio Advertising

You’re a musician, so audio ads are where it’s at. Spotify offers guidelines on how to boost your audio advertising, with one of their most important pieces of advice to target the audio in your ads by considering your speaker.

Soke ads are better suited to different speakers. For example, if you’re running an ad for women’s clothing or beauty products, you definitely want a woman and not some creepy old man reading that ad.

The same goes for advertising your band in advertisements as well. Oftentimes, it’s best to use your voice and the familiarity of using the first-person. That said, you can also recruit friends or professionals to read different forms of the same ad for different regions.

For example, if you’re going to drop a new song or album or have tour dates to announce, getting people to read the advertisement in English, Spanish, French, German, Hebrew, Arabic, or whatever other language fits the region in question can help you connect that much more with your audience. Following these steps, you can up your promotional and advertiser money game on Spotify.