Written by Kyle Kraft of Krafty Entertainment
Krafty Entertainment is a music business development coaching company dedicated to providing guidance to musicians (and their teams) on how best to nurture supporters and profit from doing so. Krafty Entertainment’s founder Kyle Kraft has over 20 years experience in assisting both developing and established artists in substantially growing their net income from their music. Interested in working with us? Let’s talk!
Music videos are a great tool available for music online, but even great music videos for great songs will most likely only be seen by a portion of the people who are ALREADY interested in the artist’s music if there isn’t proactive outreach done to create awareness for the video. While having a video be featured on popular websites, blogs, playlists, and YouTube channels (which aren’t easy to get to feature developing artists) can be a good means of getting a video out to new people, views from those sources generally aren’t nearly as in an artist’s control as social media video ads can be and are often an audience that doesn’t have the best likelihood of becoming fans of the artist’s music.
Well-targeted social media advertising (like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube video ads) is far more cost effective and efficient advertising than print, radio, television, outdoor, or general website advertising, when done correctly. It is a great way to reach people who will be the most likely to be interested in your music and then open to additional communication from you, which may lead to them eventually giving you some of their hard-earned money and potentially even becoming life-long supporters. Social media advertising can also be a giant waste of money if you’re not doing it right, so the key is ensure you understand how to properly make use of the advertising systems available to you to help you achieve your goals.
Facebook (and Instagram, which it owns) and YouTube have different audiences that are important, but the Facebook advertising system is substantially easier to learn. As such if you don’t already have a lot of experience with online video advertising you would probably be wise to focus on learning on advertising on Facebook first. Regardless, all of the below info that specifies YouTube is something you should take into consideration for pushing your music videos to a larger audience via Facebook as well.
Ensuring your video is edited properly to maximize its effectiveness as a video ad
YouTube pre-roll ads (aka Google AdWords in-stream video advertising) are arguably one of the best types of YouTube ads for music videos on the platform. YouTube pre-roll ads force viewers of other videos (which you should target carefully as outlined in the previous paragraph) to watch the first 5 seconds of your video (which MUST not have objectionable visual OR audio content including swearing, or they won’t let the ad run), after which they have the ability to click away to the watch video that they were originally trying to. IF the first 5 seconds of your video are compelling enough, they can choose to not click away right away and will potentially even watch your whole video if they stay interested in it.
For those reasons the first 5 seconds of the video (and the version of your song you use) MUST be as strong as is possible. You should be using a "video edit" of your song for the video that starts with the most captivating part of the song (likely the chorus) first – with the music hitting RIGHT AWAY with no intro - and also insure the video is as visually compelling as is possible right from the start and again with no intro before the music starts. That will maximize the chances of viewers watching past the 5 seconds that they are forced to.
Ensuring you are uploading your videos right to Facebook to maximize the reach of your ads
Facebook’s algorithms show posts (including paid posts) with links to a lot less than people than those without links. As such you are wasting your money if you are running Facebook ads with a link to a YouTube video instead of uploading the video directly to Facebook. While you might want to have all of your video views on the YouTube version of your video, the most efficient use of your Facebook advertising dollars is to be promoting a video hosted directly on Facebook.
Ensuring you have had success with video ads before spending a lot of money
There is definitely a learning curve with each social media advertising platform, so if you’re planning a big campaign be sure you have experience in how to use the ads in exactly the manner you are aiming to do so before you need your big campaign to go into effect. In the case of either Facebook or YouTube video ads spending a small portion of your campaign budget on doing them for a different video of yours to go through the process is a wise way to ensure you know how to make the best use possible out of majority of the budget you are dedicating to the main campaign.
Continuing (and monetizing) the relationship with people who watch your videos via ads
Both Facebook and YouTube video ads generate views of the video you specify, which if you are targeting well should then be able to be turned into “leads” (by getting them to follow you on the social media platform you are reaching them via, sign up for your mailing list, follow you on an a streaming service, or just be part of a better-qualified group that you can then serve additional videos or other forms of advertising to) which you can then start building a relationship with and work towards turning them into customers over time. You should definitely not be aiming to go right from a view to a sale (by making your call to action in your video caption, description, or YouTube annotation be to make a purchase), as your conversion rate (the amount of people you get to actually take action) will be terrible and you will miss out on building relationships with a lot more people that could turn into potential sales in the long term. You should view advertising as the start of a relationship that will take multiple points of contact over the course of days, weeks, months, or even years to turn into income in many cases, even if you are doing everything right.
Costs of advertising
You should be aiming to spend the least possible amount of money to get as many views as is possible, which means by having people not click away after the first 5 seconds of your video they are forced to watch with a YouTube pre-roll ad (YouTube only charges you for the view after someone has watched your video for 30 seconds). I have seen people pay for anywhere from less than 1 cent per view (which is great and requires careful and deliberate advertising strategy for most ads depending on who you are targeting) per view, or to put it another way less than $10 per thousand views. Since both Facebook and Google ad prices are based on demand, the amount you will pay per view is dependent on the popularity of your target audience with other advertisers.
Targeting your ads properly (one of the most important aspects of advertising!)
You should be targeting your ads with precision so that your ad dollars are being spent as efficiently as possible to help you reach an audience that is the most likely to become interested in your music. You should be thinking in terms of stylistic fit, location, and age.
With Facebook, targeting people who like stylistically similar artists to the song you are advertising is the best initial way (as you advertise, you can build up a “lookalike audience” that will likely perform better later) to maximize the likelihood of making new fans of your music. With YouTube pre-roll ads you should specify whose music videos you want your ad to play before keeping in mind the sound of the specific song you are doing the ad for (not your overall body of work), since that individual song could be the only song of yours that the viewer hears before they decide if they’re going to take action.
In an effort to ensure that the money you spend on these ads is being used efficiently by being able to convert as many viewers to fans as is possible you should carefully consider the target audience of your ads before you start them. You should put together a list of at least the top 5 artists whose fan bases you think would be most likely be interested in the song (based on the artists' music having a similar sound) and video you are going to promote, and specify that the ads are going to run targeting their fans or viewers of their videos depending on the platform. You would be wise to aim for audiences of artists who have substantial followings in the geographic area you are doing the ads in, but that are not so large that viewers of their videos are not likely to be interested in developing artists. For example if you're a developing rapper, you can do better than targeting fans of Drake or Kanye. Fans of artists who are household names who fill arenas are less likely to become fans of yours than fans of less-established artists whose fans are more likely to be interested in more developing level artists.
Here is an extensive course on Facebook video advertising that I recommend artists taking before running full ad campaigns in support of key music videos of theirs in order to really help them get the best results from those campaigns:
And here is the Facebook ads system:
How to set up YouTube pre-roll Video Ads:
To create an ad on YouTube go to https://ads.google.com or scroll to the bottom of any YouTube page and click on “advertise”.
You will be prompted to also sign in to the Google Ads system even if you were already signed in to your YouTube account using your Google account info, as an additional layer of security since Google Ads charges your credit card once you’ve set it up to do so.
If you don’t already have a Google Ads profile set up you will need to fill out some contact information for yourself and also provide a credit card number for the ad costs to be charged to before you can start creating ads. You may also be prompted to automatically start a text-only Google ad that you can delete without submitting after you have saved it. If you are you will need to save the ad before you can proceed to main dashboard in the Google Ads system.
Once you are logged into the Google Ads system you should be taken to the “campaigns” page, and should see a section at the bottom of it labelled “for experienced users” with an option that says “start creating advanced campaigns”. Click on that. On the next page change the campaign type to “video”, adjust the settings as you see fit, and you are on your way to creating a YouTube Video Ad.
Be sure to take care in targeting your ads not only by location, age group, and interest (picking a musical genre is DEFINITELY not targeted enough) but also by selecting the “narrow your targeting” option under the “interests” options and select “Placements”. The Placements option allows you to specify YouTube channels (of artists of your choosing) and even specific videos you want your video to appear before. This is targeting you just can’t get with any traditional form of advertising, and is what makes social media advertising like this so powerful.
This information was compiled by Kyle Kraft of Krafty Entertainment. Whether you are an artist who is in the early stages of building your career and have next to no money to invest into it looking for the best paths to generating income, are an artist that has established a following and are interested in getting assistance with securing tens of thousands of dollars in funding to further your career, or are an artist or collective with an extensive fan base that would like assistance with increasing the efficiency of your business development, we can help you.
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