At AWAL we aim to help artists tell stories that shape culture. That means our role is helping to amplify and super charge the efforts that labels and artists are making on their projects.
An important piece of the puzzle is paid marketing and it’s never too early to start thinking about how you might use it as part of your campaign.
With it being complicated there’s often reticence to get started but it’s not something to be too cautious of trying. For developing artists there’s nothing stopping us “dipping a toe in the pool”. Be targeted. Start small. Know what you’re trying to achieve. Work with good partners…
To help navigate the path we’ve spoken to Mina Ingebretsen - Marketing Director at AWAL and Philip Muellerschoen from the fantastic new marketing platform B00st.
So, first of all, we took some time with Mina Ingbertsen, Marketing Director at AWAL, who has been across a tonne of campaigns including recently with the Wombats [Eg. On Tiktok w/ Yung Blud]
1/ When should artists think about using paid marketing? Should they wait until they have achieved certain benchmarks or should they kick on now?
It’s different for all artists. You can start early but the key thing to focus on is the creative. If it’s going to be effective it needs to be built around the assets you’re trying to push and you need to test those.
2/ So what should we be looking for in the assets we produce?
What works will depend on the target audience - the different interests, the different ages, what platforms they’re on...
At the moment the place where we’re seeing particularly exciting reactions to content is TikTok. It doesn’t need to be fancy artwork / a posh video. It could literally just be the artist talking to camera about a release they’ve dropped (liners). We did it with Aquillo (Amazing record here) with a really simple video and a modest budget - the video went off - 300K views and compared favourably to much more polished offerings from well established artists.
Also, worth noting ‘Liners’ (the artist in question doing a piece to camera introducing the tune etc) perform particularly well on Instagram. It’s all about making the asset for the platform you’re on. Adverts that look really shiny are easy for people to spot (and maybe tune out). Always think of yourself as a consumer and try to market according to what the consumer on that platform is looking for or “open to”.
3/ What should a developing artist look to achieve with their marketing efforts?
That question - “what are you trying to achieve?” is really crucial. You’re basically looking for one of two things; driving engagement with the release or building a fanbase? While building a fanbase is the most valuable thing, sometimes you’re doing that with the latest tunes. That is why we always run tests on the ads we run. Testing out both approaches is a good call. For any type of A/B testing we run 2-3 assets against each other to see which type will work best on each platform. NB. We really don’t know which will perform best (even with a lot of experience) so it’s an important thing to do if you can.
4/ How might we get started?
There are lots of options. One platform to start with might be YouTube. Trueview ads are a great first option for you. Go back again to the asset - make sure the content in the video starts straight away. Remember that people might lose interest 5 - 10 seconds in. Good to note for all assets. Make sure that in the first few seconds of a video (ad asset) that we share the artist’s name. Then a few seconds more and we’ve done the track name and whatever the call to action might be.
3/ How much should an artist with a modest budget think of spending?
You have to consider the minimum spends - TikTok you have to pay £250 - Spotify min £200. On platforms like YouTube you can start small and also you can lean on relatable artists on the YouTube platform which is a great way to start with accurate targeting.
Assuming you’ve figured out what you want to achieve you’ll then focus on the strongest asset and if you can afford to go with two that’s well worth considering.
4/ How do you measure the impact of a campaign you’ve been running?
You'll have access to data insight from your ads in the business backends of each platform you're running ads on. Obviously, if you have a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve then you can look to see if that’s happening. We look at the price per click and trying to drive that down is key for us.
We might see a £0.10 cpc (cost per click) number for a project and we would attempt to reduce that - with good assets they can take on a life of their own. If the results aren’t good enough and perhaps your cpc is very high you’re likely targeting the wrong people or your “creative” isn’t up to scratch.
Now we have a better idea of what we should be thinking of ahead of a campaign. We could now get lost in a sea of advertising strategies but a great jumping in point is the platform B00st who have a super simple but effective way of boosting engagement for your project. We asked a few questions of Philip Muellerschoen from B00st...
1/ What do you do for projects more effectively than someone using Facebook Ads Manager?
b00st.com software simplifies, automates, and supercharges online ads.
The process starts with analyzing social channels for each artist, the industry, and that artist's peers, over time, to compose the initial ad buying recommendations. Deep inside this portion lies mathematical portfolio allocation and asset valuation software, which makes data transformations and produces the ad allocation set.
b00st.com draws from tons of different data sources such as music consumption, touring activity, and socials to accurately build high-value target groups for each artist.
Once the initial allocations are fixed, b00st.com performs A/B testing to determine what demo, creative, and copy produces the optimal ROI per channel at the respective moment in time.
After a campaign launches, b00st.com software regularly updates all campaign elements. We call this Dynamic Tactical Allocation, which helps produce optimal ad spends through time.
2/ How much money do I need to start using the platform? Will it have an impact?
We consistently see impactful campaigns at $50.00 and above. An important learning is that the better the content (ad creative, song, video, etc.) the better an ad campaign tends to perform.
3/ What impact might a $50 spend have on a release I push through b00st.com?
In regards to ad performance, a $50.00 link click campaign might produce between a hundred and a thousand clicks, while a video view campaign might garner between 250-7000 views. What impact this translates to, e.g. new fans, streams, sales etc., really depends on the artist, their content, and the price of ads across social channels.
4/ What sort of links should people be pushing through your platform?
b00st.com is designed to promote any target link or channel. For example, to grow YouTube, enter a link to a video or YouTube channel. To grow Instagram, enter an instagram profile link. To grow Spotify, enter a link to a profile, song, or album on Spotify. From the info provided b00st.com will devise the mathematically optimal way to promote any target destination.
So… there you have it. You can start really simply with b00st.com to get a flavour of what can be achieved. Alternatively (or afterwards) you can start to build out a slightly more involved approach. Start with the creative and then target the audience carefully. Be clear about what you’re trying to achieve and once you’re seeing results monitor the price per click - driving down by improving the assets and audience targeting.
Big thanks to Mina and Phil for their time.
That’s all folks. ✌️