If you only have $100 to spend on marketing your music, here’s what to do

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Marketing Your Music with PPC[This article was written by Tyler Allen and it originally appeared on the Sonicbids Blog.]

Your band is an investment. You’ve probably already spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on equipment like PA systems, stands, strings, new instruments, and a plethora of other equipment, right? It’s normal to put money into something you care about and invest in something that helps pay the bills. So, just as we put money into our equipment and sound, we should also set aside money for marketing our work.

Naturally, this seems like a daunting task, as no one wants to take a gamble on marketing if the outcome is unsure, especially when labels and wealthier artists dump thousands upon thousands into their marketing. But it’s actually easier than you think. Even better, it can also be cheaper than you think.

Let’s say you only have $100 a month to spend on marketing your music. If you have no idea where to start or how you can get the most bang for your buck, here’s how you might want to split up that cash.

Facebook advertising: $25 to $50

Yep, this could eat up half of your monthly budget, but it’s an important facet of marketing. The way Facebook’s current algorithm works is that posts that aren’t engaged with won’t appear on your fans’ timelines. Even if you have 15,000 fans, if your post gets zero interactions, most of those fans won’t even see it. Is this Facebook’s way of nearly forcing brands to pay up for reach? A little bit. But fortunately, even $5 or $10 could get you significant reach on Facebook.

There are a few ways of going about advertising on Facebook. One way is to promote your whole page for $5 to $10 a day for five days. Ensure you’re drilling down your audience, too. You can target people by interest, so make sure you include your genre, similar artists, and any other important details in your page information.

Another route would be promoting a SoundCloud or YouTube clip that’s posted on your Facebook page. This way, you can also rack up on YouTube views or SoundCloud views, too. For $10 a day for five days, your post could easily reach a minimum of 2,000 to 5,200 people each day. Will this necessarily lead to a corresponding number of likes, views, and listens? Potentially! If your content is written well, it’ll certainly get some love. And if you can’t manage $10 a day, even $5 a day isn’t a bad deal, since it’ll get you a reach of about 980 to 2,600 people daily.

Google AdWords for video: $25 to $50

Obviously, you’ll have to adjust your spend here depending on how much you put towards your Facebook campaign. However, Google AdWords is a great way to invest a chunk of your marketing budget – namely in YouTube’s TrueView, which is AdWords for video. This creates sponsored video ads on YouTube which can lead people to your video, channel, or website.

There’s also a very easy and efficient walk through when creating an ad, which makes this very easy to use and customize. I’d recommend a total of $5 to $10 for five days. Since it’s PPC (pay-per-click), you’ll only be charged each time your ad is clicked – plus, you get to choose the cap on the amount you spend (i.e., your $5). With this budget of $5 to $10 a day, you can easily achieve up to 1,000 impressions daily.

Website, social media, or EPK cleanup: remaining budget

Let’s say you spent $25 between the Facebook ads and Google AdWords, or decided to forgo YouTube TrueView as you don’t have a video to push. Now, you have $25 or $50 left over. Think about spending that on a nice graphic set for an upcoming show, or even hiring a strategist to rework some of your bio or copy on your website. Now, I’m sure any designers reading this are cringing at the thought of only working for $25 on design, but for one or two simple social media graphics, or a new cover photo, that’s surely reasonable.

A final word of warning: when you start marketing your work, people are going to see it – lot’s of ’em – so make sure whatever you’re putting out there is clean and fresh. The last thing you want is money spent on promoting a post or video with poor wording or quality. So be prepared!

As a music marketing strategist, Tyler Allen works with an extensive array of artists, labels, music tech, and music retail entities. Tyler began his music industry career with Sony Music Entertainment and RED Distribution, as well as the advertising industry. He is dedicated to giving veteran artists the tools to preserve their legacy, and new artists the tools to begin theirs (as well as everything in between). Learn more at wtylerconsulting.com.

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  • Sondra

    Are there any marketing peolpe that you can hire to do this stuff? Im a singer –a good one — but don’t have the time or orginaztional skills to keep up with this –but maybe there are experts who you can pay to do it for you –its worth the investmnent

  • Sondra

    Let me correct my spelling –I am a terrible typist.

    ” organizational ” and “people” !!

  • Logan

    Thanks for the info. It really cleared up a lot of things for me!

  • johny5

    $25 for design? A more realistic budget for this would be $250. Your branding is the first thing people see and that will make your ad spends far more effective. Invest in a strong designer with a strong portfolio first!

  • alexan o’brien

    Good stuff — but do NOT buy likes or promote your page via facebook. This will be very damaging to the overall effectiveness of your page. The more you “promote” your page, the more click-farms will “like” your page and totally screw up who your posts will reach. Then, when you boost posts in the future, it will have less of a chance to get the post in front of real people. If you want to pay for facebook, then boost posts – targeting people who like your page and their friends. That way when you boost posts, they will actually get in front of fans/potential fans. The “people reached” is utter bullshit. Means nothing. You are trying to get cool, relevant posts in front of people. Facebook videos show up better than Youtube videos… but Youtube has a much more built-in fanbase of people searching for new music. Your guess is as good as mine… but paying for ads on social media is still a guess at this point.

    Watch this if you are skeptical as to what I am writing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVfHeWTKjag

  • StevieBeatz_Da.producer

    Thank you for this blog! I love it

  • Julian Angel

    I would spend those 100 bucks on sending physical (!) copies to website operators and bloggers in my market niche (genre) to get reviews and interviews. Why physical? It’s the only reward or compensation those website operating maniacs ever receive, so they are very thankful. Plus, reviews and interviews in genre related media is the most powerful marketing instrument. It has worked for me with five self released albums.

  • Nice. Thanks for reading and commenting!


  • Nice. Thanks for reading and commenting!


  • That’s a great point, and that YouTube vid is awesome. Thanks for sharing.


  • Janet Hamilton

    Any business, that is a good business, has a budget for advertising and PR. The difference is, now it’s up to the artist/manager to arrange it. The industry had a ladder so to speak, the Record Label held that key, to open success or fail to turn it for other reasons. Just because you were signed to a label, didn’t mean your ship has come in and don’t pop that champagne cork so fast. For every successful signed band, that makes the labels a ton of money, needs escape goats for their IRS tax loopholes, by purposely signing a not so good band that would flop, they used them as a right off, to help counteract the successful ones. Since record labels failed to keep their clients copyrighted works safe, the procedure has changed to dumping the responsibility of marketing on the artist/band themselves. I’ve never seen so many snakes come crawling out of the internet, to prey off of the ignorant. If you have a decent sounding band, something kind of fresh, a few thousand likes, comments and subscriptions on your FB, Google, YouTube, social media, playing live, getting fans, selling a few downloads, paying a real PR firm, or known person, who’s clients charted over the last 5 years, then maybe a label will come knocking with talks, taking the next step with you, maybe,,, but by that time, who needs the label? You have done all of the work already. It’s a catch 22, it always has been, but be very careful who you give your hard earned money to, make sure you do your homework on the people you hire. Most are frauds, and even some professionals get snowed, be very careful.

  • Mel Rog

    facebook is the worst place to advertise. I wasted a lot of money i didn’t have.

  • Mel Rog

    facebook is the worst place to advertise. I wasted a lot of money i didn’t have.

  • Jef Kearns

    If you’re using FB PPC you’ll be paying on average 50 cents to 70 cents per click depending on the market you are targeting. There are workarounds to make it so people don’t have to click on the ad to know where to get it (Example: you can put the logos of stores that are carrying the physical copy or CDbaby.) However, if you are promoting a digital single it is not financially effective … you can plan to lose money. Even if one in 10 people clicked through to buy it on iTunes …. you’ve just spent $7.00 to make seventy cents.

    I think FB PPC is, however, more effective than advertising your YouTube video through Google. With FB ads you can link the person directly to the point of purchase on your website where they can click around to learn more about you. YouTube is designed to keep you on YouTube. If you’re paying for advertising link to a site where the focus is you … not where millions of hours of other peoples footage is being uploaded weekly.

    I am attaching the image I used for FB advertising in Japan. It essentially says “Get Soulfisticated.” Then they clicked through to a page about the album at http://www.soulfisticated.com/jp

    As you can see as much information was put in that rectangle as possible so people wouldn’t necessarily need to click. Facebook is really strict on the amount of text in your ad so you have to be creative. This went through a few different designs before being accepted.

    I also have an “Advice for Indie Artists” advice section on my website http://jefkearns.com/blog/indie-advice/

  • Jef Kearns

    If you can put someone on payroll at a couple thousand dollars a month, sure. But there’s an old adage: No one is going to work harder for you than yourself.

  • Jef Kearns

    If you can put someone on payroll at a couple thousand dollars a month, sure. But there’s an old adage: No one is going to work harder for you than yourself.

  • Jim Nephin

    Avoid adsense & facebook total scams nothing but click farms if you ask me fake accounts just set up to take your money…..Send your promo CDs out to as many webzines & magazines you can find on the net.This will lead to way more sales & get people talking about you on web forums.You can also hire a specialist PR company for as little as $100 for a banner ad campaign google them you’d be amazed how cheap you can do it.

  • Gary Harrison

    Forget buying likes. Or page ads.
    Get a real Facebook ad campaign going, that directs them to your personal website, look at micro niche ad choices too. You’ll get the best bang for your money.

  • Akeer Johnson

    I am a 22 year old artist who goes by the name of LAYLO. A young nigga came from the hood and moved to GERMANY! Looking to raise my son and keep him positive and make a COME UP to show old friends there is no reason to ever give up and quit dreaming! I come up with ALL my Concepts on my own and I only use a Laptop and mic at the moment… Please hear me out! This isnt just copied and pasted, either! Its from my heart..


  • Dilan Marah

    Great article! Can I share this information on my resource http://promosoundgroup.net/ ?

  • Glad it was helpful, and we’ll try to get more stuff out in this direction.

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