Using to build your Spotify following

Building a Spotify following with smart online marketing tools.

Living in a remote area makes online marketing even more essential.

This article was written by Alaska-based songwriter Emily Anderson.

I’m an independent folk/pop artist based in Fairbanks, Alaska. No, I do not live in an igloo and I did not ride a moose to grade school. However, I do like telling people the mosquito is our state bird. (It’s not. It’s the ptarmigan. But there is a town in Alaska called Chicken because the gold miners didn’t know how to spell ptarmigan.)

Though not all the stereotypes of Alaska are true, artists do deal with isolation and lack of humans up here in the last frontier. The small, spread-out population makes it difficult for any artist to get heard or seen without going to great lengths and expense to travel. For example, the nearest city to me is a 6 hour drive away or a $150-200 one-way flight.

I recently made the leap into full-time musician, which is a very exciting and nerve-wracking life shift. I realized I needed to step up my game and dive into some of the goals I’ve put on the back burner due to Alaska being about 5-10 years behind the rest of the United States (we’re pretty stoked that we just got an REI). When I heard CD Baby and might be able to help, I was eager to try.

Starting an online marketing campaign with to build my Spotify following.

I started out this experiment with 110 followers on Spotify, with the goal to increase that metric by 100%, a lofty goal I know. I decided to use the landing page to encourage people to follow me on Spotify or sign up for my email list. My email list started at 73 subscribers.

Setting up my campaign was very straightforward. I logged into my CD Baby artist profile, scrolled down to “Featured Tools” and selected “Free Marketing Tools with”

Using to promote music

They walked me through each step to set up my landing page and CD Baby offers you great resources to help pick your incentive (read this article, and listen to this podcast before getting started).

It took me a couple tries to get the right image for the background and get the copy just right, but this is what I came up with:

Emily Anderson's landing page

Choosing the incentive.

I decided my incentive would be a free three-song EP of unreleased music. I’d had these great demos for awhile and I felt like they were going to waste just sitting on my computer gathering virtual dust.

My goal for this campaign was to incentivize those who already knew of me to follow my Spotify profile, and those who hadn’t heard of me to at least be curious about what I was looking at in the bottom of that coffee cup.

I wasn’t sure how to best distribute the free EP, so I asked one of the CD Baby representatives what he recommended. He said the best way is to provide an opt-in link on your thank you/confirmation page. I looked at plugins on WordPress that I could use to create a zip file that would be easily downloadable. After watching a 2-minute tutorial, I was set.

Building a Spotify following using

After I tested the campaign to see if it worked, I checked the dashboard. This is the dashboard you’ll see when you use the tools.

At a glance it lets you know how many people visit your landing page, how many people unlock your incentive, and what your conversion rate is.

Before throwing the campaign on Facebook, I sent it to some friends to get their feedback. The consensus was that it looked professional, but a few people had issues with their Spotify login. It was also a lot of clicks to get done, and if you couldn’t remember your Spotify password it was a pain. Some of them gave up and just put in their email.

[Editor’s note: If the person is logged into Spotify already, this process is quick; no need to re-enter login info.]

The importance of choosing the right incentive (or the right way of delivering the incentive), and what I’d do differently next time.

The other issue I ran into was my incentive.

I used a zip file plugin on my WordPress site to make it so people could download my secret EP directly from a page on my website. This worked great on a computer, but not on a phone. I added a disclaimer to the page letting people know that I would email them the link so they could download it the next time they were on the computer. I figured that letting people know I was aware of the issue would be more reassuring than just letting them get annoyed. If you’re setting up a campaign, I recommend using an incentive that works with desktop and mobile.

Advertising my campaign via Facebook.

Building a Spotify following with online marketing

I started the Facebook ad campaign with two ad sets, each set at a budget of $5 a day for 7 days. I used the traffic campaign goal and targeted one group to a custom audience of those who have interacted with my page in the last 365 days and another ad group targeting people in Fairbanks and Anchorage with interests in “local music,” “indie pop,” and “farmers market” (because, hippies).

After one day of running the Facebook campaign there was a definite spike in Spotify followers!

After a week of running the Facebook campaign, I’m up to 147 followers on Spotify! My email list also grew by 58 emails, which is huge for me at this stage of the game.

I sent a follow up email to all my new subscribers and followers thanking them and re-sending the download link. I got some great feedback from fans about my Secret EP, which is also great to hear!

Although I didn’t reach my goal of 220 followers, I’m still excited about my results. I increased my Spotify audience by 33% in just one week!

I’m looking forward to using these tools for other incentives and comparing results, and thanks to CD Baby I’ll be able to continue growing my audience even while living in the farthest north city in the US.

If you’re a CD Baby client, you can use for FREE. Log into your CD Baby members dashboard and click “Free Marketing Tools” to claim your account.