The Ultimate Guide to Running Music Ads: Grow Your Fanbase and Boost Streams

Jun 7, 2024

In today’s competitive music industry, great music alone isn’t enough to get noticed. With countless artists vying for attention, effective promotion is essential. Whether you’re just starting out or already established, this ultimate guide will show you how to run successful music ads to grow your fanbase and boost your streams.

Why Advertising/Promoting Your Music is So Important

Promoting your music is crucial for gaining visibility and growing your fanbase. In today’s digital age, the sheer volume of content available online means that simply creating great music isn’t enough. You need to ensure your target audience discovers it.

Advertising your music allows you to reach listeners who may never find your music organically. Running ads can drive traffic to your streaming platforms, increase your social media following, and ultimately, boost your career.

When is the Right Time to Run Ads for Your Music?

There is never a bad time to start running ads. Even as an artist starting out with a limited budget, working within these confines is a great proving ground to learn how to run ads, what content works for you, and who your audience is.

That being said, there are some considerations to be made when it comes to what types of ads you should be running depending on what stage you are at in your career. Let’s break down what that looks like at each stage below as well as what category you fit in best.

Early Career

These tips are likely to be appropriate for you if you have just started releasing music, have a small amount of monthly listeners, or don’t have a strong sense of who your fans are and their interests.

Your goals at this stage will likely be to start finding your fans, growing and nurturing that list and starting to collect data on who your die-hard “ForeverFans” might be.

As a result, your ads will be targeting a cold audience that you will be testing through a series of different keywords, content and location testing. More on how to test your ads and optimize them in this complete guide HERE. *article coming soon*.

The content of these ads will be geared towards promoting you as an artist/personality as well as highlighting your best songs that have been released, new or old.


These tips are likely to be appropriate for you if you have been releasing music for a while, have a moderate amount of monthly listeners, and have a growing but not yet fully established sense of who your fans are and their interests.

Your goals at this stage will likely be to deepen your connection with your existing fan base, expand your reach to new listeners, and begin to build a more defined and engaged community around your music. As a result, your ads will primarily target warm audiences (current listeners and fans) to let them know about your new releases. However, there will still be some consideration for running ads to find new potential fans through lookalike audiences and refined targeting strategies. More on that later.

The content of these ads should focus on showcasing your unique style and personality, highlighting your most popular tracks, and promoting new releases. Additionally, consider incorporating behind-the-scenes content, live performance clips, and fan interactions to create a more personal and engaging connection with your audience.

Established Artists

These tips are likely to be appropriate for you if you have a significant number of monthly listeners, a clear understanding of your fan base and their interests, and you are consistently selling out shows.

Your goals at this stage will likely be to deepen your connection with your existing fan base and monetize your audience through concert and merch sales. Your ads will target warm audiences (current listeners and fans) to let them know about your new releases, with little effort concentrated on finding new listeners as this should be happening effectively in an organic way at this stage in your career.

The content of these ads should focus on reinforcing your brand, promoting major releases, tours, and merchandise, and providing exclusive content to keep your fans engaged and excited.

What Budget Will You Need to Start Running Ads?

The budget for running ads can vary greatly depending on your goals and the platforms you choose. Here’s a basic breakdown:

Social Media Ads

  • Facebook/Instagram: Start with as little as $5 per day. This is a great way to dive in, experiment and learn the ropes with minimal risk. For a full-campaign, a budget of $150-$300 per month can be effective for reaching a niche audience.

  • TikTok: Minimum spend of $20 per day. Increasing your budget can significantly amplify reach due to the platform's viral nature, with ads reaching as low as $0.10/$0.15 cost-per-click when working well.

Google Ads

YouTube: Running ads on YouTube ads is a great supplementary ad platform to accompany your primary one (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok). These ads are great for brand awareness as you can target almost any artist. A budget of $150-$300 per month is a good starting point, depending on your target audience size. However, expect more expensive conversions in the $2-$3 range.

Streaming Platforms

Spotify: Spotify ads can range from $100 for a self-serve campaign to thousands of dollars for more extensive campaigns.

For a detailed breakdown on the pros and cons of each advertising platform and advice on choosing the right one for your career check out our complete guide HERE. *article coming soon*.

Advanced Tips for Advertising Your Music

To optimize your ads to make your budget go even further, consider these strategies:

Retargeting Ads

Retargeting is a strategy that involves showing ads to users who have previously interacted with your content. This could include visiting your website, watching your videos, or engaging with your social media posts.

Retargeting helps to re-engage potential fans who have already shown interest in your music but might not have taken action yet. Segment your audience based on their interaction level and tailor your ads to move them through your marketing funnel (e.g., from awareness to engagement to conversion).

A/B Testing

A/B testing involves running two or more versions of an ad simultaneously to see which one performs better. This method helps you understand what resonates best with your audience, allowing you to optimize your campaigns for higher engagement and conversion rates.

You can test different elements such as headlines, images, ad copy, calls to action, and target audiences. BUT only test one element change at a time (e.g. test two different headlines but keep the rest of the ad exactly the same).

Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences are groups of people who share similar characteristics with your existing fans or customers. These audiences are created based on data from your current audience, such as demographics, interests, and behaviors.

Use platforms like Meta (Facebook & Instagram) and Google Ads to create lookalike audiences. Upload your existing fan data (e.g., email lists, website visitors) and the platform will find new users who match the profile. Customize your ads to appeal to this new audience while maintaining consistency with your brand.


Geo-targeting involves showing your ads to users based on their geographic location. This can be particularly useful for promoting local events, tours, or region-specific releases. It’s also a cost-effective way to focus your budget on areas where you have a stronger presence or upcoming events.

ForeverFan has recently rolled out a powerful geo-targeting tool that makes simply selecting cities and countries through dropdown boxes obsolete. Our new Geofilter allows you to target your SMS and email campaigns by locations handpicked by you on an interactive map! Click here to find out more.

Audience Segmentation

Audience segmentation involves dividing your audience into smaller groups based on specific criteria such as age, gender, interests, behavior, or engagement level.

Use data from your social media insights, website analytics, and ad performance reports to segment your audience. Create tailored ad content for each segment and monitor the performance to continuously refine your approach.


Advertising your music is an essential step in growing your audience and achieving success. Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re already established and looking to maintain your momentum, ForeverFan is designed to support artists at all levels of their career to help grow and nurture your fanbase.

We have a range of smartlinks available to you to make effortless fan conversion campaigns. From ForeverSave links that allow fans to presave all your future releases with one click to fully customizable link-in-bios that are finely tuned for fan behavior and conversions, we've got you covered.

Beyond that, our centralized system consolidates all fan information into one streamlined software to help you make decisions faster and grow quicker. Not to mention that we even have complete step-by-step guides for setting up, testing and optimizing your ads.

Click here to get started today.

The smart way for musicians to build, understand, and nurture their fanbase.

© 2024 ForeverFan Music Inc.

The smart way for musicians to build, understand, and nurture their fanbase.

© 2024 ForeverFan Music Inc.