Growing a music organization is hard: plain and simple. Whether you have a continuous publication, budding photography portfolio, or play in a band, gaining popularity can always be a challenge. In comparison, large media outlets and labels have been around for years and have the budget for getting your eyes on their content, making it even more difficult for independent organizations. The simplest answer to get your content out in the world can also be the hardest: share, share, share. Engage with like-minded individuals without directly promoting your work. If you keep those conversations going, you can get more eyes on your organization and it will organically grow.
If you are just starting out or are having trouble growing your music organization, you need to ask yourself a couple questions: Do you and your audience think of your organization the same way? Or, more importantly, how do you identify the right messaging for your organization?
How do you answer these two key questions? Research with Google Ads.
Previously known as AdWords, Google Ads can help you identify the right messaging that gives your organization the most engagement and visibility. The primary goal of this exercise will be to research by creating advertisements on Google’s search platform. Even if you have a relatively good idea of what resonates with your audience, this will solidify your assumptions and hopefully give you new ideas for content strategy moving forward. Maintain an open-mind during this process as your findings could also challenge your preconceived notions of success. The insights you gain from this first campaign will inspire you to create and learn more.
Step One: Set It Up
You know what your organization can be classified as— publication, podcast, etc. —but those terms are too cluttered. Sure, you can bid on those types of keywords but the more specific you get, the easier it will be to own those terms as your campaigns progress.
Start with the Keyword Planner tool to understand your topic as well as keywords Google will relate to it. Low Cost-Per-Click and Low Competition? Bid on it. But don’t worry; you do not need to be dedicated to these keywords throughout your campaign. In fact, I recommend monitoring the activity daily so you can delete keywords that are underperforming.
Using the Find New Keywords section of the Keyword Planner, I can see related keywords, amount of monthly searches, bid competition, and estimated bid range for the keyword “music industry”.
Be sure to create at least 2 ads. This way, you can get a better idea of what specific phrases work well. Keep the subject line general to your organization and use value-driven statements to entice people (see image below). You can keep adding and editing the ads but I would advise against this. It is best to leave big, external changes alone and let google optimize what you have and make small changes along the way.
Here is an actual ad I have run in the past. Maybe you have seen it!
Yes, you will need to spend some money. Fortunately, music industry-related keywords are fairly inexpensive (about $0.40 to $2.50 per click). As you gain more experience, you will learn how to make your ads more affordable and effective. You can also edit the maximum amount you can afford to pay for each individual keyword. This allows you to bid more on well-performing keywords, ensuring your ad will be seen. I would recommend running your campaign for at least 2 weeks and plan to spend at least $20. Not a steep price for strengthening the foundation of your organization.
Once your campaign has been up for a few days, make it more efficient and effective. In the last few years, Google has significantly improved their recommendations to help you make a larger impact on your campaign. Pay attention to these recommendations and evaluate which ones are relevant to your goal. Use the Optimization Score feature to measure which elements of your campaign are most and least effective. It’s pretty awesome but you may not want to follow all of it. If you do not want to be associated with a certain keyword(s) or simply do not have the budget for the recommendations, you do not have to follow them.
Not too shabby.
Measure Your Results
Remember, the goal of this campaign was actionable research by informing you on how your market sees you. You probably optimized your campaign to get more clicks or impressions, which is fine, but those metrics are not the most important aspect this early in the game. However, you can use that information moving forward to create new ads, campaigns, and most importantly, content. Here are some questions you should keep in mind when looking at the results:
- How much did my ads show up on desktop vs. mobile?
- How much did I spend per click?
- Which keywords performed well? Which underperformed?
- Can I create content geared toward the keywords that performed well?
And that’s pretty much it. This is a great start to answering some key messaging questions. Use these insights as supplemental information when thinking about creating or growing your music organization. For more tips on your Google Search activity, check out their Search Console. See how your website performs organically on search and use that information, combined with the hot-off-the-press Google Ads campaign, to make more informed decisions on marketing your organization. If you need help in socializing your organization more to the right people, this could work. Best of luck!
If you have any questions about using Google Ads to help your music organization, feel free to contact us!