Your brand’s next social media platform — Spotify

Spotify’s launch in 2008 took the music listening world by storm; with 71 million paying listeners and 101 million ad-based listeners, it is clear that your brand needs to be reaching out to this audience, and I’m here to tell you how.  

Music has always been a point of connectivity between human beings. Whether it’s a trip to the record store, a heartfelt burned CD, or a custom playlist—people are always wanting to know what other people are listening to. In the age of social media, people are finding this same connection between large brands and influencers, opening up the opportunity for businesses to engage with their consumers on a deeper level. Consider Spotify as your next platform to engage with your followers on, and keep reading to find out how you can and why you should.  

Music streaming has become a very dominant trend worldwide, and very well could have been the pioneer of the subscription rather than ownership trend that Netflix, Hulu, and many other sites have adopted. Amongst these platforms we have Apple Music, Amazon, and Tidal; but the company holding nearly 36% of the subscriber market share is Spotify. Spotify possesses unique features where you can follow friends, brands and influencers, share on social media, and discover new music regularly.

Over the past 10 years, Spotify listeners have increased exponentially, with the average listener spending about 25 hours a month streaming music.

The growing traffic on Spotify is a marketer’s paradise, with a unique and focused group just waiting to be targeted mid-Beyonce-and-Jay-z-album.

Spotify Ad Studio

The first tactic I’d like to cover is a bit obvious, paid ads, but Spotify has created a new platform to make this easy and affordable. Spotify Ad Studio is a new self-service advertising platform where you can easily manage and create audio ad campaigns. With Ad Studio, you can:

  • Build an audio ad campaign in less than 10 minutes
  • Create a new audio ad from scratch
  • Forecast impression estimates based on your target audience
  • Track and manage all your campaign reporting

    Source: Spotify

Image Source: Ad Week

These ads are served to Spotify’s free subscription listeners (about 101 million of them) during song breaks. You can target your audio advertisement by genre, location, gender, age, activity, and device. With this audio spot you also are given ownership to the Cover Art area, allowing your ad to be clickable and drive traffic to a URL destination.

Here is Spotify’s guide to making the best audio ad.

Once you create your advertisement, you can return to Ad Studio and view insights such as:

  • A summary of the ad campaign and its targeting
  • The start/end dates
  • The budget
  • Total number of ads served
  • The number of clicks
  • The CTR
  • The number of unique people who heard your ad/reach
  • The number of times each person heard your ad/frequency

Something also important to note is how valuable audio streamers are to your brand. According to Spotify:

  • Streamers are twice as likely to pay more for brands.
  • 61 percent of streamers are more likely to recommend brands to a friend.
  • 74 percent of streamers are more likely to describe a brand as “the only brand for me.”
  • Did someone say brand loyalty? Keep reading and you’ll learn how to grab the attention and gain the trust of these listeners.

Branded Profiles and Playlists

Recently, brands have been building personalized playlists and profiles to boost engagements with their target market. Carnival Cruise Lines created the playlist Carnival Cruise Tunes to engage people on and off the boat. With uplifting and tropical music, this playlist makes listeners not only feel like they are on a cruise, but also feel like they should be on one. This playlist doesn’t end just at Spotify either, users can share the music they’re listening to on other forms of social media, only extending the reach of this playlist.

It’s important to note that these playlists need to be treated like advertisements. The selection and order of the songs need to be highly considered. This form of advertising makes your brand feel genuine and down-to-earth, so it is important that your efforts parallel that.

Starbucks is another great example of a brand utilizing Spotify. They partnered up back in 2015 because Spotify needed subscribers and Starbucks needed reliable and shareable playlists. Spotify is now linked to the Starbucks App where you can easily connect to the music currently playing. Their Spotify profile has almost 85,000 followers with playlists updated nearly every day.

In a statement regarding this partnership, Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks, commented:

“Music has played a pivotal role in our stores for over 40 years and we have been at the forefront of how to integrate it into a retail environment. Today is the next era in that experience. We are merging the physical and digital, providing new access points for Spotify as they continue to grow globally, placing more control into our customers’ hands and giving artists the world’s largest stage for them to share their talent.”

Some other top brands to check out on Spotify are Reebok, McDonalds, Jose Cuervo, Coca-Cola, and Bacardi.

A big partnership isn’t always necessary in order to gain customer trust, continue on for some beginner techniques that your brand can use to merge the digital and the physical and generate awareness and traffic.

Spotify Codes

Spotify took a note from Snapchat’s scanning feature and added Spotify Codes. You can now quickly share songs, artists, playlists, and albums between your friends and social media accounts by simply scanning a QR-style code on your Spotify app. These codes can drive traffic to your profile from print ads, emails, and other forms of published content. It’s digital and physical uses are great ways to quickly release new updates to playlists and songs. Here’s the code for the Starbucks’ Coffeehouse Playlist, and you can create your own here.

Spotify and Instagram

Go on Instagram for a few minutes and I guarantee you’ll see someone post what he or she is currently listening to. Previously, users would post screenshots of their music, but now you can post directly to your Instagram story from the Spotify App. The best part? This post has a link where viewers will be taken directly to that song or playlist. Brands can post songs from their playlist and users now can easily engage.

With the addition of Instagram’s story highlights, you can permanently keep this link at the top of your profile—I recommend a designated Spotify Music Highlight section. This partnership between the two platforms makes it easier for users to jump from app to app, and keeps them always in close reach to your brand.

These organic methods of advertising are great ways to connect with your customers on a deeper level and discover more about what these listeners do and don’t enjoy.

Consumers are ready to begin engaging with brands on music streaming platforms, and brands should be preparing for this engagement to gain an edge in the social music field. Music has always been a point of connectivity and conversation between people, and now by using Spotify, brands can utilize that same form of relationship with their consumers. Utilizing Spotify’s paid advertising also will provide your brand with what type of people are interacting with your brand and profile—which could help you with future advertising and general target marketing awareness.

This is a post from our New York consulting intern Erin Butrica. Erin will graduate from the University of Dayton in December where she studies Graphic Design and Marketing.

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About the author
Tim Allen

Tim Allen

Tim joined Distilled in March 2013 after making a considerable impression upon Duncan and Tom Anthony by wearing a Panda jumper to his interview. Originally moving from Lincolnshire to London to study acting at Reynolds Performing Arts, Tim soon...   read more