How to Reduce the Cost Per Follower in your Spotify Growth Campaign

We explain the three biggest factors that determine your cost per follower and share how to reduce it.

The Three Biggest Factors Determining Your Cost Per Follower

In terms of improving your Spotify Growth playbook results, there are 3 primary variables in play that impact your overall performance. We've linked to in-depth videos that audit successful campaigns, providing you with context to figure out where you can make improvements for your ad campaign(s)! The three biggest factors that determine your cost per follower are:

  1. Ad creative

  2. Locations you use for targeting

  3. Interests you choose for targeting

Factor #1: Formatting Ad Creative for Instagram Stories

Your ad creative is the biggest determiner of your "cost per follower."

The better the ad creative, the cheaper your cost per click, which means more fans make it to your profile. Even if your targeting is spot on, if individuals don't find your creative engaging you likely won't see many conversions!

Good ad creative introduces you as an artist to new fans. Fans who enjoy your video ads will engage with your music on Spotifyโ€“and they'll follow you on Instagram. Here's a video going in-depth on how to approach your ad creatives for your campaign!

Best practices for ad creative include:

  • Use video instead of image (if you have video content, we recommend deleting the auto-generated image ToneDen includes in your campaign by default)

  • Format video creative for Instagram Stories (9:16 aspect ratio / 1080x 1920px)

  • Limit video creative to 15 seconds

  • Include song name in the video creative

  • Include the artist in-person, if possible. These tend to outperform videos that don't feature the artist in-person. (Don't worry if that's not an option: We have examples of high-performing creative without including the artist in-person.)

  • Repurpose old content if you can't afford to make a new video yet. Using older video content with new music has worked well for artists.

  • Don't go overboard with A/B testing (if you're only spending $5-10/day try to limit your creatives to 2 variations max)

Everything you need to know about making ad creative can be found in our ad creative best practices guide:

pageSpotify Growth Playbook: Ad Creative Best Practices, How To's, and Examples

Not sure how to make the perfect creative asset? Here's our guide on top video editor apps to create instagram story ad creative:

Here's an example of creative we've seen perform very well:

Factor #2: Location Targeting

Your cost per follower is also determined by the locations you use for targeting.

The more fans you reach, the more opportunities there are for them to swipe up and follow your profile, driving leads down cost per follower.

The growth playbook is set to "Global" by default to maximize your marketing budget's reach, but you also have the option to utilize "Custom" locations. If running a Global campaign isn't seeing you the results you want to see (after testing other variables such as creatives + interest targeting), we've included a video going in-depth on how to approach the location targeting for your campaign:

By default, we recommend global targeting as it utilizes our Tiered system, and it's cheaper to target users across the globe than in one country.

There's another strategic reason for why we recommend targeting global: A Spotify stream from a user in the United States might generate more income than a Spotify user in Brazil. But the algorithm views a stream from Brazil as equal to a stream from the United States. This means that you can become more popular on Spotify without having a large budget. Your lift in popularity also means more placement in algorithmic playlists in the US. In summary: advertise globally, benefit locally.

However: If you've tried the global option and experimented with different creatives + interests and you haven't gotten things to click, you might want to experiment with some custom location targeting! This may help narrow down the scope of your campaign to reach fans in locations that are the most interested in your music โ€“ and thus more likely to convert on your campaign(s).

Our biggest recommendations for custom location targeting:

  • Running a custom campaign on a specific set of Countries + Territories (instead of narrowing things down too heavily, such as a handful of cities)

  • Focusing on Countries + Territories that speak the language your music is in, and/or you consider to be "major" markets for your music

  • Popping into the "Audience" dashboard in your Spotify For Artists account and pulling the top 10 countries your artist is popular in, and utilizing those locations for your Custom targeting list!

While your Cost Per Click may be higher while running Custom-location based targeting (as opposed to Global), the goal is to send your campaign to more interested locations and thus improve the campaign's Click-Through Rates โ€“ and hopefully, see more followers as a result!

Factor #3: Following Best Practices for Interest Targeting

Your "cost per follower" is also determined by your interest targeting. You can't target everything as an interest, so it's all about finding a balance where you're not going too broad or too narrow. Here's a video going in-depth on how to approach your interest targeting for your ad campaign:

Interests are important, even though they influence your cost per followers less than location targeting and ad creative. The interests in the "Generated Interests" section reflect who you target on Instagram. The "Add Spotify Artists" section helps you find interests to include. We'll check if artists in the "Fans Also Like" section appear as interests and then add them. We'll also check if artists in the "Fans Also Like" section appear as interests and add them as a general interest.

Sometimes a less relevant interest appears. Please double-check your interests to make sure they are all relevant to your audience.

Best practices for interest targeting include:

  • Listing 3-5 artists in the "Add Spotify Artists" section

  • In the "Generated Interests" section:

    • Picking 1-2 genre interests (e.g. "Indie Pop" and "Pop Music")

    • Adding 1-2 headliner interests (e.g. "Vampire Weekend" and "Twenty One Pilots")

    • Including 3-10 other artist interests

Everything you need to know about interest targeting can be found in our targeting best practices guide:

pageSpotify Growth Playbook Targeting Best Practices and Examples

Here's an example of targeting you would use as a pop artist:

Pop Music (Ariana Grande)

  • Put in 3-5 artists in the "Add Spotify Artists" section:

    • Ariana Grande

    • Camila Cabello

    • Alessia Cara

  • Pick 1-2 genre interests

    • Pop Music

  • Add 1-2 headliner interests:

    • Miley Cyrus

    • Demi Lovato

  • Include 3-10 other artist interests (included in screenshot)

Want to do a deeper dive into performance metrics?

Lastly, if you want some more context on interpreting metrics such as your CPC (cost per click), CPF (cost per follower), and CTR (click through rate), feel free to check out our guide below:

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