In today's hyper-digital landscape, creating an engaging ad for your music has become as essential as the music itself. At SongTools, we've found that the creative component of an ad campaign is often the determining factor of its success. With SongFly (our one-click advertising tool) artists see significant benefits (sometimes even 2x more conversions to the streaming service of their choice) when they utilize custom ads in their campaigns, demonstrating the power of personalized, compelling visuals

Why Visuals Matter in Music Promotion

Research continually highlights the profound impact of visuals on ad engagement. A study from Consumer Acquisition found that as much as 90% of an ad's performance could be attributed to the quality of the creative. So if you are using SongFly to run your ad campaigns, we can cover all of the boring media buying and campaign set-up process (which takes ages to do by hand), but we still need your help with compelling visuals. 

On SongTools and beyond, it’s become clear that it’s wise to invest time and energy into creating quality ads to give your songs and campaigns the best chance of success. 

The Perfect Snippet: Making Your Song Shine

Of course, while the visual is crucial, the music itself remains the core of your ad. It's important to carefully select the best 20-second snippet of your song for your ad, as this can dramatically affect clickability. Research suggests that the first few seconds of a song can make or break the listener's decision to keep listening or not. In a world of short attention spans, it's crucial to make that first impression count.

The importance of testing cannot be overstated. Always try different snippets with various groups of people - both online and in person. Their feedback will provide valuable insights into what sections of your song resonate the most and have the highest chance of leading to increased clickability.

Best Practices for Crafting Your Ads

Creating a compelling ad video can be a manageable task. Here are some best practices to guide your creative process:

  1. Quality Matters: While phone cameras can capture decent footage, an HD camera will give your ad a more professional edge. That being said, the best camera is the one you have; don't let a lack of professional equipment hold you back.
  2. Format Wisely: The format of your video matters. For social media ads, the 9:16 aspect ratio (portrait format) tends to perform best. It covers more screen real estate on mobile devices, commanding more attention.
  3. Show Your Face: Don't shy away from the camera. People connect with people, not anonymous entities. Perform your song and show your passion. Authenticity resonates with audiences. This tactic has been used for ages in many ad campaigns demonstrating that using human faces or elements in your ads can attract attention and evoke curiosity. 
  4. Get Creative: Make your ad memorable. Whether it's through unique settings, costumes, effects, or storytelling, strive to stand out from the crowd. Some artists even go hyper-personal and simply shoot an intro of them talking introducing themselves to their audience, and telling them what the song is about – nothing is off limits.
  5. Simplicity is key: Keep your video ad simple and minimalistic, focusing on the core message of your song. Like Apple ads – Use powerful and concise visuals and copy to convey the value and emotions your song offers immediately.

Simplifying the Process with SongTools

We recognize that not all artists have the time or resources to produce high-quality ads. This is why SongTools is equipped with easy-to-use features designed to make the ad creation process simpler. Our SongFly platform, for example, can automatically stitch together an ad using your album cover. We've also integrated SongFolder+ with a vast repository of HD stock videos, which can serve as the foundation for your ad.

In addition to these tools, our in-house media buying team monitors the performance of all SongFly campaigns. They tweak and adjust ads as needed, or even create new ones, to ensure the most effective campaign for your song.

Case Study: Doubling performance with one simple creative change

Looking at a recent SongFly campaign for Svnny Sing’s “Elevate.” we saw a huge increase in the campaign's performance with a simple change from an album cover-oriented creative to one that incorporates more custom and human-oriented elements. 

A snap of the original ad (left) and a snap of the custom creative (right)

The second custom ad pulls on the thread of the human face and body in a striking image that captures the curiosity of the person being targeted by the ad. The result? An across-the-board increase in key indicators of the campaign including: 

CPC (Cost per click): 67% improvement 

CTR (Click through rate): 110% improvement

Both of these are crucial metrics because the more clicks you get (and for cheaper) the more new potential fans you get into checking out your music.

While this is only one example, we have thousands of others that illustrate the power of good creative in an ad campaign. 

Where does AI fit in? 

At the time of writing this blog (July 2023), there is a boom in generative AI technology that is super relevant to this topic. This space is rapidly evolving every week, so we will focus on the tools we’ve tested and found most helpful/relevant (and free!):

  • Midjourney (text-to-image generator) can be used to create high-quality compelling visuals. Though they are static images, you can use different apps like MotionLeap to further animate the images. 
  • We’ve also recently started testing Runway Gen-2, which allows you to create videos from text prompts. 
  • We’ve seen many artists use Stable Diffusion video-to-video to create compelling AI-infused visuals if you already have a video you are working with and want to spruce up. 

We will continue testing and updating in further blog posts for other tools we find helpful to streamline your ad creation process, particularly in the AI space. 

As the digital landscape evolves, so do the techniques and strategies that musicians must employ to stand out. Quality visuals aren't just a 'nice-to-have'; they're a 'must-have'.

In the age of digital saturation, it's not just about getting eyes on your ad but engaging the viewer long enough to incite action. This requires an understanding of your audience, creativity in your presentation, and an impactful snippet of your song.

Whether you're using tools like SongTools or creating your ad from scratch, remember that your unique voice and perspective are your greatest assets. Pairing those with these best practices can result in engaging, successful ads that captivate listeners and boost your music's visibility.


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