If your brain immediately and internally screamed out the name of this yellow and porous fella—congratulations! You just made a strong case for using music in your own advertisements. Now we’ve always been all about music in TV advertising…
…but it is arguably one of the most underutilized strategies for online advertising. But you can’t just choose any music. There’s an art and science to it (and laws to follow!). So in this post, we’re going to cover everything you need to know to improve your ads with music, including:
So let’s talk about music in marketing. Are ya ready kids?
Back in 1991 when Britney Spears was all the rage and Pepsi jumped on her success like Spongebob on a plate of Krabby Patties, we learned a bit about the consumer’s brain relating to music. The Association for Consumer Research conducted a study on the impact of music in ads on TV and found that music in an advertisement improved overall ad effectiveness in many ways, including:
Music’s impact on buying decisions has been studied for years, and the answer lies in the brain. Neuroscientists have analyzed the brain mechanisms related to memory, finding that words set to music are the easiest to remember. This is because music memory is stored in a few different parts of the brain.
So music can increase ad recall, mood enhancement, and the likelihood of purchasing. And given the fact that on average, it takes eight touchpoints with your brand for a prospect to become a lead with online advertising this is huge.
And think about TikTok. Whether users are dancing to tracks or performing some random task, music is the common link with how users create engaging content.
The fact of the matter is, video marketing is a force to be reckoned with, and using music in your promo videos or video ads makes them that much more powerful. This creates a great opportunity for everyday marketers to get ahead of their competition by thinking a little outside the box with their ad strategies.
You just have to know how, where, and when to use it. And that’s what this guide is for. So let’s start with picking the right music for your ads.
It’s not enough to randomly choose royalty-free background music for your ads. We’ve established that using the right song has the potential to make a positive impact on how consumers view your brand.
However, using the wrong music can cause an unwelcome distraction from your message. So here are some things to consider when choosing music for your ads:
Once you’ve found the right music, you’ll want to make sure your ads are reaching a music-friendly audience. Here are some tips on how to do that.
While many Facebook users browse through their feed with the sound off, there are other social media platforms (and scenarios within Facebook) where sound is preferred, including:
Think outside the box and find ways to reach sound-friendly audiences. For example,
Not everyone has their sound off because they’re out in public or don’t have headphones. Sometimes they just need to be prompted. Did you know that if a user taps the “sound on” sticker placed in an Instagram Story, it will automatically turn their audio on?
Be sure to split-test to make sure you’re getting the best results. Test out:
If the sound in your ad is a voiceover, you’ll still want to use captions, of course. This is a given, since videos in Facebook and Instagram feeds are on mute by default. This is also a best practice for accessibility and inclusivity.
If 12-year-old Timmy uploads a YouTube video of his cat with Taylor Swift music playing in the background, the video may get flagged and monetized by T.Swift’s label.
And if a big company plays a Taylor Swift song in an ad to sell their product, well, she may sue you and write a song about it. (As someone who lives in Nashville, trust me, you don’t want a Taylor Swift song written about you).
Bottom line: You REALLY need the legal all-clear to use music in your ads. This is where music licensing comes in.
Music licensing is the means by which a publisher, advertiser, or even another musician gets legal permission to use someone else’s music. Sounds simple, right? But there’s much more to it.
So, what the heck is the law with music licensing and how does it work for marketers? Here are five terms to know:
As you can see, finding music for commercial use can be a headache. If you frequently use music in your marketing and advertising content, you may want to check out a music licensing company.
These are companies such as Soundstripe, Artlist, and Epidemic Sound with libraries of songs that you can legally use in your ads. Their terms and conditions are created specifically for this.
Music licensing service pros:
Music licensing service cons:
Music licensing service cautions
Even if pricing is relatively cheap, you’re still paying money. So it’s important to make sure whatever platform you invest in will get you the most bang for your buck. Here are some things to look for when vetting music licensing platforms:
At the end of the day, having music in your ad can yield some pretty significant results in your marketing efforts. You can expect to see more positivity around your brand, higher ad recall, and even more sales!
Go check out some royalty-free music playlists, and be sure to review some video marketing best practices before publishing your next video ad. Share your marketing results with Soundstripe for a shoutout and a chance to win a free year of music!
Candice Harwood is an Analyst on the Managed Services team here at WordStream. Coming from Chicago, Candice was a Cubs fan before they started winning. Similar to her passion for the Chicago Cubs, Candice believes in her clients and celebrates their success. In her free time, Candice enjoys loud games of Rummy 500 with her Italian family as well as purchasing almost all of the throw pillows at Home Goods. She has been voted “Most Addicted to Dunkin’ Donuts” by the WordStream team, and probably eats too many Big Macs.
See other posts by Candice Harwood
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