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18 Best Free Microsoft Excel Templates for Marketing & Sales

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Many of us can recall a time in high school when we were sitting in math class and thinking, “When am I ever going to use this stuff in the real world?” And then we suddenly find ourselves in the real world, only to realize that numbers do play a pivotal role in what we do — especially in digital marketing.

The trouble is, many Excel templates and spreadsheets are riddled with numbers and formulas that aren’t all that inviting. Making them from scratch can be especially intimidating. While we won’t argue with that, we will say that the advantages of leveraging Excel’s functionality to organize information and streamline tasks are unparalleled.

To help those of you looking for a way to sharpen your skills, we’ve put together a detailed list of ways you can start using Excel to simplify your marketing tasks. Complete with templates, these suggestions will have you making strides in no time. Know what’s even better? You can download a kit of Excel templates in one fell swoop.

Microsoft Excel has many capabilities. It stores data and has tools for data analysis. It performs calculations and allows you to use code for automation. And while many recognize it as a tool for calculating numbers and figures, it’s more than that.

There is a learning curve when using Excel, and it takes time to master its many uses. Outside of calculations, the spreadsheet allows you to create social media schedules, editorial calendars, campaign trackers, and more. And instead of subjecting yourself to trial-and-error processes that would certainly waste time, you can use the following marketing templates to expedite your company’s success in marketing, sales, and project management.

Marketing Excel Templates

1. Marketing Budget Template

marketing budget template in excel showing monthly spend

While marketing budgets vary from business to business, the need for structure and a clear sense of alignment between your goals and your spending is critical across the board. To ensure your preparedness for unanticipated costs, you must allocate your budget thoughtfully and correctly. You will also need to keep tabs on how closely you’re sticking to your projected expenses.

If you want to avoid a mess at the end of the month or quarter, take a look at this collection of 8 marketing budget templates designed to help you better organize your marketing spend. From product marketing and website redesign to content marketing and events, these templates serve as a guide for marketers to visualize and track their expenses to avoid overspending.

The collection also contains a master marketing budget template that will help you generate a high-level visualization of your marketing budget on a month-by-month and quarterly basis.

2. Marketing Dashboard for Excel

marketing dashboard with performance metrics and colorful bar and line graphs

There is no shortage of data to monitor when it comes to marketing, and if it feels like you’re getting too far in the weeds or missing essential details when it gets too granular, a marketing tracker like the above dashboard can help.

This particular tool allows you to enter metrics by campaign to auto-populate visual and easy-to-read charts. As a result, you can visualize the effectiveness of spending and activity across multiple initiatives.

3. Monthly Marketing Reporting Template

monthly marketing metrics template in excel that includes rows for direct traffic, email marketing, and other channels to calculate month over month growth

Is there a feeling sweeter than hitting all of your goals for the month? How about communicating your success to your boss? Excel spreadsheets can prepare comprehensive reports of your marketing metrics to send to your boss. There’s no need to work from scratch. (After all, you’ve already worked so hard this month.)

To simplify your reporting, check out these monthly marketing metrics templates and the corresponding PowerPoint template. Each month, you can update them quickly and easily to reflect your monthly visits, leads, customers, and conversion rates. From there, you’ll have everything you need to track and report on which channels are performing best. Every boss loves to see ROI, so you can’t go wrong with these templates.

4. SMART Goal Matrix

smart marketing goals template in excel that includes slots for time period and numerical metric

Whether you’re planning for a new year, quarter, or month, defining a clear set of goals is critical for driving the direction of your marketing efforts and priorities.

Sometimes, you might need help not only setting marketing objectives but achieving them. Start with these SMART goal planning templates. Rooted in specificity, measurability, attainability, relevancy, and timeliness, these templates will help you set your team up for success. They will also provide you with a tool for identifying your most prominent marketing needs.

5. On-Page SEO Template

on-page seo template in excel with URL, social media details, and calls to action

When it comes to SEO, there’s a lot for marketers to remember to see results. In other words, there is a lot for marketers to forget. With search engines evolving and algorithm changes turning your existing strategy on its head, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and push off revamping your SEO strategy. However, SEO should never be an afterthought.

If you’re looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, pull up this handy SEO template created in Excel. Designed to make the process of managing your SEO efforts a whole lot easier, marketers can use this template to guide their strategy step-by-step or pass it off to their webmaster to serve as a helpful guide. It focuses on keywords and SEO best practices, while providing tips and tricks to identify nuances and increase productivity.

6. Google Ads Campaign Tracker

google ads campaign tracker in excel that includes ad variations and formats

If you’re doing your Google Ads campaigns right, they probably aren’t “walks in the park.” That’s because, to get the most bang for your buck, you set up multiple campaigns with multiple ad groups. You also have variations of your campaigns — all with different content. Not only that, but you’re (hopefully) also keeping track of those campaigns to determine which ones to shut off, add more money to, or tweak.

Sounds like a lot to keep track of, right? But take a deep breath. This Google Ads tracking template is a marketing campaign template that can keep you on top of your Google Ads game. It’ll help you catch mistakes and implement best practices across all the different campaigns and ad groups you’re running — for the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel. It’s a perfect complement to that SEO template you’ve started using.

7. Lead Scoring & Tracking Template

sla template in excel that shows cumulative goal tracking over the course of a year

It’s no secret that sales and marketing have a pretty rocky relationship history. Sales might think marketing isn’t generating enough leads, while marketing might think their sales representatives aren’t capitalizing on the leads they’re sending over. When it comes down to it, finger-pointing doesn’t grow a business.

To better align your sales and marketing teams, turn to this template for creating a service-level agreement (SLA). Generally speaking, an SLA is a contract that defines the sales department’s expectations for marketing leads (both quantity and quality), and the expectations marketing has for how sales will act on qualified leads.

With this customizable SLA template in your toolbox, you’ll have the information you need to reduce tension and define a concrete monthly lead generation goal. You’ll also be able to track and measure the success of specific lead generation channels and keep close tabs on your current sales close rates.

8. Leads and Traffic Goal Calculator

leads and traffic goal calculator in excel that includes new revenue and percentage revenue needed to make goal

You have to set a leads goal, but you don’t know where to start. Once you finally figure that out, you have to determine how much traffic you need to hit that goal, but you’re not sure what approach to take there, either.

It sounds like you could use a hand in calculating your leads and traffic goals. Luckily, there’s an Excel template for that. You won’t have to sort through these numbers on your own. This template will take care of the math and give you a clear picture of what you need to accomplish to achieve your traffic and leads goals. It will also ensure the health of your inbound marketing strategy.

9. Essential KPI Tracker

essential kpi tracker template in excel that tracks measurement frequency and grades performance by green, yellow, and red

If you’re a fan of the monthly metrics template (item #3 on this list), you might want to grab a copy of this template as well. The essential KPI tracker, shown above, takes the metrics your marketing team has agreed to track and describes them in more detail.

KPI stands for “key performance indicator.” They’re your most important metrics, each with a unique purpose and place in your marketing strategy. Using this template, you can assign specific employees to each KPI, define the frequency at which you’ll monitor each KPI’s performance, and assign each KPI a color that reflects the quality of that KPI’s performance.

If one of your KPIs is organic traffic, for example, you can set up your template such that 100 page views per month are red (poor performance), 500 page views per month are yellow (stable performance), and 1000 page views per month are green (great performance).

Sales Excel Templates

1. eCommerce Planning Kit

ecommerce planning kit with tables, pie charts, and line graphs

E-commerce stores come with many moving parts. Planning ahead can save you time and heartache later.

This kit includes a marketing plan that guides you through market research, target market, channels and vendors, and more. Once your e-commerce store is live and running, you can use the conversion template to track performance across vendors and platforms where products are listed to give you a holistic view of your efforts.

2. Prospect List Template

microsoft excel templates: prospectsIn a business, the most important people are your customer or client base. Although your current customers constantly need to be nurtured, focusing on your prospect list is also essential.

A prospect is a person, business, or organization that might be interested in your products or services. It could be someone who has shown interest or someone who could benefit from your company. A prospect list allows you to focus on the potential customers that you should nurture similarly to your current customers.

The information needed to build a prospect list is elementary. Start building this list with the person’s name, title and company, location, and contact information. Additional information could include their industry, employee size, company description, and pain points.

Once you’ve used a template like this one, you’re ready to upgrade to a CRM, which stores the same information in a more user-friendly format.

3. Sales Forecasting Template

free microsoft excel templates: sales forecasting

Sales forecasting is similar to weather forecasting. Without the proper tools, it’s impossible to get an accurate idea of what’s ahead. While a meteorologist might use Doppler radars and satellite data for their predictions, your business can use the above sales forecasting template.

Sales forecasting helps with business planning, budgeting, and risk management. Overall, it helps strengthen the strategy that you build for your company. Using this template will help you track business sales, accurately predict your sales revenue, and plan for future growth.

Sales forecasting is challenging, but this spreadsheet formula makes the process easier.

3. Sales Metrics Calculator Template

free microsoft excel templates: sales metrics

Sales are complex. Once you add sales metrics into the picture, the complications increase. There are many numbers and figures to calculate, track, record, and document. This interactive Excel spreadsheet will help you get the job done.

Not only does this template help you keep track of sales, but it keeps track of your salespeople as well. With the sales metrics calculator template, you can calculate customer retention rate, win rates, product revenue, employee turnover rate, and more.

Project Management Excel Templates

1. Social Media Posting Schedule

social media posting schedule in excel with days and times of the week

You might already use a social media scheduler to manage and publish your posts every week, but you still need a place to draft your social copy and decide which posts will go to which social networks.

And because most social media schedulers allow you to upload social post copy in bulk from a spreadsheet, it’s best if you have an Excel template designed for this purpose. With that in mind, we created the Excel template shown above.

This social media posting schedule allows you to draft each social post — the time it will post, the message you want to publish, and any link you want to accompany your message (blog post, registration page, an ebook landing page, etc).

Once you’ve drafted all of your social posts for the week, month, or quarter, you can sort them by social network and upload your Excel file into your social media platform of choice.

2. Blog Editorial Calendar

blog editorial calendar in excel for topic planning

Blogging plays a significant role in your ability to attract visitors and leads to your website. But managing a blog is one of those responsibilities that’s easier said than done.

Whether you’re struggling with ideation, consistency, or simply just lacking organization, an editorial calendar can often serve as the solution you need to refocus your blogging efforts and generate even more traffic and leads from your content. Visualizing the blog posts you plan to publish in a given week or month makes it easier to define overarching themes, keep track of ideas, manage contributions, and prioritize strategic distribution.

Use this editorial calendar template as the starting point for keeping track of all of your business’ content. It’ll help you be more mindful of topic selection, buyer personas, keyword inclusions, and CTA alignment.

3. WIP Template

wip-excel-templateHow do you keep track of the day-to-day progress of your company, especially when there are people, tasks, and timelines to monitor? A WIP (work-in-progress) template is essential to keeping track. If you’re not ready to commit to a project management software like HubSpot Projects, you can still manage your projects and processes with a spreadsheet.

This template provides you with a project overview that makes tracking easier than ever. The WIP template from Project Manager tracks tasks, time, costs, and workload. It also allows your team to change the work view (task list, spreadsheet, calendar) based on preference. With this template, you get all the data you need to monitor the life cycle and progress of your projects.

4. Social Media Content Calendar

social media content calendar in excel with color coding for type and slots for each day

Since you’re probably generating tons of clicks from your Google Ads campaigns and writing amazing content thanks to your blogging editorial calendar, you’ll need some help figuring out how to spread the love on social media. We’ve got just the thing.

The social media calendar template is the perfect resource for helping you scale and streamline your social media marketing. When you use Excel to break out separate worksheets for each social network you’re using, you’ll be able to keep a repository of content ideas, so you’re never struck by writer’s block and always have something to post.

It’s also worth mentioning that marketing calendar Excel templates come in handy when using Twitter, as it can count your characters to help you write tweets that stay within the 280-character limit.

5. Product Launch Plan

product launch plan with a table format laying out product, positioning, analysis, strategy, and more

A well-executed product launch can be a key differentiator for successful marketing and early adoption. The right plan can give you clarity and purpose as you move forward and announce the new product’s existence to your customers and prospects.

This product launch plan can help you organize your thoughts around competitive analysis, positioning, and product strategy. It even goes so far as to help you brainstorm pains, proof points, and key messaging for campaigns.

Excel your marketing process.

Data is any marketer’s friend. Even though spreadsheets seem like they’ve been around forever, Microsoft Excel has so many capabilities that still make it an amazing resource for displaying, organizing, analyzing, and parsing data. With a little bit of Excel magic, you can streamline your workflow and arrive at some a-ha moments from data insights.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Elevate Your YouTube Channel: Top 4 Video Editing Tools

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Elevate Your YouTube Channel: Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Launched in 2005, YouTube now stands as the second largest search engine after Google.

Almost 2.7 billion people use YouTube worldwide every month and 87.7% of those users access it on their mobile phones.

Owing to the large number of video content available on the platform, you want to ensure that yours stands out.

To make it happen, you need to master effective content creation tips, use fantastic lighting, and invest in powerful video editing software.

There are tons of editing tools on the market that promise amazing results. 

To help you cut through the noise, I’ve curated a list of the 4 best YouTube video editing software.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there’s something for you. Keep reading.

1. Movavi Video Editor

1708399564 369 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399564 369 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Top on the list is the Movavi Video Editor, one of the best YouTube video editing software for beginners.

It enables you to create compelling videos using advanced tools like audio correction, motion tracking, and chroma key without requiring any technical knowledge.

Additionally, you’ll find several ready-made YouTube intro videos and a large library of background music and audio clips.

Although the user interface is easy to navigate, Movavi still provides video tutorials to make you feel confident while editing.

Movavi runs on Windows (versions 7 to 11) and Mac OS X (10.15 or higher).

Key Features

  • AI background remover: Replaces backgrounds without a green screen
  • AI motion tracker: Sticks effects and images on moving objects
  • Precise frame cuts: Makes cuts with precision and attention-grabbing montages in one click
  • Color correction: Boosts colors so viewers can stay glued to your YouTube channel
  • Overlay effect: Offers 13 blending modes to create professional-looking videos
  • 4k resolution: Saves videos in ultra-high quality form
  • YouTube Integration: Saves you time by sharing videos directly to YouTube

Pricing

Movavi offers a generous free plan and three paid plans with different sets of features. Here are the prices for various plans it offers:

  • Free
  • Video Editor: $49.95/year
  • Video Editor + Effect Packs: $155.95/year
  • Video Suite + Effect Packs: $94.95/year
1708399564 966 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399564 966 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Usability

Easy to use

Tool Level

Beginner/Intermediate

2. Adobe Premiere Pro

1708399565 365 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 365 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

If you’re looking for the best YouTube video editing software that can transform a basic clip into a ready-to-upload video, Adobe Premiere Pro is your best bet. 

It integrates with all the apps in Adobe Creative Cloud to help you streamline your workflow.

Adobe Premiere Pro boasts an extensive range of features, from color correction tools and visual effects to collaboration tools for teams. 

Also, you can optimize the export settings to preserve the quality of your YouTube videos when you share them online. 

Although Premiere Pro is popular among professional video editors, follow the video steps for beginners provided on the platform to learn how to use it. All you need is a powerful computer and willingness to study the available tutorials.

The app is compatible with Windows (10 or later) and macOS Monterey (version 12 or later).

Key Features

  • Text-based editing: Removes pauses with ease
  • Project templates: Retains assets, colors, and branding across multiple projects
  • Speech-to-text conversion: Automatically creates captions and transcripts in over 18 languages
  • Auto reframe: Automatically detects and adjusts aspect ratios to easily upload videos to YouTube
  • Adobe stock library: Offers access to stock video footage, photos, and over 75,000 audio tracks and remix the length to fit your video

Pricing

Adobe Premier Pro offers two paid plans. Here are the details:

  • Premiere Pro: $29.99/month
  • Creative Cloud All Apps: $59.99/month
1708399565 222 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 222 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Usability

Has a steep learning curve

Tool Level

Intermediate/Advanced

3. Shotcut

1708399565 295 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 295 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Available on Linux, Windows, and macOS, Shotcut is a comprehensive YouTube video editing software solution. 

It supports various video and audio files, including AVI, WAV, and MP4.

The video editing software is great for complex projects as it allows you to combine several audio, image, and video files into one video. 

Also, editing on the platform doesn’t follow a chronological order; you can make changes at any point.

Shotcut may not be the best editing tool for new content creators because of the learning curve. 

However, the platform has a video editing guide, including a community of Shotcut users who are willing to assist you.

Key Features

  • Native timeline editing: Supports all video and audio formats, including 4k and 8k resolutions
  • Cross-platform editing: Gives you the option to start a project on macOS and switch to Windows without hassles
  • Video effects: Offers built-in effects like auto-rotate, white balancing, timeline fader, and 360° video filters, without installing any plugins
  • Display and monitoring: Ability to preview videos in low resolution to improve the speed of real-time effects
  • Keyframing: Option to define the start and finish points of effects along the video timeline such as transition, sound, and brightness or contrast

Pricing

 Shotcut is completely free to use as it’s an open-source software solution

Usability

It has a steep learning curve

Tool Level

Intermediate

4. Lightworks

1708399565 259 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 259 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

If you’re looking to create the best videos in a short time, Lightworks is the way to go. 

It’s the best YouTube video editing software for beginners who are willing to learn video editing as they grow their YouTube channels.

Similar to Shotcut, the platform is loaded with all the tools you need to go from a beginner to a pro.

You can edit, color correct, add titles, and more using the drag-and-drop interface. 

Also, it’s compatible with YouTube video format and resolution for ease of uploading content.

All versions of Lightworks can work on Windows (8 and later), macOS (10.14 and later), and Linux.

Key Features

  • Universal timeline: Accommodates video footage of any quality, size, or frame rate
  • Flawless audio editing: Offers various audio effects and the option to sync with video for an immersive experience
  • Visual effects: Offers a simplified suite of over 700 customizable motion graphics and titles for easy to advanced editing
  • Easy export and share: Allows you to share videos on YouTube directly from the platform

Pricing

Here are the pricing plans offered by Lightworks.

  • Free
  • Create: $9.99/month
  • Pro: $23.99/month
1708399565 484 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 484 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Usability

Easy to use

Tool Level

Beginners/Intermediate/Advanced

Pro Tip: According to Attrock guide, the best video maker can offer training resources for non-technical users. This is particularly designed for video marketers who have no high skills in video creation and editing.

Choosing the Best YouTube Video Editing Software

Getting the best YouTube video editing software shouldn’t cost a fortune. 

Platforms like Shotcut and Lightworks offer free tools for both beginners and expert editors.

However, if your YouTube channel is already monetized and you’re willing to spend money on a super-advanced tool, Premiere Pro will be ideal.

Lastly, if you’re ready to level up your video editing game, try Movavi today. You’ll save money while accessing advanced editing features.


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How to Run Spotify Ads: Costs & Key Considerations

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How to Run Spotify Ads: Costs & Key Considerations

Spotify went public in 2008 in a market crowded with rival music services. The music streaming app has shattered expectations by reaching over 602 million users, including 236 million subscribers, across 180 markets. It is now the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service.  

Spotify Ads is also the largest digital audio advertising platform — giving marketers and brands a direct line into the ears of millions of ad-supported listeners.

The breakneck velocity of Spotify’s rise is incredibly impressive. The platform’s active users spend on average 148 minutes a day listening to their favorite music app — and most of these users are enjoying Spotify’s free, ad-supported version.

It’s clear Spotify is seeing vast success, but let’s dive a bit deeper into the world of advertising within the increasingly popular platform. Here’s a quick look at what digital audio advertising is, what Spotify Ads can offer brands and advertisers, and how you can get started. It’s easier than you might think.

The Advantages of Spotify Ads

With a valuation of over $72 billion, strong year-over-year growth in active users, with no signs of slowing down — Spotify has a bright future ahead.

Some marketers have been slow to leverage this new medium of advertising, but maybe now it’s time to pay attention as time spent in these ad units is increasing. Spotify offers marketers many unique advantages that can be leveraged to reach millions of tuned-in listeners across the globe. Let’s cover a few of the highlights:

Expansive and Diverse Audience Reach

Spotify is consistently expanding its reach and has an extremely diverse audience which is a huge benefit for potential advertisers. When advertising on the platform, you’ll have access to:

  • 300 million+ ad-supported listeners
  • Users who spend 2+ hours listening daily 
  • A 24% lift increase in ad recall for audio ads (according to Spotify)

As an added bonus, Spotify reports that “when compared to multi-format campaigns, audio-only campaigns tend to drive more foot traffic to stores at a more efficient cost per visit.”

In addition to effectively reaching an incredibly wide audience, Spotify also collects first-party data from its users that marketers can leverage to inform their targeting decisions.

Consumers Spend A lot of Time on the Platform

Consumers are increasingly investing significant time on the Spotify platform, drawn in by its vast array of content. With almost every song imaginable available for streaming and a steadily expanding library of podcasts, there’s no shortage of entertainment options. 

With their “Broadcast to Podcast” program, your favorite radio shows are finding a new home, seamlessly transitioning from airwaves to headphones. The numbers speak for themselves: 32% of Americans now listen to podcasts regularly, and that number is only growing.

A Ripe Opportunity for Engagement and Revenue Generation

With a commanding presence in the audio advertising arena, Spotify boasts a substantial market share, leveraging its vast user base comprising predominantly Millennials and Gen Z, but also attracting a significant number of older users. Currently, over 317 million users are engaged with the ad-supported tier of the platform, presenting a big opportunity for advertisers. Spotify’s approach to engaging users is multifaceted, employing a combination of audio, video, and display ads to effectively reach and resonate with audiences. 

By utilizing audio when users are most receptive, complemented by engaging video content to enhance messaging, and reinforced through strategic display ad placements, Spotify maximizes ad impact. The platform’s commitment to innovation is evident through its continual enhancement of ad offerings, introducing new functionalities to ensure advertisers can optimize their campaigns and connect with audiences in meaningful ways.

Spotify Provides a First-party Data Advantage

Whenever a user listens to a song, queues a playlist, or creates their own playlist — they are telegraphing something about themselves:

  • How they feel
  • Where they are
  • What they’re doing

This is the power of first-party data, and it’s a golden commodity for marketers and brands when it comes to reaching a targeted audience at the right time.

Consider Spotify’s running playlists for example. Spotify collects data that pinpoints when and how often users listen to running playlists. Brands like Nike put ad dollars to insert themselves into the headphones of users who are fired up and exercising. To put it simply – the ad resonates on an even deeper level.

Brands can use Spotify’s first-party data to reach listeners during very specific moods or activities — all based on the music that they’re engaging with.

Josh Brisco believes that Spotify’s advertising platform will only become more powerful in the future.

“With millions of ad-supported listeners world-wide and robust targeting capabilities, it is a fantastic way to get in front of a desired audience. Its continued user growth and investment in its ad units, capabilities, and overall product make it one to watch.”

How Spotify’s Ad Types Work

Spotify is based on a freemium model — where all users can have unlimited, free access supported by 15 and 30-second ad breaks. However, users can opt to pay for a premium account for an ad-free listening experience (besides certain ad units like homepage takeovers, sponsored playlists, and podcast ads). The great majority of Spotify’s listeners opt for the ad-supported version.

These ad units can play pre-roll and post-roll when users are listening to their favorite songs. Spotify also gives advertisers the option to incorporate video and display options into their strategy. 

Spotify Ads has expanded into a variety of different ad units:

Audio Ads 

Spotify’s audio ads are concise yet impactful, strategically placed between songs with clickable display content to engage listeners. With a maximum length of 30 seconds, these ads efficiently deliver messages to the target audience, spanning both mobile and desktop devices. Beyond direct targeting, these ads have the potential to reach additional demographics as they may play in various public spaces like stores and restaurants where Spotify is used.

With this ad type, you can combine audio messaging with customizable images (i.e: brand names, slogans, and calls-to-action) to drive traffic to designated websites. These ads offer highly targeted options, including geographic targeting, to ensure relevance and maximize impact.

These ads are extremely successful for brands. In fact, a study by Nielsen found that Spotify audio ads led to a 24% increase in ad recall and a 17% increase in purchase intent among listeners. 

 

example of a Spotify audio ad with a companion image, advertiser name, logo, tagline, and CTA

Source: Spotify

Video Ad Takeover (Mobile) 

Designed exclusively for mobile and tablet viewing, Spotify’s Video Ad Takeover offers advertisers a dynamic platform to showcase their brand message. With a strict limit of 30 seconds and a maximum file size of 500 MB, these videos are optimized for seamless integration into the user experience. Displayed in either portrait or landscape orientation with a 16:9 ratio, the ads are strategically placed between songs or during commercial breaks, ensuring maximum visibility when the screen is in view. 

Each video ad is accompanied by a companion banner featuring a customizable CTAs, enhancing user engagement. Advertisers also have the option to include a Branded End Card at the end of the video, providing an active link to their website for further interaction.

example of a Spotify video takeover ad on mobile device

Source: Spotify

Overlay Ads

Spotify’s Overlay Ads (compatible with both desktop and mobile devices), are a straightforward yet effective advertising solution. These simple, clickable display ads are strategically served to users upon their return to the Spotify app, ensuring maximum visibility and engagement. Occupying the full screen, these ads provide a prominent presence, capturing the user’s attention from the moment they re-enter the app. 

Users have the option to close the overlay either by clicking on the designated ‘X’ or allowing it to automatically close after 30 seconds. With a clickthrough URL included, these ads provide a seamless pathway for users to explore further content or interact with the advertised brand. As the first thing users see upon returning to the app, Overlay Ads offer advertisers a prime opportunity to make a lasting impression and drive desired actions.

example of a Spotify overlay ad for Kia Sportage shown on a desktop and mobile device

Source: Spotify

Homepage Takeover (Desktop)

With Spotify’s Homepage Takeover (desktop), advertisers can prominently feature their brand message on the front page of Spotify’s Desktop Homepage for a full 24 hours. This prime real estate allows for maximum exposure and engagement with users. While the ad links directly to the advertiser’s site, it’s important to note that audio is not supported in this format, although videos can be included to enhance the visual impact. 

Spotify offers resources and guidance to assist advertisers in crafting the perfect homepage ad, ensuring it aligns with platform guidelines while reflecting the advertiser’s vision. Additionally, third-party integration enables support for rich media, allowing for even more interactive and engaging advertising experiences. 

example of a Spotify homepage takeover ad for Fate of the Furious on a desktop

Source: Spotify

Leaderboard 

Leaderboard ads on Spotify are clickable ads that appear for 30 seconds, exclusively during a listening session when Spotify is in view. These ads are accessible via desktop player or web app, offering advertisers a direct channel to engage with users during their music or podcast streaming experience. With support for images or short animations lasting up to 15 seconds, advertisers have the flexibility to convey their message effectively within the specified timeframe. 

These ads are clickable, allowing users to interact with the ad content and be redirected to the advertiser’s desired destination. Leaderboard ads support rich media, enabling the incorporation of interactive elements to further enhance user engagement, whether implemented by Spotify or a third-party provider. 

example of a Spotify Leaderboard ad for Kia Sportage under a Discover Weekly playlist

Source: Spotify

Sponsored Playlist 

Distinguish your brand on Spotify with a tailored playlist sponsorship, featuring a clickable display ad and in-playlist media placements. With this feature, you can collaborate with Spotify to select the most relevant playlist for your target audience, leveraging the platform’s extensive user data and insights. For example, Kia recently sponsored Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist, a weekly favorite among millions of listeners worldwide. 

This ad type ensures visibility across both mobile and desktop platforms, reaching audiences wherever they engage with Spotify. Your brand’s logo or ad assets will be prominently featured within the playlist interface, guaranteeing consistent exposure in the playlist queue. 

While anyone can create a playlist for free, opting for the sponsored option provides a strategic shortcut to reaching a large audience without the need to organically build a playlist from scratch. 

example of a Spotify Sponsored Playlist ad on desktop and mobile device

Source: Spotify

Sponsored Session Video

Tailored for mobile listeners, Sponsored Session Video ads on Spotify offer an opportunity to engage users with a brief interruption that presents an offer: 30 minutes of ad-free listening in exchange for watching a video ad on their phone. Similar to typical audio ads, these video interruptions prompt users to opt into an uninterrupted listening experience by engaging with the full video ad. The video ad must adhere to a duration of 30 seconds or less and can include a URL directing users to the advertiser’s webpage for further interaction. 

While specific pricing details for Sponsored Session Video ads may vary based on factors such as targeting options and campaign duration, they are generally considered to be more expensive than audio ads due to their enhanced engagement potential and the value of providing ad-free listening time to users. Engagement rates with Sponsored Session Video ads can vary depending on factors such as the relevance of the ad content and the appeal of the offer presented. Engagement rates for Sponsored Session Video ads tend to be relatively high, with a significant portion of users opting to engage with the ad in exchange for ad-free listening time. 

example of a Spotify Sponsored Session video ad on mobile devices

Source: Spotify

Banner Display Ads

Featured at the top of a Spotify user’s homepage, Banner Display Ads provide immediate visibility upon opening the app. As users navigate within the app, the banner seamlessly transitions to the bottom of the screen, ensuring continued exposure while minimizing disruption to the user experience. 

This strategic placement enables advertisers to capture the attention of users as they engage with Spotify’s platform, maximizing the impact of their advertising campaigns. With Banner Display Ads, advertisers can effectively reach and engage their target audience, driving brand awareness and fostering meaningful interactions within the Spotify community.

Podcast

Spotify offers a unique opportunity for advertisers to reach specific and well-defined audiences through podcast advertising. Pre-recorded ads, typically short audio clips ranging from 15 to 60 seconds, are strategically inserted within episodes. Host-read ads offer a more personalized touch, as hosts deliver the message in their own voice and style, which can enhance trust and authenticity. Another option is branded podcasts, where sponsors have the opportunity to immerse listeners in their brand story by sponsoring entire episodes or series. When it comes to reaching the right audience, platforms like Spotify Ad Studio allow for targeting specific podcasts, demographics, interests, and behaviors. Dynamic Ad Insertion enables ads to be automatically placed in relevant podcasts based on specified criteria. Additionally, direct deals offer the chance to negotiate exclusive placements with high-impact podcasts or networks, further enhancing the reach and impact of the advertising campaign.

example of a Spotify Podcast ad on a mobile device

Source: Spotify

The Cost of Advertising on Spotify

When considering advertising on Spotify, pricing varies depending on several factors, including the chosen ad type, target audience, location, and campaign duration. The minimum investment required for a campaign is $250, with a daily rate of $15. Additionally, ad impressions typically cost between 1 to 3 cents per impression. 

Both audio and video ads utilize a basic auction system familiar to digital advertisers, offering bid caps and the flexibility to adjust bids during the campaign. Targeting options include Cost per Impression or maximum CPM bid, with higher costs expected for targeting popular audience segments. 

To better estimate ad costs, Spotify Ad Studio provides a cost estimator tool. There are three main methods to purchase Spotify ads… 

  • Self-serve through Ad Studio – Which allows advertisers to create and submit ads independently
  • Automated – Where agencies or DSPs manage media buys using dynamic bidding
  • Direct – Involving collaboration with the Spotify team to customize ad experiences or secure guaranteed inventory, although this option may not be suitable for all advertisers due to associated costs.

 

How You Can Advertise on Spotify

These days, almost anyone with any budget can advertise on Spotify. Here’s how to get started.

1. Set Up an Account

First things first, you’ll need to set up your Spotify Ad Studio account to get started. Within this platform, you’ll be able to:

  • Build out audio campaigns
  • Create audio ads using your script and a selection of background tracks and voice profiles
  • Gauge impressions based on your targeting and spend
  • Measure campaign performance within the dashboard

2. Add Basic Campaign Details

When you start creating an ad, the first question that Spotify Ad Studio will ask is if you are promoting something music-related, or representing a brand. Music-related ads are for artists or those in periphery of the music business, like sellers of concert tickets and merchandise. Non-music ads are for every other type of brand that advertises on Spotify.

Once you’ve made that selection, give your ad a name. Since this name will be for internal use only, choose a name that’s both descriptive and easily recognizable to streamline your internal discussions and analytics.

Next, select your ad category. Spotify simplifies this process by offering categories that span across various interests and behaviors. This categorization helps ensure your ad reaches listeners most likely to be interested in what you’re offering, whether it’s lifestyle, technology, entertainment, or any other sector relevant to your brand.

3. Define and Target Your Audience

Targeting is one of the most important steps when creating an ad. If you’re targeting the wrong people, your brand’s message is unlikely to resonate. Ad Studio allows you to target audiences based on:

  • Who they are (age & demographics)
  • Where they are (city and geography)
  • How they listen (devices & connectivity)
  • What they listen to (genre, playlists, podcasts)
  • Predicted interests (lookalike targeting)
  • Off-platform behaviors (custom audience match & 3rd party interest targeting)
  • Past interactions (brand exposure, sequential messaging, real-time retargeting)

As mentioned above, one of Spotify’s key targeting features is the ability to target by listener behavior – we highly encourage you to check out this feature. When targeting through Spotify, you can also use first party data like your own customer lists and demographic information to create custom audiences (country, location(s), age group, gender, platform, language). Keep in mind that these are seen as the building blocks to creating a custom audience. You can also target by interests and behaviors but this is optional. For example, target based on podcast or playlists they listen to, favored genres, or for certain contexts (like a workout playlist).

If your objectives change at all throughout your campaign – no worries – you can make changes to your target audience at any time.

4. Set Your Budget, Objectives, and Schedules

Now we’re ready to start building out the finer details of the campaign. Start by selecting your ad format—be it audio, horizontal video, or vertical video. Then, choose if you want to place these ads across music and podcasts or limit them to music only. As we previously covered, there are a variety of ad formats to explore within Spotify’s Ad Studio.

You also have the option to exclude your ads from appearing during podcasts labeled as “sensitive.” This is an important consideration if you’re concerned with brand safety, or just wouldn’t want to appear during an ad break for a gritty true crime episode. On the complete other side of the coin, you can choose to target your ads to appear during episodes focusing on specific topics that resonate with your target audience, such as business, fashion, or technology.

Next, you’ll be able to schedule your campaign and set a budget. Spotify gives marketers precise control over the start and end dates for the campaign, right down to the minute. 

Then it’s time to set your budgets. Spotify lets you approach this in two ways: Daily budgets and lifetime budgets. It’s worth noting that daily budgets are not strict caps but guidelines, as Spotify may adjust spending based on demand to maximize your ad’s impact. However, setting a bid cap is still crucial for controlling expenditure, preventing overbidding, and ensuring your campaign remains cost-effective.

While you’re building the ad, take note of Spotify’s deliverability gauge on the right side of the page. This helps you estimate how much you’ll need to budget to reach your intended audience and the likelihood of fully utilizing your budget each day. 

Finally, you’ll be able to set your objective – this is how Spotify determines appropriate placements for your ad. You can choose between three options:

  • Impressions – Spotify will show your ad more often. Unlike reach, this is based on how many times the ad is served, rather than how many people it reaches. Note that 
  • Reach – Spotify will show your ad to more people. For example, you could show your ad to 1,000 people one time using this objective.
  • Clicks – With this objective, you’ll only pay if someone clicks on your ad. Clicks are almost always the most expensive option, but it’s perfect for brands seeking to increase conversions.

Spotify also allows for setting frequency caps to manage how often your ad is served to individual users, ensuring your message remains fresh without overwhelming your audience. You can set frequency caps on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This is especially important for advertisers who want to use the Impressions objective.

The last item on this page allows you to set bid caps. Unlike your budget, this is a hard cap on how much you’ll spend to place a single ad. Strategically setting bid caps is crucial for controlling expenditure, preventing overbidding, and ensuring your campaign remains cost-effective. If you’re not sure what a good bid cap is, Spotify provides a recommendation to get you started – you can always run the campaign and fine-tune the bid cap later.

5. Create Your Ad and Upload Your Audio

At this point, it’s time to put the final touches on your campaign. Add a unique name to the ad – this is for internal purposes only, so choose something that will help your team stay organized. Then, enter your brand’s name complemented by a compelling tagline and indicate the language that your ad is in.

After that, you’ll upload your ad’s image, ensuring it meets the minimum resolution requirement. Under the image upload field, you’ll be able to include a direct click-through URL, which is where you’ll send listeners if they choose to engage with your ad. To help them engage, you’ll also be able to select a Call-to-Action from a dropdown list of options, such as “Listen Now.”

If your campaign leverages audio, you’re presented with two paths: upload a pre-existing audio file or use Spotify’s in house creative team to produce your ad, including background tunes and even script writing. Simply provide a creative brief, and their team will try to produce your ad to the best of their ability.

For those using video ad formats, uploading your content is as simple as drag-and-drop, with additional capabilities for viewability tracking via third-party vendors. This ensures your ad not only reaches but resonates with your target audience.

Once all those steps are done, you’re ready to launch!

6. Measure & Monitor Performance

Measuring and monitoring the performance of your ads is crucial for optimizing your advertising strategy and maximizing your return on investment. With Spotify’s Ad Studio, you can easily track and analyze the effectiveness of your campaigns. Ad Studio provides initial results within 24 hours of your ad going live, allowing you to quickly assess its performance. You’ll have access to a range of key metrics, including people reached, frequency, impressions, completion rate, CPM, CTR, and insights into how long people listen to the ad and the genres they’re tuning into. 

You can utilize third-party measurement tools for more advanced analysis and deeper insights into your campaign’s performance. By regularly monitoring these metrics, you can gain valuable insights into audience behavior and preferences, enabling you to refine your targeting, messaging, and creative assets for improved results. With Ad Studio’s real-time reporting capabilities, you’ll have the actionable data you need to make informed decisions and optimize your advertising efforts effectively.

Spotify Ads Best Practices

We’ve covered everything from Spotify’s overall advantages to various ad types, but how can you make sure you’re following general best practices when it comes to advertising on the platform? Let’s dive in.

Build Strong Messaging

In a recent study, Spotify has found that listeners are less concerned by the length of a creative, and more about the message itself. This means it’s critical to have strong messaging from the start. Be clear, concise, conversational during your ads so listeners grasp the point(s) you’re trying to make quickly. Don’t forget to communicate any additional benefits you are giving your audience like promo codes or sale offerings.

Include a Clear Call-to-action (CTA)

What action are you trying to get listeners to take? Ads on Spotify are on the shorter side so by including a strong CTA (ie: “Buy Now”), you’re allowing users to easily and quickly complete the intended action. Including a clear CTA within your ad is crucial – don’t forget it!

Test and Learn

No matter the campaign you’re running, it’s incredibly important to test and learn from the performance of your ads. You’ll want to take a deeper look into your ad metrics to ensure you’re meeting or exceeding your KPIs to see if tweaks need to be made. As we’ve previously covered, Spotify has a wide range of ad types for advertisers to utilize. If one ad type isn’t meeting your intended goals, be open to testing and trying out new methods.

Conclusion

Not looking to manage your Spotify Ads all by yourself? No problem. 

Creating, managing, and tracking ad performance takes time – we get it. So, if you’re looking to streamline your Spotify advertising process, Tinuiti can help. By working with our team of experts, you can take your Spotify ads to the next level by utilizing a more customized approach to further target your ideal customers. By working with a dedicated streaming audio agency, your Spotify advertising has the ability to stand out among the competition – elevating your brand to new heights in this emerging space.

“By working with Tinuiti, your brand’s Spotify ads are in the hands of specialists who are familiar with audio campaign set up, optimization, and success. Our programmatic team is in the platform daily, making real-time bidding adjustments to campaigns that boost performance while maintaining efficiency. This performance visibility allows us to understand how audio stacks up against your other tactics in a user’s path to conversion. Our programmatic experience and hands-on approach is what sets us apart.”

– Carly Fipps, Programmatic Senior Specialist at Tinuiti

If you’re interested in learning more about Spotify advertising, streaming audio, or how Tinuiti can help your business, contact us today.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published by Greg Swan in May 2018 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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How DocuSign’s Teams Tie Customer Value to Every Single Change

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How DocuSign’s Teams Tie Customer Value to Every Single Change

How do you deliver value at every stage of the customer journey? 
 
It’s the single most important goal held by almost everyone from marketing to sales to engineering to data teams. 
 
Even with a solid customer journey map, delivering that value — much less connecting it directly to the everyday work that happens on the ground — is easier said than done. Unless you’re the team at DocuSign.

DocuSign’s teams (with hundreds of individual contributors) tie customer value to every single change they make across their marketing and product strategies and deliverables. By doing so, they also happen to constantly find ways to deliver the best possible experience to every single one of their customers.

How has the team accomplished what for many feels like a distant dream? They’ve developed a strong culture of experimentation that their teams deploy for every proposed change, and their Marketing, Product, Design, and Engineering teams (to name a few) use Optimizely to bring those experiments to life.

In this post, Anjali Mehra, Senior Director, Analytics & Experimentation, at DocuSign, breaks down how DocuSign built their experimentation program from the ground up.  

Get the inside scoop: How DocuSign structures their experimentation program 

The DocuSign difference isn’t just that DocuSign uses an experiment like A/B testing to endorse every customer-facing change. Here at Optimizely, our team loves experimentation, but we know that, practically speaking, running experiments simply isn’t enough. 

The reason DocuSign has been so successful is their rigorous, holistic approach to experimentation across the company. Here’s the good news: Anjali from DocuSign has told us how they’ve achieved it.

Here are the program highlights: 

  • DocuSign’s experimentation program is a whole-company effort: more than 20 customer-impact teams amounting to hundreds of users are on the Optimizely platform. 
  • DocuSign Marketing, Product, and Design teams use Optimizely to test both web and product features. Plus, the DocuSign Engineering team uses Optimizely’s feature flag functionality to ship most features they deliver. Everyone can work from the same platform, which meant they can scale their programs and share their learnings easily. 
  • Because the whole DocuSign team uses Optimizely to run experiments, they’re generating data from across the customer lifecycle. All this data allows them to truly understand not only their current customers but prospective and lost customers.  

 

All of this happens because DocuSign has built not just a culture of experimentation but a strong experiment planning culture. All of the teams’ testing is backed by a clear strategy that includes: 

  • Planning the test and parameters 
  • Developing a clearly refined hypothesis  
  • Choosing a North Star KPI 
  • Achieving cross-functional stakeholder alignment 
  • Running an impact analysis 
  • Selecting a decision framework to take action   

 

Why DocuSign partners with Optimizely for their experimentation program 

Running a program like DocuSign’s starts with a business commitment, but they needed the right partners to bring it to life.

DocuSign began their journey towards their current culture of experimentation over ten years ago. At the time, they were heavily focused on building a website with a ground-breaking conversion rate. They chose Optimizely even back then to test and iterate on their web and commerce flows.

As their company evolved, they decided to grow with Optimizely to onboard more teams for feature optimization and experimentation and even feature flagging. Even better, they’ve reduced the resources otherwise needed for this program because they don’t need in-house engineering resources for experimentation.

 

The results transform day-to-day work for their teams 

As a B2B SaaS organization, DocuSign is most concerned with three KPIs: conversion, expansion, and retention rates.

But to create velocity and stay at the forefront of their category, they’re just as focused on tying every decision they make to powerful data, which allows all their teams to directly tie their work to business value.

The results across the business speak for themselves and are transformative for work flows.

As individual teams, DocuSign are: 

  • Not only hitting KPIs but understanding how they got there & tying it back to individual contributor and team work 
  • Creating real velocity to launch and ship faster through a data-driven, experimentation culture 
  • Building product and marketing roadmaps & making business decisions based on clear results 

Replicate DocuSign’s experimentation program in 5 steps 

Remember how DocuSign carefully plans every experiment and their underlying experimentation strategy serves as a foundation for every test they run?

Take another step back and there’s another framework they used to get where they are. And it’s the same framework that can help you set up a long-lasting program of your own.

According to Anjali, here’s the framework she used to build their experimentation program: 

  1. Get executive sponsorship. 
  2. Align with all your cross-functional partners. 
  3. Establish program-level goals and OKRs (like velocity, win rate, impact) 
  4. Create a test planning strategy and program 
  5. Build a test and learn culture 

Will 2024 be the Year you change everything (with data)? 

Check out our new report, The Evolution of Experimentation, to learn more about how Optimizely customers have run over 127k experiments and turned practitioners into champions. 

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