Having a Facebook Page for your music has so many benefits besides displaying your “like” count to the world. Some advantages of fan pages over personal pages are rather obvious, such as separating your personal and professional life, using Page Insights to learn about your audience demographics, and getting taken more seriously as an artist overall.
But for any musician who’s trying to get more fans and figure out how to better engage their audience, Facebook Ads Manager is invaluable.
Ads Manager is a powerful all-in-one tool that allows you to create, manage, and measure ad campaigns. With some testing and tweaking, it can be one of the most effective and budget-friendly ways to stay top of mind among your current fanbase while also growing your following.
Let’s explore the essentials of how to advertise your music on Facebook, step by step.
Define your goal
You need to have a way of measuring the success of your Facebook ad campaign, so the first step is to set a specific goal. Attach concrete numbers and a deadline to it. The more detailed you make your goal, the better.
For example, if you have a show to promote, how many tickets do you want to sell, and by when? If your goal is to build your email list, how many signups do you want in the next 30 days? If you’re about to release a new single, how many streams are you hoping for in the first week? What’s the crowdfunding target you need to hit by the end of the month?
A note on “like” campaigns
Although Facebook ads can certainly help increase “likes” on your page, we wouldn’t recommend making that your primary goal for a targeted campaign. If those new “likes” are mostly random (or worse, spam accounts) and the people behind them are not actually engaged with your content, it could end up costing you more to reach your real fans.
Determine your budget
The great thing about advertising on Facebook is that you can test out your ads first with a small budget and determine what works best before putting more money into them. You can set either a daily budget or a lifetime budget (meaning day-to-day spending will vary slightly, but you’ll never exceed the total budget you’ve allocated).
Facebook ads work on an auction, so the cost is determined by how much you’re willing to bid, who you target, and the amount of competition among other advertisers for that audience.
The winner of the auction boils down to what Facebook calls “ad relevance,” which has a lot to do with the quality of your ad and how people interact with it. Basically, the more relevant your ad is to your target audience, the less it’ll cost and the better results you’ll get.
Depending on the goal you’ve set, you can choose to pay for your ads by cost per thousand impressions (CPM) or cost per click (CPC). CPM is a better choice if your goal has to do with spreading awareness and inexpensively reaching as large an audience as possible.
CPC is usually a more expensive way to advertise, but the upside is that you only pay when someone actually clicks on the ad. This is the smarter option for conversion-oriented goals that have a specific call to action.
Identify your target audience
Another big benefit of advertising music on Facebook is that you can get as specific as you want with your targeting — which means that you’re not wasting your precious dollars on showing ads to people who aren’t likely to be interested.
If you’re new to Facebook ads, you’ll probably need to play around with different targeting options for a bit until you hit on the right combination. In Ads Manager, you’ll be able to see in real time how your estimated reach changes as you make tweaks.
Here’s an overview of all of Facebook’s audience targeting options, but as a musician, you’ll definitely want to explore some of the following:
- People who already like your Facebook page
- Friends of people who like your Facebook page
- People who are interested in bands similar to yours
- People who live in your city (if you’re trying to build up your local fanbase)
- People who live in cities where you plan on touring
- People who have engaged with your Facebook videos
- People who have visited your website (you’ll need a Facebook pixel to do this, which Bandzoogle has integrated: Using Facebook Pixel)
- People who have subscribed to your email list
- Lookalike audiences of any custom audiences you’ve created
Sometimes, even a small change in your targeting can make a big difference in your conversions. Within your campaign, try running different ad sets targeted at different audiences, and compare the results to get a better idea of what’s most effective.
Decide between a boosted post or an ad
Did you recently post something on your Facebook page that hasn’t been getting a ton of traction organically, but you really want to make sure your fans see it? Boosting it right from your timeline is the easiest way to accomplish that.
Boosted posts tend to be optimized for views and engagement (reactions, comments, and shares) on that specific post. Ads created through Ads Manager, on the other hand, can be optimized for a much wider range of objectives, including conversions off Facebook (like driving people to sign up for your newsletter, buy a ticket to your show, stream your music, buy your merch, or contribute to your crowdfunding campaign).
Although boosted posts are technically a type of ad, the trade-off is that you don’t have nearly as much control over the finer details like audience targeting, bidding, budget, placement, and split testing. But if you simply want more people to see your new post as quickly as possible, a boost could be all you need for now.
When you click “boost post” in the bottom-right corner of your post, you’ll be able to choose the audience you want to reach (targeting options are limited to age, gender, location, and interests), your total budget, and how many days you want the boost to last. You won’t be able to change the text or image after you boost, so make sure you’re happy with how the post looks before you proceed.
It’s also important to note that Facebook has become more strict about the type of content that’s eligible for boosting. If you go to boost a post on your page but instead see the words “boost unavailable,” you can hover over those words to find out the reason why. Here’s a full list of what you can’t boost, along with solutions for each.
Create your campaign
If you’ve decided that creating a campaign in Ads Manager is better for your goal than boosting, we’d highly recommend using the Guided Creation workflow. This option will walk you through all of the necessary steps, including selecting your objective, audience targeting, budget, schedule, and placement. After you finalize those settings, you’ll then be taken to the section where you choose the format, media, and text for your ad.
You have several options for the format. Ads that feature a single image, link, and call-to-action button (such as “learn more” or “sign up”) are common, and video ads are becoming increasingly popular. Other options include carousel ads (featuring multiple images or videos that people can click through in a single ad), slideshow ads, and collection ads, all of which you can read more about here.
For musicians, we’d suggest starting out with a single image or a short video, depending on what your objective is. An image would be a great choice if you want to drive traffic to your band website or online merch store, while a video would be effective to promote an upcoming show, tour, or music video.
Once you’ve finalized and reviewed all the details of your campaign, click the “place order” button. Your campaign will be under review at first, but as long as it meets Facebook’s advertising guidelines, the status will update to “active” shortly thereafter.
Measure your ad’s performance
The work isn’t over once your campaign is active! While it’s running, you need to track its performance and make any necessary adjustments.
Ads Manager provides all the data and insights you need to help you figure out how well your ads are doing. For example, if you’re testing a few different ad images within one campaign, you’ll want to go into your analytics after a few days and see which versions are performing the best for the lowest price. By turning off the versions that aren’t performing as well, your budget will get reallocated to the more successful ads, giving you the most bang for your buck.
You have access to metrics for boosted posts as well. From your Facebook page, click “Ad Center” and then “all ads” to see how your boost performed.
While best practices for Facebook advertising remain consistent, the tools are always evolving and improving. So keep testing, keep experimenting, and keep tracking your results!
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