Having a Facebook fan 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, having no fan limit (versus the 5,000 friend cap on personal pages), using Insights to get key metrics about your fans, and getting taken more seriously as an artist overall.
Ads Manager is a powerful tool that allows you to create, manage, and measure Facebook ad campaigns. With some testing and tweaking, advertising your music on Facebook can be one of the most budget-friendly and effective ways to reach both current fans, and get new music fans.
1. 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 tour dates to promote, how many tickets do you want to sell, and by when? If your goal is to build your email list, how many new signups do you want in the next 30 days? If you’re about to release a new single, how many downloads or streams are you hoping for in the first week? What’s the crowdfunding target you need to hit by the end of the month?
Should you run a “like” campaign?
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.
2. 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 won’t exceed the total budget you allocate for the lifetime of the ad set).
Facebook ads work on an auction, so the cost is determined by your targeting and the amount of competition among other advertisers for that audience.
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, so it can be a smarter option for conversion-oriented goals.
3. 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 advertising to people who aren’t likely to care about your music.
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 subscribed to your email list
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.
4. Create your ad
You have several options for the format of your ad. Ads that feature a single image, a link, and a 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 recommend starting out with a simple single-image link ad or a video ad, depending on what your objective is. A link ad would be a great choice if you want to drive traffic to a landing page on your band website or your online merch store, while a video ad would be effective to promote an upcoming show, tour, or new music video.
When you create a new ad in Ads Manager, you’ll be guided through selecting your objective, audience targeting, budget, schedule, and placement (i.e., where it’s going to be displayed). After you finalize those settings, you’ll then be taken to the section where you choose the format, media, and text for your ad.
Once you’ve reviewed all of the details, 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.
Ads vs. boosted posts
If there’s something you’ve already posted on your Facebook page that you simply want to be shown to more people, boosted posts are a quick and easy way to do that. However, keep in mind that options are more limited if you boost a post rather than create an ad.
5. 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 metrics 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.
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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