How To Promote Your Music using Facebook Ads
Every new song needs ample marketing and promotion to be successful. For those of us who aren't signed to a record label that will help promote our music, we have to learn how to promote our new releases ourselves. Over the past 7 years, I've experimented with multiple different marketing tactics and strategies to bring my new songs to new audiences.
One of the most effective marketing strategies I've tried is using Facebook Ads. Many people think that this platform is too competitive or too expensive to advertise on. I'm here to prove how it can be, if used correctly, a very inexpensive and efficient method to market your music. I'm also here to share my tips and best practices for creating Facebook Ads.
Before you take a look at my tips below, make sure you have an active Facebook account to use Facebook Ads. You can create your first ad through Facebook Ad Manager.
best practice for creating effective Facebook Ads
1. Target Developing Countries
If you've worked with ads on Facebook before, you'll know that it is very expensive to pay for ads targeting audiences in countries like the United States and United Kingdom. The cost per impression or per click in these countries is so high because many other musicians, businesses, and companies are trying to show their ads to people in these regions.
For your next Facebook ad, try targeting a developing country with people you think would enjoy your music. Many Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Nepal are the first countries I usually target for my own ads. Most of your musical competitors aren't targeting these countries because they think there's no market for their music there. In my experience, people in these countries listen to American and English-language music as much as they listen to music in their own country or native language. A stream or song purchase from someone in Vietnam is just as good as a stream or purchase from someone in the United States. At the end of the day, you're still making money from your music.
In the ad highlighted in red above, I targeted Vietnam with a video ad showcasing a lyric video I created for a new song called Tell Me How To Let Go. I spent roughly $200 for almost 3,000 link clicks. On average, I spent 6 cents for one person to listen to my song at least once. Not too shabby, considering that several of those people went on to purchase, stream, and share my new song.
Take a look at the cost per result column for Vietnam and Nepal compared to the UK, Ireland, Canada, Germany, and Iceland. On average, my ads targeting countries in Europe and America cost 10 times more than their Asian and Southeast Asian counterparts.
Side note for Asian and Asian American artists - there may be an advantage to promoting your music in Asian and Southeast Asian countries. Audiences in these countries might be eager to help support an artist that they can to relate to on a racial level, especially in light of the movement for more Asian and Asian American representation in mainstream media.
Before you target a developing country with your Facebook ad, make sure the major music platforms (like Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube Music) are available in those countries. If you're concerned that your music won't be heard due to a language barrier, you can further narrow your audience by targeting people who only speak English in these countries.
2. Narrow Your Audience
The best way to get the most reach for your marketing budget is to make sure you're targeting the exact people you think will listen to your music. Facebook Ads allow you to narrow your targeted audiences with multiple filters relating to age, gender, language, and interests. You can also further exclude audiences that you don't want to see your ads. For my music specifically, I usually target audiences between 18 and 35 who like electronic and pop music, and also like artists who are similar to myself (such as Troye Sivan or Kygo).
3. Target multiple audiences with small budgets first
The photo above demonstrates an effective marketing approach I call the "shotgun approach". If you're not sure what audience to target yet, create multiple ad campaigns for each audience for a short time period and with a small budget spend (like $5). Once all campaigns are over, check which ads performed the best to see which audiences to focus the rest of your marketing budget on.
4. Create Video Ads, Not Photo Ads
Throughout the past 7 years of using Facebook Ads, my video ads have always outperformed ads using thumbnails, links, or photos. People engage more easily with ads that are dynamic and moving, like lyric videos, graphically designed videos, and music videos. As of 2019, videos that are longer than 3 minutes now reach more people on Facebook. So make sure to avoid posting 15-second snippets of your music, and opt for longer videos.
5. Focus on Facebook News Feed ads
In my experience, news feed ads have outperformed all other ad types (including Audience Network ads and Instagram ads, which in particular have been the least effective for me). The Facebook news feed is the first thing someone sees when logging on to the platform, so it's the easiest place to reach new people.
6. Remember that click-throughs are your goal
Tons of views, likes, and comments on your ads look great, but don't translate into money. Remember - your goal should be to get people to purchase or stream your music. The best way to measure the success of that goal is through click-throughs, which signify that your ad or music was enticing enough for someone to click on to learn more. Compare click-through rates between ads to see which of them are the most effective.
7. Translate your ad into the region's language for a more personal connection
For every country I target where English isn't an official language, I find someone to help translate my ads into the country's official language (or use Google Translate to do so). These ads have always performed better since they're easier for people in those countries to understand.
Hope you guys enjoyed these tips! If you have any of your own tips to add, please leave them in the comments below - I'd love to keep building on this post with your feedback.
Make sure to read my article HERE on additional strategies to promote your music.
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