You’ve got music and gigs to promote so screw the intro, let’s get right to the good stuff.
Here’s how to promote your music using Facebook (or Instagram) ads…
STEP 1: Gather your material.
You need a couple things (besides musical talent) in order to do this effectively so start by pulling them together.
Here’s what you need:
• A video that showcases your music (bonus points if you have multiple videos!).
It can be a professionally produced music video, live performance, lyric video, something you shot on your phone in the backyard, or even a slideshow if need be.
Just make sure the video features your music and that the music starts immediately as soon as the video starts – don’t have a 20-second intro to the video.
When your video appears in people’s Facebook feeds, you’ve got less than three seconds to grab their attention before they scroll on by so get to the good stuff ASAP.
• Come up with a list of at least 5-10 established musical acts whose style is similar to your music.
I’m sure you’re totally unique and doing things no other musical act has ever even dreamed of, but humor me and pretend there’s some other band in the history of music who at least exists in the same universe as what you do.
Basically, you want to pick artists whose fans are most likely to enjoy your music.
• Pick one action you want people to take when they see your ads and fall in love with your music. Where are you going to send them? What do you want them to do?
Will you send them to your Spotify page to stream your album? Drive them to a ticket sales page? Send them to your website to join your email list?
I’m sure you want them to do lots of things, but just choose the single most important one for now.
STEP 2: Run a Facebook video ad.
It’s time to get your ads up and running.
You’re going to set up multiple ads as part of this process, but it all starts with a single video ad.
Create an ad with your video that showcases your music and target fans of the 5-10 established bands of a similar style you came up with before.
When you create the ad, make sure the text caption of the ad references the same band whose audience you’re targeting and reference why those fans will enjoy your music.
For example, let’s say you have a band that sounds like the Foo Fighters, but has a female lead singer.
The text in the post featuring your video might say this:
“Wonder what the Foo Fighters would sound like with a female singer? Maybe a little something like this…”
Then you target that ad solely to Foo Fighters fans.
And if you’re promoting a local gig in some place like Kansas City, then you only target Foo Fighters fans in Kansas City.
While this is a single video ad, you’ll ultimately create 5-10 different versions of it – one for each of the specific fanbases you target with messaging referencing the artist they’re a fan of.
For example, you might have another ad targeting Smashing Pumpkins fans that says…
“We’re what happens when you spend way too much time listening to Smashing Pumpkins as a kid.”
By now you’ve probably figured this out, but when you hyper target your ads to a specific audience and match up your messaging to that audience, people tend to pay attention and check out your video.
Because the ads are engaging, Facebook will charge you less for them and you should be able to get views for less than 5 cents per view.
That should allow you to get a lot of views for not that much money, which allows you to invest in the next step in this strategy…
STEP 3: Retarget viewers with a new Facebook ad that makes a specific ask.
Once you’ve run your first video ad for a while, you can then create a new ad and retarget people who watched the video for a set amount of time.
Here’s how to retarget video viewers in Facebook ads.
Ideally, you’d target people who watched at least 50% of that first video, but if your audience is limited you can target anyone who watched at least 10 seconds of it.
Either way, this is allowing you to send a new ad to people who already paid some attention to your initial ad featuring your music and therefore are at least somewhat interested in and familiar with you.
When you retarget them, you will run a new ad that’s specifically about whatever you want them to do (this is where that single action concept comes into play).
This follow-up ad could be a video, but doesn’t have to be. It could also be a link, text, or image post.
Just make sure it includes a specific ask for people to come to your show, stream your album, get on your email list, or whatever you’ve chosen to promote.
STEP 4: Create a Lookalike Audience and repeat the same process.
This step isn’t 100% necessary, is a little advanced, and requires some additional budget, but it can be effective and ultimately drive your cost per conversion down.
You can expand your ad campaign and make it more effective by creating a Lookalike Audience based on people who have previously watched your videos or engaged with your ads.
Lookalike audiences is a Facebook ads feature in which Facebook uses the data from people who have interacted with your ads to find other people that are similar to them.
You can learn how to use Lookalike Audiences here.
STEP 5 (optional): Get me to help you.
Still with me?
I know this can sound a bit overwhelming, but it’s actually not too complicated once you wrap your head around it.
But if you need a little extra help, I’m here for you.
I offer paid consulting calls during which I can help you figure out how best to do this for your music including what your ads should be, who they should target, and how to set them up.
Email me if you’re interested.
If you’d like me to set up and run your ads for you so you don’t have to worry about it and can instead spend all of your time kicking out the jams, we can also talk about that.
STEP 6: Go read these.
Facebook ads aren’t the only way to promote your music and I’ve shared a ton of ideas about how you can use social media to grow and activate your audience.
Subscribe to my For The Interested newsletter (it’s free!) to get a weekly collection of ideas you’ll find helpful.
Read my Ultimate Guide To Growing Your Audience to figure out how to, uh, grow your audience.
(That post will also fill you in on my background and how I know what I know.)
STEP 7: Make it happen.
Now go out there and use your newfound knowledge to introduce your music to the world…unless you suck.
In that case, please don’t do any of these things – they won’t work.