• Philip Marsden

Two Approaches to Facebook Ads That Will Get You Heard

I know lots of artists aren’t keen on Facebook ads and prefer to stick with free, organic marketing for their music, but paid advertising is an avenue well worth exploring if you're promoting your music independently. Facebook ads specifically are inexpensive and with a thoughtful, well researched approach, they could be a key factor in helping you to reach your goals for your next release. Today I want to explore two different approaches that you can take when you’re working on your next campaign.

This post isn’t going to cover the technicalities of setting up a Facebook ad, if you’re struggling with that I’d recommend heading over to YouTube where there are tons of decent hands on tutorials with Facebook Ads Manager.

Content is King

It’s currently estimated that the average person is exposed to between 6000 and 10,000 ads per day, so if you want to make sure they notice yours, content is absolutely key. A static image of your cover art and a link to Spotify probably isn’t going to cut it.

When somebody is scrolling through their newsfeed or swiping through stories, you have about one second to grab their attention and a couple more to establish a connection with that person. Once you’ve done that, you can send a clear message in a short and snappy way, with one clear call to action at the end. This is what you ultimately want your audience to do after seeing your add, it could be clicking a link to Spotify, liking your page or sharing the post. Above all, your ad needs to hold value for your target audience. It needs to be something that will genuinely entertain them or fulfil them. You must keep all of this in mind when creating your ad!

Approach 1: Build Those Streaming Numbers

This approach is all about getting your Spotify streams up and getting your music heard right off the bat. To do this, you need to give your audience more than just a picture and a link to your song, chances are that’s not valuable to them and it probably isn’t going to stop them from scrolling.

Instead, you need to create a playlist tailored to a certain activity or mood that fits your song and target audience. For example, if you're a singer-songwriter with a younger audience, you may want to create an acoustic studying playlist, full of music similar to yours that your ideal fans love. Your latest release will be placed right at the top of this playlist. You’re then going to target people who are of the right age and are interested in other artists within your genre. The great thing about this strategy is how specific and refined you can make your targeting.

When you’re creating your ad content, remember what I spoke about in the previous section. You need to grab your audience’s attention right away and form an instant connection with them, so get creative and think outside of the box. A video slideshow of the artists in the playlist with a caption of the playlist title over top would work well, because if you’ve got your targeting right, the audience will already have a connection with the artists they’re seeing. You could use the hook from your own song as the soundtrack.

Approach 2: Draw Fans Into Your Community

In this approach, you’re aiming to bring your target audience into your community, with an eventual aim of converting them into a fan - somebody who loves your music, follows your every move and supports your progression. You won’t be sending anybody straight to Spotify, instead you’ll be aiming to build your page likes/followers. It’s all about slow growth and quality over quantity - sort of the opposite of the previous strategy.

To do this, you’ll want to create an eye catching video that grabs your audience’s attention, forms a connection with them and instantly lets them know what you’re all about. A lyric video or stale music video of you singing into the camera isn’t going to work, it needs to be out of the ordinary, visually appealing and shareable. Think about who your target audience are and what’s going to stop them in their tracks. Here are some ideas:

  • You could create an interesting, shareable live performance video. For example, in the video you could experiment with looping, layering and multiple takes, perform somewhere out of the ordinary or if you have the skills, experiment with some unconventional camera/editing techniques to make your video different to everything else.

  • If you’re the sort of artist who doesn’t take themselves too seriously, joining TikTok trends or memes could be a great approach. If you’re a naturally funny person, showing your humorous side will form an instant connection with people and they’ll want to see more.

  • If there’s an interesting, funny or thought provoking story behind your journey as an artist or your latest release, a Facebook Ad could be a great place to tell it in a short and snappy way. Be sure to use captions for those with their sound off and make sure the video is really visually appealing to grab people’s attention right away.

If you can create some great content and get it in front of your perfect audience, this approach can be really effective. Remember, you want to show them what your community is all about so that they want to join in and follow you. From there, they’ll see your amazing content every week and will start to become a true fan of your work. This approach is hard work, but worth it.

Bonus Tip

Ads with a banner at the top always perform better. This could be a simple coloured background with text on top that describes the video and makes people want to watch it. For example, if you’re pushing a playlist, the caption might say “The best study playlist for acoustic music lovers”. Or, if you’re going for the second approach, the caption might say “Manchester’s most exciting new voice”. Make sure it’s something that connects with your ideal audience and makes them want to watch the whole video.

Looking to grow your fanbase on Spotify? Download my free guide - 8 Steps to Getting Playlisted and Maximising Your Music on Spotify here.