Facebook Ads

How to Promote Your Music with Facebook Ads

UPDATE: I’m doing things differently now! There are still some great pointers here, but don’t miss my latest post on the subject, Facebook Ads for Spotify Best Practices.

As of today, I’ve spent $5888.35 on Facebook ads. Does that make me an expert? No way!

Promoting music on Facebook, and Instagram through Facebook Ads, is a bottomless and constantly changing topic.

Where do I even start? How do I know the advice I give today will apply tomorrow?

I don’t, but I’ll share what I’ve done, and try to encapsulate my experience into actionable evergreen nuggets as best I can.

Most Facebook ads guides essentially just tell you to try different things and see what works. Keep testing, they say! Instead of giving you specific strategies, they teach you how to conduct your own experiments, because what works for them might not work for you.

While I acknowledge the wisdom in that approach, most of us don’t have that kind of time. Instead, I’m just going to tell you what to do!

For expediency’s sake, let’s start with what not to do:

Single Image ads – nope!

Before February, I hadn’t done much beyond boosting posts for months. This ad from Muse popped up in my feed and inspired me to give it another go:

Muse ad

After several rounds of A/B testing, here’s what I ended up with:

That’s a live post, so feel free to test out the link. It’s a Feature.fm Smart Link that directs users to the music service of their choice. I hope to write about Smart Links in detail soon, but for now you can use my affiliate link for a $10 credit towards any Feature.fm product.

Over the course of three weeks I spent $143 for 282 clicks, with the best performing ad coming in at $0.31 per click. We can do better.

Spotify links – nope!

When you create a post with a Spotify link, it has a built-in player. Perfect!

Unfortunately, as soon as you promote it, the player disappears:

Spotify post boosted

My suggestion is to create a post with a Spotify link and pin it to the top of your page. Then make sure not to promote it!

Running the same ad on Facebook and Instagram – nope!

Here’s how my Facebook ad looks on Instagram. Can you spot the issue?

Classic ad on Instagram

The link isn’t clickable, but the “Listen Now” call to action above is. Confusing!

The fix is simple: just eliminate the call to action text in the Instagram placements, using a separate ad group.

Multiple ads – nope!

Unless you really don’t want fans to see your ad, start from a page post. Let the likes and comments build up for at least 24 hours before running ads on it. That social proof goes a long way when a stranger sees your name for the first time!

From that point on, make sure that all your ads point to the same post. You can always edit the post from your page if you need to. Over time you’ll build up an impressive amount of engagement that screams CHECK ME OUT!

If you want to test your ad copy out ahead of time, you can experiment on your personal profile or another network. For example, you could tweet three variations over three days and see which gets the best engagement.

Lookalike Audiences – nope!

Did you know you can import a list of contacts into Ads Manager, and have it create a custom audience similar the people in your list? Sounds amazing, right?

lookalike audience

It might be, if it were limited to the top 1000 prospects. Or 10,000 prospects. But not 2,140,000! That’s as small as it gets for US audiences.

I’ve tried creating lookalike audiences from my mailing list subscribers, Bandcamp purchasers, and Patreon patrons. I’ve even combined tactics, creating a “super fans” list from high-engagement mailing list subscribers who purchased my music on Bandcamp, and creating a lookalike audience from that.

Unfortunately, those lookalike audiences always underperform relative to the audiences I create with standard interest targeting.

Of course, you should still target the people who engage with your content! More on that later…

Boosted Posts – maybe?

It used to be that boosting posts was for amateurs, and pros used Ads Manager. These days that’s not necessarily the case. While Ads Manager still offers more targeting and placement options, boosting has come a long way.

If you’re just looking to get more engagement out of an already engaging post, boosting will do the trick in 10 seconds flat!

To see which posts fans are engaging with, go to Your Page ➤ Insights ➤ See All Posts, then sort by Engagement Rate using the dropdown in the upper-righthand corner:

page engagement

I wouldn’t bother boosting any post with less than 5% engagement. That rules out most of mine!

And of course with Boosted Posts, you’re limited to items that you post to your page. With Ads Manager, you can create “dark” posts that aren’t visible outside of your campaign.

Targeting people who like your page – nope!

While we’re on the topic of boosting posts, I’d be remiss not to mention the default targeting option:

boost post

I get way better results with the targeting I describe below. Obviously adding their friends is even worse!

Keep in mind that I’ve been on Facebook forever, and have accrued 16.5K likes over many years. I’ve never purchased likes, and as far as I know they are 100% legit, but they are definitely stale.

Including page likes in your targeting is fine. Just don’t restrict your targeting to page likes alone.

Alright, enough naysaying! Let’s talk about what you should do.

Ad Format: Single Video

On social media, video is king. The fact that it outperforms all other post types is uncontroversial.

For example, in the middle of my single image campaign above, I shared a short DAW capture video to my page, and it got promising engagement.

So I ran it as an ad with a “listen now” button linking to the same URL as my single image ad. It averaged $0.19 per click, versus $0.31 for the single image ad.

That’s impressive for two reasons:

  1. As far as videos go, this one doesn’t have a lot going for it. Its most eye-catching feature is a vertical line moving from left to right. At least I added captions, which prompt viewers to turn on the sound.
  2. My single image ad was part of a traffic campaign, optimized for click links. The DAW video was part of a video views campaign, optimized for, you guessed it, video views. Yet the video still got more clicks for less money.

Bonus tip: Square video takes up more real estate in news feeds!

Objective: Video Views or Traffic

The first step in creating an ad campaign is choosing an objective:

campaign objective

Unless your website is set up for conversions, I suggest going with video views or traffic.

If you just want people to hear your song, go for video views. If you want to send them to Smart Link where they can listen or download on the service of their choice, go for traffic.

Custom Audiences: Website Visitors & Page Engagement

Next you need to choose who will see your ads. The safest place to start is with people already engaging with your content.

If you’ve got Facebook Pixel installed on your website (here’s how), create a custom audience of people who visited your site in the past 30-180 days.

Next, create an engagement audience of people who have interacted with your page for up to the past year.

engagement audiences

Both of these audiences are rolling, meaning you don’t need to recreate them for every campaign. New candidates will automatically be added, and those who age out will automatically be removed.

If you plan to advertise on Instagram, you’ll also want to create a list of people who interacted with you there. Advertising on Instagram is more expensive and clickthroughs are negligible, but there’s no better way to reach 18-29 year olds.

Locations: Google Trends

Next you need to decide where your ads should show. I suggest searching for relevant keywords (genre, related bands, etc) in Google Trends.

For example, here are US metro areas where people search for the term “synthwave”:

Google Trends metro

Selecting specific cities, states, and/or metro areas will likely provide better results than targeting the entire country.

Definitely avoid targeting “worldwide.” You may get a lot of cheap engagement, but it won’t move the needle in any meaningful way.

Detailed Targeting: Audience Insights

An insane amount of information about Facebook users — all of them — is at your fingertips, for free, via Audience Insights.

For example, Metallica fans are 75% more likely than the average Facebook user to have a job in installation and repair services. They’re also 36% less likely to have gone to grad school. Fun facts.

Start by selecting “Everyone on Facebook,” then enter the name of your genre or a related band under Interests ➤ Additional interests. For example, “synthwave.”

age and gender

What a sausage fest! 91% male. So am I going to target women? Nope.

50% of synthwave fans are 25-34, with an equal number above and below that range. Maybe 20-40 would be a good place to start.

The secret sauce, and the most important aspect of targeting, is page likes. What pages do synthwave fans like? First, broken down into categories:

page categories

And then pages (most of them bands, not surprisingly):

page likes

I suggest using multiple ad groups to target interests separately. That way you can shut down the weak performers. If your audience size is too small, you can always pair interests (i.e. people who like Synthwave TV AND NewRetroWave).

Don’t just select similar bands! In my experience, other categories like movies and clothing perform just as well or better.

It’s important to note that not every page you type into Ads Manager is targetable, and there’s no obvious reason why. Some smaller pages will be available, while hugely popular ones will be inexplicably missing.

Audience Insights also offers location info, but it’s very limited and potentially redundant if you’re going to be targeting by the selected interest anyway. Stick with Google Trends.

Placement: Facebook OR Instagram Feed ONLY

By default, Automatic Placements is selected. That means your ads will run everywhere on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and their Audience Network. Eventually it will optimize and only serve ads where they’re effective, but I suggest going about it the other way.

Instead, deselect everything but Facebook feeds. If you want to run ads on Instagram, duplicate the ad group and select Instagram feeds instead. The other placements have been a waste of money for me.


If your video is 15 seconds or less and your objective is video views, you can select in-stream videos. That might be okay for brand awareness (or “exposure” as we like to say in the music biz), but they won’t get you clicks.

Facebook Ads Summary

That’s a lot to digest! Here’s an example of an ad that used most of the suggestions here. From now on I’ll be sure to take my own advice!

UPDATE: Now it won’t load the ad. Fortunately the video still works:

The ad was part of a video views campaign targeted to US men 18-34, interested in Stranger Things AND Drive (the 2011 movie) AND Spotify, with placements in Facebook feeds only. It got 419 clicks at $0.16 CPC. As it wasn’t posted to my page, it didn’t accrue much engagement, which likely limited its performance. And of course a traffic campaign would’ve generated a lower CPC than a video views campaign.

To create the video, I downloaded a Creative Commons animation from the amazing beeple, and superimposed the lyrics in iMovie. Then I used a Keynote hack to cut off the edges and make it square.

For my next campaign, I can create a custom audience of people who watched this video, from 3 seconds worth all the way to 95%:

video watchers

A kinder, gentler approach

Now that you’ve read my controversial formula of dos and don’ts, I’m guessing you’re feeling pretty overwhelmed. It’s a lot to take in, and I’ve barely scratched the surface! Maybe the tl;dr is “hire an expert.”

As luck would have it, I spoke with just such a person! After my most recent ads spending spree, I was invited by Facebook to a call with a Facebook Marketing Expert. It was an enlightening conversation, and a devil’s advocate rebuttal to my approach.

She said that with my content, I really couldn’t go wrong with any style of campaign. She suggested casting a wide net, building audiences from video views, website visitors, Instagram engagers, page likes, lookalike audiences, mailing list subscribers, and so on. Then throw them all into one campaign with automatic placements and let Facebook’s algorithms go to work.

My guess is it would be more expensive up front, but could become more efficient over time as you retarget users who engage with your ads.

Maybe I haven’t cracked the code, or maybe my suggestions won’t work for you. This may be a better approach. It’s certainly easier!

I did try a reach campaign, which she said was most cost effective, using her approach. After a couple days I shut it down because it was drastically underperforming relative to my other ads. Maybe I just needed to give it more time.

Facebook Ads Conclusion

While I wasn’t able to touch on every option in Ads Manager, I hope to have given you enough direction to avoid any major pitfalls, along with enough inspiration to get you started.

Remember, you set the budget and you can stop and start on a dime, so there’s no excuse not to give it a try! Even $5 can go a long way.

Okay, moving on to Google Adwords… 😂

Have you tried Facebook Ads? What works for you? Let’s strategize in the comments!

Don’t miss my latest post on the topic, Facebook Ads for Spotify Best Practices.

Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash


  1. This is a great article and helped me a lot. And what’s extremely funny is that i’m looking for the best way to use Facebook Ads to promote my music and see my own name in the tips!!!! Can’t be more custom! Thanks!!! 🙂

        1. Last I tested, I didn’t see a big difference between 30 and 60 seconds, so typically I end up somewhere in that range. I’m sure it depends on the song and the section of the song!

  2. Great article Brian. I run MusicLibraryReport.com and am always looking for a better way to use FB ads to attract more traffic to the site. You gave me a lot of food for thought!

    1. Glad it helped!

      Fwiw I think keeping people on the site will prove to be the bigger challenge. It’s overwhelming, with gobs of (very small) text in every nook and cranny, and multiple calls-to-action. IMHO a more modern theme with an infographic video front and center would go a long way.

      Not that you asked! 😉

  3. Always so informative, thanks Brian. I come back to your site time and time again. Any chance you could give some incite into running a twitter ‘follow’ campaign?

  4. Im no music expert, but you need to get behind a camera and put your video out that way. Facebook, no matter what industry you are in, works best with the most engaging content. Make it personal, make it real, and put your best song out there. It can be raw. That’s ok. But it needs to be good and engaging.

    Ive always wanted to do digital marketing for a bad ass musician.

    1. Couldn’t agree more, but some of us are camera shy! 😉

      In all seriousness, I think that could be really effective with the right type of person or song. Electronic stuff, maybe not as much.

  5. Hey man,

    Thanks so much for the article. It was super informative and an amazing read. I had one quick question if you wouldn’t mind. What was your best percentage of overall, 3-second views to link clicks? Thanks so much.

    1. I’m looking at Ads Manager, and I think that’s going to require some math! Looking at the campaign level, my best outbound click rate is 3.29% for 945 clicks with 4242 3-second views, almost 29K impressions, but I don’t suppose that helps you very much.

  6. Great and detailed article. And a bit overwhelming too! I am trying to create a Listen Now ad for an artist page, and I do not see that option anywhere for the CTA… Is that custom or only available to certain accounts?

    1. Yeah, definitely overwhelming! There’s a drop-down menu where you can select the text for your CTA. I vaguely remember “Listen Now” not always being available, in which case I had to opt for “Learn More”. Maybe it’s only available for certain objectives? Looking back over the article, clearly it was available with a traffic objective.

    1. you can promote a youtube video with google ads.
      It works. BUT, it’s expensive.
      However with paying google themselves you can be 100% sure all the views, reactions you get are 100% real.
      Usually get around 1.5k views for 15 bucks to 20 bucks.

  7. Thanks Brian, and happy new year. One thing I am struggling with is that have found that sending people (in ads, in general) directly to Spotify is frought with problems. When I use an artist URL or spotify track URL in my FB ads, it doesn’t work for everyone on every device consistently…sometimes it links to the web version of Spotify, sometimes it opens the app, sometimes it asks for a login, sometimes it doesn’t…and the URI version works sometimes too (not from FB but from websites) but again, sometimes not.

    Where exactly are you sending traffic to in this example? Is it this link to https://colortheory.ffm.to/classic? I notice that the Spotify button on this page somehow knows whether to open the app or webpage based on what device you’re using.
    1. Is that why you use ffm.to instead of building your own landing page (to save money on ffm.to service).
    2. Assume you are linking to a playlist (and not a song) because free Spotify users can’t play specific songs?

    Thanks so much

    1. Happy New Year Christopher!

      I wasn’t aware of any problems routing directly to Spotify using the track URL.

      The Feature.fm Smart Link you’re referring to sends people directly to the Spotify track URL:


      I would guess that people without Spotify accounts would click on one of the other options, like SoundCloud or YouTube. But if memory serves, free accounts can now listen to specific tracks as of… April? I dunno – I’ve always been a premium subscriber.

      1. Thanks so much man, yeah that makes sense then. My other issue is that I am getting a great CPC rate ($0.02 per click and about 300 clicks since Dec 31) but it doesn’t look like I am getting very good engagement (few, like 2-3, Spotify plays). I am willing to admit my music might not be everyone’s cup of tea but find it hard to believe that of 300 ad clicks only 3 clicked a button on my https://ffm.to/crush landing page page. Any thoughts? Am I just acquiring bots from FB?

        1. I don’t find the 1% Spotify clickthrough rate too surprising since there’s a big play button right at the top of your landing screen. I HIGHLY recommend swapping out your preview for a self-hosted mp3. The audio quality of the Spotify preview is terrible! That alone might be enough to turn folks away at the door.

          Beyond that, maybe your targeting is off. I highly doubt they are bots, but perhaps they aren’t the highest quality clicks. Are these US clicks from 18-34?

        2. Thanks man. I appreciate the feedback on my audio quality. I’m still working on writing and producing good music. That said, trying to follow your steps above for success. According to ffm.to, looks like I had “313 link clicks, 5 preview track plays and 3 button click-throughs”. If I am reading that right, doesn’t that mean 313 people clicked through my ad, and then 5 of them played the preview audio and three clicked the Spotify button? If so, I think it seems odd that while 305 people did absolutely nothing and left after coming to the page. So, yes, while I should get better at producing audio, only 5 people even played the preview track. The other 99% left for some other reason.

        3. That’s how I read it too!

          For comparison’s sake, looking at my latest Smart Link, I’m showing 359 clicks from 127 unique users, with 50 song previews and 260 clicks to service (63 of them to Spotify). Granted, most of that was from direct social media posts and my email blasts, not ads.

          Which makes me wonder if the people clicking on your ads aren’t getting what they expecting. Want to share your ad copy?

  8. Sure — I also get about 80%-90% clickthrough from emails, DMs, and posts. But as you say, this is an ad, so not really comparable in performance. I’ve posted my ad stats and creative below. Where this funnel breaks down is all the people who land on ffm.to and then JUST DONT PREVIEW. I know you speculated that people left because of my bad mixes, but these stats reveal that virtually no one even hears my song. And it appears that of people who do hear it, virtually all click through and (it seems like follow and stream) and I get a strong bump of streams on Spotify relative to them (see below). So I am not sure where the data is saying it’s my music content that’s the problem here.

    As well, I see a mismatch between the FB clicks and the FFM.to reported visits.

    As far as the ad itself, I do get an “meh..OK” 2% CTR from Facebook, but still, that’s not the main problem. For argument’s sake, here’s the ad creative, running only as FB posts. https://imgur.com/a/9OpZM82

    Here’s ad stats for last 7 days:
    53,728 Reach
    1,687 Facebook-reported Clicks
    $0.02 CPC
    672 FFm.to-reported Visits
    650 FFm.to-reported Unique Visits
    32 Song Previews (5%)
    37 Clicks To Service (6%)
    274 streams on Spotify this week (usually @40-50 per week)

    1. First off, 80-90% CTR on emails? That’s unheard of! I’m overjoyed to get 25% CTR. After a 25% open rate, that’s effectively only 6.25% clicking through.

      As for your high FFM exit rate, I think it’s the ad itself. It looks like you’re asking them to watch a video, and they’re expecting that when they click the play button in the image, it’ll start playing. When a click takes them to another service they don’t recognize, with cover art differing from the image in your ad, they’re rightfully confused. After all, your call to action is “watch more.”

      I suggest trying a new ad using the cover art from your release, changing the call to action to “listen now”, and trying something like: Smashing Pumpkins fans are guaranteed to love Ward’s new single “Crush”. Obviously swap out Pumpkins for a better fit, or better yet, try multiple ads targeting fans of different bands.

      1. This thread was so insightful as I am having the same issue as WARD was having. I was so confused by the mismatch in numbers- will check a different copy and will come back to report if anyone is still interested in Nov 2021!

  9. I clicked on your smart link above and selected the Spotify play option. Even though I am a Spotify Premium subscriber and had my Spotify desktop app already open it took me to a Sign Up or Login to Spotify webpage. Audience engagment instantly broken and expensive opportunity lost. I was going to try Smart Links to drive people to my Spotify page but this put me right off and I’ve decided to save my money instead. Helpful info thanks.

    1. Rest assured that’s not how it’s supposed to work. I’m guessing you weren’t logged into Spotify on that browser? I just tried it and it takes me directly to the song page.

      1. Yes I had my Spotify app open but I wasn’t logged into Spotify on my web browser. I notice that happens whenever I click a Spotify link it always wants to open it in a browser even if the app is already open. Spotify should find a way to detect that the app is already open as I like most users just click away too easily when prompted with a sign up or login page. The new playable Reverbnation ads are great as they play right inside the ad. I think that is the future.

        1. True that would probably explain it. If you are on Reverbnation the playable ads are under Promote It. You can chose to display a playable ad on well known websites or Facebook.

  10. Great stuff, as always, Brian, on/in an ever-evolving, shifting landscape. Got a bunch of questions, but will limit to two for now: I was excited to check out my insights for my post hx/engagements, but couldn’t locate Your Page ➤ Insights ➤ See All Posts to save my life. I googled, and found some posts saying that’s only with a business account. True? If so, can I convert my David Nyro page, which I manage under the umbrella of another page, to a business account or do I have to set up another account? (FB is not always the most intuitive or user-friendly site, IMHO. Like, why can’t they have something that says “Want to upgrade to a business account? Click here to learn more.” Hmm. Maybe that’s just me…)
    Loved your tip on FB Audience Insights. VERY useful, valuable.
    Question #2: adding my music to a video ad I created in ads manager using their template. I checked out some YouTube tutorials on this and the page they were working from looked different than mine. (But these toots were also from 2018 and 2017. See my earlier comment about “ever-evolving, shifting landscapes. Constantly tweaking, they are, those busy little elves, which is typically for the better, but also maddening. Just when you figure something out…)
    Anyway, the toots showed a tab to add music to their vids. I found nothing like that when I was created my ads. (Hence, why I fell back on one of my existing FB posts, courtesy of Spotify, which has its own issues.)
    Now, maybe they were using Guided Creation, rather than Quick Creation. Or is this something that needs to be done using a third-party? Speaking of Guided vs Quick Creation, do you have a preference? What are the pros and cons of using one or the other, if any?
    Thanks, Brian!

    1. It’s been so long since I set up my account, I don’t remember specifically choosing a business account – but when I look at my about page, I can “edit business type” so I suppose it must be. I can also confirm that Your Page ➤ Insights ➤ See All Posts is still there for me!

      I didn’t know pages could manage other pages. Hmm… Sorry I can’t be of any help with your “conversion”!

      I also don’t know anything about Guided Creation versus Quick Creation. Sounds straight outta Genesis to me! All I do is upload a video I make in iMovie that already has my music, so there’s no “add music” step.

  11. Thanks, Brian. That addresses my questions quite well. As I was surmising, looks like creating a video with audio needs to be done using another platform, then upload to fb. As for Quick vs Guided, fyi, you’ll typically see a button for one or the other upper right screen in ads manager when you go to set up an ad. Genesis, ha ha. Thanks.

  12. What about instagram stories? I see them used too often more than the feed when it comes to “Listen Now” ads.

  13. Hey Brian

    Really enjoyed your article. I wanted to find out if you have any insight on promoting events via facebook ads or do we just apply the same principles you address in this article like having a informative video about said event then create a Champaign that is optimized for video views to create awareness and then doing the same thing but instead of views we opt for a “learn more” option that takes you to a ticket sales link

    I’d really appreciate your feedback

    1. I haven’t tried promoting an event through Facebook ads, but I imagine the same principles apply. I suppose geographic targeting will take on a more important role!

  14. Have you looked into ToneDen? It’s a platform optimized for music and event marketing. FB & IG ads made super easy and you can target using Spotify interests data

    1. I’ve come across it before and just looked again. I don’t see anything that interests me, and I especially don’t want anything between me and the Facebook Ads interface. I’m sure there’s more to it though!

  15. Hello Brian, thanks for the very informative article. I have tried in the past to send people to the Spotify player by using a link in a post, then I tried to boost the post with no luck. I think I made some kinda mistake. I am gonna look deeper into your suggestions because I probably set something wrong. All the best from Italy.

    1. There are many ways to skin this particular cat! You could send people to the song, your profile, a playlist, or to a smart link. Personally I wouldn’t spend a lot of ad money trying to get people over to Spotify unless it were part of a larger campaign, because the ROI just isn’t there.

  16. i actually promoted my music as spotify link and got 10k reach and 850 likes. but facebook promotion is faked anyway. i got only 500 plays and most of them was by selfpromotion in groups, Check out my page “basseq” i released the album Serum

    1. 850 likes on 10K reach is really impressive, and almost unheard of! That means 8.5% of people who saw your promoted post clicked like, which is crazy since that’s not even the call to action.

      I don’t know what you mean by “facebook promotion is faked anyway.” 500 streams from 10K reach would be impressive, but the fact is you don’t know where those streams came from – one of the big issues with Spotify promotion.

  17. Hi Brian, thanks for this great article. I’m a a full time, reasonably established electronic producer and performer, but I still have a lot top learn about marketing. I was wondering if you could clarify one part of your article. In the section subtitled ‘Multiple Ads, Nope’ you write:

    “start from a page post. Let the likes and comments build up for at least 24 hours before running ads on it. That social proof goes a long way when a stranger sees your name for the first time! From that point on, make sure that all your ads point to the same post. You can always edit the post from your page if you need to. Over time you’ll build up an impressive amount of engagement…”

    It sounds like what you are saying is, make one really good post, and use that post for multiple ads over time, building up proof of engagement. This sounds like a great idea, but from my understanding that would only be possible with boosting, and when using ads manager you have to start the ad from scratch each time? Can you clarify if I’m understanding this correctly, and if so, exactly how to “make sure that all your ads point to the same post”?
    Thanks so much

    1. You’re understanding correctly!

      In order to re-use the post in another ad, you need the post ID. You can find that buried in the URL of a published post, or by going to Page Posts in Business Manager.

      Then in the ad creation dialogue, there’s a spot to enter that ID.

      If you need further clarification, just say the word!

  18. Thank you for this great article! I have been testing with my project and playlists of spotify. I used lookalikes of people who have watched my videos and perfoms very well! I would like to learn about google too 🙂

    1. I’m hoping my upcoming lookalike will perform better than those in the past. I’ve got a review coming up on a YouTube promotion service that could potentially save you the trouble of learning Google Ads!

  19. I just followed your example of a video ad for FB. I’ll let you know how it goes. Did not add lyric titles too mine but will give it a shot next time. The program I was using had terrible looking titles and it looked way better with them off. I watched your video ad example so many times (to see how long it was, etc.) that I found myself humming your song “In Motion” over and over. I’ll walk into a room and catch myself singing it! Good job!!

    1. That’s good news! For me, not your sanity ;). Please do keep us posted! I’ve learned a lot about Facebook ads since this article, which I’ll be sharing soon.

  20. Just wondering…I had the whole ad ready to go and was previewing it and realized the smart link was not working. Does it only work once it goes live in the ad? The link works for me perfectly…but once it goes into the ad even though it is blue like it’s a link it becomes unclickable. My ad is extremely sparse too. Basically two sentences and then check it out on Spotify. It becomes pointless if the link won’t work. I’m gonna try doing it over again which I seem to do every time I create a FB ad. I end up redoing it countless times.

    1. That doesn’t sound right! Are you putting it in the right section? Where it asks for a URL and then you can select the call to action? (“Listen Now”)

      To be safe, be sure to click the little pop-up icon and select “Facebook Post With Comments” to make sure it works.

  21. I think I fixed it. Previously I was doing “video views” and I think that may have been why it was not working. “Traffic” has the option for an url and so forth. I will check it out again in the preview when it schedules. I did check the link on FB and it worked. I like FB ads a lot but they can be very confusing…lolololol

  22. Ugh…still doesn’t work. Worked when I tested it on FB. I guess it’s back to the drawing board with this. Where is the area you mentioned “Facebook Post with Comments”? I could not find it. I’m just gonna let the ad run right now and see what happens. It’s very frustrating and there are just so many steps.

  23. Okay so in the long run it worked…thankfully. The link absolutely does not work when I check it in “preview” but once it goes live it worked. So lots of worry over nothing. However now I can start worrying about how the add is performing!! lolololol…thanks for your help!!

  24. My traffic campaign is going pretty grimly unfortunately…and I think it’s the footage I used for my video. It’s just not engaging to the demographic I picked (18 – 35). I did look at Beeple loops but they definitely work better with electronic music and while my song defies classification in some ways it is definitely not electronic. Anyway I’m gonna cancel the ad later today because I’ve had over a thousand impressions and only 27 clicks with maybe 2 click throughs using the smart link. Pretty sad…lolololol. This is the first time I’ve tried to target 18 – 35 and usually I don’t set age parameters and get a lot more mileage. I also think I messed up on the audience insights and need to refine it a bit more. But yeah I’ll rehaul the footage and make it more visually arresting or even create something custom (which will take forever). This really requires thinking outside of the box which perhaps I’m not really used to doing?

    1. It’s way too early to cancel! A thousand impressions is nothing. You need to give Facebook time to learn who to serve your ad to.

      Then again, if you know for a fact that you can do better, go for it, but maybe next time try adding a few different headlines, calls to action, and descriptions, and let Facebook do the heavy lifting.

      Same goes for the video. If you’re not sure the new one is better, test it against the old.

      I’m constantly throwing new options at Facebook to see if I can beat my reigning champion.

  25. Thanks for the input! I’ve done extremely well on other FB ads and gotten hundreds of likes and hundreds of views. I agree I should not have cancelled but it just seemed to be doing nothing. I am going to follow your advice and pair several things in the audience insights because just going with one seems too restricitive. I’m making a couple new videos for the ads and gonna give them a shot.

  26. I significantly altered the ad and shortened it from 30 to 15 seconds. The new audience is like 7 million but perhaps that’s too much? Here are my results so far (I ran it for two days for $5 a day just as a test): 5000 impressions, 333 link clicks, 2 post shares (wasn’t expecting anyone to share an ad) and over 300+ smart link clicks and 3 song previews. That seems pretty grim that out of 333 link clicks…only 3 people previewed the song…lolololol. Not sure what to make of it really. But certainly there was far more engagement with this ad then the other one. I’m also running my original ad but I changed the parameters and it is already doing better. It was saying in my stats that it was doing “above average” but eventually that column kinda vanished. I don’t know where it goes. Anyway I can tell you any other stats you might be interested in if you wanna ask. I begin to understand why so much money is spent on ads cuz it’s hard to engage with consumers…lololol. Seems like I’d have to run this ad almost constantly to actually see any kind of bump in my Spotify stats!! But long and the short of it is I’d rather pay for an ad that’s engaging people on some level then my other one which was completely dead in the water.

  27. The other thing I noticed was France always has an insane engagement ratio. I’ve have been targeting most of Europe and France always has more clicks than any other country and I noticed that when I targeted Deezer with Feature FM. Do you have any idea why that is?

    1. There’s a very good reason for that, and I’m sorry to say it’s not good news! Indepreneur recently instructed us to restrict targeting to US, UK, CAN, NZ, and AUS because of potential bots. I advise you to do the same!

      Yeah, I think 7M is too broad an audience, especially on $5 a day.

      Pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but if you’re sending people directly to your Spotify artist profile, a track, or an album, you’re not going to be pleased with the results. You lose a ton of people on the bridge page (Feature.fm), and then even more when they click through to Spotify and they have to click again to open the app.

  28. I hadn’t even noticed that and I use Indepreneur…lolololol. Thanks for the heads up. I will definitely change my parameters for targeting. It didn’t even dawn on me that your ad went directly to Spotify…for some reason I thought you were using a Smart Link…lolololol. I do remember you saying that about directly linking to Spotify but I guess I got caught up in following the directions on how you did the video…lololol So with these “Traffic” campaigns…what would you suggest the Call to Action be? Yeah I’ve done way better with the “Engagement” ads.

    1. I’ve tried linking directly and through a Smart Link, both with traffic and conversion campaigns with Feature.fm. All were ultimately unsatisfactory. Have you done the Indepreneur Spotify module? Circa outlines four different types of campaigns.

      You’re better off running a successful Fan Finder first, and then targeting your warm audience.

  29. Hi Brian, sorry if you have already covered this point somewhere in one of your articles. I have finally managed to chip away at the Fan Finder course only to be horrified to find that the required vid needs to be a 3 minute performance in a common/realistic setting. Like yourself, I do not play live so I was wondering if you found a workable solution to not doing that type of ad (singing in a forest or car thing) and if so, if it worked well for the Fan Finder method specifically (as opposed to Fans on Demand which doesn’t require this type of vid)? I am a little stumped what to do now as I don’t feel comfortable with filming myself just singing (in forest or car!!!!) and I am not an artist that tends to put my mug out there too much. I am very much a studio singer/songwriter. I apologise again if you have already covered this – if so, please direct me to the correct article!!! Many thanks.

    1. I’ve been planning to write about my fan finder campaigns, but I haven’t yet. My second one was in fact a live performance video! I don’t like being on camera either, so it was top down showing my hands at the piano, and my daughter flipping poster board cards with the lyrics on them.

      Your next step would be to go to the Indiepreneur and/or INDIEPRO Facebook groups and search for fan finder. Plenty of people are in the same boat as us, and they’ve come up with some creative alternatives!

      1. Thanks! The course seemed quite insistent that this kind of vid is the way it has to be done so I didn’t want to steer off course and jeopardise my chances of results. I will have to have a good think about it and do some research. How did your live performance ad compare with the artwork ones – is it worth doing the live or do you feel it works equally well without it? Do you personally run different ads using the two diff methods of Fans on Demand and Fan Finder or have you found your own successful way of doing it that combines both or favours one more than the other?

        1. My cost per 75% view was way lower with the live one, but the audience wasn’t as focused. In other words, the live performance appealed to a broader group of people. My first one was a screen recording from my DAW where I typed in an overlayed text box. Really nerdy and kinda niche. It cost more to build that lookalike audience, but it’s proven to be more useful.

          But again, if you search through the Facebook groups you’ll find examples where people have found success with other methods. Plenty of other musicians have asked the same thing!

  30. Hi there, I would like to know if you have any experience on CPC costs to be shared here. I have noticed that, running the same ad, but targeting different countries (for example, USA, UK, Sweden, or Germany) can get significant difference in CPC costs. What are your thoughts on this matter? Thanks.

    1. Oh, for sure! US clicks can cost 5-10x what Brazil clicks cost. There’s a corresponding concern that bots may be responsible for the cheaper rates to some countries, but I really don’t know for sure.

      My current personal approach is to advertise worldwide for Spotify (i.e. to all Spotify countries), and to US-only for other cold traffic, as I’m focusing on merch sales, and shipping costs outside of US/Canada are ridiculous.

  31. Hey Brian, I was wondering if you knew anything about promoting music that includes profanity e.g. certain rap music etc. I assume the profanity needs to be muted or taken out? Thanks

  32. Hello Brian, huge fan here.I actually work as a web advertiser so I would say I know my way around facebook ads.
    Recently though we started some campaigns for my band to increase our spotify streams and fans but I’m not happy with the results..
    We are directing the ads directly to spotify (playlists and tunes) The target audience seems qualified enough, but the actual plays don’t grow at all.. It’s true the enbedded player doesn’t appear in the ads, but the clicks still direct to spotify..
    But we are getting like 2 plays for 100 clicks.. :/ It may be due to bots?
    Testing short videos now (with links to spotify), not sure how they may perform.

    Also on some type of ads I’m not allowed at all to use the spotify link directly (I get a red warning).

    Maybe, after the latest updates, the big question eventually is.. which is the most effective way to invest small budgets to increase our plays?
    Thanks a lot

    PS: is there any way to track Spotify plays as “conversion events” and measure them in facebook?
    In Italy it’s not possible, but in US there are more features available

    1. Great to hear from you Andrea!

      The best way to grow your Spotify following is through Instagram Stories as I describe here and here.

      I’m currently spending $6 a day on two campaigns: one to my playlist and one to my profile.

      Whenever I’ve tried sending people straight to a track on Facebook, I get results similar to yours. In other words, negligible. I don’t think it’s bots. Even when you include Spotify as an interest target, you lose most of the audience along the way.

      There’s no way to track plays as conversion events, but you can run conversion campaigns using a Feature.fm bridge page or ToneDen Smart Link, and pixel users along the way. You’re only tracking clicks through to Spotify though, not actual plays or follows.

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