• 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 independently. Facebook ads specifically are inexpensive and with a thoughtful, well researched approach, they work wonders and could be a key factor in helping you to reach your goals for your next release. Today I want to explore two different approaches you could take with ads to get your music heard.

This post isn't about the technicalities of how to set up your ad, if that's what you need I'd recommend heading over to YouTube and checking out some hands on videos that explain Facebook's Ad Manager.


Content is key

It's estimated that the average person is exposed to between 6000 and 10,000 ads per day, so before you dive in to setting up your own, you need to remember how crucial it is to have the right content for your target audience that will grab their attention and keep it.

When somebody is scrolling through their newsfeed or swiping through stories, you only have one second to catch their eye and a couple more to establish an immediate connection. Once you have that, you need to send a clear message and finish with a call to action - What do you want them to do? Like your page? Hit the link in the ad? Maybe share it? There has to be one clear action for your audience to take or they'll just keep scrolling and forget about it.

Most importantly, your ad's content needs to hold value for your target audience. It needs to be something they'll enjoy and appreciate, so a static picture of your cover art and a link to Spotify probably isn't going to cut it.


1. Draw Fans Into Your Community

The first approach to ads is to go in solely with the aim of building your online community. This is all about easing people into your world by giving them an insight into what you're all about, asking them to like/follow your page and converting them into fans, who over time, will follow your music keenly and support your journey as an artist. Remember, you're looking for fans, not ordinary listeners, so you're not going to be pointing them straight to Spotify, with this approach you're going for the long game and quality over quantity.

For the content of these ads, you should create a shareable video that forms an instant connection with your target audience. Stay away from boring lyric videos or stale music videos of your singing into the camera and get creative! Here are a few ideas:

  • A captivating live performance. You could film a live performance video that's interesting, out of the ordinary and shareable. Maybe you could use looping, do something interesting with layering and multiple takes, or make it visually eye catching - whatever suits your music best! It doesn't have sound exactly like your produced track, the most important thing is that it stops your audience from scrolling. Only use this if you can make it really creative and engaging!

  • Join a trend. If you're the sort of artist who doesn't take themselves too seriously and enjoys a laugh with your audience, you could create a video taking part in a TikTok trend or meme.

  • Tell a story. Is there an interesting or thought provoking story behind your journey as an artist? Or perhaps behind your latest single? You could use your ad to tell this story and connect with potential fans. Grabbing their attention in the first second will be crucial here, so you might to make it really captivating visually. Be sure to use captions for those who don't have their sound on!

Remember, give your target audience value and don't point people outside of Facebook or Instagram. Your call to action should be an invitation to follow your or like your page. From there, they'll continue to be drawn in by your regular, engaging content and will form a connection with your music and journey!


2. Send Listeners Straight to Spotify and Boost Those Streams

This second approach is the opposite. With this, you'll be sending people straight to your song on Spotify with an aim of boosting your streaming numbers, but not necessarily generating avid fans.

To do this, you'll need to create a Spotify playlist that includes your song at the top, and fits a certain mood or activity that would suit your audience. For example, if you're an acoustic singer-songwriter with a younger audience, you could create a "Chilled Acoustic Study Playlist" filled with songs similar to yours. Or, if you're a dance producer, you could create an "Electronic Workout Playlist". Whatever suits your latest release and target audience the most!

Next, you're going to use Facebook's targeting to put your ad in front of potential fans who will be partaking in the activity or mood you're soundtracking. If you're going down the acoustic music for studying route, you can target students who also like similar music to your own.

Even though this is less personal, content is still king. Make sure your ad demands attention with a visually captivating image or video. This could have your song playing in the background!


Bonus Tip

A quick bonus tip - ads that contain a banner at the top always perform better. This could be a simple coloured strip with some sort of caption on it. If you're taking the first approach, you might use a quote from somebody who has reviewed your music lately - For example it might say, "Manchester's most exciting new act". Or, if you're going down the playlist route, you might simply write something like "The ultimate productivity playlist".


Looking to grow your fanbase on Spotify? Download my free guide - 7 Steps to Getting Playlisted and Maximising Your Music on Spotify here.