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A Musician’s Guide To Facebook & Instagram Ads In 2022

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(Hypebot) — What works and what doesn’t in social media marketing changes constantly, and our friends at indie music distributor Ditto Music offer a guide for 2022.

from DITTO MUSIC

As a musician, you can use social media advertising to promote your music, get your fans to subscribe to mailing lists, or sell event tickets and merchandise.

If you’re interested in running a successful ad campaign as a musician, this introductory guide will teach you the blueprint for creating and managing Facebook and Instagram ads.


Promote music with Facebook and Instagram ads

Facebook and Instagram offer highly useful platforms to build your brand and showcase your personality as a musician.

Social media marketing as a whole has opened up a massive opportunity for artists to promote their music to a wider audience, but by implementing paid advertising to your music marketing strategy, you are able to maximize and amplify your results even further.

Before you start planning your next – or first – music ad campaign, it’s useful to check out some best practices for ensuring you’re maximizing your chance of success.


Facebook and Instagram ad best practices

What can you do to make your ad stand out from the crowd? Does your music or artist image have a unique aspect to it? You’ll need to combine your strengths and also apply some advertising best practices to your campaign in order to put yourself ahead of the competition.

Make your ad as authentic as anything else you’d post. Just because it’s technically an advert doesn’t mean it needs to be pushed so hard as a paid promotion. Most people will scroll right past anything that comes across as inauthentic or ‘addy’ on Instagram, so you’ll have more success if you keep your content genuine and consistent with the rest of your brand image.


Content 

As with any content you’re posting publicly, you’ll want things to be eye-catching. Whether that be an image or a video, your ad should be high-quality and attention-grabbing.

Put yourself in the shoes of a potential fan. Would the image you plan to use in your ad make you stop and click through as you’re scrolling through Instagram? If not, pick a more interesting one.

Check out similar musician’s accounts and identify what you like. Adapt any cool and engaging ideas to your own audience!

Using videos to promote your new release or upcoming gig can work well across Instagram feed adverts, but you’ll want to stick to short clips for Stories – where people normally tap through quickly.

Swim Deep have used short montage clips from their live shows combined with striking bold text over the top to promote their tour and support acts, catching their audience’s attention and directing them to buy tickets.A Musician’s Guide To Facebook and Instagram Ads - Swim Deep Instagram advert

Optimize your caption

Your caption and description let you show who you are as an artist – while also making the purpose of your ad as clear as possible.

Short and snappy captions are always a good choice, but don’t be afraid of writing longer captions if they match your brand voice and help promote your message. Again, this comes back to your music’s brand and asking yourself what would resonate most with your audience.

Call to action

The success of your ad will ultimately be judged by how many people click through and perform the action you wanted them to take. Whether that be streaming your new single, watching your latest music video, or buying a ticket for your upcoming tour.

Your image and caption should work together to deliver a strong message about whatever it is you’re promoting. Be sure to demonstrate the value of what you’re offering and provide a strong incentive to follow your call-to-action.


Arctic Monkeys‘ approach of to-the-point advertising ensures that they drive traffic towards their intended goals, in this case pushing fans to their store to buy their new album.A Musician’s Guide To Facebook and Instagram Ads - Arctic Monkeys Instagram advert

Hashtags and links

Do you need to include hashtags in your ads?

Including a few hashtags is a great strategy for increasing organic reach on your regular Instagram posts, but they’re not really necessary for your paid ads. You’re already paying for your ad to be shown to the specific audience you’ve selected so it might be better to leave out any unnecessary text.

Of course, there are always exceptions. For example, if the purpose of your ad is to spread awareness about a specific band hashtag such as your new album title, then go ahead and chuck in that hashtag!


Facebook and Instagram guidelines

Before Instagram or Facebook ads show up, they’re reviewed according to Facebook Advertising Policies.

During the ad review process, the following components are checked:

– Images

– Text

– Targeting


– Positioning

– Post-click content and functionality 

Your ad may be disapproved if your content doesn’t fully comply with Advertising Policies, so make sure you’re ticking all of the boxes!


Goals

Now you’ve got a good grasp of how to make your ad more eye-catching, it’s time to start building out your strategy. The blueprint for effective ad campaigns remain the same across Facebook and Instagram (and any other platform you might want to use).

The first step on your checklist should be outlining your ad campaign goals. Instagram and Facebook can help you advertise your upcoming singles, drive traffic to your website or streaming platforms, increase engagement on your live streams or just about any other music goal you can think of.

The key to a successful campaign is that you have a clear way of measuring the success of your ad, so make your goal as specific as possible – with concrete numbers and a deadline outlined from the very start. 

From there, you’ll be able to think about the single most important action you want people to take when they see your ad, and use that to select the most relevant ad objective. Are you wanting to boost visits to your website or drive traffic to your pre-save links?

Have a sit down with your team and decide if you want your ad to help you hit 500 digital downloads of your album or reach 50 merch sales. Whatever your target is, make it clear from the get-go.


Create a campaign in Ads Manager

Before you start advertising your music on Facebook and Instagram, you need to convert your personal profiles to business accounts – making sure that your Instagram account is also linked to your band’s Facebook page.

Once you’ve completed those steps, you’ll be able to promote your posts and stories directly on Instagram, as well as create more long-form campaigns through Facebook Ads Manager.

Step 1: Choose your objective

To start your campaign, just head to the Ads Manager login page. From here, you can create, track and manage your ads across Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger.

Get the ball rolling and click ‘Create‘ to set your campaign name and choose the main objective for your ad. In this example, we’ve chosen Sales as we’re trying to sell band t-shirts.

A Musician’s Guide To Facebook and Instagram Ads - Create a campaign in Ads Manager

Step 2: Set your budget

Now you’ve chosen your campaign objective, you need to set your budget. Setting this up is really simple and Ads Manager lets you choose start and end dates as well as letting you decide what time of day you want your ad running.

Facebook and Instagram ads work in an auction style, so the cost is determined by how much you’re willing to bid, who you target, and the amount of competition there is for that audience. The more relevant your ad is to your target audience, the less it’ll cost and the better results you’ll get.

It’s always a good idea to test out your campaign with a small budget first, and gradually put more money into the ads that are working best for you.

A Musician’s Guide To Facebook and Instagram Ads - set your campaign budget

Step 3: Choose your target audience

After budgeting your ad, it’s time to target your audience. This will more than likely be the same groups that your music is aimed at, but Ads Manager lets you go into great depth – selecting certain age ranges in customised regions.

The most effective ads are highly targeted, so it’s worthwhile to familiarise yourself with the audience you hope to reach. If you have a clear idea of who’s on the receiving end of your ads, all of the creative decisions you need to make will flow from there.

Create a profile of your ideal superfan:

– How old are they? 

– Where do they live? 

– Which other bands do they love? 

Use any existing fan data you have from your email list, band website analytics, or social media profiles for insight.A Musician’s Guide To Facebook and Instagram Ads - choose your campaign's audience

Step 4: Ad placement

Next up is deciding where you want your ad to be shown. The placements section of Ads Manager lets you select if you want to advertise on Facebook, Instagram – or both.

By default, Advantage+ placements will be selected, but if you only want your ad running on Instagram, select Manual and untick everything else.

For the best overall coverage, we’d suggest selecting Advantage+ to run your ad across a variety of Facebook placements, including Instagram and Messenger.

.A Musician’s Guide To Facebook and Instagram Ads - choose your ad's placement

Step 5: Upload your content

Ad placement chosen. Now you can upload your eye-catching piece of content that’s going to draw in your new fans. Customise each pice of media with relevant text for each placement.A Musician’s Guide To Facebook and Instagram Ads - upload your ad's content

The formatting section is where you’ll confirm whether you’re going to run a still image or moving video style ad. Whichever format you decide on, remember to pick something that’s going to stand out and make your audience click through.

Once uploaded, you just need to give everything a double-check, hit the Publish button and push your ad campaign live!

A Musician’s Guide To Facebook and Instagram Ads - choose the format of your ad's content

Make sure you’re following Facebook’s content guidelines like we discussed earlier and upload correctly sized and optimised images and videos.

Your ad’s now out there collecting new fans, but that doesn’t mean the hard work is over. You’ll need to continue keeping an eye on its performance throughout and make any necessary adjustments to stand the best chance of success.


Measure your ad’s performance

Ads Manager gives you all the data and insights you need to understand how well your ads are doing. As long as you’ve set up your Instagram profile as a business account, you can view key metrics for any post or story that you’ve promoted.

The tool allows you to analyse multiple accounts at once – a particularly handy feature if you’re a band manager or small label – as well as easily compare your campaign performances in a single table view.

Analyse your ads across your different accounts to see which performs best in a chart or table layout.

a-musicians-guide-to-facebook-and-instagram-ads-layout.jpg

After your results have been put into your chosen layout, you’ll be able to customise columns to view any specific metrics that you might need.

For example, if you want to check link click stats, just customise the columns you’re seeing to get that data. Click Columns and then Customise columns to select the specific metrics that you want to view or create custom metrics if there’s something missing from the list.

 

Further breakdowns let you dive into things a little deeper again – such as the age of your audience and where they are viewing your ads. This info is particularly useful to you as a musician as you can target these groups in more detail, and potentially head out on tour in those areas!

a-musicians-guide-to-facebook-and-instagram-ads-breakdowns.jpg

Analysing your ad’s results is extremely important to you as an independent artist. It helps you save money – and spend in the right areas – as well as identifying what areas you need to focus on in future campaigns. Ads Manager is a really useful tool to help you boost your music’s online image.


Having a great online presence through organic social media and fan engagement is a key component of building a successful brand for your music, but you can massively amplify this by including paid advertising within your social media strategy. With this guide, you now have the basic steps you need to build an effective ad campaign for your next music release!

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