Last month I decided to experiment with Facebook ads for music promotion. Specifically, to try and boost my Spotify plays count. In this post I’m going to share how I set up my campaign, targetting settings, and some numbers that resulted.
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First, you’ll need to get a Facebook for Business account. Doing so will unlock many custom targetting settings for you to take advantage of, as opposed to just clicking the “boost post” button on Facebook or Instagram. You can get started by heading over to Facebook Business Manager and logging in with your existing Facebook account.
It would also be a good idea to have a Spotify Canvas for the song you’re trying to promote as they’ve shown to increase the likelihood of saves, shares, and playlist saves.
Once you’re in Facebook Business Manager, create a new campaign and choose “traffic” as your “marketing objective”. For the daily budget, you can put in anything over 1$. I recommend starting low and then scaling up once you zero in on your target audience and have a working ad campaign set up.
The second step in the campaign setup process is creating an ad set. This involves choosing your target audience, age, gender, location, etc. Starting with location, from previous experience with Facebook Ads, I’ve learned that the “worldwide” targeting option will get you the cheapest clicks, but the majority of them would be bots and thus a waste of your resources. So what I recommend doing for now is to only target first-world countries like the USA, Canada, the UK, etc. Don’t worry, we will revisit location targeting later on once we have the campaign set up.
After location, you’ll be prompted to select the age range. You should have some idea about the target age group of your music based on genre, but I also recommend consulting your audience insights in your Spotify for Artists, where you’ll get a report on your existing listener’s age groups. Choosing age groups where you already have a good amount of listeners is a good way to make sure your budget isn’t being depleted on clicks by users who are most likely not going to end up saving your music to their libraries. In my case, the target age group was 18-34.
For gender, unless you’re making a very specific kind of music, just leave it on “all genders”.
The first thing you want to add in “interest” is obviously Spotify. This makes sure that whoever sees your Facebook ad likely has a Spotify account. Facebook has the data on this since a lot of Spotify users link their Spotify accounts to their Facebook.
Following that, you want to click the “narrow audience” button which allows you to target specific interests within the Spotify interest group. Here is where you want to add genres that your music falls under. You can also add similar sounding bands, for which you can once again consult your Spotify for Artists “Listeners Also Like” segment.
You want to maximize the probability of clicks that will result in Spotify plays, and Spotify plays that will result in Spotify saves. Keep an eye on the “Audience Size” meter on the right-hand side, you don’t want it to be too broad which would waste your budget on poor quality clicks, while too narrow of an audience means your ad might not run at all.
You can upload a picture or video to show for 15 seconds along with your music. For my own experiment, I used 15 seconds of the chorus from my own single “Two Stars” lyric video. Of course, I had it cropped for a vertical aspect ratio to fit the stories’ format, and added a Spotify logo over it. If you don’t have a music or lyric video, consider my lyric video services, or just use your release artwork. Videos tend to get more engagement than pictures, which means your budget is being spent more efficiently.
But there’s no reason to limit yourself to one option. Try adding different segments of your song, different video, and pictures to let Facebook figure out which one to show.
Next, put your Spotify song link in the “Website URL”. You can get this by going to your artist’s page on Spotify, right-clicking the song you want to promote, then clicking Share, then Copy Song Link.
For the call to action go with “Listen Now” and once you’re happy with the Ad Preview on the right, scroll down and click confirm. Your ads should start running soon, congratulations!
Once you have the Campaign all set up and running, I recommend duplicating the Ad Set and changing the target countries. This time go for countries with emerging economies. The reason for this is the cost of clicks varies wildly based on the user’s location, and dividing your campaign into various ad sets gives you the tools you need to make sure Facebook doesn’t spend your entire budget on fake or very expensive clicks either.
For this idea to work, it’s very important to enable the “Ad Set Spending Limit” for each Ad Set and allocate it a certain portion of your total campaign budget. Once you’ve done that, I recommend adding 1 or 2 more Ad Sets targetting different country groups. Over time you can see which locations work and adjust the spending limit of each Ad Set accordingly.
During the time my campaign ran, I managed to get Spotify plays for an average of 8 cents. Based on the numbers I got in my Spotify for Artists, I can also estimate that the song was added to the listener’s library about once for every 1$ spent, and the artist page followed about once for every 6$ spent. While these numbers might not seem that great, remember that they can all trigger Spotify algorithms to add your music to their algorithmically generated playlists, which could significantly boost your Spotify plays.
Do not expect your first campaign to make a return on investment, especially with Spotify offering payout cuts for promotion. But listeners who follow your artist page will be notified of any future releases, which can grow your audience and bring in more plays in the future. Remember that it’s not a race, it’s a marathon!