One common thing that I hear a lot from musicians is “I used Facebook ads once and it didn’t really work for me.”
And that’s common for a lot businesses not just musicians. But as musicians we’re not selling a solution to a problem like a dentist, or a lawyer. So we have to go about marketing music differently.
What a lot of musicians do is they have an album or a single to promote. They make a post that says something like “Check out my sweet new single!” Then they put a million different links to iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, SoundCloud, Youtube, Bandcamp, and tell people to listen to it for free.
There’s a few problems with this method.
The first problem is when you send someone to a 3rd party platform like Spotify it’s pretty much impossible to keep track of how many people went there from your ad. Also you can’t follow up with these people because you don’t have an email or way to follow up with them again.
But the second problem is more related to human psychology. As humans when we meet someone for the first time we are really unlikely to do anything they ask us to do.
So if a stranger walks up to you and asks you to do something it’s not going to happen. If a friend asks you to do something you are much more likely to do what they want.
This “GO CHECK OUT MY MUSIC” ad is doing the exact same thing.
I like to make an analogy to explain this.
Lets say I want to promote my cool new country music album, so I go down to my local country music bar, walk up to the first person I see and say:
“Hey I got this cool new album I really think you’d like it. You can listen to it for free but we have to listen to it outside in my car because I only have one copy of it. So you want to come check it out?”
The chances of that person doing that are slim to none.
And that’s what a lot of musicians are doing with their ads.
You’re basically asking a complete stranger to stop everything that they’re doing and then leave Facebook to go listen to your music.
And there’s actually a much better way to promote your music with Facebook ads.
Imagine this different scenario...
You go into your local country music bar, but this time you go up to the DJ or bartender and say “Hey if I give you a few bucks would you play my new album for everyone to listen to?” They say yes and put it on.
Now you start looking around the room and you notice some people nodding their head and grooving to your sweet tunes.
You go up to them and start a conversation and tell them about your band, that you moved here from a different city. At the end of this interaction you say “I’d love to give my EP for free can I get your email to send it to you?”
They say yes. And boom. You now have a direct connection to someone who is interested in your music, and could potentially become a fan.
We can do this same thing on Facebook by running a paid video ad. Don’t put any links or anything crazy in the text. Just a simple headline. What this does is it lets people discover your music naturally and if they’re curious they’ll click over to your page and learn more about you.
And if you’ve set up your custom audience lists in Facebook you can run a follow up ad to them later on asking them to give you their email in exchange for your album for free.
This method is a much better way of advertising your music on Facebook because you’re not asking a total stranger to do something. Instead you are sharing your music and they can choose to watch your video or scroll onto the next thing.
So stop being a weird stranger in a bar asking people to do things!