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Do you believe the music industry is dead?

Maybe you’ve heard that the market is “oversaturated”. Perhaps you’ve released songs expecting fame and glory, but in return found that you had no sales, streams, or die-hard fans.

Hitting a little too close to home?

Don’t sweat it – many musicians and singers are on the same path as you, wondering why it’s so hard to grow a loyal fan base.

The reality is that the opposite is true: it’s never been easier to launch yourself!

But there’s something you should know – indie artists aren’t just picking up steam out of the blue and for no reason.

No, they’re using paid advertising. And, it’s working!

Here’s a crash course on how to set up Instagram and Facebook ads so you can get your music heard and establish a fan base.

Have A Plan

If you don’t know your way around marketing, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

While you may think you’re just a musician or band, but the truth is you’re a business trying to sell something: YOURSELF.

So, read up on marketing books. Learn how a funnel works. Learn how audiences move from cold (never having heard of you) to warm (learning about who you are) to fire (buying your product and advocating it to others). This is the marketing funnel, and you need to decide what your goals are before you begin. 

This will differ from artist to artist. Maybe you want to grow your YouTube account, or maybe you’re looking to get more streams on Spotify. Your strategy and results will depend heavily on what you’re trying to accomplish!

A company that gives virtual music lessons versus a studio musician looking for remote work will have different goals – and that’s okay! But be sure to determine what your goals are before wasting money on a campaign that doesn’t do anything for you.

Choose Your Platform

Next, you’re going to have to figure out whether you want to advertise on Instagram, Facebook, or both. Each platform has its own draws and pullbacks, but choosing will mostly come down to your music.

Knowing your audience is crucial when making this decision.

If you’re going after gen Z with your music, chances are they’re not hanging out on Facebook.

If you’re looking to find parents, middle-aged people, or niche-specific fans (think metal, indie, etc.), then Instagram might not be the best platform choice either!

Flip this on its head and you might have a solid plan (parents and middle-aged people on Facebook, gen Z on Instagram).

The last consideration would be the type of ad you run. This will also play a role in determining which platform you advertise on.

Instagram Story ads are hot at the moment, but you must make a catchy video that can hook someone in 15 seconds or less.

In contrast, Facebook is best at in-feed, long form videos. People on this platform are more likely to check out your video if it’s engaging. Plus, your video on Facebook can be a lot longer, allowing audiences to discover you more organically.

Setting Up Your Ads

Once you have your plan and you know which platform(s) you want to be on, head over to Facebook Ads Manager and set up an account. To do this, you’ll need to have a band page and a credit card on file ready to go.

From here you can set up a campaign. This is where you can specify budget and targeting.

If you don’t know your target audience, then this can backfire on you easily. Use interest targeting and allow Facebook to find your ideal fan. Audience sizes between one to 10 million are ideal. Make sure they’re not too small, or too big when using interest targeting.

It’s critical to target the right people. This could be targeting fans of other similar sounding bands, brands, or even religious groups (for example, I target Christians because I’m in this worship band).

Targeting also includes countries you want to advertise to. Don’t be afraid of including all green light countries in your ad. Be mindful of bots and click farms from other countries though.

After the campaign tab, you can move into the ad sets, which contain the individual ads. This is where you upload a video or picture of whatever you’re trying to advertise, as well as the “copy” or text on the ad.

Again, there’s a lot of marketing philosophy on good copy, so make sure to write engaging content that’ll hook the consumer and get them to click on your ad.

Make sure to insert the right URL to the landing page you want to take your audience to.

Double check your Spotify Artists page URL or be certain that the landing page you’re taking your audience to allows them to perform the action you want them to take.

Other Considerations

Using paid advertising will be a journey, so don’t be stressed if this information is overwhelming you.

If you’re ready to keep going, here are some advance techniques you can try as you get more comfortable.

Optimization

You’ll want to monitor your ads as they’re running and make sure you’re getting the cheapest clicks, ROI, and results you can possibly get.

This process is known as optimizing your ads. There are professionals who offer this a service, and as such, if you want to get good at it, you’ll need to do your homework.

But, it’s still important to know as you began to scale your ads and career.

Pixeling

You may be familiar with the “Facebook Pixel”. If not, it’s basically a piece of code that fires and tracks users across the web.

Ever visited a web page and started seeing ads for it almost immediately across your social timelines? That’s the pixel at work, and you can use it to your advantage to target interested audiences.

A common technique is to include a bridge page between your ad and the final landing page you take your audience to. This is great for “data holes” like Spotify where you can’t track people if you send them there.

Rinse, Repeat & Grow

You’re not going to blow up overnight with advertising. But you will slowly gain exposure and accrue new listeners, fans, and followers.

Rinse and repeat with targeting cold fans, warming them up to your brand, and then engaging them with actions like listening to your music or buying merchandise.

You can do a lot even with a small daily budget, and it’s not too late to start.

Crack the code on the music business. Get THE MUSIC ENTREPRENEUR CODE book.

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