A Guide to Using Facebook & Instagram Ads for Musicians

    Social media is integral to our daily lives, offering the latest news, interactions with friends and creators, and serving as a unique and effective marketing platform.


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

    If you want to run a successful ad campaign, this introductory guide will provide you with the blueprint for creating and managing ads on Facebook and Instagram.


    Promote music with Facebook and Instagram ads

    Facebook and Instagram are excellent platforms for building your brand and showcasing your personality as a musician.

    Social media marketing provides artists with a significant opportunity to promote their music to a broader audience. Incorporating paid advertising into your music marketing strategy can further amplify your results.

    Before planning your next—or first—music ad campaign, it's helpful to review some best practices to maximize your chances of success.


    Best Practices for Facebook and Instagram Ads

    How can you make your ad stand out? Does your music or artist image have a unique aspect? To stay ahead of the competition, leverage your strengths and follow advertising best practices.

    Ensure your ad is as authentic as your other posts. Just because it's an ad doesn't mean it has to feel like one. People tend to scroll past anything that seems inauthentic or overly promotional on Instagram, so you'll achieve better results by keeping your content genuine and consistent with your brand image.



    As with any public content, you'll want your ads to be eye-catching. Whether it's an image or a video, ensure it's high-quality and attention-grabbing.

    Think like a potential fan: would the image you plan to use make you stop and click while scrolling through Instagram? If not, choose a more compelling one.


    TIP: Look at accounts of similar musicians and note what you find appealing. Adapt those cool and engaging ideas to suit your own audience!


    Using videos to promote your new release or upcoming gig can be effective on Instagram feed ads. However, for Stories, where users typically tap through quickly, it's best to stick to short clips.

    Swim Deep has utilized brief montage clips from their live shows with bold text overlays to promote their tour and support acts. This approach captures their audience's attention and directs them to purchase tickets.


    Optimize your caption
    Your caption and description are opportunities to showcase your identity as an artist while clearly conveying the purpose of your ad.

    Short and concise captions are effective, but longer ones can also be beneficial if they align with your brand voice and help convey your message effectively. Consider what resonates most with your audience based on your music's brand.


    Call to action
    The success of your ad hinges on how many people click through and complete the desired action—whether that's streaming your new single, watching your latest music video, or purchasing tickets for your tour.

    Ensure your image and caption work together cohesively to convey a compelling message about what you're promoting. Clearly demonstrate the value of your offering and provide a strong incentive for viewers to follow your call-to-action.

    Arctic Monkeys use a direct advertising approach to effectively drive traffic to their store for purchasing their new album.


    Hashtags and links

    Do you need to use hashtags in your ads?

    While hashtags can boost organic reach on regular Instagram posts, they are generally unnecessary for paid ads. You're already targeting a specific audience with your ad spend, so it's often best to avoid adding unnecessary text.

    However, there are exceptions. For instance, if your ad aims to promote awareness of a specific band hashtag, such as your new album title, then including that hashtag can be beneficial.



    Facebook and Instagram guidelines

    Before Instagram or Facebook ads are displayed, they undergo a review process based on Facebook Advertising Policies.

    During this review, the following aspects are assessed:

    • Images
    • Text
    • Targeting
    • Positioning
    • Post-click content and functionality

    If your content does not fully adhere to Advertising Policies, your ad may be disapproved. Ensure you meet all the criteria to avoid issues during the review process.




    Now that you understand how to make your ad more attention-grabbing, it's time to develop your strategy. The fundamentals of effective ad campaigns remain consistent across Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms you may consider using.

    The first step on your checklist should involve defining your ad campaign objectives. Instagram and Facebook can assist you in promoting upcoming singles, driving traffic to your website or streaming platforms, increasing engagement during live streams, or achieving any other music-related goal.

    A key to a successful campaign is having a clear method for measuring ad performance, so ensure your goals are specific, with defined metrics and deadlines established from the outset.

    Next, determine the most crucial action you want viewers to take when they see your ad, and select the appropriate ad objective accordingly. Whether you aim to boost pre-save links or encourage engagement on your Reddit forum, align your ad objective with this primary goal.

    Discuss with your team to decide if your ad should aim for targets like reaching 500 digital album downloads or achieving 50 merchandise sales. Whatever your objective, clarify it clearly from the start.



    Create a campaign in Ads Manager

    Before launching your music advertising on Facebook and Instagram, it's essential to switch your personal profiles to business accounts. Ensure your Instagram account is linked with your band's Facebook page. Once these steps are completed, you can promote your posts and stories directly on Instagram and initiate more comprehensive campaigns using Facebook Ads Manager.


    Step 1: Choose your objective

    To begin your campaign, navigate to the Ads Manager login page. From there, you can create, monitor, and oversee your ads across Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger.

    Initiate the process by clicking 'Create' to designate your campaign name and select the primary goal for your advertisement. In this instance, we've opted for Sales as our aim is to sell band t-shirts.


    Step 2: Set your budget

    Now that you've selected your campaign objective, it's time to establish your budget. Setting this up is straightforward in Ads Manager, allowing you to specify start and end dates and choose the times of day your ad will run.

    Facebook and Instagram ads operate on an auction basis, meaning costs are influenced by your bid, target audience, and competition level for that audience. The more relevant your ad is to your audience, the lower the cost and the better your outcomes.

    Starting with a small budget to test your campaign is advisable, scaling up investment in ads that perform well over time.


    Step 3: Choose your target audience

    After setting your ad budget, it's crucial to define your target audience. Typically, this aligns closely with the groups your music appeals to, but Ads Manager allows for detailed targeting—such as selecting specific age ranges and custom regions.

    Effective ads are highly targeted, so understanding your audience well is key. Utilize existing fan data from sources like email lists, website analytics, or social media profiles to refine your targeting.


    Step 4: Ad placement

    Next, decide where your ad will appear. Ads Manager's placements section enables you to choose between advertising on Facebook, Instagram, or both platforms.

    By default, Advantage+ placements are selected, but if your focus is solely on Instagram, choose Manual and deselect other options.

    For comprehensive coverage, selecting Advantage+ ensures your ad reaches various Facebook placements, including Instagram and Messenger.


    Step 5: Upload your content

    With your ad placement selected, upload your attention-grabbing content designed to attract new fans. Customize each piece of media with relevant text tailored for each placement.

    In the formatting section, confirm whether you're using a still image or a dynamic video ad. Regardless of format, choose content that stands out and entices your audience to engage.

    After uploading, review everything, click Publish, and launch your ad campaign!

    Ensure compliance with Facebook's content guidelines and upload properly sized and optimized images and videos.

    While your ad is live and gathering new fans, ongoing monitoring of its performance is essential. Make adjustments as needed to maximize your campaign's success.



    Measure your ad’s performance

    Ads Manager provides all the necessary data and insights to evaluate your ads' performance. With your Instagram profile set as a business account, you can view key metrics for any promoted post or story.

    This tool allows you to manage and analyze multiple accounts simultaneously, which is particularly useful for band managers or small labels. You can compare campaign performances in a single table view, helping you identify which ads perform best.

    You can customize columns to display specific metrics. For example, if you're interested in link click stats, you can adjust the columns to show that data. Click Columns and then Customize Columns to select the specific metrics you want to view, or create custom metrics if needed.

    Further breakdowns let you delve deeper into your audience's demographics, such as age and location. This information is invaluable for targeting these groups more effectively and planning potential tours.

    Analyzing your ad results is crucial for independent artists. It helps you allocate your budget wisely and identify areas for improvement in future campaigns. Ads Manager is an excellent tool to enhance your music's online presence.

    Maintaining a strong online presence through organic social media and fan engagement is vital for building a successful music brand. You can significantly amplify this by incorporating paid advertising into your social media strategy. With this guide, you now have the fundamental steps to create an effective ad campaign for your next music release!


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