8 reasons why your Facebook ads aren't working
Updated: Nov 10, 2019
You've heard musicians you respect talk about how awesome Facebook ads are, and you've seen them work great for some bands and artists. Why aren't they working for you? Well, even though it's fairly easy to set up and run a basic campaign, the difference between a n00b campaign and an effective campaign is all about the preparation and implementation. Here are 8 reasons your Facebook ads campaigns aren't working.
1. Your campaign has no objective
What do you want to accomplish by running ads? Inform people of your new release? Promote a live video you made? General awareness of you as an artist? An ad is a great way to get in front of new people, but what happens next? Do you have a system in place to convert these interested people into actual fans through a mailing list or retargeting campaign? Thinking about how you will nurture your relationships will the people who engaged with your ad will help you make decisions about what the ad should be in the first place.
2. You're using the wrong type of content
It's not any old link or video that will get people to stop scrolling and pay attention. Some content types tend to do much better on Facebook than others. For example, still images don't tend to do much for unknown artists. Same with high production, story driven music videos; they look amazing but often require more patience to unfold than the average scroller has. Links to external platforms like Spotify or Youtube aren't great either, because they require the user to leave Facebook, which can seem like an unwanted hassle. Facebook doesn't want this either; their entire business model is set up to keep people on their platform, so you may actually get charged more for your ads if linking to an off platform site than you would otherwise. Keeping your videos native to Facebook will help your engagement and keep your costs down. Consider running a "Video Views" campaign for starters to keep people on platform, rather than "Traffic" which will send them offsite. For more insight on how to tailor your videos for Facebook check out my earlier post here.
3. Your video is boring, poorly done or takes too long to get to the point
That sucks to hear, but it could be true. If your ad isn't getting the attention you wanted, maybe it's just not worthy of it. It could be an issue with your song, the audio quality, the video style, your performance, the whole concept etc. Send your video to people you trust to give you honest feedback before running ads and take what they say to heart. Send it to some strangers too, who won't be worried about hurting your feelings.
If you've gotten great feedback on your video but still aren't getting much engagement, maybe it's taking too long to get to the good stuff. Most users lose interest after a few seconds; if you don't grab their attention in that time with something impressive they're already gone. Lose the cinematic intro, the producer/director's credits etc. Anything that will delay the real action of your video should be cut.
4. Your headline isn't engaging
How often have you clicked on a post that said "New song out on all platforms now, go check it out!" from an artist you've never heard of before? Probably not often, and that goes for almost everyone. The reason being it's just not enticing enough to get us to click on it; we don't know who this artist is and they haven't given us a reason to care. The best headlines grab the viewer's attention and get them thinking "This I've gotta see", or "I'll be the judge of that!". This can be done by making bold claims about your music/performance that invite the viewer to verify your claim, or by asking asking open ended questions, the answer to which can only be found by watching the video.
5. You're only running ads to one audience
Interest targeting in Facebook's Ads Manager is a very powerful way to get your music in front of people who are more likely to enjoy your music than the average person, but if you're only running ads to one interest group you'll have no idea if they're actually the right audience for you. Instead, make several audiences using different lists of artist or musicians as the interest, then run your ad simultaneously to each audience. There should be as little overlap as possible between these audiences for more accurate results. Facebook's algorithm will automatically start sending less adspend to the lowest performing audience and will actually learn how to do this more effectively the more campaigns you run over time.
6. Your audience is too broad
If you're a pop artist that sounds similar to Taylor Swift, it makes sense to target Taylor Swift fans right? Yes, BUT - Tay Tay has a huge audience; over 22 million Facebook users in Canada and the US alone. That's too broad an audience. Ideal audiences fall somewhere in the 1 - 10 million range or you risk casting too wide a net. Taylor also has a 12+ year career that spans different genres and many different types of people with very different interests. She's got fans who love pop music, but she's also got fans who love country. If your music isn't even a little bit country then you probably don't want to attract those fans. A good way to keep those country fans out of your targeting is to run an exclusion for "Country Music" when building your audience. That narrows your audience to about 5.6 million and makes it much more specific to the types of people you want to reach. To do this, go to Ads Manager in your FB ad account, from the "Create Audience" drop down, select "Saved Audience", then scroll down to "Detailed Targeting" and click on "Exclude People". You can also narrow the audience by making it necessary that your target like both your initial interest AND another artist or brand, which can be very effective as well.
7. You're not connecting with the people who engaged with your video
If you got a like, a love, a comment or a share on your video; those are all really great signs that these people like your music! You can invite all of these people to like your Facebook page very easily in the mobile app, and Facebook will inform them that they're getting this invite because they recently engaged with your post, making you seem less like a spammer and them more likely to accept your invitation. You'll also want to let them know that their comments are appreciated. Liking their comment back is a good first step to acknowledge their enthusiasm, but go a step further - comment back in a meaningful way that shows your appreciation. Personally thank everyone who shared your video. Chat with the people who message you to tell you they love your music (this will happen). Creating a personal relationship with your fans is a hugely important way of creating a loyal, engaged audience, so let your personality shine through and show your new fans how much they mean to you.
8. You're not paying attention to your data
Facebook offers you in depth reports on your ad's performance. They can take some time to understand but once you do you'll have a better feel for your audience, and will know what kind of people they are and what kind of content they enjoy best from you. The more ads you run and the more data you get, the more successful your future campaigns will be. Happy promoting!
Not sure how to get your artist career off the ground? Start by downloading your free copy of "Launch Your Music Career: 21 essential actions for the modern artist" and booking your free consultation call with me now.