How One Band Acquired 3,000 Facebook Fans For $0.08 Each

Many musicians try things like running competitions, giving away free music or creating viral videos to grow their fanbase, but few ever consider advertising. For the most part, they have good reasons. I’ve yet to see a musician run an effective Google Ads campaign, the cost is too high and the sales are too low.

But Facebook ads are different. We’ve run dozens of campaigns for artists all over the world and each and every time the results have been outstanding. On average, for the price of a new bit of equipment (or a night out for 4 band members!) we can get 1,000 new Facebook fans. In every singe case the fans have been more engaged, more excited and more willing to buy than the band’s existing Facebook fans (who were mostly friends and family).

Advertising won’t be the answer to all your prayers – but investing a few hundred dollars to get a few thousand fans for your band’s page is a great way to start. Once you have this initial audience built for your fan page, you will find any updates you do, competitions your run or videos you post will get much better traction and start spreading.

If you are trying to build a successful Facebook page for your music (or any other art form, for that matter), here’s how we do it step-by-step:

1. If You Like Those Guys…..

If you’ve ever shopped on Amazon you’ll be familiar with this concept. This is the principle we use to build and target our campaigns. Step one is to pick a handful of popular, established artists with a similar style, because their fans will be the ones we advertise to.

If you do a cover version of a hit classic, or collaborate with an established artist, you should always use this as the “hook” in your ad. We’ve had much better success rates advertising the connection our musicians have with established acts, instead of just a similarity. Obviously this option isn’t available to everyone, but use it if you have it.

Image courtesy of Music Machinery

2. Building A Good Landing Page

When people click on your ad, DO NOT send them straight to your Facebook wall. This is the number one mistake we see people making when they run a Facebook campaign. When you spend money on getting someone to click your ad, make sure they land on a customized landing page which will encourage them to click the “like” button. A strong landing page makes the difference between a lasting connection with a fan and money down the drain.

Fan Conversion Statistics From

Some elements we recommend on the landing page:

  • Offer the fans an incentive to like. On the landing pages we build we offer free mp3 downloads to people who click the “like” button.
  • Introduce the music. We often put streaming players on the landing page which let people hear the music before they connect.
  • Make reference to the ad. If they’ve arrived because you advertised “Like Bon Jovi? Then Check out our band!” then put your most Bon Jovi-esque songs at the top of the page to hear, maybe even make those ones free to download.

For more detailed instructions on building a landing tab see How To Create A Landing Tab That Converts New Visitors Into Fans and 5 Free Tools for Making Facebook Landing Pages.

3. Target Your Ads

Once we have the groundwork in place – a list of related artists and a landing page – we pick the most relevant/popular artist from the list and go to work.

If you haven’t ever created a Facebook ad before, check out this tutorial.

When creating your ads, the most important thing to do is target them one band at a time. That means you’re going to have multiple campaigns. In the example above, we’d call this the “Bon Jovi” campaign.

In the “Likes and Interests” box you can search for any other Band’s Page on Facebook and advertise to their fans. Don’t forget to find the section that says “Target users who are not already connected to:” so that you’re only advertising to people who aren’t already a fan of your page.

4. Ask Questions. Encourage Clicks and Likes

You might be surprised by this one, but encouraging people to click “like” in the ad copy can make a HUGE difference. Asking questions and suggesting to click also really helps to draw people’s attention and encourages them to interact.

Encouraging people to “like” the ad will connect them directly to your Facebook page, which is ultimately the goal, but it will also make your ad “better” in the eyes of Facebook. The more people that click on and “like” your ads, the higher the Quality Score is for that ad. Facebook rewards “high quality” ads with a lower Cost-per-Click (CPC). This means that if your ad is performing well on the first day – not only will you get more fans on that day, but you’ll have a cheaper rate for day two, which will get you more fans on day two, which will make it cheaper for day 3…… As you can see, if done correctly this is can become a virtuous cycle.

This is why Facebook ads can work out so cost effectively – if you do it right at the start the prices will drop dramatically.

5. Iterate

Because of this cycle (quality -> lowered prices -> more click -> even lower prices) it’s really important to put up the best ad possible. The price difference between an ad that gets a Click-Rate of 0.8% and one that gets 0.9% can be as much as 25%.

For that reason, we always put all of our advertising budget into the best performing ad. How do we do that? Trial and error!

On day 1 of the campaign we pick roughly 5 images, and 10 different versions of the ad copy. When you combine that you get 50 ads. We submit all of these to Facebook for approval, with a daily budget of $10. This is a bit of a “wasteful” first day, but it allows us to start day two by stopping all but the top 2 or 3 performing ads. We then set the budget to the new daily limit, usually $20-$50.

Doing dozens of different ads can be a chore (we have developed specialized software which we use to save time) but it is well worth it. For every new ad you make you can be sure it will decrease your CPC.

6. Collect Email Addresses

This 6th step is a little bit cheeky, but so far the fans have loved it. When they arrive on the Facebook landing page, we offer them the free song(s) if they sign up to the artist’s mailing list. So when they click “like” they’re presented with a widget like the one below. We always try make it something compelling (i.e. more than just one song), an offer they can’t refuse.

The Results

Here’s three results from recent campaigns we ran which we would view as typical (click each image to enlarge).

As you can see, we were getting clicks for anywhere between 2p and 5p ($0.03 and $0.07). These clicks also converted really well. The number of fans rose from 300 before the campaign to 3,900 afterwards. In total, that was roughly $250 for 3,000 fans, or 8c per fan. The musician and her manager were delighted with the results – can you think of a better way to spend $250?

Because we offered good, targeted promotions – e.g. Cover versions of a popular musician by our artist – We had over 1,000 new email subscriptions over the course of the campaign.

Your Next Steps

What do you think? Will you be running your own Facebook ad campaign soon? Have you had similar success in the past? Leave a comment and let us know.

About The Author

Peter Tanham is the founder of Amp Music Marketing – a digital agency focused on helping musicians, bands and record labels with their online marketing. You can find him on Twitter @petertanham or on the company website