How To Improve Your Facebook & Instagram Adverts

One of the biggest mistakes I see musicians, and everyone else for that matter, make when using Facebook ads is that they push their content to the wrong audience – or too broad of an audience (to begin with).

When you set up your ads, you need to tell Facebook who you want them to aim these particular ads at – well, who you want to see these ads.

What people typically do is, they start including loads and loads of different interests until the “audience reach” gets bigger and bigger, so it looks like your ad will be seen by millions of people, who all have the interests you’ve highlighted.

This is the wrong way to use Facebook ads. Period.

You can get lost in the vanity of numbers with ads (those like counts) and if you select the wrong audience, or too broad an audience, your advert and content will be shown to lots of non-relevant people. And, they won’t click your link, or consume your content, and you will have wasted time and money on an advert that yields no real results.

Why spend money on pushing your content to lots of people who aren’t interested when you can use a few hacks – so that when you do hit publish – you know your ad is being shown to people who will actually be interested… and will actually engage.

Promoting to these smaller groups of specific audiences, rather than to just a broad range of lots of people, increases the chances of these people moving over to whatever you are promoting – rather than ignoring and carrying on scrolling.

In this article, I want to show you how you should target your ads. I also want to show you a few of the targeting hacks available to you right now – so you really understand the opportunities that exist within Facebook and Instagram advertising.

If you need more one-on-one help with ads – I am personally helping my members with ads this week in the SMART Launch Club.

Start By Creating A Persona

Whenever I am going to run an ad, I always start with thinking about the type of person that I want to see my content.

Who is this person? (I have previously written about fan personas here). This is extremely important with Facebook advertisements.

Whenever I ask a musician, this is always the answer I get, “but everyone can like my music”.

This is the absolutely worst strategy you can have with Facebook ads. The more specific you can be with who you promote to, the better.

Let me give you 2 examples of my clients, and then I’ll show you how we would target audiences with a Facebook ad for each of these different clients, a little further down.

Client 1:

Meet Kenton Lee, a musician from South Africa playing electronic, soul, pop, house, you name it.

He recently launched his single “Echo” and we decided to set up some ads so more people could listen to his song on Spotify and see his video on Youtube.

One problem he faced while targeting people in South Africa was an issue with using mobile data in the country, meaning that, he would get low views on his videos as people generally don’t have big enough data plans to view videos without WIFI.

We know a lot of people have emigrated from South Africa and settled down in other countries, such as New Zealand, Australia, UK and USA.

We therefore decided to target South Africans who have moved away from South Africa, and are now living in these specific countries.

The reason why we wanted to find other South Africans is because when people move away from a country they still are very much attached to, their home country folk tend to “rep” local music abroad, therefore it will be an easier introduction as there is a higher chance they will immediately connect with the ad.

We want to spark a connection with the viewer so they click further and listen to his song on Spotify or watch his music video on Youtube.

We also know that his fanbase (because of the subjects he sings about in his songs) are a bit more mature. Probably between 25-40 (possibly even a little older).

So we know that these people are South Africans, have moved away from South Africa, and are a bit older… However, we still need more information about them because not every single one of these people will necessarily like Kenton’s music.

So we dig deeper into the subjects of interest around Kenton’s brand. Kenton is all about how to better yourself as a person, and how to live a fulfilling life.

Do you know who else is all about that? Tony Robbins.

So if we know a person likes Tony Robbins, there may be a higher chance they’ll appreciate Kenton’s message, as well as his music.

Let’s dig deeper.

Kenton is also a huge fan of Trevor Noah (who is also a prominent character from South Africa) so we figured that maybe the audience will like him as well.

We are starting to paint a picture of the type of person we want to advertise to.

Client 2:

Meet Chris. He is a musician who is living in Valencia. He is also a guitar teacher holding guitar lessons online.

He wants to set up ads to sell more guitar lessons (I have a full tutorial on how to do this here btw).

So again we ask the question: Who are we targeting?

Well, Chris is lucky as he has a customer base already, so all we have to do is look at who his current customers are.

Here is Chris’ current customer profile:

  • Female – Aged 35-50

  • Expat living abroad with family

  • Has children in the age group 6-15 who wants to learn guitar

  • Is living in a city or area with many other expats

So I am sure you can guess by the customer persona, that this is a mother who is buying guitar lessons for her child.

The reason we target only the mother is that most of Chris’ clients are expat families living abroad.

They are used to doing online classes and especially now during the pandemic, the parents have really invested in these activities and the kids speak fluent english as they usually go to international schools.

Out of all of Chris’ previous clients it is only ever really the mother who is actually buying these classes and dealing with the instructor, rather than the actual child who Chris will be teaching, therefore we target the adverts to the mother.

You are starting to paint a picture of who this person is. You can almost picture them right?

Now why would you want to limit yourself and start so specific? You are probably thinking that there are tons of non South Africans who will like Kenton’s music and there must be some dads out there who will buy guitar lessons for their kid?

Well when it comes to Facebook you need to start more specific because the numbers of users are so high. If you start with a more general ad targeting a broad range of people you will never find your core audience and most of the people who will view the ad and click are not your fans or customers.

Then you are paying for traffic and visibility from mostly the wrong people. Since we are spending money on this we want to make sure the money is well spent.

By making sure the audience pool you target are as close to your target audience as possible you will be able to convert more ad views into ad clicks and then into song plays/video views/lessons sold/whatever!

What About Custom And Lookalike Audiences?

If you’ve read some of my previous blog posts/watched some of my previous videos you may be thinking, why don’t we just skip this problem altogether and create a custom audience based on who has interacted with your content on Instagram and then a lookalike based on those? (if you don’t understand what I mean by custom and lookalike audiences then check out what I mean here)

For those that don’t know what I mean, basically you can create some audiences based on the activity you already have right now on your pages.

If someone has viewed, liked, or interacted in any way with your content you can then create a target audience based on this and advertise to them.

So you can show your new content to the people who have already interacted with you. Pretty cool right?

Not only that, you can even create a “lookalike audience” based on this “custom audience” and basically find complete strangers to advertise to based on who is in your “custom audience”. Genius right?

Well there are a few cases you cannot use custom and lookalike audiences.

In both of the cases above you cannot do this as the starting follower base for Kenton are mostly based in South Africa and Chris’ followers are mostly fans of his music and have no idea he is a music teacher or even if they do, may not want music lessons.

They are not his audience for this specific ad so we have to then go and create the audience by selecting specific parameters (I will show you soon).

You also need a lot of data to create these custom and lookalike audiences which you may not have when you are first starting out.

If you were to try this when just starting out, your audiences will not be helpful to extrapolate from because your first followers are generally your friends and family and therefore might not necessarily share interests and behaviours etc with your ideal target audience.

You always have to ask yourself, what type of person will watch this ad and want to engage with it, who will it resonate with.

Then ask yourself; are they currently following you now? If yes go ahead and create some custom and lookalikes and test them, if not then go in and select them yourself.

Ok let me show you how this is done:

Finding Your Audience On Facebook & Instagram

Kenton:

The first bits of information you have to start selecting when it comes to targeting is the basic demographics; gender, age and location.

We know all this already right:

However if you only target based on this basic demographic information it will be way too broad so we need to be a lot more specific.

Facebook then gives you some other options like interests and behavior. This is where we look for Tony Robbins as an interest as well as Trevor Noah (as we mentioned earlier, there are crossover interests between these two people and our client).

When you put in several interests, Facebook will show your ad or content to people who share those interests.

So in this case if we select Tony Robbins and Trevor Noah as interests, Facebook will show your ad & content to people who like Tony Robbins and/or Trevor Noah.

So it adds them all together in a group and promotes your ad or content to all of them, which is fine here, but we still need to narrow down the audience even more.

We could choose that the person has to like BOTH Tony Robbins AND Trevor Noah but that’s not going to help us too much.

We now need to narrow it down further as we are only looking for South Africans who live abroad. So now we look at “behavior” and find the expats who have previously lived in South Africa.

 

Great! I feel like we have found the right kind of person to advertise to now and we also have a good starting audience to begin with for Kenton Lee.

As you can see below we will start with a potential reach of 19, 000. These are all South Africans who live in the selected countries who either like Tony Robbins or Trevor Noah.

They are also in the age group 25-40. I usually like to keep the age range to about 15 years as you would probably use a different ad for a 20 year old than you would for a 60 year old.

You may be tempted to start adding a lot more to make your audience bigger and bigger as you may think that the more people who see it the better.

No! Stop!

The more specific you can get with your targeting the better the conversion will be.

Chris: 

Now let’s take a look at Chris.

First the demographics. We selected some locations that have a lot of expats who were typically living in cities.

We also selected in Western Europe as this fits Chris’ schedule since he is located in Valencia.

Now let’s start finding the person we described earlier.

We need to find parents, and then we need to go into the additional demographics and select the people who have children, and then select the age group of the children you want to target.

We then need to find the expats, the ones who are living abroad. So we go into the behaviors and find the expats.

So instead of adding all these elements we select the NARROW audience. That is the key to the targeting, you have to narrow your target more and more until you have found your target audience.

So we first select the parents and then we narrow further by selecting expats, you can also segment further by selecting guitar as an interest perhaps?

You also may want to narrow further and put that they have to speak English as Chris only speaks English and we are targeting a lot of non-English speaking countries.

Here you have Chris’ audience; we have a pool of 6000 mothers who are expats living abroad with children between the ages 6-12.

 

Pretty cool right? The key is to narrow! Now let me give you some other cool targeting hacks you can use on Facebook and Instagram:

Niche Vs. Specific 

You may want to choose an interest area like a musician or band who is similar to you and your music, but again, be specific! Don’t just pick the biggest artist who makes the same genre of music as you.

Let’s say you are a rapper and you want to advertise to fans of similar artists to find your audience. If you choose for example Drake:

You suddenly get a very large pool of people, and there are so many random people who like Drake who might not like your music, as Drake appeals to such a broad range of people and is so popular.

People who don’t even really like hip hop might listen to Drake so selecting him as an interest will not really help you if the music you’re making doesn’t crossover into pop or mainstream appeal.

You need to narrow it down and think of other niche artists your fans are following. For example, here we have Earl Sweatshirt, who has a far smaller audience than Drake, but you know that most of the people who like him are probably more interested in hip hop and rap.

The more niche the better.

8. You may be tempted to start adding more and more interests so your target audience just gets bigger and bigger. I recommend finding a few interest areas that really hit the nail on the head rather than trying to cover yourself with lots and lots of interests.

Rather than casting a large net far and wide, try casting a smaller more specific net in tighter, more specific areas.

Interested In Upcoming Events

Facebook & Instagram have ways to target people who use the “interested in upcoming events” functionality.

This will be huge for musicians when we get back on the road. If you can promote your event to people who like going to events then you will have a higher conversion of ad views into ad clicks than if you try to find and convince people who never go to events.

In A Relationship Or Just Got Married

If you’ve made a song about love or getting married try finding people who have just got into relationships, or recently engaged, or just married to target your ad towards.

Birthdays

Have the perfect birthday song? Or do you have a song about a star sign perhaps? Then target other people with birthdays coming up or who share the same star sign?

You have to make your ad relatable.

These are just examples of the different methods of targeting you can do on Facebook, but this will help you in finding the right audience for your ads so you get the best return on the money you spend.

The main thing to remember is that being too broad here will only harm you. If you need more help in setting up your ads for our music launch join the SMART Launch Club NOW for only $1 and you will personally get my help.

Rebecca Smart Bakken

Rebecca Smart Bakken

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About Me

Rebeccca

Hi there! I’m Rebecca, a world citizen and digital marketing nomad.

Some of you may have also seen me on HGTV´s show “Beach Around the World”.

Over the years, I’ve made a name for myself in the tech/ startup industry by helping 250+ startups scale with growth hacking strategies.

Now I want to help musicians and artists to promote their music and engage better with fans on social media.

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