Hello everyone! So 12South has been doing a lot of targeted FB ads for a variety of people lately, and we felt like we should share what has been working for us. Without further ado, our Facebook Ads best practices for album releases:
When it comes to budget:
First off, a few quetsions: what's the benefit you're hoping to get out of this? What's the potential ROI? What's the sales funnel? i.e. ad clicked -> landing page to purchase -> album purchased? These questions shape your strategy. If that's the kind of campaign you're shooting for, test your audience and run ads beforehand to determine the cost of getting a user to click and convert and compare that to your profit upon purchase. Then, come up with a suggested budget or determine if the conversion rate is even high enough to consider it a potentially profitable campaign.
Bottom Line: Use a few preliminary ads to figure out your average conversion cost and base your budget off of those results.
What about audience?
Assuming the Call to Action is a record purchase, then we recommend building an Audience via a Custom Audience Pixel on your website well before running a "Buy this Now" ad so you can target people who have already interacted with you. For more on how to set up an audience pixel, click here. In general, you're going to get a super low conversion rate running a "Buy the New Record" style ad to anyone who isn't already a fan, so start running more "Top of Funnel" and "Middle of Funnel" (see Hubspot’s explanation of funnels here) ads to a larger audience offering a free single, cover video, etc. as you get closer to the release date to help build out your audience. The folks who convert into this ad will be our target audience to buy and you'll waste a lot less money marketing to these people. It's all about hitting the right people with the right message/offer.
Bottom Line: Don’t push the album sale to people who don’t have any affiliation with your brand. Would you buy an album from an artist you’ve never heard? Use middle of the funnel sales techniques to get a core audience for your official ad campaign before the release.
And the ads themselves?
The last piece here is the copy / imagery, and unless you’ve run a similar campaign to the same audience before, no one really knows what copy or image is going to work. In order to figure this out, we recommend generating between 100 / 200 different ads for each campaign (yes, there are tools for that) with minor variations of copy, CTA links, and artwork, then spend the first week letting these A/B test to find what converts the best for the audience while bidding for clicks. Afterwards, swap to bid for oCPM (Facebook optimized bids for impressions), which will give you a much lower Cost per Conversion if it's a high converting ad.
If everything goes to plan, when you switch to oCPM you should see a nice drop in click price. Then you put the remainder of your ad budget into this and monitor for any minor tweaks (disabling an ad that hasn’t received any clicks in a few days etc.). Don’t just start the campaign and walk away — make sure you’re keeping tabs on it!
Bottom line: Don't assume you know what copy and imagery is going to work the best. Test first and then focus on the high-performing ads.
So there you have it! Short, sweet, and hopefully a bunch of actionable items. We’d love to hear what has and hasn’t be working for you!