Facebook ads are one of the most effective ways to promote your music as an independent artist, big or small. There are several types of campaigns you can run, but many artists want to use Facebook ads to promote their music on Spotify and other streaming services (and they should, it works incredibly well).
One of the most common questions I get from people trying to run this type of campaign is “should I use a traffic campaign or a conversion campaign when promoting my music on Spotify?“.
What is a traffic campaign?
A traffic campaign is a type of objective in Facebook ads designed to send people to an off-platform website. Generally when using this objective you’re running it as a ‘link click‘ campaign which optimizes to get you as many link clicks as possible. On your video ad you get to choose a link that people click on and when that happens they go to the destination.
The link clicks are what Facebook defines as the result in this campaign.
Here’s what it looks like in Facebook ads manager:
There is also a newer ‘simplified’ campaign creation dialog window, here’s what that looks like:
What is a conversion campaign?
A conversion campaign is a little bit more complex as the ‘conversion‘ action can be anything you want it to be. In our case our ‘conversion’ is when people click a button on our landing page. Instead of the link on our ad sending people straight to Spotify, we send them to a special landing page that has our Facebook Pixel installed.
This is what the landing page looks like using FeatureFM (read my review about FeatureFM here).
The Facebook Pixel communicates to Facebook when a person clicks the button on our landing page to go to Spotify, Apple Music or anywhere else. The campaign still generates link clicks, but now it only counts conversions as the results.
Here’s what it looks like in the old-school campaign creation objective window:
…and here’s what it looks like in the newer simplified campaign creation window.
You might be wondering why i’m choosing ‘Engagement’ here. You can run conversion campaigns through Engagement, Leads and Sales objectives. The difference is each campaign type will look for different types of people based on their behavior on social media. In this case we want engagement.
Conversions vs Traffic
Lets compare conversion vs traffic Facebook campaigns…The fact of the matter is that link click campaign very often flat out don’t work at all for driving people to Spotify, at least not for cold traffic. While you can have a working traffic campaign under very specific circumstances i’ve seen too many people get 1,000+ link clicks and only have <10 streams on Spotify to show for it that I never recommend them to people.
Why is it that the link click campaigns generally fail when the conversion campaign has an extra step for the user to take? Surely the drop-off on the landing page would make the campaign worse than sending people straight to Spotify. That line of thinking makes sense, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.
When you choose to run a traffic link click campaign Facebook is optimizing to get you as many link clicks as possible, they don’t care what happens after the click. This means that fake bot accounts or click farms that click on basically anything are just as valuable as a real person who likes your music, except cheaper. When Facebook see’s cheaper they assume they’re saving you money and find more people like those people, and a feedback loop occurs.
Conversions filter out the junk
When you run a conversion campaign you still get link clicks, but those fake bot accounts or click farms aren’t going to land on your landing page and then also click the button to convert. Bots programmed to interact on Facebook and Instagram aren’t programmed to interact with general web pages in the vast majority of cases. Click farms wouldn’t want to waste time interacting with your landing page. So as a result the bots and click farms don’t trigger conversions at a good price (or at all), and Facebook learns that they shouldn’t target people like that anymore.
In the case of conversion campaigns the feedback loop is a positive one, in the case of link click campaigns its a negative one.
When can I use traffic campaigns?
Typically I only use traffic campaigns when i’m retargeting people I know are legit. Retargeting is when you show ads to people who previously interacted with you in some way. This might include:
- People who previously converted in my conversion campaigns
- People who watched more than 50% of my music videos on Facebook
- People who like my Facebook page
- People who have engaged with my Instagram profile
- People who have messaged me
- People from my email list
There are more possibilities but these are the main ones. Even still, when using a traffic campaign to send people to Spotify i’d still use a landing page. However I’ll make a separate landing page just for this traffic campaign so I can measure the clickthrough-rate of the landing page separate from my conversion campaigns to the landing page.
Another alternative is to use some type of redirect page in this traffic campaign, this will ensure on mobile devices users are properly deep-linked to the Spotify app (otherwise it may open up in the Facebook / Instagram browser, where they won’t be logged in).
Now that you know you should run a conversion campaign instead of a traffic campaign, you probably want to know how to set one up. I made a full guide on this site about how you can set one up yourself. Check it out here: https://musicgrowthmachine.com/facebook-ads-how-to-run-a-conversion-campaign-for-spotify-streams-full-guide/
I also made a YouTube video on this topic, check it out here: https://youtu.be/iSfjY_a01u4