If you want to be able to use Facebook ads to run conversion ads to promote your music on Spotify and other music platforms, you need to be able to own a domain name and properly set it up for iOS14.
Prior to April 2021 you could run Facebook conversion ads for any website you could install your Facebook pixel onto, but with the creation of Apple’s iOS14.5 came a host of new rules Facebook had to abide by to continue tracking people with their ads.
Initially the requirement was you had to have your own domain, verify it, and select which conversion events you wanted to track on your website. However in roughly October 2021 they eased back this requirement and its now just recommended.
If you do not set up a custom domain and verify that domain, you can’t run ads to people on iOS14.5+ devices that have opted out of tracking. This drastically decreases the amount of people you can target with your ads. Roughly 30% of the smart phone market is Apple devices, and a large majority of Apple users update their operating system within a month or two of it becoming available.
There are 4 steps to complete if you want to run Spotify conversion ads to people on iOS14.5+ devices:
- Purchase a domain name
- Connect your domain to your website or smart link
- Verify your domain with Facebook
- Choose which events to allow on that domain with Aggregated Events Measurement
Note that this is assuming you already have a Business Manager account on Facebook. This isn’t the same as Business Suite (its so confusing). Basically there are two types of ad accounts on Facebook, personal and business accounts – you need a business account to setup iOS14 conversion tracking. If you do not have a Business Manager account you’ll need to create that prior to step 3.
Do you need a website?
Nope! While its great for any music artist to have a website its not required for this. The domain name is just the actual name of your website, and thats significantly cheaper and easier to acquire than an actual website.
Buy a domain
The first step in this process is for you to purchase / register a domain with a domain registrar. This is typically relatively cheap, only costing around $10-$20 per year in most cases. Note that some domains will be priced much higher if they’re particularly short or valuable, and if your domain is taken it may be listed for sale for thousands of dollars.
For example if your band is called ‘The Goats’, there is a good chance that thegoats.com is either taken, or deemed particularly valuable by a domain provider. Its short, its clear, and plenty of goat businesses might want it. In that case you’ll likely want to consider domains like thegoatsband.com or thegoatsmusic.com instead.
Where do you buy a domain?
I personally use a platform called Domain.com, but many people use GoDaddy. There are plenty of other domain providers out there and they all generally do the same job. Here’s a list of domain registrars for you to consider.
- Domain.com – what I use
- GoDaddy – a super popular option
- Google Domains
I wouldn’t recommend purchasing your domains through a company like Squarespace, Wix or Shopify. I like having my domains in a separate company from my actual website, it just makes it easier to switch platforms if I want to down the line. Remember, you don’t actually even need a website, just the domian.
Connect your domain
If you have a website you’ll want to connect your domain to your website. If you don’t have a website but you’re using a service like Hypeddit, FeatureFM or ToneDen then you’ll want to connect it to that.
I want to point out since its often asked, as much as I love DistroKid you can’t setup a custom domain on their HyperFollow landing pages.
Its impossible for me to cover every single instance of website / domain combination here, but i’ll provide some tutorials for several options here. In general the specific platform you’re using for your website or smart link service will have a tutorial that shows you exactly how they want you to connect your domain name. This is because it’s different for every company.
ToneDen Domain Setup
If you mouse over your profile pictures in the top right, and the click on Settings. Then on the left click on Advertising, and look for custom domains. Here you can add a custom subdomain to your ToneDen profile.
The subdomain can be whatever you want, most commonly I see people use music or listen as their subdomains for this type of thing. So if your website is theband.com, your subdomain would be listen.theband.com.
Click to add a custom domain, type in your subdomain. Now ToneDen will give you an instruction list for which DNS records to add to your domain on your domain registrar. Click next until you finish the pop-up window. You’ll then see your domain is not connected, head over to your domain registrar to the DNS management section so we can fix that.
In the case for listen.theband.com you’ll enter the following:
- Record Type: CNAME
- Record Name: listen
- Record Content / Value: fanlink.to
- TTL: 30 minutes (or something close)
If you go back to ToneDen in a few minutes and refresh it should show that the subdomain is connected! In extreme cases this may take 24 hours but usually its seconds or minutes.
FeatureFM Domain Setup
With FeatureFM you actually need a dedicated domain for just FeatureFM. With ToneDen and Hypeddit, and really any other website, you can simply make a subdomain on your website to use your domain name for both your actual website and your smart links.
Keep this in mind because if you want to use FeatureFM you may need to buy another domain if you already have one for your actual website.
With FeatureFM you’ll need to map some nameservers towards FeatureFM and you’ll need to go to your Facebook Business Manager to get the TXT verification code, but then FeatureFM does the rest on their end.
Here is FeatureFM’s guide on how to setup a custom domain. https://help.feature.fm/hc/en-us/articles/360056579112-How-To-Request-A-Custom-Domain
I’ve found their process takes around a week.
Shopify Domain Setup
In case you have a Shopify store I figured i’d add some information on connecting your domain to Shopify.
Shopify’s tutorial for connecting your domain to your website is here: https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/domains/add-a-domain/connecting-domains/connect-domain-manual
Here’s a summary of how to connect your domain to Shopify:
- In Shopify, go to Settings and then Domains. You’ll want to connect a third party domain which will ask you to type in your domain name
- In your domain registrar find the DNS settings section
- Edit your A record with @ in the host name to point the ‘content‘ to Shopify’s IP address: 188.8.131.52
- Edit your CNAME record with @ in the host name to point to ‘shops.myshopify.com‘.
- Save your settings
If you want your Shopify store to live on a subdomain of your website, instead of using @ in the host names for the A and CNAME records, use your subdomain (like ‘store’ or ‘shop’).
Verify your domain
As I mentioned at the top you’ll need a Business Manager Facebook account for this. Open up Facebook ads and click the gear at the bottom left labelled ‘Business Settings’. Then go to ‘Brand Safety’ and then ‘Domains’. Here add your top level domain, so if your website is “theband.com”, enter in “theband.com” – don’t add any subdomains here!
Facebook is going to open up a window for how to verify your domain. There are 3 methods of verifying your domain on Facebook: html code, file upload, and DNS TXT record. I always do DNS TXT record so choose it from the dropdown menu.
You’ll see a long code in bold, copy that code.
Head back over to your domain registrar and make a new DNS record entry with the following:
- Record Type: TXT
- Record Name: @ (sometimes you can leave this blank, sometimes they want www)
- Record Content / Value: The code you copied from Facebook
- Record TTL: 30 minutes or similar
Save that record and then head back to Facebook to click Verify. If it doesn’t work right away, try again in 5 minutes. If it doesn’t work then click verify again in an hour. It technically can take up to 72 hours for changes to DNS to go live but most happen within minutes, in rare cases i’ve seen 24 hours required.
Aggregated Events Measurement
The last step of iOS14 setup for Facebook ads is to tell Facebook which events you want to be able to track for iOS14 users on your domain name. This is done in Events Manager in the Aggregated Events Measurement section.
Once inside Aggregated Events Measurement you can click on your verified domain and then Manage Events.
You’re allowed to have up to 8 events registered per domain name, and you want to rank them from highest to lowest priority. If your domain name also has a store associated with it on the main domain or another subdomain, you’ll want to rank your events by how close they are to making money. If you’re only doing this for your landing pages and you don’t have any other events then the order won’t matter for you yet.
Click Add Event in the upper right of the page. Now you can setup the event, and this will differ based on your landing page service.
|Landing Page||Pixel / Custom Conversion||Event Name|
|FeatureFM||Custom Conversion||Custom Conversion Name|
|Hypeddit||Custom Conversion||Custom Conversion Name|
If you’re using ToneDen you just choose your Pixel and then ViewContent as the event. If you’re using FeatureFM or Hypeddit you’ll need to make a custom conversion for their event first, and then you can add that custom conversion to your Aggregated Events Measurement page.
Once you’re finished, save the changes and you’re done!
Now that you have your website configured to track conversions for iOS14 you’ll probably wonder how you can run a conversion campaign to get more streams on Spotify. Learn how to do that here: https://musicgrowthmachine.com/facebook-ads-how-to-run-a-conversion-campaign-for-spotify-streams-full-guide/