Facebook Ads are a great way to reach your fans, but they can be incredibly challenging to get right. There's so much information out there about how to use Facebook Ads that it’s difficult to know where to start or who you should listen to.
Matt Bacon joins us this week to share his top tips for artists new to Facebook Ads. This isn't just theory – Matt has worked with many labels from small DIY setups to major labels that are household names, and his clients include bands such as Apocalyptica and Killswitch Engage.
Listen now to find out how you can get your feet wet with Facebook Ads and harness their power to grow your fanbase to new heights!
What you’ll learn:
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Bacons Bits clip from Nov. 23rd, 2021
#53: Getting Signed: The Most Common Types of Record Deals | Matt Bacon of Dropout Media
#97: The Hidden Secret to Selling More Music, Tickets, and Merch
Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got by Jay Abraham
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Welcome to episode 106 of the Bandhive podcast.
It is time for another episode of the Bandhive podcast. My name is James Cross. Unfortunately I do not have here with me today Matt Hoos of Alive in Barcelona, but I do have Matt Bacon of Dropout Media, A K A. “ya boi Matty B” as he put in on the booking form.
How are you doing today? That good? Do you think when I see it because I know sometimes you use the video. Do you think when I sit like this, I look dignified. Yeah, that's totally chill. Okay, cool. And we're keeping this in just so you know, like, that's not getting cut out, that's part of the podcast. Yeah, for sure. For sure. I want to make sure our viewers, you know, they get a sense of gravitas, you know what I'm saying? Yeah. But yeah, hi, thank you for having me.
It's an honor to be here for those who don't know, James and I talk literally at least once a week we talk in german we practice our german together. It's really fun. It's adorable. Were like an adorable little german crew were like german pen pals, but instead of letters, we have language. Okay, our voices were just people who talk to each other in german, we're not, we're friends happen to share a language other than english. Anyway, we're also fun fact. Probably the two people in the world who speak the most about baseball and german.
That is quite possible. I can't wait for next baseball season to start up again so we can do that again. In the meantime, Matt, you were with us back on episode 53, which was called getting signed. The most common types of record deals with Matt Bacon of Dropout Media. You do a lot of label work and you do a lot of advertising and social media work. It's a pleasure to have you back. Thanks for joining us again for people who don't remember episode 53 because it was over a year ago or people who didn't hear that because they're new to the podcast.
Can you just share a little bit about your background? So people know who you are? Yeah. Hi, I am the guy from Instagram with a cigar, which is how a lot of you probably know me but more seriously, I run a company called dropout Media. It's half consultant company, half marketing agency. So we do a lot of consulting for smaller bands who find me via my very popular Bacon sits video series where I do four videos a day sharing band advice with bands on instagram and Tiktok.
I have a whole bunch of followers who are really engaged there, which is really fun. But I also do marketing for labels like prophecy productions, magnetic eye records who have literally making a post for right now artifact records, ripple music. All these labels, I do a bunch of bands like kill switch engage, apocalyptic to white chapel. The contortionist, the list goes on. Then I'm doing venom prison right now for their new record. That's been really fun because it's like Sony's writing us checks to talk about code orange kids, which is really sick.
It's like, oh cool. Like all this like being a hardcore kid pays off after a long time point being, So I do all this marketing stuff for a bunch of labels and a lot of what I do at the end of the day is advertisements, which is what you wanted to talk to me about today. Exactly. Yeah. It's something that we've mentioned in passing on the podcast before, but I'm not an expert in it. Matt hose is not an expert in it and it's something that a lot of artists are curious about.
And as much as I know like the basics of it because I talk to people like you who do ads, I don't really do it myself and it's not my forte. So I wanted to have an episode out here where people just get a basic understanding of the power of Facebook and you know, we'll talk about this later. But I see so many artists who dropped like $10 on an ad and it doesn't get them anything and they say, Oh, Facebook sucks, never doing that again. And that's just, I know that's not how it works.
Well, it's tricky because that's ultimately a good instinct. You know what I mean? Like I would rather someone not risk all their money than piss away $600. But the thing is, there's a really high barrier of entry to facebook ads that I think is really the issue here. And so people do end up kissing away $600 but not in the way they think they are right because it's like, I think a lot of times people understand like, oh, I need to spend real money if I want to get meaningful results, but then they don't spend real money effectively, which is really the issue and there's a whole bunch of reasons for this.
But ultimately facebook ads are pretty high level marketing products and you can't just sort of throw yourself in and use them. This used to be the case not that long ago that you could just be like boost post, let's go, You know? But especially with sort of the IOS 14 clap down that's happened in the last nine months, you've really got to be a little bit more thoughtful. I think I might have even had a tearful conversation with you the day. All that went down of a really rough day for me personally.
Yeah, that was one of the days we were scheduled to speak german yeah and I was like I emotionally I'm not, I'm not here bro. Yeah well before we scare people away with all the negatives, why don't we come back to this and first start by saying with a caveat, it's not for everyone, but if you want to get started with facebook ads, one of their first moves that they need to make. I talk a lot about conversion ads and data tracking and yada yada yada and that stuff is super valuable but I also think it's fine to start with some of the easier stuff, especially for awareness and engagement. Right?
So like I like running a lot of ads for video views because that's like a really effective way to just like make people understand a little bit better like oh hey here's someone who's doing something and putting it out to a relevant audience and doing that I think is a very helpful and effective tool and a much more helpful and effective tool that I think a lot of the other ship that goes on because here's the thing is with facebook ads you can never lose because you're either gathering data or you're getting your desired result be that streams me that fails me that whatever but you do want to make sure that you are targeting effectively, which I think is a really big key that people don't necessarily understand is like they're not necessarily hitting the right people.
They go way too broad. Most common mistake here is people targeting genres and not specific bands. Because the problem is if you put in, I've no death metal, that's everyone from gate creeper to cannibal corpse by way of things that are probably not death metal. They just got spooked in under the death metal rug because of how facebook works. And so it's like, well, that's not really effective for anyone, that's not what anyone wanted. So you have to be a little more cautious about it. Yeah, absolutely.
I mean, this is totally unrelated to what we're talking about. But I see the same thing on submit hub people say, oh, like this curators takes death metal, let's submit to them and they don't listen to it and realize that within death metal, the niche of death metal that that curator shares is totally different from what the band is submitting. It's just basically knowing your market. Yeah, exactly. Right. And it's tricky. It's not like google ads where basically everything you ever want is in google ads unless it gets some sort of trigger off, which funnily enough becomes tricky and death metal because, you know, because you've got a band called like suffocation and google ads just like, oh, you can't be talking about suffocating.
And I'm like you have no fair play. But yeah, but like, this is sort of, the larger point is that it's tricky but targeting bands is really the way to go and really the thing that's going to like grow you meaningfully in a way that a lot of this other stuff will not. That's really the targeting a secret. So when you say targeting bands you mean like it's saying who should be in your audience and you say I want fans of X. Y. Z. Band cannibal corpse because we're doing death metal I guess.
Yeah, but like that's kind of the key here right? Is like giving people that sense of let's hit the right people and not just go to broad which facebook is definitely guilty of doing very frequently. The next thing is like how do I track data effectively? And I think a lot of people that's a hard one to figure out like appropriate and effective data tracking and then retargeting. So the data tracking stuff you want to use a pixel, there's a whole bunch of tools to make this work.
I strongly strongly recommend two things using toned down and Shopify both of those things make using your pixel dramatically easier because they're much more plug and play than a lot of other options on the market. And there are the things that I can use where I'm just like bam rather than having to like massage some ship for a while. So I would rather use those two things and you're using your pixel to essentially gather the data of everyone who engages with your page or engages with your content in any way.
And then there's some native retargeting tools on facebook that you're retarget, like my favorite, it's like retargeting video viewers. Right? So someone watches 75% of the video. They're probably someone who gives a sh it about your band. Cool. So let's go in and re target them and try to make sure that they see an advertisement for your merch or whatever. Yeah, absolutely. And so for tone down and Shopify, if people aren't familiar, Shopify is an e commerce platform where you can sell your merch, It's what a lot of even major stores are based on these days.
It's a really easy to use platform. Oh no. Yeah. Like they've done a great job of becoming the best possible tool on a whole mess of levels. Yeah, absolutely. It's not like major retailers have these custom platforms. And then smaller stores have this other platforms, like Shopify does it all they can literally scale for any business. And I've definitely worked with major people and been like, wait, you're also using Shopify. Hell yeah, brother, Yeah, for sure. Can you explain a little bit about what tone down is for the listeners who don't know tone don't tone down is a really remarkable tool, essentially what it is.
There's two facets to it. There is sort of an ad campaign building facet that I don't really spend time with. But the thing that's really important is the landing page creation and they let you build attractive landing pages that let you do the tracking and stuff sort of like links. Three links tree is like very much a one size fits all solution, which is fine, but it's not really as powerful specifically for musicians tone. Den is a really useful tool specifically for musicians that lets you set everything up so you can set up your tracking without really stressing about it, you know, and it's done the way that's plugged in directly to Spotify, plugged in directly to apple music, yada yada yada. Yeah.
So that has the opportunity that you can get people to pretty safe stuff A while ago we did a contest together and I think you built that in tone then. Right? I did. Yeah. And they definitely have a lot of like more conventional commerce tools but even those are still geared towards musicians which I think is kick out. Yeah. I think it's always important to look at the available tools and choose wisely. Like I know a lot of people just end up going with Wix or squarespace or something like that where space is good for pixel stuff but yeah. Yeah.
But just in general I find that those platforms tend to nickel and dime people like, oh you want a domain name, it will be this much, you want to store, it'll be this much and you want this, it'll be this much where if you just go with Shopify, it's like, hey, this is what our store is going to cost and that's it now. I mean maybe they have some add ons and stuff too. But it's not like every little thing is adding up and that's why I personally don't like Wix and squarespace, you know, they work people like them, but they nickel and dime and I don't like seeing artists getting nickel and dimed now.
That's aside from what I'm saying. But my point is people need to look at the alternatives because everyone knows link tree. I don't even know that tone. Don't have these features aside from contests such as that. I'm slacking two and looking at what tools are out there for artists. But it's great to know that these tools make retargeting so easy. So then once people have this set up, they can run those conversion ads or retargeting ads essentially. Right, what would the next step be like, what should an artist look for to make sure that their campaign is actually worthwhile and they should keep going with that campaign rather than scrapping it and doing something different basically.
It's like how are the numbers growing? One of the main things that I find is for like Spotify growth adds that you'd be running. You're mainly going to see your traction in terms of followers. I think that's where you kind of get your growth with ads there. But that's really important why because followers and people are going to get a notification every time you put out something new. So once you grow your followers, if you have 1000 followers, 7000 people who Spotify will send an email to when you drop a new song and who will be like, oh, this is cool, this is new and I'll check it out.
And so then if you see all of a sudden that's not growing anymore, then you know, okay, it's time to cut off this ad and do something different. That's the beauty of facebook ads. You set the spend at a certain amount every day. So it's not like something like radio where you throw out $6000 and hope that it works out right. This is like, okay, like we're spending 20 bucks a day, okay, we'll ship this isn't working anymore. Let's pause and reevaluate and go from there. I really love that like flexibility and that level of protection that it's like, okay, this isn't working or even, you know, like you're waiting for results and you're like, okay, maybe this video isn't as sick as I thought it was and that's really the other key, by the way, is having a sick video content, right?
Like that is the thing that separates the good as from the bad ads are the videos put in good because when you have a good video and obviously a good song, it's dramatically more likely to get you the results you're looking for. And so often people will like get that results and then they complain, but it's like if you look at their video content, it was bullsh it and no one would give a buck if they saw this in their feet and it's like, cool, you need good video content.
This is increasingly important and people don't always want to listen, but it's increasingly important and ideally it needs to be formatted for reals. Okay, And so you wouldn't recommend doing image ads at all? Just everything. Video. That depends. I do image ads for like merchandise. Okay. So then that would be like a retargeting thing. You already know that person likes the band and then you do an image out of their merch. It's also just like what I see working, you know what I mean? I've just, I've tried like merge presentation videos and those seem to not do as well as just having a carousel of all your merch items. Gotcha.
Are you able to have each image in the carousel linked directly to the item that it shows? Yes, sir, that is a beautiful thing. You know, like that's the thing, right, is like literally what we're doing, Kill switch engage an apocalyptic to and a few other bands is I literally went in and I said, okay, what are your five most popular birch items? They said, okay, this is cool. Then I said, okay, well I'm going to run an advertisement directly to your existing fans and say, hi we have this merch by it and then it makes money forever. Why?
Because we know there's existing fans. We know this is the merchandise that people basically like, like you can change it up obviously if you need to whenever and obviously that's not going to work for everyone if you don't have a certain size fans. A statistically I'm not trying to throw shade on anyone or you, but no one listening to this has killed such engage your apocalyptic type success. And I honestly would hope not because why are they listening to us? Like we target D. I. Y. Artists, Why would they listen to our podcast?
Yeah, but you know what I'm saying? Like that's not like going to be a key for everyone, especially post stylist 14, but I've had success with, it was like this quail a grind right now and they're like, they have a lot of hype but they're not like a big band, you know what I mean? Like that's very much a hype band and very much a band that me and my friends care about, not just because I'm getting paid by them, but you know what I'm saying? Like it's their value here pivoting on from how artists can get started.
What the first moves are, what are some common pitfalls that you see artists make when they're first starting facebook ads. Kind of going back to what we briefly touched on at the beginning of artists who give up after spending $10 and you know, obviously we don't want artists to lose a bunch of money and not get anything out of it aside from that data, which I mean if they get good data, that's great. The thing is you can still retarget those people later. Okay. But yes, three big mistakes that people make with regards to Facebook ads.
Oh man, this is like a bacon spent many bacons fits right here. I will send you the clips that you can share it. Okay, let me gear only put on my bacon cinespace. One second cigar. Okay, there we go. Always on hand. Three biggest mistakes that fans make with regards to add first targeting wrong. Like we talked about before people go way too broad. So no one gives a shape, right? They put in pop music or they put in a huge artists in the genre, right? Like think about what the fans of a band look like, right?
So cannibal corpse fans broadly care about underground death metal or as fans of, I don't know Parkway drive, there are metal band, they're heavy, but those are not people who are going to care about a new band in the same way, you know, and honestly, just because of how the fan bases and cannibal corpse, you might even argue also have a fairly conservative fan base. I don't know, but think about that. Think about like a better example of like Elton john, like people who listen to Elton john aren't trying to find a new like soft rock band, so don't go too broad on the targeting target relevant things.
I know it's hard, but if you do some research, you'll find some cool artists in there and sometimes you'll find like weirdly small things like so phallic carnage or something like that. This is like a general audience podcast and I keep doing like weird death metal jokes. Second is having quality content in your add, right? So having text that makes sense and is formatted for mobile that is to say you want the headline to be 45 characters or less And relies on the main text that there's going to be a break after 120 characters, but not only that, but making sure that your video content is good and making sure that your photos are good and that it's like genuinely something that people would want to click on and check out.
That's really the place people dropped the ball. And then finally, it's really just a question of not testing enough A lot of times people will get mad and like test only one thing and then not get anywhere and it's like, well the whole point of ads and the whole beauty of facebook ads is, you can literally run two tests for like $2 a day. You should probably spend more to get more meaningful results. But like you can start testing at $2 a day and get somewhere, you know what I mean?
Like you're not necessarily going to have it all given to you, but you'll get somewhere, But you need to test, you need to know what you're looking for and you need to directly engage with other people to make that happen. Yeah. Yeah. So we discussed this back on episode 97, the hidden secret to selling more music tickets and merch. And we didn't specifically talk about ads. This is just everything in your business. Like your email subject lines you know the content of your emails, You could split test your landing pages, you can test your pricing at shows.
You can test like your calls to action from the stage. Like hey, we have merch in the back or hey, like if you guys like this design, it's really cool. We have it at the merch table tonight testing everything. It's funny because I've, I've literally a B tested that stuff like with artists that's so key. Everything is sales. You just, you want to keep testing. You want to keep going. Okay, How do I optimize what makes sense to people, yada yada yada. I absolutely agree with you.
Even me, the new who doesn't know much about facebook ads says yes, please test things to me. That's a no brainer and I'm glad that you brought that point up and I think that episode is actually inspired by a book you gave me. I think it was the jay, abraham book. Getting everything you can out of all. You've got the best marketing book ever written by the way agreed, agreed that book like changed my life that book and How to Win friends and influence people are the two most important books I've ever read. Yeah.
Which I should say all of these books and products and everything we've mentioned will be in our show notes at Bandhive dot rocks slash 106. So if you want any of those links, Bandhive dot rocks slash 106 you can go there and yes, I have a facebook pixel so you might start seeing Vandehei VADs at some point. That's how it works. I was going to say when you talked about that, what is it? Bandhive dot rocks 106. You need to do that. Like a radio like Shaq guy voice like Ban Hunt, not rocks.
What 06. So we already do this. If you want to get all of these show notes, just head on over to ban hive dot rocks slash 106. Now my entire life is some radio ship anyway, but like yeah, the testing is really key because you don't know and you'll find like, oh, this add a clip performs really well. That's badass a lot of times I think people don't think about it this way, but like let's say, you know one adequate is getting you 15 cent conversions and the other is getting the 20 cent conversions we'll ship bro, that's a 25% difference, That means across $1,000 spent that you can get the same results for 750 and it just, it doesn't always feel that way because it's a five cent different per conversion.
We're not really thinking about it that way, but at scale, especially when you're running something for a long time, which is what you can do when you find something that works for you, it's just something you got to be thinking about on that note, what's the longest that you've had a single campaign running and it just was still profitable. This ballpark is fine. I know that's a very out of the blue question, I can tell you, I've had Spotify campaigns that have run for like a year that we're getting streams over that entire time.
There's a few sales as I've been doing that have lasted like three or four months that I've touched like once, so very low maintenance once they're set up bar like a few experiments, whatever, but I'm saying the core ad, I just let it run, that's amazing the fact that you can set something up and one year later, still have it making sense and pushing things that's perfect if you can identify your audience and if you can come up with an ad that they would actually give a sh it about, which is the hard part.
And again, it's just a lot easier for bigger bands because they already have a lot of data, You know, a band like kill such engaged, like how many Facebook collects do they have? Like probably a couple million. It must be at least 2. 7 million. There you go. And obviously a lot of those people are not interested anymore, you know, just because of how fandom works. But the point being that data already exists, you can do stuff like that, you can let stuff just ride forever. Yeah, I mean as long as the numbers are good, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, Right?
Yeah, exactly. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, you understand? I do indeed. And so kind of on that topic of numbers, is there a critical point where you think it makes sense for an artist to start doing ads? Obviously something needs to get them traction doesn't make sense for an artist with zero fans to start saying, Hey, here's my song, go listen on Spotify or is there a point they need to get to first. My friend, Anthony Pacheco pretty famously, he recently got an artist like 170,000 streams on their first ever single, but it's like, Okay, but why did that work?
Why does that work for him when it probably won't work for other people first of all, he's a genius and he's like the best that running ahead. But also the video content was really fucking good and the targeting was really fucking tight. So he knew he was getting into exactly the right thing. He knew, okay, this is precisely who I am. This is precisely what I want. So he hit the exact right people without having to worry. So it was his experience combined with the band having good music essentially.
Yeah, good music and a good video. That's the key part. The music doesn't matter if the video isn't compelling because how are people consuming? They're on their phone, they're going to scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll and you can see on an iphone there's a great picture but the audio quality, I mean it's okay but it's not gonna be like, whoa, this is amazing. Yeah. And also remember that, you know, and people get mad about this all the time and there's nothing I can do about it. But they yell at me.
Anyway, facebook will compress the ship out of your audio. Yes, I agree. That sucks. Please stop. I don't know man, I just work here. You know, I appreciate the frustration but realized that yeah, like the quality of the video is the key here and especially the quality of the video in a format. That makes sense for reals for the feed that's vertical, right? Which is like really the new skill shift that's happened in the last 18 months. That's really been sucking people up, is that? Oh all our gorgeous horizontal youtube content no longer is worth a ship.
Yeah, I mean it's like 10 years ago people got judged for shooting in vertical and now that's the norm in five years. It's probably gonna be, why are you shooting horizontal? Like that's stupid. That shift is coming. So as we start to wrap things up here though, max I want to be respectful of your time. It's thanksgiving week that we're recording this and I know you got stuff to do before the holidays. What holidays? You're not taking thanksgiving off. Not even thanksgiving if it's not a day off in Germany.
Is it really a day off? You'd have a lot more days off if you follow the german calendar, my friend. Yeah. But then it's not a day off in America. So basically you have like christmas and New Year's off because those are the ones that lineup. Yeah, but I use those days for like other stuff, you know, like catching up and taxes and whatever. Fun. Yeah. Thanks for reminding me by the way taxes. Oh God, that's coming up. You know, remember you pay more taxes than Elon musk.
You know, I have a good tax guy. I don't pay zero. But I have a good tax guy. He does everything legit though. It's all illegal. Don't worry, Not admitting to any crimes because there aren't any anyway that all said as we start to wrap things up any closing thoughts where should people go if they want to learn more about you and dropout media, all that kind of stuff? Yeah, check me out on Instagram at they can stop it. I have a ton of videos on there.
I'm running one later today, November 23 about some of the stuff that's coming to kind of try to help you a little bit. I'll drop that into the show notes because this isn't coming out till december 7th. So it's going to be with four videos a day. It's gonna be way down the feet. I will grab that link and put it in there. So if you go to band, I've dot rocks slash 106, you will find the link to that video. All this to say follow me there. I break it down a lot of this stuff.
I break down a lot of other tactics. There's a guy on Youtube who I think is really, really good at this. And Andrew Southworth who I really admire. I learned a lot from him because that's really just a guy who like gets it in a way that I think a lot of other people don't get it. Try that do your research, realized that you're going to suck up the first couple of times and that's okay and you're going to learn and grow and one day you will be shining singing and holding hands and getting all sorts of streams and You know, raising the devil and if you happen to be death metal people are throwing the devil horns or you know, anything else really, which is like very strange.
But it's become popular. It's okay. Go check out coven. They invented that in 1969. Well, sick matt, thanks so much for coming back on the podcast. It's a pleasure talking with you. Thank you for having me. I look forward to speaking german soon. Yes, this, but this, thank you so much everyone. Mhm mhm, mm hmm. That does it for this episode of the Bandhive podcast. Thanks so much to Matt Bacon for coming back on the show. He's only the second repeat guest we've ever had. So it is great to have him back sharing more knowledge and I hope that this gives you some insight into what you can do to create a successful facebook ads campaign and also gives you an idea of who it's for and maybe who isn't quite ready for it.
So I really hope that this has given you the information that you need to make that decision of, Hey, are we going to do facebook ads or are we not going to do facebook ads And if you are doing the ads, follow Matt Bacon who is at Bacon's bits on instagram and Tiktok to get his tips for how you can successfully market your band. Thanks for listening. We'll be back next Tuesday at six a.m. Eastern time with another brand new episode. Until then, have a great week.
Stay safe. And, of course, as always, keep rocking.
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