My New Favorite Facebook Advertising “Hack”

Comments: 35

As we’ve talked a lot about over the last few weeks, “targeting” is one of the most crucial aspects of any online advertising campaign. Target the wrong audience and nothing will work. You’ll pay too much for clicks, and those that do click simply won’t convert.

Unfortunately, targeting also happens to be one of the most difficult aspects of any advertising campaign. Many musicians simply don’t know who they should be targeting, and often when they do think they know who to go after, they simply get it wrong.

However, Facebook seems to be rolling out new features and tools almost weekly. Each feature unlocks new potential for independent musicians to get their music in front of fans, and sell music, tickets, and merch while generating a positive ROI (return on investment).

In this quick video I am going to share my NEW favorite Facebook advertising “hack”. This new feature will take much of the guess work out of targeting and get your music in front of people who are infinitely more likely to enjoy it.

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I hope you enjoy the video. If you have any questions please post them below.


  • Hi John

    First off let me just say I love what you do and really dig your ideas on music marketing,

    I know this post has been up for about a year now but I thought I’d try this ‘hack’ to see how many good quality subscribers I could gather. I ran a video view campaign to get the views up and after nearly 500 views i figured it was time to create a lookalike audience which I then ran ads to for my squeeze page. My problem is that I discovered I was paying a fortune to Facebook when I ran the ads to the lookalike audience. I was paying £14.85 per 1,000 impressions and £0.36 per click! So I decided to go back and compare my costs with what I was doing before i.e. targeting people with interests of bands that sound similar to my music, and my costs went way down – only £0.49 per 1,000 impressions and only £0.04 per click! The conversion rate on my squeeze page remained the same with both audiences.

    Either I’ve been doing something way wrong or this isn’t working big time.



    • John Oszajca says:

      Hey Lachlan,

      Thanks for the kind words about MMM. In regards to this particular technique, the strategy still definitely works as it’s something I do all the time, but it’s a bit difficult to compare apples to oranges like that. There are a huge amount of variables with any campaign and with every artist. For one, 500 views is an extremely small number. Of those views you may have had as few as a couple dozen people to watch more than 25% of the video. Even if it was all 500, that would still be way to small for Facebook to successfully clone the profiles of your audience. There can also be a disconnect between the content in the video and the ad itself. And finally, .36 cents per link click is really not that bad. It’s not amazing, but it’s a reasonable price, and if your squeeze page converts at 30% or so, you are within range of ideal acquisition costs.

      In your case, .04 cents a click is extremely good. In fact, it’s almost unheard of unless you are retargeting. If you are getting .04 cents per click going to a completely cold audience, don’t change anything.

      This is a strategy for those that are having trouble honing in on an audience and don’t have an existing list to clone. Like any target audience, it’s hit and miss, but when it works it works great. But tends to work much better with thousands, or more likely tens of thousands, of views, rather than just a few hundred.

      • Cheers John. Maybe I’ll try again after getting some more (a lot more!) video views. Good to know I’m getting value on my clicks. Thanks for getting back to me. Keep doing what you do. Lachlan.

  • Josh says:

    My band has a video with a little over 1,000 views and around 200 viewers over 10 sec, but when I set up the ad it says my expected reach is only 20 people. Is it ok to add other interests to broaden your audience?

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hi Josh,

      My apologies for the slow response. I’ve been mostly offline for the holidays.

      If you are talking about what it says immediately AFTER you have created the ad, then this is likely just a result of Facebook needing time to calculate the audience size. As I say in the video, in every case where I have ever done this I get that same warning that the audience is too small. I come back in 30 minutes and the proper number is there. If you are still seeing the warning after 30 minutes or so, then it is likely because the viewers you have are outside of the demographic settings you are using for your audience.

      Just a side note though… 200 is still a bit small of an audience for this particular exercise. You could still try it, but the bigger the audience, the more effective the strategy will typically be.

      I would not broaden the audience for this particular srategy.

  • Pono Patoc says:

    I see that you used the “Custom Audience” for the ad that you were about to make. What is the difference between the two you made? The lookalike audience and the custom 25% audience. Would you use them in different scenarios? Im just not quite sure the reasoning for make that second audience. Other than that. Great video! I’ve been following you for a while.

    Thank you!

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hey Pono,

      My apologies for the slow response. I’ve been mostly offline for the holidays.

      A custom audience and a lookalike audience are two completely different things.

      You create a custom audience of people that have taken specific actions. In this case we are creating a custom audience of people who have watched 25% of a video. Then you create a lookalike audience which effectively causes Facebook to look for patterns within your audience and apply that filter to all of Facebook within your target country. This often results in a much more targeted audience then we can do with interest targeting alone.

      But you need to create the custom audience before you can create the lookalike audience. That is why I do both in this video. I hope that clears it up.

  • Melissa says:

    Hey John, how effective would it be if I did a similar thing and created a look alike audience with people that have liked my page? I only have 616 likes. Would that be enough to detect patterns? Thank you for your leadership and knowledge

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hey Melissa,

      My apologies for the slow response. Between the launch and the holidays this comment got buried. Just seeing it now. I’ve had mixed results with FB page based lookalike audiences. They are worth trying, but because a like does not necessarily reflect a real willingness to buy, or even subscribe, they are often less successful. For that reason I think basing an audience around people who actually took the time to watch a decent percentage of a video is a more effective way to go.

  • Looks like you have a handle on it John. but a few months back, I spent a boatload of money with Tiana Gustafson with Bullseye Funnel Marketing. She also built me a WordPress site, with the marketing plan. But there’s no step by step Facebook tutorial. exactly how much is it to get your coarse? it’s probably up here, but I came straight here after watching.My website is down at the moment, and I have to create lots more content. What do you think on Tiana Gustafson, Cathy Heller, and Leah McHenry?!?

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hey William,

      I couldn’t comment on those names you mentioned as I’m not really familiar with their stuff. Most people teaching this stuff are offering valid info. It just comes down to the subtleties of each person’s style and strategy, cost, etc.

      MAW will sell for $147 normally. However there is a special launch discount and bonus package that will save you $50, making it just $97. However that discount ends at midnight tonight. You can find out all about it at

      All the best.

  • EJ says:

    Nice stuff John!

  • tim says:

    What you should say at the beginning is that all this info is irrelevant if you have not previously setup a PAID ad campaign with Facebook.
    As artists with little income, there should be ways which you can increase traffic, get followers etc for free, at least at first until you are generating enough revenue to justify an ad campaign. But FB does not seem to want to give any info or any data or any advice away without a paid subscription. Not so helpful if you’re just starting out to generate a small income.

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hi Tim,

      This is all completely relevant whether you have run an ad in the past or not. While this is an advertising based strategy, it’s one that is particularly ideal for new artists with small budgets.

      There are many ways to drive traffic for free. They simply take a lot of time and effort, and are risky in that sense.

      My focus is on offering musicians marketing advice that helps them function and operate more like a traditional business. With any business there are expenses. Advertising is an essential one. But for little more than the price of a cup of coffee each day you can be growing your fan base and building something tangible. But whichever path you take is completely up to you.

  • Devora Clark says:

    If I’m a new indie artist and don’t have a lot of video viewers yet, then this cloning audience technique isn’t applicable.

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hi Devora,

      Quite the opposite actually. It’s new artists who stand to benefit from this most of all.

      We have been able to create lookalike audiences for a while. However, to do this we had to upload a customer email address. These kinds of lookalike audiences are very powerful, but only seasoned artists have large customer lists.

      Because video views are so cheap (typically about a penny each) any artist can spend $20 – $40 to get yourself a few thousand video views. You can then let FB takeover and create a lookalike audience based om the behavior of those that actually view the video. So while it would take a little bit of an investment to buy yourself some views, it would be infinitely cheaper and faster than needing to build up that customer base over a few years time.

      Hope that clarifies the strategy a bit.

      • Jay says:

        Wow I never knew that! I’m highly interested as I’m putting gout my second project and really want a thorough strategy to move my indie career further along. Highly interested in what you have to offer John

  • Paul says:

    Extremely interesting. Thank you John.

  • Victor says:

    Hi John-

    once you’ve expanded the demographic into a lookalike audience, do you then promote that same video to the expanded audience? Or do you run a standard squeeze page ad to them instead?


    • John Oszajca says:

      Hi Victor,

      The goal here is to help you hone in on an ideal audience so you can start building your list. So once you have the lookalike audience you would then run a standard conversion ad to a squeeze page, but simply target your new lookalike audience.

  • Ralph says:

    I was wondering is there a way to do this using other people’s videos

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hi Ralph,

      Only if they gave you access to their account. While I can see a few reasons you might want to do that. The real goal here would be to create a lookalike audience around the people that actually responded to your music, as apposed to something similar. But it’s a good question.

  • Akara says:

    Thanks for the video John! I’m in an area with really poor signal so I can’t view the video. Is there a summary?

  • Mickey says:

    Hey John You mentioned View Campaigns in your video. Can you recommend any? Thanks for your help Mick

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hi Mickey,

      I’m not really following the questions. Viewing a campaign would just be the act of looking at your different campaigns. You mind clarifying or referencing the minute mark so I can better answer your question?

      Thank for watching.

    • Ralph says:

      I believe what he was saying is if you don’t have a video with enough views on it to get a decent sample size for your custom audience then run a campaign with an objective for video views to one of your videos

  • Ed sampson says:

    Hello John. I really wish you would consider managing an artists social media for a fee. Helping to get an artist out there and heard especially in new areas where they are looking to plan live tours would be a great asset for them. I would obviously as my sons manager feel that it would be money well spent if the Facebook advertising etc were managed by someone with experience than myself as I pay to learn what’s working and what doesn’t.
    His name is Patrick Sampson. When we do run boosts on his videos he gets what I think are very positive responses and interaction with people.when I read all the comments on his videos and look at each persons profile it tells me a lot about who he is reaching with his music. In a way it’s difficult to manage because the sex and age are both and of every age group. From young to very senior. It’s not like he has one category to target. Both a good thing and not I guess lol.

    • John Oszajca says:

      Thanks Ed,

      I really appreciate your interest in having me manage a campaign. The reality for me is that they are just too time consuming for me to offer it as a regular service. To make it worthwhile I would need to charge thousands of dollars and even then, doing that kind of work tends to take my focus off of MMM which I really enjoy. But I do appreciate your interest and the suggestion.

      Regarding the targeting, while it may seem like your son’s audience is varied, when you look at your actual conversion data on an ad campaign with a decent amount of data to sort through, you’ll always see that there are trends in age, sex, location, interests, and eh rest of it.

      While it may be that there are fans of every cross section, it’s those tendencies that we are ultimately trying to go after. Targeting is in part, the art of disqualifying people because they don’t match our target fan profile closely enough.

  • Aaron T. says:

    This makes total sense. I’m on it. Hoping to get in on the Music Ads Workshop before the discount expires. Thanks for the tip John!

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