How to manage Facebook Ads for Facebook Event promotion
Sometimes free Facebook Event promotion strategy works well, but in most cases such Events do not get enough audience, while Facebook is constantly decreasing the organic reach for free posts (one, two, three, etc.)
Aims and goals of paid Facebook Event promotion
The goals listed below can follow one another or go hand in hand:
- Increase the number of Facebook Event responders.
- Increase the number of clicks from the Event to tickets purchase.
What about awareness goal?
Articles on promotion often refer to Awareness, but we do not approve of such goals in the days of information overload, when people get hundreds and thousands of ads, and the chances to get any profit from such Vanity Metric are scarce. Only measurable yielding metrics.
The metrics to rely upon for Facebook promotion are described in the next chapter.
The goal of paid promotion is to attract an audience to the Event, and only then to forward responders to your website. Facebook Event promotion strategy strategy is described in detail in the introduction
Facebook Ads Rule #1:
“Be interesting, be engaging” goes natuarally with the “create interest (demand)” idea. What does it mean?
People go to Facebook not to read ads, they want to see their friends’ news. Your ad should be so good as to distract people from scrolling through photos of food, dawns and pets of their friends and make them click your link. Let’s go through the steps.
Facebook Event Marketing paid ads blueprint
Running a Facebook ads campaign divides into three parts: selecting ads type by the goal, search for the relevant audience, and creative work. This section covers two approaches to Facebook ads:
- Setting all steps by yourself and launching ads in Facebook Business Manager.
- Using Ad Ideas in Event Marketing Toolbox and launching ads in a couple of clicks.
First let’s see how ads are created on Facebook, and then we’ll show how our Ad Ideas can help you save time and money.
What Ads type to choose: Facebook Event promotion tips
Let’s get back to Facebook Event promotion strategy: first gather auditory in your Facebook Event and then forward people from Facebook to your website. Thus, we are not interested in likes, promotion of posts, Reach or Brand Awareness; our goal is to obtain measurable results in terms of increasing our Event audience, forwarding people to the website and selling tickets for the event.
There are 3 types of ads for this: Event Responses, Traffic, Conversions
1. Engagement Event Responses
It attracts audience to a Facebook Event. This type of ads can only be seen in Facebook Newsfeed both on desktop and mobile. It significantly differs from other types of ads and posts: a unique post style, indication of the host page, indication of people going to the Event among the user’s friends (this is a strong argument – social proof), and a visible button to follow the Event.
This ads type does not generate clicks to your website, neither does it promote ticket sales as it is; but it helps you increase the auditory in your Facebook Event, who in their turn will follow to your ticketing website from Find Tickets section (read more at Prepare Event for promotion) and Event posts (read more at Plan Content Strateg
As you may remember, we start posting regularly to forward traffic to our website as soon as a Facebook Event counts enough followers, however, starting from fall 2017, Facebook significantly reduced the organic (free) reach of posting. Some even called it a catastrophe. But this is not a big deal: posting to Facebook events is easily complemented with Traffic type ads, that forward people to the website to purchase tickets.
This is an advanced alteration of Traffic ads, that will work only with Facebook Pixel set on your ticketing website. As of appearance, this ads type looks and works the same as Traffic ads, but Facebook algorithms will know how many purchases were made by which users, and will use this data to show the ads to people with the best buying potential. Working with Facebook Pixel is considered to be the Advanced Level, as long as it requires technical adjustments on the website. If you have a technical specialist and the possibility to configure Facebook Pixel on your ticketing website, be sure to seize the opportunity. Setup details can be found in the technical documentation at the following link. But even if you do not have the chance to use it, keep your head up: sales can be easily increased with the help of Traffic ads.
Now we need to specify our customers: where they are and what they are interested in. It’s important to walk the fine line between too specific and too vague audience. Facebook has a special Audience Size meter for this purpose. Read details in Facebook Ads setup pop-ups.
The majority of events have local auditory. We need to indicate the city of the Event in “Locations” field and set a bigger radius. E.g., for an Event in Boston, we need to specify Boston, MA and a radius of +50mi.
You can indicate the country for nationwide Events.
Big international festivals, conferences and summits present an exception: in such cases you need to study your audience closer, understand where they may come from and launch ads campaigns for different regions.
2. Age, Gender, Languages
These are specific settings that are not always significant, as long as the age, gender and language of users are much less important than their interests in music, literature, their hobbies.
These settings may be of importance in case your Event aims only at women, so advertising among men will only be a waste of money.
If your ad aims at Event Responses, in Connections field you should set: Events → Exclude people who already responded to your event. This will prevent showing ads to those who are already following your Event and wasting your budget in vain.
4. Detailed Targeting and Custom Audiences
Choosing the audience for Facebook Event promotion is perhaps the most challenging thing. This is why EventMarketingToolbox offers you Ad Ideas with all parameters ready and set, so that the only thing you need to do is to select an Idea and launch ads. We will review this option later, in the meanwhile let us consider how to choose the audience for a Facebook Event.
This parameter requires some research and analysis of your audience interests. The power of Facebook Ads consists in the boundless catalog of interests provided by 2 billion users all around the world. Consider four ranges of interest: direct, similar to direct, Facebook recommendations to direct, and generic. Each of the ranges spans wider and wider from your audience. Let us elaborate this topic.
More on choosing the interests of the audience for Event Response ads
The main work on an audience is done in Detailed Targeting section. Let us consider the variants available. It is important to note that each ad campaign should be created with a separate targeting, the ideas should not be used all at once. Keep in mind that the targetings listed below are tailored to Event Response ads.
1. Direct interests
This is the most straightforward interest of your audience. As this is a direct interest, we should be laser focused when choosing the audience. It is advisable to select no more than 3 interests.
In case you promote a concert of a popular artist, start with selecting his name in the list of interests.
For a master class or a yoga class search for the corresponding targetings in interests and hobbies.
Line-up, band members
Direct interests are well complemented with targetings to the list of Event performers – popular band members, performers of a festival, theatrical production or a conference. For example, promoting for The Rolling Stones, you can use additional targetings to Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and other band members.
Now let us widen the targeting for our audience. Our goal is to understand what other interests our users might have. We can gather 10-20 interests in different ways:
a. Google’s ‘People also search for’
Type in a search request to see the suggestions tab on the right with ‘People also search for’ at the very bottom to fill in the list of performers.
b. Similar artists in music services
Similar interests for musical events can be easily found in music services. Spotify has related artists, Apple Music gives Similar Artists.
c. Facebook Audience Insights
Gathering audience in Facebook, you can rely on the audience analysis tool on Page Likes Tab. You can learn what additional interests your audience has and get ideas of similar performers.
d. Google Trends
Set the interest and location to see the list if similar interests for your audience in the city. Look at the following example of Yoga Classes.
3. Facebook recommendations
As soon as you indicate particular interests, Facebook will start to suggest similar targetings. Consider if the suggestions are relevant for you and add 5-10 suitable interests. Keep it in mind that every time you add an interest, the recommendations get re-counted. After you added the recommended targetings, do not forget to remove the interests you started with, so that to avoid crossing of the audience. For example, if you started to pick up targetings for The Neighbourhood band, remove it from the list of targetings, otherwise it will cross with the interests of the campaign on Direct Interests.
4. Generic interests
You can use such interests as the musical genres for concerts. Festivals will let you find a cohort of people in love with fests. A cocktail party will easily go with Night Life and Cocktail Party. Such interests are numerous.
5. Visitors of similar events
In case you create Facebook Events on a regular basis, you probably already have Events with a similar audience. In case such an Event is still active, you should use it for cross posts on similar Events (as we recommended in the chapter devoted to content building). If such event took place a long time ago (over a year), its followers will not get any notifications on the new post, so you need to advertise. This is done with the help of Custom Audience, then select Engagement, proceed with Event, and select the Events you believe to be relevant.
Sounds complicated? On the contrary, Ad Ideas in Event Marketing Toolbox will let you do this in a couple of clicks: just select Event Cross Promo Idea and choose one of your events.
6. Your Facebook page fans and their friends
Of course, you should not forget your page followers! Go to Connections → Advanced Combinations, indicate the Event host page in People who are connected to and in Friends of people who are connected to, and remember to exclude those who are already interested in the event: indicate them in Exclude people who are connected to.
Ad type for Traffic and Conversions
When you gathered audience in your Facebook Event, you should start monitoring traffic going from the Event to your ticketing website. If you do not have enough clicks (read the chapter on metrics), it is a good idea to complement it with ads that will help you forward people to your website.
Please pay due attention to the following recommendation: ad traffic should not be forwarded to the ticketing website directly, first you need to increase the number of followers in your Facebook Event.
Settings for this audience are evident and simple:
1. Clicks from the Event to the ticketing website
Such ads are launched in a particular way. On your Event page, select Sell More Tickets and in Connections select the audience who responded to your Event. When you use Ad Ideas in EventMarketingToolbox, everything is pre-set for you.
When you use Ad Ideas in EventMarketingToolbox, everything is pre-set for you.
In case you have Facebook Pixel set on your website, we recommend to select Conversions ads type, do not forget to select the following ads result: Purchases. In all other respects, the settings are analogous.
2. Clicks from the Event to a non-ticketing website
In case you sell merch besides tickets, you can launch ads with clicks. It goes the same as with the ticketing website, but we indicate a different website address.
This is to indicate where exactly to place your ads.
1. Placements for Event Response Ads
This ads type does not have many placement options, so you should keep to the automated placements, and Facebook will choose the best option.
2. Placements for Traffic/Conversions Ads
Adespresso research shows that user behavior differs significantly on mobile and desktop devices. It is much easier to make a purchase on a desktop than on a mobile device. So we suggest dividing your traffic: you can do this in Placements → Edit Placements → Device Types → Desktop Only, and the same again for Placements → Edit Placements → Device Types → Mobile Only
In case you launch ads with EventMarketingToolbox, this is done in a couple of clicks, almost everything is ready.
Conversion of website visitors to buyers can differ significantly for mobile and desktop users for several reasons: your ticketing website optimization, its loading speed, payment form usability, ease to select tickets/seats on a stadium etc.
We are going to dwell on optimization later, you just need to distinguish between the behaviour of your users on desktop and mobile.
Budget and Schedule
There are two approaches to budgeting of Facebook Events promotion:
- We recommend starting with $10 test budget to see how the audience will build up and reach your website. Such ad campaign should serve an impulse for audience build-up. This may prove to be sufficient for viral growth of your event. Further on with the growth of ticket sales, you can add new ad campaigns or increase the budget of the current campaigns and test different combinations of targeting and creative content.
In case you have a few Events and a possibility to tune every one of them, it is advisable to choose the first approach; while a large number of events goes better with the second approach. The most important thing is not to miss the time when the Event gets a viral organic growth and further investments into promotion become unnecessary. You will need to go to Ad Settings and check metrics or subscribe to notifications in Event Marketing Toolbox.
Do not change anything in Optimization and delivery section:
We have finally reached the final lap of an ad campaign creation. All we have to do is to specify what page to launch ads from, verify if we selected the correct Event and check how the ad looks on different devices.
Use recognizable and catchy photos with a simple layout, so that to hold users’ attention for a couple of seconds. More details and a verification tool here.
By default, your Facebook Event cover photo will be used in ads. Important! Do not use concert posters, as Facebook does not approve of much text on ads pictures
How to launch ads in Event Marketing Toolbox
Having read all the above, you can understand that promotion of Facebook Events is not an easy thing. This is why many people experience a failure and cannot get onto all promotion nuances.
This is why we created Ad Ideas section in Event Marketing Toolbox. You have pre-set Ad Ideas for all the above mentioned variants out of the box.
In case you have any questions or need additional ad settings, contact our Support, so we will help you promote your Events!