Facebook Ads For Events: Your Burning Questions Answered


Looking to run Facebook Ads for your events, but don’t know how to start?

Look no further, this guide is for you.

We scoured the web for the most burning questions about Facebook Advertising for events and provide you with an answer.

Here goes:

  • Facebook Ads Facts

  • Why use Facebook Ads for Events

  • How Facebook Ads work in a nutshell

  • What’s a good time for starting Facebook ads for events

  • How to determine your Facebook Ad marketing objective

  • What’s the best ticketing price point for Facebook ads

  • What’s the price point for running Facebook Ads for Events

Facebook Ads By The Numbers

When you think about promoting your events on Facebook, you wouldn’t necessarily think of promoting your B2B events, would you?

You’re probably thinking about wine tours, tastings, parties or festivals that people research on Facebook.

But is there a place for B2B event marketing on Facebook in 2019?

Of course, there is.

Let the numbers speak for itself.

On average, 1.9 billion people are visiting Facebook every day and 500 million people are visiting Instagram every day.

Today, people are spending more and more time on mobile devices:

  • 80 times is the number of times the average American unlocks their phone

  • 3 hours content consumption per day

  • 1 in 5 mobile phone minutes are spent on Facebook and Instagram

  • 50 minutes per day is the average time people spend on Facebook and Instagram

Content and information is available 24/7. This has changed people’s purchasing behaviour and expectations of business interactions.

And it doesn’t stop with B2B events.

In today’s market, people research, read reviews, ask their peers and purchase tickets to events on their mobile devices.

But seriously, I thought businesses don't hang out on Facebook, that's more B2C?

You're right, you need to be where your customer are, but business decision makers are people too, and you need to reach them where they're spending their time.

Digest this...

Business decision makers are 2x more likely to be daily active users than other people on Facebook according to Facebook data captured by people ages 18+ in the US.

And like everyone else, they have varied interest, right? They also look for information online, and they scroll through their Feeds just like you do sitting on you couch sipping a glass of red.

But don’t think mobile first, think people first.

And just like events build community and connect, connecting people online is something Facebook is phenomenal at.

Why Use Facebook Ads For Your Events

First of all, Facebook allows you for ultra-personalized targeting.

And by ultra-personalized we really mean it.

With Facebook Ads you can send relevant and highly targeted messages to the right people at the right time. And this, in return, can help build your brand and attract people to your event.

Read 5 Tips for Driving Event Registrations From Facebook

So if you’re running a tech conference and have Steve Wozniak as a speaker, you can now specifically target people who like Steve Wozniak and work in Tech. Silly example, I know, but you get the gist.

The more personalized your event marketing, the more relevant your message is, the better the conversion on your registration pages and the better the registration rate.

How Facebook Ads Work

So you decided to give Facebook Ads a go, but you have no idea how to get started.

You’re looking to attract a certain type of audience to your conference, so how can you reach those people you have no previous relationship with?

How does Facebook decide when to show your ads to someone?

Simply, Facebook uses three different audience types as I outline below:

1. Core Audiences

This means that the data is pulled from Facebook itself. Core audience data includes profile data from Facebook and/or Instagram, location data, check-in data, mobile usage data, pages liked or any combination of those. This allows you to target people based on their age, profession, interest and many other variables. Cool, isn’t it?

2. Custom Audiences

Next up, there are custom audiences? Simply, custom audiences help you target people to which data you already have access to. This could be event registration data or data hosted in your CRM. It could also be a simple Excel spreadsheet, or a Mailchimp import from people who have signed up for your newsletter.   

It can also be an audience of people who have visited your site. You can embed a tracking pixel onto any of your website so that Facebook knows when someone visited a site, how long they remained on your site and which pages they have viewed.

What Facebook then can do is match the data and link them to a Facebook profile. For example, you have collected emails, phone numbers, first and last names, as well as the state, city and country, Facebook is most likely to link them to a Facebook account.

Custom audiences are great when you want to upsell or cross-sell to your existing registrants. Or, let’s imagine someone drops off in the registration process, you can then use Facebook to retarget a relevant message to that person (a discount code can work wonders here…)

3. Lookalike Audiences

Last, there are lookalike audiences.

If John Doe is your ideal attendee and he’s already attended your big annual flagship conference last year, Facebook can create a list of people who behave and/or show the same online traits as John. Consequently, this can help raise awareness to those who are most likely to convert.

Facebook Ads For Events Guide - Lookalike Audiences.jpg

When would be a good time to start your Facebook Ads for Events?

Before investing into conversion campaigns, it might be useful to run some awareness or engagement campaigns first to ‘warm’ your potential audience up.

Essentially, you could do this long before you open your registration. An example of that would be by creating video ads with exciting content from previous events or a sneak preview of speakers.

Create that sizzling buzz first before go all in.

Great content for awareness and engagement building are video ads. Use exciting content from your previous events to create that sizzle.

Think of it as a way to build interest without focusing on hard sales. Once people have engaged with your site, you can later retarget and convert.

A way to also increase your ROI.

How to determine your marketing objective?

When creating a new ad, Facebook breaks objectives into three categories - Awareness, Consideration and Conversion - with various options under each.

Facebook Ads For Events Guide - Marketing Objectives.png

If your goal is to drive traffic to your event website…

choose the traffic objective as it does exactly that. Facebook optimized your ad to be shown to people most likely to click the link that leads back to your event website.

If your goal is to raise brand awareness…

Choose the brand awareness objective. It focuses on reaching people who are likely to be interested in your ads. Facebook will optimise your campaign to target people who are most likely to engage with your ad and spend time looking at it. If you’re marketing objective is brand awareness and recall, this is your goal.

If your can already track many successful event registration conversions from your Facebook Ads…

...choose the conversion objective. Facebook will try to find people who are most likely to complete the conversion. It’s important for you to understand that you first need to install the Facebook pixel on your event website to measure and track conversions.

So let’s say your ads are taking off and you’re getting some conversions from it (15 - 24 per week minimum), then it’s time to choose that objective. Really, it’s best suitable for larger events.

In most B2B event marketing cases, the Traffic objective will do a great job in helping your drive traffic to your event website where you can then convert that traffic (hopefully) into registrants.

What’s The Best Ticketing Price Point To Run Facebook Ads?

Generally, your customer acquisition costs will be higher if you’re charging a higher price for your conference ticket. If you’re charging several hundred dollars for a ticket, you can’t expect much conversion when running your Facebook Ads without “warming up” your audience through engagement ads.

People are not in the right buying mindset to click your ad and make a purchase. However, if you do charge a small nominal fee, let’s say 20 bucks per pop, Facebook could be a good option.

What Are The Costs For Running Facebook Ads for Events?

You have full control over the budget you spend. It can be $5, it can be $100, or it can be £25,000.

Facebook Ads For Events Right Price.gif

In general, you either pay by click (PPC) or by impressions (PPM = pay per 1,000 displays of your ad).

How much you end up spending will depend on a few factors:

  • The time of the year, the day of the week, and even the specific time your campaign is running. When competition is up (usually at peak times), your costs go up.

  • The Ad Placement you choose. Different ad placements will have different costs, so for example, running your ad in the Instagram feed will typically increase your cost per click.

  • Relevance. How well does your target audience responds to your ads. If your targeting and your ad creative are working, the cost per click decrease. If no one engages with your ad, it might increase.

  • Competition & audience. If other advertisers are trying to reach the same audience members, costs go up because Facebook’s space is not unlimited.

As a general rule of thumb for a decent Facebook Ad campaign you would expect a cost per click of between $1.00 and $3.50 depending on your marketing objective, according to AdEspresso.

All clear. Yes, Sir!