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Kumbh Mela, an annual Hindu pilgrimage of faith, is the most attended event in the world. As documented, around 130 million people took part in it. The number is quite impressive, as it simply exceeds populations of almost all countries except for the top 10.
The explanation of why Kumbh Mela gathers so many visitors is simple. The event originated in India, which is now the second most populous state on the globe. Experts predict the country to surpass China within the next decade and climb up to the leading position.
Now let’s imagine we want to beat the record of Kumbh Mela and organize the largest people gathering of all times. If you ask me, I wouldn’t seek a mass of attendants in India, China, or the rest of the giant states.
Rather than that, I’d go on Facebook if I wished to make it big.
Facebook is a virtual, undocumented, yet impressive superpower that took them all over by reaching 2.38B of monthly users. People literally reside in there, spending 2.30 hours per day on scrolling their feeds. And aside from stalking their friends and reading news, they also search for events and buy things there.
The impressive scope of audience and its dedication to the network mean you don’t necessarily need a website to sell out an event. You don’t necessarily need those big boards around the city to advertise your event. Even email marketing can be neglected either. The most powerful tool in this niche as of 2019 is Facebook event marketing.
Not all of us need to gather stadiums. Even if you need to simply sell out 30 seats on a limited workshop, Facebook Events are still there to help you out with this.
So how to kick it off with Facebook event marketing?
Before chasing fame and success with Facebook event ads, you need to design your event in the best possible way. Yet, we won’t overload your mind with long “how-to-create-a-Facebook-event” guides for dummies. Instead, here’s a short excerpt from the official Facebook’s tutorial:
You’ve managed to set up your event and ready to fire it away. But the point is, people won’t come and sign for your event by default. Most businesses, especially new ones, need to promote their events to reach a decent number of attendees and “interested” people.
Now, let’s learn how to do this properly and eventually sell out an event and reach peak attendance?
There are your best Facebook event marketing tips and practices to embrace, backed with relevant ad ideas and examples.
1. Invite Facebook Friends to Attend Your Event
That’s the easy way to get some starter boost. Even though not all of your Facebook friends are your target audience, the event with 100 event responses outright looks much more trustworthy than an event with merely 5 or 10. Just compare and see which one you personally find more appealing:
I would consider visiting the Facebook event with 1,000 interested and 123 going, even if I wasn’t interested in the event theme before. The one with no attendees and just 21 interested looks quite dead, which is negatively impact people’s subconscious.
Taking aside psychology, there is also a technical benefit to start building a Facebook event marketing strategy from inviting your acquaintances. Friends of people who are interested in your event will more likely see it in their feeds.
You’ll have better chances to appear in “Popular with friends”, and “Recently announced” tabs. Even if 1 or 2 of the prospect’s friends are interested, it still can work. This makes it one of the best Facebook marketing ideas for event planners.
2. Run a Pre-Event Contest with a Facebook Post
Another classic move among Facebook event marketing examples. After gathering a somehow decent audience on your event page, it’s time to apply one more psychological trigger. Namely, to play around people’s desire to win something for free.
If you host a paid event, the best prize to give away is a free ticket (usually two, if it’s an entertaining event). The most common way to do it was to ask followers to repost an event to their page, tag several friends, etc. And it was indeed the most effective in terms of Facebook event advertising.
The rules have changed, and now Facebook doesn’t permit such promotions. What you can do instead is to ask like or comment the post (which will anyway boost its exposure in a local feed). Asking to like your business page is also acceptable, although it won’t be easy to track whether those like was from contestants or not. However, you can create something like this:
You can go beyond this and come up with more creative conditions as well. The more interest your contest evokes in your audience, the more chance it has to be shared in their feeds without any pleas.
3. Advertise Your Event with Facebook Ad Manager
It’s entirely possible to attract as many people as you need just by sharing the event page everywhere and gaining better reach organically. That’s the major advantage of Facebook event marketing: you make zero investment and receive a huge return.
But who said we’ll stop right there! We aim big, and we won’t hesitate to go the extra mile for this. And that is where Facebook event advertising comes in.
Currently, Facebook offers two types of event promotion ads: event “boosting” and regular Facebook ads created from scratch. Not all of you probably know the difference between the Facebook boost event vs. ad, so let me elaborate on this.
A “Boost” feature is the simplest Facebook event advertising option, where you just hit the “magic” button and adjust a couple of settings. In 2 minutes, your ad is ready for running. This is how it usually looks like:
Boosting is a quick fix for those who failed to reach the desired number of interested. And it’s totally ok. New algorithms are quite harsh, so Facebook event advertising is a necessary step for better marketing rather than a whim of the rich and prominent.
Facebook ads for events are a slightly different story that requires Facebook Ad Manager to launch. Here you get hands on the full functionality of Facebook tools for business and can customize your event ad whatever you need. We recommend you to use only Ad Manager for posts promotion, as “Boost event” feature is too streamlined and gives you much less control over what’s happening.
Yet, Facebook Ad Manager is not as user-friendly as we could wish. Greater freedom also means greater challenges to deal with. Among them are the choice of the right format, right objective, and right targeting options to create the best Facebook event ad.
First of all, define the primary goal you need to achieve. Facebook offers three objectives for the events:
- traffic (encouraging people to buy tickets from your page)
- conversions (encouraging people to buy tickets right on Facebook)
- engagement (getting more event responses from your prospects)
You can start designing your Facebook event ad by clicking “…” button and choosing “get more responses” for the engagement objective and “sell more tickets” for the rest of two respectively.
Later, you can switch your event marketing objective from “traffic” to “conversions” and vice versa. The next step is choosing the audience, ad schedule, and budget. Shortly after this, you need to adjust an ad copy and visuals to make your offer more tempting.
That’s how the ready event ad with an “engagement” objective looks like:
Yes, I’m really into digital marketing. Otherwise, I wasn’t writing this article. Organizers of this digital marketing meetup did their job well and picked the right targeting options, so I see this in my feed now. Aside from the opening, the rest of the copy is also good: they defined benefits for the visitor, who is this event for, and used the “FOMO” principle to create a sense of urgency. A great example of the best Facebook event marketing practices.
As for ad formats, most events do pretty well with a single image Facebook ad format. Visuals you use just need to be vivid, attention-grabbing and relevant. But again, this depends a lot on the event’s type and its target audience. If you know that your prospects love long-form videos, go for it, etc.
There is one more question that bothers many marketers. What are the costs of Facebook event advertising?
The average CPC of Facebook ads equals $1.86, while the average CPM comprises $11.20.
But luckily for you, Facebook has an algorithm called a relevance score. Each time somebody runs an ad, it assigns this ad a rating from 1 to 10.
If your ad seems to be super-relevant and quite natural for your target audience, you always pay less. And if the relevance score is low, you’ll be charged a fortune. One more motivation to serve only quality Facebook ads for your event marketing.
4. Run Your Ad on Instagram Stories, Too
Selecting your ad placement, don’t neglect Instagram, especially its stories. Instagram is the second powerful platform that catches up with Facebook in terms of event advertising. And in terms of follower engagement, it performs even better.
I recommend you, however, to use Instagram only for boosting ticket sales if you run a paid event. Instagram will automatically feature a CTA to redirect the prospect to the ticket sale page. And in case of focusing on engagement, they will be redirected to the Facebook event’s page first, which decreases a chance for them to reach a sales stage straight away.
Consider also the fact that you can’t run the same Facebook and Instagram when you use “boost event” feature.
5. Retarget Your Facebook Event Ad at Those Who’ve Already Engaged
While choosing your ad target demographics, you might notice an option called “custom audience”. So what exactly is it and how can it benefit your Facebook event marketing?
Custom audience means you shift away from standard “age, gender, interests” attributes and go for something applicable only to your business.
This feature usually comes into play in the following cases:
- lots of people are interested, but few of them are 100% going;
- the virtual train is full, while almost nobody purchased tickets;
- you hold another event later and want to market it upfront;
- you want to run a specific pre-event ad campaign (e.g., offer some specials to all who is interested).
For this, the list of people who’ve already interacted with your event in any way may come in handy. Facebook allows you to create custom audiences based on the following interactions:
Thus, you can even retarget your event marketing campaigns at those who merely visited the event page. And these statistics regarding retargeting will definitely make you consider it.
6. Sell Tickets Directly from a Facebook Event
Your visitors definitely don’t enjoy extra hassle you create with adding links to your website and only then redirecting them to third-party sources to purchase a ticket. That’s not the best event marketing practice, especially when Facebook has brilliant ticket sale integrations. Now you can sell tickets in the same place where you run promotions.
Eventbrite is one of the best services that partners with Facebook for selling tickets right in the mobile app. Yes, you will be taken to the checkout page without any redirects.
Quite handy, isn’t it? According to Facebook & Eventbrite cooperative research, such an approach increases ticket sale conversion by 20% and drives 2x more event registrations.
And if you don’t want to use Eventbrite integration, just add the link to any other ticketing service for easy redirecting:
7. Set up a High-Ticket Sales Funnel
If your tickets are quite expensive to be sold by a simple Facebook ad, you can consider setting up a high-ticket sales funnel to justify the purchase. In this case, you still advertise your event on Facebook, yet add a link to your landing page in the attached post.
There is how the step-by-step sales process looks like:
- You create a landing page with information about your event. Here you can also gather name and email for further follow-up.
- Lead your prospect to the sales page that builds the value of your offer. On this stage, you need to explain why exactly they need to buy this ticket and which benefits they’ll get. A brief sales copy in a Facebook event ad is often not enough to convince people. You can offer free content or a product trial as well.
- Let them proceed to the payment. Add several payment options and let them pay for tickets in the least intimidating way.
- Add a 1-click upsell option. Let your customer quickly upsell to VIP ticket which provides even more benefits. You have more chances for upselling while smoothly guiding them to this step using a sales funnel.
- Deliver the ticket. Add a ticket download link to this page or send it via email.
The best tool to craft neat click funnels with the convenient drag and drop editor is Clickfunnels. Take a look at this case study. Leveraging the power of Facebook event marketing and Clickfunnels’s software, the coaching company generated a whopping 4,034% ROI after building a high-ticket sales funnel and selling out tickets for their webinar.
Another edge of this service is that you don’t need to pay upfront and enjoy the 14-day free trial instead.
If something went wrong, you need to follow-up with your prospect via email they left at the very beginning of the sales funnel. To handle it without any hassle, use a marketing automation platform like ActiveCampaign or similar. Abandoned cart, page visit, or another kind of activity may serve as a trigger.
Read more about setting up a sales funnel in this article.
8. Don’t Ignore “During Event” and “Post-Event” Stages
Well, you actually can totally ignore them if your event is the first and the last for your company. In all other cases, you need definitely pay attention to post during the event and after the event as part of your Facebook event marketing strategy.
On the “during event” stage, you can do the following:
- Stream the event live for those who can’t attend it, but still interested. You can sell a reduced-price ticket to access the event online if the event is paid. For free events, you can utilize Youtube live videos and feature the one in the feed.
- Post photo reports and stories.
- Encourage the audience to share their own impressions on the event’s page;
- Arrange a live poll.
The post-event stage is time to show the gratitude to all the attendees and ask them to stay tuned for further events. Keep interacting with them, if they ask questions or give feedback.
The technical side of advertising on Facebook seems to be a no-brainer, especially if you just click on “boost event’ and forget. And now, armed with best event marketing tips, you feel that you closer to success than ever.
That’s indeed true, but in practice, there are a few more things to care of: the long-term event marketing strategy and the creative itself.
Do your buyer personas fit in the audience you target during event promotions?
Does your event align with your overall marketing objectives?
Do you test your creatives to see which one works better?
Are you happy with the budget you spend on Facebook event advertising?
If you’ve ever asked yourself those questions but haven’t figured the answers yet, we would offer you to do it now.
Your ads can do well know, but…
That’s may be striking, but you can still decrease your advertising budget and increase your revenue.
How? By figuring out what works best for your one-of-a-kind business. There neither two identical businesses nor identical event marketing strategies. And if you still don’t know how to grow your audience, remarket, and use data to optimize your Facebook event marketing, it’s now or never to learn about it.
Book a strategy session and make it big with Facebook event ads!