If you have a special event coming up that you desperately want people to attend, it’s crucial that you know how to use social media in your event marketing.
Lucky for you, I recorded a value-packed training on event marketing back in April. In this training (which was over an hour long), I broke down how to use social media advertising to majorly drive ticket sales.
Make sure you watch the full training! But if you don’t have the time to watch the whole thing, no worries. Throughout this article, I’ll provide time stamps so you know where to find the exact information you need in the video.
Event Marketing’s Winning Ad Strategy (11:16)
I’ve found that a winning ad strategy for event marketing requires three campaigns—each with its own purpose.
But in order to understand this three-campaign ad strategy, you need to understand Facebook’s ad structure.
First, you have your campaign. Each campaign corresponds to one advertising objective, which in this case, would likely be conversions.
Under each campaign, you can have several ad sets. This is where you set your budget, your scheduled run time, and your audience segments for every ad set.
Then, under each ad set, you can have multiple ads, which is where you test the creatives. Each ad features text, images or video, and links.
Now, if you’re marketing an event in multiple cities, you’ll want to run these three campaigns for each city you’re advertising the event in.
Let’s dive into the three campaigns you need:
Campaign 1: Prospecting (15:15)
The goal of your first campaign is conversions. You’ll want to allocate 75% to 85% of your budget to this campaign, which you can split up into two ad sets.
In the first ad set, I target people who have a general interest in the event.
In the second, I target people who engage with content. There’s a new feature on Facebook called Grouped Audience, where you can group people together who have engaged with your Facebook page or Instagram content.
This campaign should not drive people to your general website or directly to the ticketing page. All ads should drive people to your pre-registration page or your sales page. Period.
I also recommend testing three different ads. Make sure that, while testing, you only have one variable (text or video/image) that you change. This allows you to see exactly how that one variable is performing.
You can use the same copy and headline button on all three ads and then use three different photos and videos to see which performs best.
You’ll want to see an average of 5-7x return on your ad spend (ROAS). In other words, for every $1 you spend on ads, you should get $5 to $7 back.
Campaign 2: Retargeting (20:55)
The objective of this campaign is, again, conversions. You can allocate 10% to 15% of your budget to this campaign.
The first ad set should target website visitors, and the second ad set should target those who have engaged with the event page on Facebook. (This is why you should always create an event page on Facebook!)
These ads should send people to your ticketing page since they’ve already visited the sales page.
Once again, test three different ads with identical copy (just add more FOMO than Campaign 1) so you can test the photos and videos.
Remember, since you’re retargeting, this campaign’s audience is warm to hot, so you should see an 8-12x ROAS on average. You might see higher! If you see lower than this, though, you’ll want to see what you can improve.
Campaign 3: RSVP (24:05)
This campaign can run all the way from pre-registration up to the event date. You’ll only allocate 5% to 10% on this one.
You’re targeting a cold audience with this campaign. And in fact, you can use the same audiences in Campaign 3 that you used in Campaign 1.
These ads, though, will drive RSVPs to the Event Page. These ads actually have a virality factor since they have an “Interested” button on them.
Try adding emojis to the text of these ads! (It makes it fun and stands out more to your cold audience.)
Pro Tip: Go to 27:30 in my training to learn how to view your competitors’ ads!
Should You Do Pre-Registration? (30:40)
Should you ask for people’s email and phone number before you open up for sales?
I have some clients who don’t do this at all. They’re on sale all year round, and that works for them. I have other clients, though, who rely heavily on “pre-regging,” and that works for them.
I can’t say one is better over the other. From a safety factor, though, I prefer having people’s email and phone number as well as running ads.
Want detailed examples of how much to spend on your ad campaigns at various stages of the promotion timeline?
Go to 32:40 to see a sample of a Paced Flight Plan with a budget of $10,000.
You can also go to 34:10 for a sample of a Front-Loaded Flight Plan, again with a budget of $10,000.
The ‘Focus’ Campaign for Event Marketing (35:30)
I named this campaign after the movie Focus with Will Smith. In this movie, Will Smith uses subliminal marketing to get a particular number in a guy’s mind.
We need to do the same thing in event marketing when it comes to getting people to remember when to register!
These ads yield incredible results, sometimes even as high as 42x ROAS.
When I’m creating these ads, I open the text with an emoji to draw the eye in. Then the first line includes the open date in all caps.
I make sure to weave FOMO into the copy, where I include the open date again. (Be sure to include the open date in the headline, too!)
This ad drives people to the pre-reg page. I use two to three different assets, and I always test video when possible.
Your Event Marketing Sales Page (50:30)
Remember that your website is NOT your sales page. Your sales page should be uniquely designed to convince someone to sign up for the event.
A good sales page has:
- A powerful CTA (call to action) with core event details before someone has to scroll
- A countdown timer next to a price increase
- Ticket options and prices
- Information about the event
- Event media
- An FAQ
- A recap of the event details
- Another CTA
Each sales page should have event information that is crafted for each distinct targeted audience. For instance, if you’re targeting multiple cities, you should create a sales page for each city.
That’s event marketing 101!
Your Ticketing Page (56:02)
You don’t want to drive a cold audience to your ticketing page to buy tickets. (Save this for Campaign 2!)
A lot of people put the bare minimum on their ticketing page, such as pricing options. But remember that you have no idea how someone got to your ticketing page. Someone with no knowledge of the event could’ve received the ticketing page link from a friend.
So make sure you have as many details as possible about the event on this page. (You don’t want them leaving your ticket page to go find more details.)
This is your last chance to sell, so don’t lose this conversion!
Go to 58:20 to see some examples of ticketing pages that work wonders.
After people purchase a ticket, make sure you ask them to share it with their friends. This is the perfect time to ask since trust and excitement are highest right after a purchase!
Event Marketing: Pixels and Analytics (1:01:30)
At minimum, make sure you have Google Analytics and a Facebook Pixel installed on your website, sales page, and ticketing platform.
Do this even if you’re not planning on doing ads right away! This is how you start building your audience from the very beginning.
Go to 1:03:50 to see the power of using Google Analytics to track revenue for your event marketing!
Google Analytics lets you see exactly where your sales are coming from. This is crucial to optimize your event marketing efforts.
Go to 1:07:30 to see how to use Facebook revenue tracking to optimize your ad efforts.
A Facebook Pixel can track your revenue and calculate your ROAS, helping you determine which ads and campaigns are the most fruitful for you.
Social Media Is a Powerful Tool in Event Marketing
If nothing else, I hope this training has shown just how powerful social media advertising can be in your event marketing efforts. Especially if you do it right!
Be sure to watch the recording of my training to get more information on these sales-bolstering strategies.
By the way, have you joined my Six-Figure Freelancer Facebook Group yet? If not, head over there now and join a community of like-minded solopreneurs like you!