Facebook ads seem to be an underutilized tool Facebook offers for businesses. It doesn’t always work and you do need to do some playing around, but if you haven’t considered spending some of your marketing money on paid ads on Facebook, you should rethink! This Facebook Event Marketing Guide is a great first step to understanding how to use Facebook to market your event.
For Regpack, we personally will “boost” some Facebook posts, usually a newly posted blog post, to get our posts read by a wider audience (that we target through Facebook Targeting) and have seen some interesting results! That is the most basic way to use Facebook ads from there you can really get very fancy (that said, it is not always worth the effort since the results are often so-so). Find a balance between what is worth your time and budget, and what is worth passing on. You figure this out by trial and error, unfortunately! Here are some great tips on paid social media, including one of my own, to get you started.
If you suspect that your clients are connected with many other potential clients – friends and associates – in your area and they should know about your business – creating an event or boosting a post using Facebook Ad’s might be a great use of marketing funds and get you out there to your community in a big way!
Facebook event marketing is simple! Facebook makes targeting your ads easy, especially if you are targeting a local community or the community you’re aiming to connect with. You can target your ad to friends of your followers, certain age groups and locations. Ads invite people to like your page (which is great since it means your updates will show up in their feeds) and invite them to attend your event (if this is what you’re doing an ad for).
Event & Ad ideas include:
- Upcoming registration for event.
- Registration Deadlines for Camp sessions, conferences, etc.
- Open house
- Tours – group or by appointment (to get people in the door – this is great for camps, leagues, schools, etc)
- Promote Your Page
- Boost a post (image, video, blog post)
Facebook Event Marketing: How to Create an Ad
If you’re on your organization’s Facebook page, click the “Promote Business” drop down button in the upper right corner.
This will allow you to either “Promote your page” (a general post about your page that will show up to those you target, inviting them to ‘like your page’) or “Boost latest post” which will allow you to target your most recent post like a photo, video, event, to your targeted group.
If you want to boost a specific post or an event you’ve created, go to that post on your feed and click “Boost Post” on the bottom right of the post.
A screen will come up giving you an overview of the post you can create. It will show you a desktop and mobile image of your post and allow you to set the budget you’re comfortable with.
You also have the option to set the “Audience”. Sometimes you might just want to promote this post, say an event for only your followers ie clients, so you can choose “People Who Like This Page”. This option exists since Facebook changed things up and started showing business page posts less and less to their followers (read up on this issue here). If you were getting great engagement before – paying for it might sound unfair, but hey if it works, how is this different than paying for ads in other places or investing in brochures, fliers, etc?!
You can also choose “People who like your page and their friends” if you want to keep the targeting simple, and assume that their friends are mostly the people you’d want to target. This isn’t usually the case though since friends on Facebook can vary a lot – you might not want to waste some of your promoted post views on someone who doesn’t meet your ideal criteria (age, location, interests, etc). This option might be great however for camps, if your fans are mostly your campers, then it’s likely many of their friends are similar aged peers in the local community.
The next option is “People you choose through targeting”, which is your best and most customized option! You have to play around with it, but the settings you can choose are pretty awesome and if you do a great combination you might see some excellent results!
If you choose this option, you’ll see the following fields:
The more you specify who you want to target, the farther your ad budget goes!
Location is great since you can be as broad or specific as your business requires. A local business can choose your town or state to get started.
Age is next – this is helpful if you’re a camp for instance, and want to target only ages that fit your camp age range.
Gender – this isn’t necessary for most ads since most events or pages would welcome both men and women. But if you’re a sports league for instance, and want to promote your girls’ volleyball team or your boy’s soccer league, this option can be useful! Bigger brands might use this if hey are targeting gender specific products, but this isn’t always the case for smaller organizations.
Interests is the next field and you can get as specific or broad as you want here, depending on what works for your business.
You can choose pages that people like (say a high school if you’re targeting campers, or everyone who likes a sports team) or just leave this blank if you can’t find a common interest or page that you think unifies the group you’re targeting.
The “estimated people reach” info will change as you set up targeting and change your parameters.
In theory, you want a small number here since that means your budget will go farther and you aren’t advertising to SO many people, most of whom probably could care less about your business. This is where ‘playing around’ with the settings comes into play. This estimated number can really help you to gauge how specific or effective your targeting is and to make changes before you hit submit and start paying.
All Ad Options
Facebook offers many options for ads. Each ad ‘type’ will come up with a slightly different screen but the general idea is the same:
- Review what the ad will look like.
- Choose a photo (unless you’re boosting a post or event, it will take the image associated with this post or event to use for the ad)
- Choose targeting.
- Edit any text.
- Choose a budget and timeline.
Facebook offers these types of ads:
Conclusion: Facebook Event Marketing
These options are increasing by the year, as some of the options shown here weren’t available a year ago and I think this is awesome! With more and more people linking their location and other personal info to their Facebook pages, this invites businesses to target more effectively. For example, you can create an ad that specifically targets people who are near your location – opening up a big and wider audience to connect with than you had the option to before. Promoting events and using Facebook’s offer feature to entice people to like your page, attend your event or do some other call to action your ad promotes, is also a great way to get more followers and get the word out about your event and/or your business.
Facebook even offers a ‘help’ page to try to guide you in what ad option best fits the objective you have for your ad. There are some other great resources on the net that can help guide you in advanced event marketing, like this one from Ultimate Experience.
I invite you to start using ads and see if it’s worth the investment! Play around with targeting, try a few different ad types and see what comes of it! Make sure your ads or boosted posts always include some sort of link – either your homepage for you website or a specific page connected with your ad (if it’s an event promotion ad, the event page on your website is a great place to link!)
Share your experiences, good and bad, in the comments. I’m curious to know how different organizations are using Facebook’s paid tools to improve their business!