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How to Create a Promoted Event with Facebook Ads

Add Comment by Ryan Sylvestre
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Written by Ryan Sylvestre

If your business regularly hosts events, then chances are pretty good that you’ve publicized those events on Facebook. The social network makes it so easy to create an event and share it amongst your social network that it’s the primary way many small businesses aim to get the word out to their potential customers and guests.

But, as most of us eventually realize, social media is filled with a lot of noise. There are so many articles, statuses, and yes, events, shared every day that it can be a challenge to make sure that your event listing is actually getting seen by the people you want seeing it.

Are you tired of creating Facebook events for your business and seeing minimal results? By creating a promoted event through Facebook Ads, it’s incredibly easy to amplify your event’s reach and get it in front of people who will fill your seats, buy your tickets, and make you money.

Below, we walk you step by step through the process of creating promoted events with Facebook Ads.

Promoted Events vs. Regular Events

Just in case you aren’t sure what we mean by “promoted events,” we wanted to take a minute to explain. Promoted events are just like regular event listings on Facebook, only they are amplified by Facebook’s advertising network and functionality.

With a regular event, you create your event listing, share it with your network, and that’s about all of the control that you have over the matter. How many people see the event and decide to sign up will be entirely dependent on your business’s network and how engaged your audience is.

Promoted events, on the other hand, get a little oomph behind them thanks to the addition of some ad dollars. By narrowing down your audience to people that you know will be likely to attend your event, you can increase the chances of a successful campaign (more on this below).

How to Create A Promoted Event with Facebook Ads

1. Begin by creating an Event on your business page.

Before you begin the process of promoting your event through Facebook Ads Manager, you will need to create it as a regular old event. Do so, following the best practices that we have outlined here.

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2. Open Facebook Ads Manager.

Begin by logging into your business’s Facebook account and click on the “Settings” tab in the upper right-hand corner of your screen and select “Manage Ads.”

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This will open up Facebook Ads Manager, which is the platform that you will use to create and manage any and all ads that you run through your Business’s Facebook page.

3. Click “Create” to begin the process.

Once you are in the Facebook Ads Manager dashboard, you should take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the functionality, especially if you’ve never used it before. Once you’re ready to begin the process of creating your promoted event, click the green “Create” button.

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4. Identify the purpose of your ad.

Facebook makes it pretty easy for advertisers to create ads based upon the purpose of that ad. To create a promoted event advertisement, you should select “Engagement” in the “Consideration” column.

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Then, scroll down to select the type of engagement that you are looking to achieve. Because this is event focused, you should select “Event responses.”

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5. Name your campaign.

In order to make it easy to find information about your campaign in the future, create a memorable campaign name that ties directly back to the event you are promoting. Then click “Continue.”

6. Specify your “Ad Set.”

“Ad Set” is just Facebook’s terminology for your ad audience. In order for your event to perform as well as possible, you will need to specify the audience that you would like to see the promoted event. Facebook makes it incredibly easy for you to specify your audience based on a number of factors, including:

Location: If your event has broad appeal, you may decide to promote it on the state, regional, or even national level. In the case of a smaller event, though, you’ll probably want to target a more local audience—say, just your town and surrounding towns. Simply type the location and hit “enter.” Pro Tip: Be careful when setting your radius. You want to be as targeted as possible, while still giving yourself enough reach to include people, not in your direct vicinity.

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Age: If your event has broad general appeal, you will likely want to leave the age range as it is pre-selected (18-65+). If, on the other hand, it is age-specific—say, it appeals more to college students or to the elderly—adjust as necessary.

Gender: Again, if your event has broad appeal, you should leave this as pre-selected to “All.” If your event is more likely to appeal to one gender over another, though, you should indicate that here.

Language: Does your event cater to specific language speakers? English, Spanish, French, Tagalog? Specify that here, and Facebook will only show it to users who speak that language.

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Interests: One of the most powerful capabilities of Facebook Ads is the ability to narrow your promoted event down by “interest.” This means that the event will be shown to Facebook users who have expressed particular interest in an a particular subject. Simply begin typing an interest (a subject matter or activity, for example), and Facebook will automatically suggest some interests that you can select from. You can choose as many as are relevant to your event.

For example, if your business is a bakery offering a baking class, you might search for “baking” as below.

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7. Save your Audience if you want to use it again in the future.

Once you’ve created your audience, you should consider saving it so that you can quickly use it again in the future. It is possible to create multiple unique audiences, so don’t worry if you regularly host events that appeal to different types of people.

8. Select your ad placement.

Ad placement refers to where, on Facebook, your promoted event will appear—for example, in the news feed, in the sidebar, etc. By default, Facebook will automatically place your ad where it believes you will get the most value from it. You can, though, choose to specify your ad placement if you wish, though this option is typically best left for marketing professionals who have thoroughly studied how different kinds of ad placement have impacted their ads in the past.

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9. Set your budget and schedule

Your ad budget can either be set on a daily basis (where you’ll spend no more than a certain number of dollars each day, for a set number of days) or a lifetime basis (where you’ll spend no more than a certain number of dollars over the life of your ad).

At the same time, you’ll also set the schedule (when you want your ad to run).

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Exactly how much of a budget and how long you want to promote your event will entirely depend on the type of event and the nature of your business. Generally speaking, if your event if more expensive, it is recommended that you begin promoting it earlier so that your potential customers have the time to consider and budget for the expense.

By clicking Continue, you will be brought to the next page, where you will actually begin building the ad.

10. Select your ad format.

To make the process of creating ads as easy as possible, Facebook has templatized the process. You can choose to either go with a single image, single video, or slideshow ad.

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What’s the best format for your promoted event? The one that helps you sell the most tickets! Run a couple of tests (one for each format) to see which performs best for your business and targeted audience. That’s honestly the only way you’ll know for sure.

11. Select your image.

Next, you’ll need to select the image that you want to use in your ad. This should be something eye-catching and relevant to your business/event.

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If you decide to upload a photo of your own, make sure that it meets Facebook’s recommended image specs so that it displays correctly:

  • 1,200 pixels wide by 628 pixels high (for the image nerds, that’s an aspect ratio of 1.91:1)
  • Little or no overlaid text

On the other hand, if you don’t have any images of your own, you can browse Facebook’s free stock photos and choose one that works.

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12. Select your event.

To see what your promoted event will look like, you’ll need to select the event that you’d like to promote from the drop-down list. This list will include all events that you’ve created, so make sure you select the correct one. Once you choose your event, Ads Manager will auto-populate the event text based off of what you’ve already written (though you can edit this if you’d like) and will show you your ad preview.

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By clicking the little arrow above the preview, you can see what the event may look like in other formats depending on where it is placed.

13. Review and finalize.

Take one final look at your promoted event’s settings and, when you’re happy, click “submit” in the bottom right-hand corner. This will submit the ad to Facebook for review, and you should be notified within a few hours whether or not it was approved.

Facebook will typically only reject ads that it deems inappropriate or illegal, so you shouldn’t have any issues here. If you do find your promoted event rejected, though, there is a process for appeal that typically resolves within 24 hours.

The Bottom Line

A lot of small businesses might be intimidated the first time they log into Facebook Ads Manager to create a promoted event, but it is a much more streamlined process than you might think. Just follow the steps above and you’re on your way to an event with more engagement and more tickets sold.

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About the author

Ryan Sylvestre

Written by Ryan Sylvestre

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