Using Facebook Ads for your Event

Facebook is the largest social network in the world. With more monthly active users than WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram combined, it makes sense to explore how you can use the platform to sell more tickets to your event and excite attendees leading up to the day.

The number of potential customers you can reach through Facebook for free is a constant battle against:

  • The increasing amount of content published by everyone else
  • Personalised newsfeeds limiting content to only what Facebook deems the most relevant.

Because after all, Facebook was created for people to connect with their friends, not with businesses, therefore it puts users first. 

Facebook Advertising, allows businesses to gain access to this market of potential customers. With these, we can gain visibility, engagement, and eventually, ticket sales. It’s still important to post regularly to keep your loyal followers engaged, keep your page interesting and deliver important news. But ads are what will help you find new runners and athletes to attend your events who haven’t heard about you before but are interested in what you’re offering. 

Set your Goals

What do you hope to achieve with your campaign?

You can tailor your Ad to achieve different desired results. Here are the objectives you will likely consider for your races, if you’re looking to:

  • Increase ticket sales
  • Build brand awareness
  • Create interest in an event

Selling more tickets to an event

If your goal is to sell more tickets for a particular event, you should use the Traffic or the Conversions objective to create an Ad for your Facebook Event. If you haven’t yet created a Facebook event, see our Guide on ‘Managing your Event on Facebook’. Creating event ads with these objectives will show a Get Tickets button to people who see your ad.

  • The Traffic objective helps direct people off of Facebook and on to your app or website to purchase tickets.
  • The Conversions objective helps track on-Facebook ticket sales for your event.

This objective is useful when you are nearing the date of an event after already building some interest. 

Increasing brand awareness of your company

If your goal is to increase the profile of your brand, you should select the ‘Brand Awareness’ objective. This will drive people to your Facebook page, to view the selection of events you have to offer and choose for themselves based on available dates, locations and race types that are available. Here, they can also find out more about your business and/or start following your posts and updates on new events, requests for volunteers, etc. 

Create interest in an event

If you want to build interest in an event, you should choose the ‘Engagement’ objective. With this you can create an Ad for the Facebook Event you want to promote, which will drive people to respond to your event by showing them an Interested button. This objective is useful when you have some time until the event and want to build excitement around potential participants.  

For more information on Ad objectives for your event, see Facebook's guide to ‘Create an Event Ad’. 

Choose your audience

Once you have set your goal, you can choose your audience. Do you know your racers demographics? A sure way of increasing your advertising chances of success is knowing your audience. Facebook has a lot of information on its users' profiles, interests, demographics and more. Be specific about who you’re looking for with location, ages, interests, and facebook will help you do the rest. Below you can see an example for people based in Sheffield,  with an added ‘interest’ in Trail Running. This gives you an estimated audience size of 94,000, which can be made larger by adding more interests or more locations. You should use the swingometer on the right to make sure you’re not being too specific or too broad. 

If you have a large events portfolio, you might consider a broad range of locations relative to where all your races are held, so that people who reach you can choose from your portfolio. If you are trying to promote one individual race, you might consider a smaller location radius to target people more local to your event. 

Racer Demographics

Depending on what type of event you are trying to promote, here are some statistics from Marastats, showing the average ages and genders of the following types of racers:

Average age and gender for Marathon Runners:

Average age and gender for Half Marathon Runners:

And if you have organised a similar race before, you can view your participant demographics on your Eventrac platform for previous events, which looks like this:

You can use these in the ages section of your ads manager to make your adverts more specific for your target audience! 

Re-target past racers and website visitors

You can use data from your previous races, like emails and phone numbers to re-target people for future events. To do this you upload a .csv or .txt file and create a ‘custom audience’.  

To re-target people who visit your website, you can create a Facebook Pixel which connects your website with your Facebook ads account to create a list of visitors to target your adverts. 

Use ‘Lookalike’ Audiences

Lookalike audiences can help you reach people who are similar to people who already engage with your brand. Eg. similar people to those who like your Facebook page, or Instagram page. They use the attributes of your best customers to identify similarities amongst others who could be interested. 


Advert Pricing 

Facebook determines the price of your ad, by working out how relevant your ad is to the people you show it to and pricing up each interaction. 

Re-targeting is great because on average, the cost of an ad to someone you’re re-targeting is 43% lower than to someone who has not seen it before. The average number of interactions or encounters needed for someone to trust a brand or company, enough to be willing to purchase a ticket, varies largely depending on price, location, and other factors. But we know for sure its more than 1. So by re-targeting customers your building your trust profile with them. 

A lot to take in!

There is a lot to consider when developing ads, but if you’ve come this far and you’re using the Facebook Ads manger you’re doing a great job! For more information on using the ads manager, take a look at the Facebook Help Center.



On Hand To Help

The team at Eventrac are on hand to assist with all components of your event. From advice on promoting your event through low cost channels such as social media, to a guided tutorial on a specific feature of Eventrac. We are here to help.

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