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February 25, 2021

Facebook Custom Audiences: A Guide for Music Festivals and Concert Promoters

One of the most powerful ways event organizers can use Facebook Ads to sell more tickets, is through the use of Facebook Custom Audiences.

But what is Facebook Custom Audiences, why should you be using it, and how can you get started?

That's what we'll be digging into in this article.

What is Facebook Custom Audiences?

You can create audiences on Facebook based around people who have previously interacted with your company. This allows you to then target these people with Facebook Ads.

The two most popular custom audiences for event promoters are:

  1. Customer Files - create an audience based on your email database & people who have previously purchased tickets to your events.
  2. Website Traffic - create an audience of people who have visited your event website, or your event ticketing page.

This article will focus on Facebook Custom Audiences using customer files. Part 2 of the Facebook Custom Audience series will focus on using website traffic (coming soon!)

Why Should You Use Facebook Custom Audiences?

Facebook Custom Audiences allows you to be super targeted with your Facebook Ads. Here are some of the reasons why as a event promoter, you should be using Facebook Custom Audiences...

Previous ticket buyers are likely to buy again

Ticket buyers who have previously purchased tickets to your events, are the most likely to purchase tickets to your future events.

Use Facebook Custom Audiences to target these previous ticket buyers with ads to drive ticket sales.

You can build lookalike audiences

One of the most important features with Facebook Ads, is the ability to create Lookalike Audiences.

With Lookalike Audiences, Facebook will look at a custom audience you've created, and attempt to find more people who look similar to this audience.

This is one of the most powerful ways you can use Facebook Ads to sell tickets to new customers (not just previous buyers).

Low email open rates

With email open rates continuously dropping, you can target the recipients of your emails with an accompanying Facebook Ad.

This helps you reach those people who did not open the email you sent.

Highly engaged audience = lower cost per click

Audiences that you create from your customer file will be highly engaged, because they already know you & have previously interacted with your brand.

With more engagement, this means you'll be getting a much lower cost per click with your advertising spend on Facebook.

How Do Use Facebook Custom Audiences for Customer Files?

Here's how to create a Facebook Custom Audience using your customer file:

1. Create the audience

From Facebook Business Manager, select Audiences (from the main menu in the top left).

Once you're in the Audiences page, select ‘Create Audience’, choose ‘Custom Audience’ and then ‘Customer file’.

2. Upload your customer file

You'll then be able to upload a CSV file of your customers. For event organizers, typically these will come from your email database and ticket sales data from the ticketing platforms you use.

Once uploaded Facebook will attempt to match as many of the contacts you've uploaded, creating an audience for you to target with ads on Facebook.

Important: The fields that we'd recommend you include are: email, phone number, first name, last name, zip/post code, city, state, country, date of birth and gender.

While you don't need all of these fields (sometimes you can get away with even just the email address or mobile number), however the more fields you include, the better match rate you'll have with Facebook.

3. Create your ad

Once you've got your Facebook Custom Audiences setup, you're now able to start creating your Facebook Ad. When selecting who to target with your ad, you'll be able to select the "Custom Audience" tab, and then select from the different custom audiences you've created.

How to Get The Most Out of Facebook Custom Audiences

Here are some of the ways you can ensure you get the most from Facebook Custom Audiences:

Make sure your custom audiences are up to date

Don't forget to ensure your audiences are kept up-to-date. You're regularly capturing data from new email database subscribers & ticket sales. Make sure you upload these new contacts to Facebook Custom Audiences at least on a weekly basis.

Don't want to manually importing CSV files? You can check out our Facebook Custom Audience integration here, which automatically keeps you Facebook Custom Audiences up to date.

Ensure you have as many CSV fields as possible

We've said it before, we'll say it again. Make sure you include as many fields as you can on the CSV file you upload.

You can get away with just the email address or mobile number, but you'll get a much better match rate if you include as many of the other fields as possible.

Ensure the data you upload is in the correct format

Facebook requires the data you import by CSV to be in a specific format, this is particularly important when it comes to phone number, date of birth, state and country information.

If it's not in the correct format, your customer file will not match to Facebook. You can check out this article from Facebook on how to prepare the data for import. We've also included a preview of some of the requirements below:

Build out your segments

While one Facebook Custom Audience is a good start, you're going to want to create a number of audiences. This will allow you to segment your ads, to really improve your marketing.

Some of the segments you might like to think about creating could include: location, interested genres, event brand, previous VIP ticket buyers, etc.

Another really important segment for specific events, is "Already Purchased Tickets", so you're not wasting money advertising to people who have already purchased tickets.

If you need a hand getting your segments setup, feel free to get in touch and we can guide you through it.

Lookalike audiences

Last but not least, make sure you've created a lookalike audience from your Facebook Custom Audiences. This will allow you to get exposed to new potential ticket buyers, and is one of the most important ways you can use Facebook Ads to increase your ticket sales.

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Article by
Bri Willis