Facebook Ads Click-Through Rate (CTR): How To Do The Math

Facebook Ads Click-Through Rate (CTR): How to Do the Math

Imagine you’re running a bake sale. You baked every treat with love, decorated your table to the nines and told everyone you know about it. Plenty of passers-by look at your setup, but they don’t stop to buy anything. Now, you have a lot of cookies left over and no money to show for it.

Facebook Ad engagement works in a similar way. You can make all sorts of noise about your product or service by investing in your Facebook ad impressions. But, if nobody clicks on your ads, was that spending worth it?

In most cases, no.

Unless you’re aiming to raise awareness, a lack of clicks means a lack of conversions.

So, how do you figure out how many users take action on your ads and how many scroll by?

Enter: Click-through rate, AKA CTR.

By understanding what CTR measures and how to calculate it, you can diagnose which of your ads get results — and which ones need more work.

What Is Click-Through Rate on Facebook Ads?

Click-through rate represents the ratio of people who clicked on your Facebook ad (link clinks) to those who viewed it (impressions).

How Do I Calculate My Facebook Ads CTR?

You can figure out your Facebook Ads CTR by dividing an ad’s number of link clicks by its number of impressions. Use this click-through rate formula:

Link Clicks  / Impressions = CTR (decimal form)

After doing the math, you’ll get a decimal number. Multiply that number by 100 to convert it to a percentage. For example, if you calculate 0.12 as your result, you have a 12% CTR.

Keep in mind that Facebook Ads Manager will calculate the CTR of an ad for you. This formula helps you conceptualize CTR and can help if you only have access to the link clicks and impressions data.

What Do Link Clicks and Impressions Really Mean on Facebook?

If you dig around Facebook Ads Manager, you’ll see a wide range of terms used to measure your ad performance, including the two key factors behind CTR — link clicks and impressions. With so many other terms, like engagements and all clicks, used in Facebook Ads, what do those two concepts mean according to Facebook’s logic?

Link clicks refer to the number of clicks on the link that you want your audience to visit, including destinations on and off Facebook. In other words, if your ad’s CTA is to message your page, you’ll get a link click when someone clicks on the button to do so. The nature of your destination or clicks on other parts of your ad will not skew your link clicks statistics, making it ideal for calculating CTR.

Impressions count as the first time an instance of an ad appears on someone’s screen. As the Facebook Help Center explains it, you’ll get one impression if someone scrolls past your ad and scrolls back up and two impressions if the ad appears two separate times in the same day.

Facebook Ad Fails | 5 Fixes

Facebook Ads Don’t Work

Facebook Ads seem really complicated and indeed they can be. BUT there’s only 5 reasons your Facebook Ad fails, and once you understand them all you can fine tune your campaigns and get get out of Facebook Ad fail jail.

Facebook Ad Fails One: The Offer

Your offer needs to be enough to make people break away from what they’re really on Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp/Messenger for (stalking their ex, checking out the pooches in the Cool Dog Group, thinking of a reason not to go to their cousin’s birthday, and watching cooking videos – or is that just me?)

Remember Social Media isn’t predominantly a sales platform so your offer HAS to be irresistible.

Do people want your product or service?

The amount of people who have something they love making but don’t test if there’s a market for before trying to make it into a business is staggering.

Some hobbies are best left as hobbies. Sometimes it’s enough to make cute things for your friends and not try to earn a living from it.

No matter how good your marketing is you can’t sell something people don’t want at ANY price.

Unless you are Wish.

They don’t know they need it  ~yet~ so they need to be educated first.

This is where you need a funnel structure. A healthy dose of awareness activity showing the problem and positioning your brand as the solution.

This takes TIME and also needs good content and a great understanding of your audience and their position in the sales journey.

Don’t structre your ads as a “buy now” campaign to people who still need convincing.

It’s too expensive or complicated.

This can be part of point two, so don’t get too excited –  you could just be targeting the wrong people. BUT if you aren’t; You may not be communicating clearly what the offering IS or the value it contains.

Price =/= Value

Show them testimonials, why your team is the best, demonstrate you align with their beliefs and show up for them.

If they ARE in the consideration phase and doing research to compare providers, give them an emotional reason to choose you.

Don’t assume they know the value of your product or services. Don’t assume they understand your industry jargon. Keep it simple, but make sure there’s enough information to set you apart.

In general brands need to spend more time thinking about the offer they’re going to market with if they don’t want to fall into the Facebook Ad fails trap.

Facebook Ad Fails Two: The Audience & Budget

Audience is so important. It actually should have been number one….

If you can’t get in your audiences heads you won’t be effective in persuading them. And if you don’t know which part of the sales journey they belong to you won’t send them the right messages.

Get specific – there’s so many advertisers targeting the same audiences you want to that you have to outbid them or outperform them. Go beyond broad demographics.

Sure you can bid higher to win the auction, but the better your ad conveys what the audience want, the less you’ll have to.

Look at people who might be more financially able to spend on your product or service at this time and will see it as a “must have”, not a “nice to have”.

Other things to consider:

    • Are you speaking to their pain points or specific benefits?
    • Are your ads making them feel negative or judged and this is putting them off, not inspiring them to buy?
    • Have you excluded people who’ve already converted? Exclusions are SO IMPORTANT.
    • Have you allocated enough budget for the size of your audience?

Tips to explore:

    • Use this same client database as an audience to base a Lookalike Custom Audience
    • Consider sending more prospecting campaigns – Video Views/Engagement before asking for anything in return
    • Try using a page post with high engagement as an ad to give you social proof
    • Speaking to the emotions of your audience


Budget can be tricky, but SUPER important.

I debated making it it’s own section, but budget can’t be separated from the audience, so here it is.

The size of your audience is directly related to how much money you need to reach them with the required frequency.

And FYI the optimal frequency is probably higher than you think.

If you have a large budget and a small audience you can overwhelm your audience, and with a large audience and a small budget you might not reach enough to be effective.

Budget also depends on your objectives. Top of Funnel (TOFU) brand awareness, reach, video views, traffic and engagement activity are fairly cheap to run.

Retargeting audiences are smaller than prospecting audiences so can require a smaller budget per segment.

Conversions require a larger budget – or at least larger bids to work.

So you see audience and budget are inseparable and must be thought through as a whole before you start building out your campaigns or you’ll end up experiencing Facebook Ad fails.

Facebook Ad Fails Three: The Creative

Say your offer and your audience are perfect, but your campaigns are still struggling. Your images or videos might not be getting the attention your ad needs to work.

They MUST stop the scroll and ideally, look like content rather than an ad.

People will stop scrolling on images of faces and people (Do I know that person? Whose baby is that?) so mix in some imagery that could be a photo their friends posted.

Creative needs to spark an emotional response in the audience and be relatable.

It also needs to sit natively on the platform it’s being served on. If you’re using Stories as a placement make vertical creative. Newsfeed? Square. Messenger? Landscape. This is important to avoid the “dad dancing” effect (as I call it)

And just because you CAN use more than 20% text in your ads now, doesn’t mean you should. If people know it’s an ad they will generally just scroll past, and unless your product has some brand awareness already they’ll never know who’s ad it was.

If you are using product shots (in anything other than catalogue ads) consider putting your product in the hands of a model or influencer so it’s more dynamic. Or use UGC (with permission)

Will your audience and objective be best served by video, static images, carousels? Find out!

It’s not always the “best” creative that sells, so split testing creative is essential to a profitable campaign, and keep you clear of Facebook Ad fails.

Facebook Ad Fails Four: Copy

Have you explained clearly? Confused people wander off…

Have you outlined what will happen in the next step when they click your ad? Is the call to action clear?

Copywriting for Facebook Ads is a skill in itself. You have three visible lines of text, a headline and a link description (on some placements) which mean you have to be strategic in how you structure your copy.

There’s many theories about long form and short form ad copy, but for me short has always worked best. People don’t mind clicking to find out more, but in my experience they don’t want to read a long ad.

Your copy needs to get the reader’s attention, engage them, and encourage and explain the next step (click, download, sign up etc.)

I use as few words as possible to get my message across, which includes re-writing sentences and editing phrasing so it’s as lean as it can be while still making sense and being persuasive.

Split testing copy is also essential! And what works at one time won’t work forever and won’t work on everyone.

Some copy needs to be seasonal, and each audience segment should have copy written to their specific needs and in their native lingo.

For example; if people are thinking of putting extra expenses off for the rest of the year to save for Christmas – could your messaging be “book before 2020 and save!” or can your product or services be a gift for a loved one? This will need it’s own copy.

Facebook Ad Fails Five: Objective & Placements

These guys are related as not all objectives have all placements. Objective is what you’re asking Facebook FOR and Placements are where your ad is DELIVERED.


Something I see alllllllll the time is people using the wrong campaign objective. I recently wrote about his in detail, so I’ll just skip to the end.

Don’t run an engagement campaign and expect direct sales. That’s not what it’s for.

Facebook will optimise to deliver your ads to people who’ll complete the goal you selected. Engagement goes to likers, commenters and sharers. Traffic goes to clickers. Lead Gen ads go to people most like to fill in your form and so on.

You need to choose the objective that aligns to your purpose.


Placements also have an impact on the effectiveness of your campaign. Check your metrics broken down by placement and switch off any that are ineffective to push more budget to the good ones.

Also to consider, are you contacting people how they want to talk to you?

Say you’re running a Messenger campaign that’s not performing:

    • Do people need more information before they let you into their inbox?
    • Have trends changed or do privacy concerns in your audience mean people don’t want to message with a business?
    • Are they sick of talking to Messenger Bots and think they won’t be speaking to a human?

Generally speaking with a new client and a new campaign I’ll start with auto placements and see what the data tells me after some time has passed.

This is of course, assuming you have creative to fit all the placements – otherwise I don’t run ads at all on any placements I don’t have suitable creative for.

Stay Out Of Fail Jail

There’s no end to the split testing you can do with your campaigns – but you need to make sure it’s done one variable at a time so you can work out which variable made the impact. This is the science part.

Pulling It All Together

To recap – this is how I suggest you approach your campaigns to avoid Facebook Ad fails:

    1. Decide on a suitable offer.
    2. Determine who it’s for and get specific so you can speak to their emotions.
    3. Which objective supports this?
    4. What size is this audience? Does it need to be broken down further?
    5. Do you have the budget to reach them with enough frequency to be effective?
    6. Next layer your variations in targeting at Ad Set level and duplicate your ads to split test targeting.
    7. Start with auto placements if you have the creative.
    8. Once you find an audience that works for you, change up the creative and copy to work out which is the most effective.
    9. Split test and optimise EVERYTHING but once your ad is running only make small adjustments at a time.
    10. Leave it long enough and spend enough to get good data – don’t quit after 2 days.

Back To You

What do you think? Is this how you do it? Was this helpful to you? Let me know!

Promote Your Event on Facebook

Promote Your Event on Facebook

This article (that I wrote) was originally published on Social Media Examiner.

Do you use Facebook Events to promote your events?

Wondering how to use Facebook ads with your Facebook event?

In this article, you’ll discover four audiences I use to successfully promote events on Facebook.

But first, you need to make sure your event is set up properly. If you’ve nailed this part – skip to number 5.

#1: Set Up Ticketing for Your Facebook Event

You want to make it as easy as possible for people to buy tickets to your upcoming event, and there are a number of platforms that integrate with Facebook event pages for onsite ticket sales like Eventbrite.

If you’re using Eventbrite to host your ticket sales, you can integrate it into your Facebook event so people can buy tickets without leaving Facebook. It’s best to set up your Eventbrite event before you create your Facebook event, but it can also be done afterward.

Before you launch your Facebook event, make sure you add your Facebook pixel (and any other tracking) to Eventbrite to capture data you can use for retargeting. After you set up your event in Eventbrite, click the Manage tab and navigate to the Tracking Pixels section.

In Eventbrite, click the Manage tab and navigate to the Tracking Pixels section.

Next, click Facebook Pixel and enter your pixel ID and other details.

While you’re here, you can also add other tracking such as Google Analytics. You can never have too much data!

In Eventbrite, click Facebook Pixel and enter your pixel ID and other details.

Once your Eventbrite event is set up with all of the appropriate tracking, you can publish your event and add it to Facebook. Eventbrite will most likely prompt you to do this and guide you through the process.

Once your Eventbrite event is set up, publish it and add it to Facebook.

If it doesn’t, you can manually do it. On the Manage tab, click Invite & Promote and select Add to Facebook from the drop-down menu.

On the On the Eventbrite Manage tab, click Invite & Promote and select Add to Facebook from the drop-down menu.

Either way, you’ll need to select the event and choose the Facebook page to host the event. You must be an admin of the Facebook page you’re using to host the event.

In Eventbrite, select the event and choose the Facebook page to host the event.

Once you’ve done this, click Add to Facebook.

Click Add to Facebook in Eventbrite

Your event will now be added to your page and also appear as a post in the news feed. This is what the Facebook event will look like to you as an admin:

This is what the Facebook event page will look like to you as an admin.

If your page and event are eligible, your attendees will be able to use Facebook’s own checkout experience, as shown here. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to buy tickets to your upcoming event!

#2: Add the Venue and Sponsors to the Facebook Event as Co-Hosts

Adding co-hosts to your Facebook event will allow them to post in the event itself. When you post content, users who’ve responded to your event will get a notification. This will keep the conversation in one place (making the most of the notifications) and allow the appropriate people to answer any queries about your event.

To add co-hosts’ profiles individually, you must be friends with the person, or you can add pages.

ALTTo add co-hosts profiles individually, you must be friends with the person, or you can add pages.

You can add co-hosts when you initially set up the event or after you’ve created it. To add a co-host to an existing eventclick Edit on the event page.

To add a co-host to an existing Facebook event, click Edit on the event page.

You or other stakeholders may want to display the event on your Facebook pages. This is easy to do, and it’s a good idea to add the event to any relevant pages so there are no duplicates.

If you’re an admin of the stakeholder pages to which you’d like to add the event, click the three dots button at the top of the event page and select Add to Page.

Click the three dots button at the top of the Facebook event page and select Add to Page.

In the drop-down menu that appears, choose your page.

If you aren’t an admin, you or your stakeholders can still add the event to your pages in a similar way. Go to the eventclick the three dots button, and select Add to Page. When prompted, choose a page from the list of available pages.

Go to the Facebook event, click the three dots button, and select Add to Page.

#3: Tips for Posting on the Facebook Event Page

The Facebook event page can be a busy place. You want to make the most of it because this is a captive audience of people either attending or considering attending your event.

But you also don’t want to overdo it and annoy your audience, so take advantage of the new ability to schedule posts to the Facebook event wall.

Schedule a post to the Facebook event wall.

To encourage people to attend, tell them what they can expect on the day (or night) of the event. For instance, if you’re running a seminar, share some information about the speakers.

You might also inform people about facilities and services available at your event. To illustrate, post parking information, a venue map, transport, dietary information, and payment methods.

#4: Get Your First 15 Facebook Event Attendees

You can pay to promote your event only if 15 people at minimum respond that they’re attending. So how do you get your first 15 attendees? Facebook will suggest people who are your friends who also like the host page as a first option.

But you can invite any of your friends. Do this sparingly, though, and only invite people you genuinely think would want to attend your event.

Facebook will suggest people to invite who are your friends who also like the host page as a first option.

You, your sponsors, the venue (if appropriate), and the speakers (if it’s a conference or seminar) should all share the event to your respective pages. Also share your event with any relevant Facebook groups, your customer database (be mindful to remain compliant with privacy laws in your region), and any lists of past attendees if this is a recurring event or your business has hosted similar events before.

If your event is interesting, well described, has good clear imagery, is held at a time and place people can easily commute to, and is a reasonable price, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting these first 15 “going” responses. Then you can use the power of Facebook ads to ramp up your event promotion!

#5: Create 4 Custom Audiences to Target With Facebook Ads

When you set up targeting for your Facebook campaign to drive ticket sales for your event, it’s important to split test the creative, copy, call to action, and so on, as well as the audiences themselves. Interest targeting will work in some cases, but your best and safest audience to get some purchase conversions is with four main custom audiences. Let’s walk through how to build them step by step.

Your Current Customers + Lookalikes

If your business is hosting an event, it’s likely highly relevant to your customers. Provided your customer data has been collected with permissions to be used for marketing (check your local laws if in doubt), you can upload the customer data to Facebook to create a custom audience.

To do this, open Business Manager and select Audiences in the Assets column.

Open Business Manager and select Audiences in the Assets column.

Once you’re in the Audiences section, click Create Audience and select Custom Audience from the drop-down menu.

In the Audiences section of Business Manager, click Create Audience and select Custom Audience from the drop-down menu.

Next, you’ll see a list of options on which you can base a custom audience. For this audience, choose Customer File so you can upload your customer data.

choose Customer File so you can upload your customer data to build your custom audience.

To create your audience, your options are to upload your customer database as a .csv file, cut and paste data from it, or import the data from your MailChimp account.

For this example, select Add Customers From Your Own File or Copy and Paste Data.

Select Add Customers From Your Own File or Copy and Paste Data.

Next, specify the origin of the dataupload your file, and give your audience a name. When you’re finished, click Next.

Specify the origin of the customer data, upload your file, and give your custom audience a name.

Facebook then maps the data to the available identifiers. In the image below, there are four mapped data fields: First Name, Last Name, Email, and Phone Number.

If everything looks okay, click Upload & Create and the list will start populating.

There are four mapped data fields: First Name, Last Name, Email, and Phone Number.

Facebook hashes the data so it can’t be hacked or stolen and used to identify your customers. You’ll see the message below if the upload is successful.

The next step is to create a lookalike audience. When you do this, Facebook will select an audience to target based on commonality with your current customers from the original database. When you see the page shown below, click Create a Lookalike Audience. You’re then prompted to choose a region and click Create.

Now you have your first custom audience and lookalike audience to use in your campaigns!

After you audience data is uploaded to Facebook, click Create a Lookalike Audience.

Previous Attendees + Lookalikes

If you’ve held this event before or it’s similar enough to a previous event that the same people will be interested, you can create a custom audience (and subsequent lookalike audience) of your previous attendees.

Follow the same steps outlined above, but this time, use your database of previous event attendees instead of your customers. Make sure you name this audience in an easily identifiable way, so you can compare their performance metrics later and not get confused.

Also create a lookalike audience. This audience will include people who have matching attributes to your previous attendees, which can be an effective way to target your campaign.

People Who’ve Engaged With Your Event + Lookalikes

It’s likely there are people who are interested in going to your event and have looked at your event page, but haven’t yet purchased tickets. Because they’ve indicated interest in your event by engaging with it, you can create a custom audience based on this engagement and use it in your campaign.

Start the process in the same way as the custom audience you built from your customer database. When you reach the How Do You Want to Create This Audience screen, select Engagement.

When you reach the How Do You Want to Create This Audience screen, select Engagement.

Next you see the options for creating a custom audience based on engagement. Choose the Event option.

Choose the Event option for your engagement custom audience.

Then you see the audience creation window. Here you can choose options for the level of engagement people have displayed in your Facebook eventselect a time frame for that engagement, and exclude anyone you don’t think is relevant from your audience.

Because Facebook will only let you use these audiences in campaigns if they’re large enough (you need 1,000 people to meet the criteria), you may need to experiment to find one that will match your needs.

If you have a large-scale event, you can make these conditions quite detailed. However, if you’re a smaller business with a more locally focused event, keep them fairly broad so enough people have performed the necessary engagement to be added to the audience.

You can create as many of these audiences as you like and choose which ones to use later once they’ve populated and have a size indicated.

For this example, create your audience based on people who responded “Going” or “Interested”, but exclude people who have already purchased tickets.

Create your custom audience based on people who responded "Going" or "Interested" but exclude people who have already purchased tickets.

Once you’ve created this custom audience, you’ll be prompted to also create the lookalike. As with the previous audience segments, it’s a good idea to do so and test this audience in your campaign.

People Who’ve Engaged With Your Facebook Page or Instagram Account

As with the above custom audience based on engagement with your Facebook event, you can also build audiences based on engagement with your Facebook page and Instagram business profile.

If you’ve been posting relevant and engaging content on your brand channels that align with the event theme, it’s likely people who’ve engaged with you will be open to hearing about your event.

As with the previous audience segment, start by going to Audiences to create a new custom audience. When you’re asked how you want to create this audience, choose Engagement again and then select Facebook Page.

Select Facebook Page for your engagement custom audience.

Now you need to specify the criteria people will need to meet to be included in this audience. Because this audience will include people who have engaged with your page but not the Facebook event page specifically, choose a relatively non-passive action such as engaged with a post, clicked a call-to-action button, sent a message, or saved a post. These are the more active interactions a user can have with your page.

As with the Facebook event engagement audience, you need to make sure the audience size is large enough to run. If you have a high level of engagement on your Facebook page, you can afford to be more specific about your criteria. If your engagement is lower, you’ll need to be broader.

You can, of course, create multiple audiences with different parameters and split test each one if you like.

Specify the criteria people will need to meet to be included in this page engagement custom audience.

Unlike the other custom audiences, I don’t use the lookalike option here. I don’t find that people who “look like” they engaged with your Facebook page have enough intent to purchase an event ticket. However, if you think this will work for your page, create the lookalike and add it to the mix!

Next you can build a similar engagement custom audience with your Instagram business profile. Note that you can’t create this type of custom audience for an Instagram personal profile. It needs to be an Instagram business profile that’s connected to your Facebook page and Business Manager account.

As with the Facebook audience, create a new custom audience based on engagement, but this time select the Instagram Business Profile option.

Create a new custom audience based on engagement and select the Instagram Business Profile option.

In the audience creation window, you can choose a specific time period and certain parameters of engagement with your business. Again, you need that magical minimum number before this audience can be used in a campaign. Depending on the level of engagement for your Instagram account, adjust the options accordingly.

Remember that this audience will only serve you if the content you post on your Instagram aligns with the core purpose of the event.

In the audience creation window, you can choose a specific time period and certain parameters of engagement with your business.

Always Exclude Purchasers

When running a Facebook campaign, it’s often more important whom you exclude from your targeting than include. To maintain a high relevance score and low negative feedback (which affect the cost of your campaigns), make sure the audience that sees your ads is open to the messages contained in them.

If someone has already purchased tickets to your event, serving them ads to get them to buy tickets is wasteful. So how do you exclude ticketholders? There are a couple of ways to achieve this.

First, you can pull an event database daily and create a custom audience as in the first example, but this time made up of people who already have tickets. Then when you build your ad targeting, select this audience to exclude. While this tactic is very accurate, it can be a bit time-consuming because you have to constantly create and amend your ad targeting.

The easier way is to use your website and pixel data. Using the URL displayed when a ticket purchase is completed (whether that’s a thank-you message, receipt, or confirmation pop-up), create a custom audience based on website traffic to exclude people who have already purchased a ticket.

When you create this custom audienceselect Website Traffic.

Create a Facebook custom audience based on website traffic

In the audience creation window, set the parameters of your audience based on website activity including pages viewed and time on page.

In the example below, once a purchase is processed, the user is sent a unique receipt URL, but all of the URLs “contain” the “/receipt/” parameter. If you have a specific landing page for the purchase confirmation, you would select URL Equals and paste the exact URL into the box.

Finally, name your audience and add a description if desired. Then click Create Audience.

In the audience creation window, set the parameters of your audience based on website activity including pages viewed and time on page.

And there you have it: four audiences to target and one to exclude. When you set up your campaigns, you can split test these audiences until you find the ones that have the lowest cost per action and scale them. Any non-performers can be stopped at any time, although I recommend giving them enough time to optimize (at least 3 days).

To manage this process (which looks like a lot of work, but is very quick once you get the hang of it), it’s helpful to create all of your audiences first and leave them overnight to populate before you create the ad campaign.

#6: Create Your Traffic/Conversion Funnel

Events are fun! People like attending them, so as a rule, they don’t need a particularly complicated sales funnel. But like any Facebook ad campaign, the people most likely to complete a purchase conversion are those who’ve already performed the preceding action.

For instance, if you’ve used custom audience targeting to attract traffic to your website with either Link Clicks or Landing Page Views objectives, you’ll get some sales right away, even from cold traffic.

Some people will be excited about your event and won’t hesitate to buy tickets. But events can be expensive to run, so you’ll likely need more than these organic ticketholders to make your event a success. This is where retargeting comes in as you move users down the funnel.

Keep your ticket sales funnel simple.

The audiences you’ve made that include your customers, people who’ve engaged with your Facebook event or social media channels, and people who’ve attended your previous events are all considered warm traffic. They know who you are and what your brand is about.

Many people in the lookalike audiences you created (and any interest targeting you may use) are potentially cold traffic. They haven’t heard of you, they don’t know what you’re about, and they’re less likely to attend a business event you’re hosting.

With event marketing, you often don’t have time to build traffic in a phased campaign approach like you would with other types of campaigns. So you need to keep your funnel simple and let the retargeting do the heavy lifting with the engaged audiences.

Once people have visited your website, found out more about the event, and demonstrated an interest in attending (in other words, have been warmed up), make sure you serve ads to them on Facebook and Instagram.

The most cost-effective way to do this is to run a Facebook ad campaign specifically for people who added tickets to their cart but didn’t check out. They’ve shown the highest intent to buy, and therefore are your lowest hanging fruit in the funnel. You can target this bucket of users with the Conversions objective.

Target this audience with the Conversions objective.

Simply target traffic that’s added to the cart (which you know from the Facebook pixel) and exclude the purchasers (as explained at the end of section #5 above). Then all you need to do is wait for it to optimize and see if it’s going to convert at an acceptable cost. If so, scale up the spend because more money in equals more money out.

If not, analyze the results. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and work out what stopped them, and either fix it or find a way around it.

Who else can you target with Conversions ads? Potentially your current customers and previous event attendees who will start at the middle of the funnel, bypassing the cold traffic stage.

What other objectives might you run? Engagement ads in the form of Event Responses. Remember how valuable the wall of your Facebook event page is? And if people engaged with your Facebook event, they’ll fall into your retargeting bucket.

Run engagement ads in the form of Event Responses.

And if your event has door sales available and your budget allows, run Reach objective ads to the local community that fit your event demographic.

There will always be people who don’t want to be locked in and prefer to buy tickets on the day of an event. If they’re aware your event is on, you still have a chance that they’ll attend. If you choose the Reach objective, you can easily cap the frequency and reach of the campaign to avoid annoying your audience.

Click here to find answers to 10 questions marketers ask about creating, promoting, and managing successful Facebook events.

What do you think? Do you use Facebook ads to drive ticket sales for your event? Have you created some of these custom audiences? What tips can you offer for promoting your event on Facebook? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Recipe For Facebook Ad Success | Facebake

Facebake – My Facebook Ads Recipe

Facebook Ads are similar to baking, so Imma teach you how to Facebake!

There’s a recipe. But more importantly there’s knowing how to bring together a recipe without blindly following it. A good baker knows when the dough is too wet, or if the cake needs a bit longer in the oven.

The recipe for Facebook Ads is the same – there’s 5 things you need to make them work, let’s call them ingredients. These are the building blocks of your ads structurally – but also the items you need to split test to find the most effective combination for your goal.

What are they?

Facebake Ingredients

  • 1kg Amazing creative (mix of video & images)
  • 2 heaped Tbsp Clever & Convincing copy
  • 1 whole Offer (may be substituted with a benefit)
  • 2-3 cups of Audience targeting
  • 1 pinch Excellent landing page

We’ll examine them one by one.

Amazing Creative

You want your ads to stand out in the newsfeed – but for the RIGHT reasons.

Shouty, text-heavy, blurry, weirdly cropped images will not do. Well they could do the job – but you’ll be paying more than if you had good ones, and the goal is to pay the least as possible needed to meet your objective, right? Good. SO get some design skills or hire a designer.

Same with video. Is your video square or vertical? Does it have captions? Is it as short as humanly possible to still get your point across? Good! The research shows people will watch about 6 secs of your video ad, so you need to make them count.

Your Facebake creative also needs a lot of other components:

5 additional ingredients your Facebake will need


You know how important aroma is in cooking?

Well there’s this thing called ‘ad scent’ and it’s important to apply this to your ad creative. Make sure the ad creative matches in some way the landing page creative. They should ‘smell’ the same so people know they’re in the right place.

And how do you choose what type of amazing creative to use with your ads? We’ll discuss that in the method 🙂

Clever & Convincing Copy

Your copy (or text) on your Facebook Ads is another ingredient you’d like to pick fresh from the garden!

Firstly always think in terms of your target audience. Rather than making a vague general message, split off your copy for each layer of audience. If you’re targeting mums, think like a mum. If it’s young men, put your young man hat on. You’ve paid for space in someone’s social experience – make it for them and you can’t go too wrong.

There’s a couple of schools of thought on ad copy length, but for me – I go short every time.

Puns are good, alliteration is fun, rhyming can work…this is the clever part.

When picking copy avoid words like; sale, buy, offer, shop etc if you can help it. Remember you’ve interrupted someone’s newsfeed to serve an ad to them. Don’t use overtly spammy “buy my shit now” types of wording.

Having said that, you do need to include a call to action (CTA) Tell people what you want them to do. If it’s to read your latest post try “check it out” or if it’s to sign up to a list think “subscribe” but remember you can also choose your CTA button to do most of the heavy lifting for you in this area. Just don’t leave it open. In my workshops I always say confused people wander off – and they do, so steer them to your objective, just do it nicely.

And don’t forget about emojis. If your target market would use emojis then you should too. If you go to getemoji.org you’ll be able to see how the emoji display on Facebook so you can match or contrast them to your branding as best you can.

Bear in mind that emoji mean different things to different people though! I had a client who loved eggplant but using the eggplant emoji wasn’t going to fly. Another common one is the “praying hands” which some people think is a high five. You just don’t want to be misunderstood.

Double check your copy is clear and free of typos and spelling issues before posting. Although I have heard of people deliberately spelling a word wrong for entra engagement, I wouldn’t advise it.

Finally, thinking like your audience should allow you to write copy that addresses their curiosity, to either solve a problem or fulfill a desire they have. People buy emotions, so think of the way your product will make them feel.

And remember where you’re landing them when they click (if it’s an ad type that has clicks) so you introduce the page in a way that once they land there they aren’t confused. Why? Because confused people wander off remember! We’ll talk more about landing pages soon.

The Offer

What are you selling? If you have a discount, sale or actual promotion your ads are going to convert better due to our brains being hard-wired to nab a bargain. It also creates scarcity which prompts a “do it now” response.

If you’re selling something no-one wants no manner of amazing Facebake ads deliciousness is going to get them to buy.

Think about what type of people will take up your offer, what times of day they might be most receptive, what device they’ll be using, where they are in the buyer journey – all these will help you whip up an offering to tantalising to ignore.

Audience Targeting

This actually should be a whole topic in itself – so I’m going to keep it as brief as I can.

Interest targeting is sketchy at best. Yup! simmer on that one.

Your best targeting comes from people who’ve performed an action with your business. What action? Anything really; clicked a link, viewed a video, hit “going” on an event, engaged with your Instagram account…most things can be measured and re-targeted.

If you need to run cold traffic try using a Lookalike Audience (LAL) or your current customers and let Facebook’s mighty algorithm find an audience for you. It’s very clever!

Upload your customer database (if permissions allow) and make a LAL of them.

MOST importantly, don’t layer your audiences too much – you need to test them separately to find the ones that work. Why? Better results and less bad feedback – which affects your ad Relevance Score and in turn tends to affect your overall ad performance.

A common misunderstanding is that layering audience interest like this will get you an audience of people who like BOTH football AND Beer. But it won’t – this will get you people who like football OR beer. You wouldn’t think it’d make a huge difference though, right?

Football OR Beer

This audience in Australia with no other filtering is displaying an estimated audience size of 4.4m people. If you layer it correctly to find people who like BOTH football AND beer like this

Football AND Beer

Your audience drops to 720k – which is a MASSIVE difference!

Before we get too bogged down in targeting (seriously this should, and probably will be its own post) don’t forget your exclusions. You wouldn’t cook a steak for a vegetarian!

It’s SO important to exclude people who aren’t relevant to your ad. If they have bought a house from you, you can probably leave them off the targeting for some time. Anyone who isn’t going to convert because they just did the thing you want them to do should be removed.

Exclusions can save you wasting budget on people who aren’t your audience, and we all want that budget to go as far as it can.

Most other targeting magic happens in the method, which we’ll discuss when we get there in a few paragraphs.

Excellent Landing Page

Why Excellent? Your Social Media Ads can do amazing things, but they can’t help you convert on a shitty landing page.

Most conversions are made on a website rather than a social platform, so don’t spoil the sauce by sending people to a confusing, ugly, non-responsive or slow loading site.

You may as well put your ad dollars in the toaster.


Ingredients to an excellent landing page

Now we’ve discussed our ingredients, and you’ve picked the freshest, most in season, best quality components to put into your Facebake, let’s talk about how you put it all together!


Baking is a precise art – I tried to make macarons once and it was a complete disaster. And I think a lot of people reading this might feel the same about Facebook Ads.

When baking, you need to pay attention to the order of the ingredients. It’s the same when setting up your campaigns.

Cold Audiences 

Your cold traffic needs the most love, and the highest level of hand holding because they don’t know you at all.

They’ve likely never heard of you, or your business, and sometimes even your product – so asking them to marry you (convert) before introducing yourself is creepy and weird.

Start at the beginning, and ask them for something else first. Buy them a drink, offer them a seat, put your best foot forward.

In this analogy, buying them a drink is an offer, discount or promotion. The seat is articulating how you can help them, and putting your best foot forward could be introducing them to your best-seller or a helpful post, whitepaper, ebook or other resource to let them know you’re interested but you aren’t a creep.

I use a combination of Video Views and Link Clicks in this phase of the buyer journey. This not only gets traffic to your site, but builds a layer of data to re-target in the next phase in the form of Custom Audiences from Video Views.

Test all of your targeting as described above so you know which ads work the best – kill off any not performing, and add budget to scale the ones that are.

A lot of people don’t understand that they need to warm up this cold audience first, but it’s important to let the audience self-select that they’re interested in your brand by which pages they choose to visit, how long they remain on the page, or how much of your video they watched.

Warm Audiences

Your warm audience knows you, but probably haven’t converted yet, so they didn’t reject your initial advances but they haven’t agreed to date you. This could include your email database, and any other Custom Audiences you’ve made from engagement on your page, Instagram account or event.

Remind them why they started talking to you in the first place.

This is the perfect time to use your retargeting from website visits or Video Views ads, and hit them with a link click or Landing Page View ad to a more sales-focused page of your site. If they landed on the “cakes” page of your site you know they like cakes, so you can follow this segmentation along and only send people the most relevant ads.

The Canvas Ad format can be added in the warm phase (I find it works better here than to a cold audience) and also Lead Gen ads – which I find perform well to a warm audience and pretty woefully to cold ones.

Depending on your buying cycle, price of your product and the length of your consideration phase, you can also start running Conversion ads to warm traffic.

Remember that a conversion is not necessarily a sale, it is whatever you set it up to reflect, so it could be an email database signup, or an Add To Cart (ATC).

You need 50 Conversions a week per Ad Set for your ad to work properly – so make set up your conversion point as close to a sale (or other end conversion goal) as you can afford at the required budget to get these initial 50 conversions or your ad will stop spending.

So again – split test all your ingredients to come up with your best warm traffic ads, kill off the burnt ones, and scale the winners.

Piping Hot

These guys are prepped to buy!

Fry is ready to buy

Your warm audience should be ready for conversion ads.

Retargeting anyone who ATC but didn’t check out is a very effective targeting strategy, but like in baking you need to have the oven hot enough (ie. have enough data) – so depending on your budget, audience and product you may need to do this in a few stages.

If you have a repeat purchase type product you’ll want to maximise your current buyers by encouraging them to buy more often, or upgrade to a more expensive product.

The LAL of your purchasers are a very powerful prospecting audience, the same way you can sometimes substitute ingredients like oil instead of butter.

Conversion ads work best with static creative in my experience, video is too distracting.

Once you have your required conversions coming through at an acceptable cost per conversion (CPC) you can scale up your ads carefully so that you’re maintaining a good return on investment (ROI)

Be sure to change up your creative if it starts to loose its appeal – ads can’t run forever…

And always be experimenting – a great meal is tasted and adjusted at every stage of cooking. And no great meal is made without seasoning to taste, so make sure to add a healthy sprinkle of data.

Your secret ingredient?

So now that you have my recipe – are you going to get baking?

I’d love to know your secret sauce to a successful Facebake!

Got questions?

Feel free to join my new Facebook Group and ask away, or drop me a comment.