Guide to profitable event response ads on Facebook

Who is this for?

Any local business who has events


Step 1: Gather media relevant to your event

Step 2: Setup preliminary two campaigns, one for video views, and another for event responses

Step 3: Add supplementary ad groups

Step 4: Remind people about the events

Quick Note: This strategy relies on your target audience being active on Facebook because as of now, Instagram does not allow events to be advertised on their platform. If your target audience is on Instagram, a separate funnel built on a website that allows users to put in their email leading to a calendar invite would be ideal.

Step 1: Gather your media

Shoot for 3-5 pieces of media, ideally videos, that show off different aspects of your event. Using pictures or videos of past events, testimonials of how people received value out of past events, or driver engaging pieces of media you have.

Some tips for content:

  1. Keep most pieces of content between 15 and 30 seconds. Although, if it makes sense to have longer videos, add them into the mix. 
  2. The purpose of the video needs to be evident within the first three seconds. People have exceptionally short attention spans.
  3. Keep your videos at a 1:1 aspect ratio at a minimum. Ideally, for Facebook videos are at a 9×16 (vertical) as well as Instagram stories. For Instagram placements a 4:5 ratio is recommended.



Step 2: Set up your campaigns

You will need two campaigns to be most successful, something that makes a lot of sense when you understand CPM and relevance.

Chances are, you will not get most people to sign up for your event with just one exposure. It follows then, that you need to reach interested people as inexpensively as possible to build audiences for retargeting. Retargeting audiences, as we’ll go over, will be based on people who watched higher durations or videos on the event.


Campaign 1: Event Responses

Step 1: Set up your event within Facebook

Step 2: Set up your event for engagement then choose “event responses”

Step 3: Set up your top of the funnel targeting. This is not the place to talk about targeting

but be on the lookout for a future blog post about targeting.

Step 4: Set up your ads. Test your 3-5 pieces of media, short and long copies to test what people respond to best. Once each event has enough impressions to assess the cost per acquisition, turn off all but the top two or three performing ads.

Step 5: Duplicate the ad set four times for new targeting options with custom audiences. These ad sets will retarget those that watched parts of the videos on your event ad, but didn’t convert.


  • Ad set 1 targeting 10 seconds to 25% viewers, excluding those who have watched more than 25%
  • Ad set 2 targeting 25-50% viewers, excluding 50%+ viewers
  • Ad set 3 targeting 50%+ video viewers
  • Ad set 4 targeting engagers (to catch people who interacted with images rather than videos)By splitting up the ad groups you can closely monitor which group of people respond to the events best and offer the lowest cost per acquisition. What can be monitored can be managed.

Campaign 2: Video Views

Copying link for event response ad in FacebookStep 1: Set up the campaign for video views

Step 2: Set up the same top of funnel targeting as your event response

Step 3: Copy and paste the copies from the “event” ad set.

Step 4: Upload the properly formatted media to the ads.

Step 5: Set up a CTA button with the link from your event to capture anyone ready to convert right away.

This campaign strategy inexpensively puts people in a funnel for your event ads where they will convert at much lower rates than through the top of funnel event ads.

Step 3: Assess, change targeting, and add ad groups

After letting the campaign run for some time, at least having a reach of 5,000 people across the campaigns, it is time to assess progress.

The first step is to determine whether or not the video funnel that was set up is providing value to the campaign. If, when adding together the cost of the video campaign and the cost of the ad sets on retargeting video watchers, is within 20% of the cost per acquisition then it likely makes sense to keep the campaign going. Why? When advertising Facebook events, the only place that can be advertised on is the Facebook newsfeed. If reaching enough people is an issue,

then it makes sense to keep the campaign on as a way to reach those on Instagram and Facebook’s audience network more effectively.

The first thing to do is an experiment with changing targeting to your post. My first recommendation is to duplicate an ad set in both campaigns and targeting lookalike audiences based on 25 or 50% video views, and, if there are at least 50 event responses, create a lookalike based on event responders.

Keep all the ad sets running, but quickly turn off ad sets with the inferior targeting to prevent over delivery to the audience within the overlap between the lookalike and the top of the funnel audience.

Step 4: Make sure people ACTUALLY go to your event

Here’s where it pays to be creative. You have an audience of people who have expressed “interest” in your event, but that doesn’t mean that they are going to actually go. There are two different mediums to remind people and create excitement about the event.

The first and most obvious tactic is to update the event page. Take advantage of Facebook’s organic way to reach event responders. Post relevant media that will provide value or entertainment to the event goers. This media should be unique from what was used for ads.

Secondly, use a paid ad strategy to promote the content that was posted organically off of the Facebook platform by choosing all but “Facebook” as a destination within the ad set. This will be the least expensive part of your ad strategy as the audience size will be very small proportional to the top of the funnel targeting.

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