Today’s social media world is full of influencers and content marketing – traditional paid advertising doesn’t feel nearly as glamorous in comparison. But the results of successful paid advertising campaigns speak for themselves.

Thanks to fast and accurate reporting offered by paid advertising platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google, the results are clear to both marketers and clients. The data gathered can then be used to both improve advertising on the fly and rework strategies for the long term. Also through proper integration, a paid ad campaign can work in tandem with influencers and content production for added value.

We’ve found the most paid ad success with e-commerce and event clients. For this post, we’re looking at key elements in selling event tickets through paid ads. When compared to promoting other products or services, events stand out by being simultaneously highly-competitive and time-sensitive. Events are competing with each other for their time frame, but also to fit peoples’ schedules and budgets.

For example, this is especially true for seasonal locations like Vancouver, with only so many expected sunny summer weekends for people to enjoy. This means people have to decide which events they want to spend their valuable sunny weekend time. Many notable events and festivals are expected to cost much more than the ticket price, with upsells and additional purchases like drinks, food, clothing, hotels, and more.

Real-time updates and adjustments

Once you identify your audience, budget, copy, graphics, etc. you can technically treat your paid ads like a slow cooker: set it and forget it. But, to truly learn and excel, you have to be on-hand in the kitchen and not waiting on the couch for dinner to be ready.

Leaving an ad campaign on autopilot can result in an over-cooked meal. Our digital advertising strategists are in the kitchen all day, making sure everything is cooked to perfection. A professional chef will taste dishes and add seasonings and spices on the fly, and our strategists are adjusting target audiences and A/B testing copy and graphics daily. It’s obvious that if an ad isn’t performing, it needs an update. It’s being quick to jump on these updates that makes all the difference. Otherwise, you end up spending on the wrong ad or missing out on potential attendees.

Get your own data

“In our survey, we found that males were 30% more likely than females to register on the day or the day before an event takes place; while females were 30% more likely than males to book their tickets 3 months or more in advance.” – Eventbrite

How to interpret information like this Eventbrite quote is what makes our Paid Ad Strategists so valuable. If it’s three months before your event that draws women and men equally, should you focus ads more on women, as they’re more likely to buy? Or should you focus on convincing men to buy earlier, assuming women will need less convincing in that early time period?

The ultimate way to know is through your own event advertising data. If you monitor your data in real-time, you can see how ads are working on a daily basis and adjust accordingly. This will give you the most beneficial data after the event campaign ends. After a thoughtful first event campaign, the follow-up event will be set to show even stronger results.


When it comes to any event we’re wanting to go to or have friends going to, there’s a risk of Fear Of Missing Out. Now with social media, you can be the target of extreme FOMO triggers: from friends announcing they all got festival tickets, to their live Instagram Stories, to the photo album after.

If you’re promoting an event, FOMO is an essential tool. If you have the resources, it’s worth updating both graphics and copy to express FOMO and the use the urgency behind it. While we can look at adjusting audience targeting on a daily basis, we look at updating graphics every week or two. You’ll either need a designer on deck or have premade graphics to swap in. Such as a banner ad stating “50% of tickets sold!”, which you can follow up with an “80% tickets sold!”

Remarketing with Facebook Pixel

If you’re not familiar with the term remarketing, it’s when you see the same ad, product, or variations of, as you browse the internet or social media. For example, you’re checking out sneakers on, then start seeing ads for Nike Sneakers on Facebook or Instagram. Google pioneered this type of online advertising with Google Adwords (Now called Google Ads).

Along with FOMO, it can take time for someone to commit to buying a ticket and setting that date. Like with friends bugging each other to finally grab tickets, reminding people through remarketing is vital for a time-sensitive product like an event. Facebook Pixel is a unique code you add to your website, which allows you to remarket to and accurately target your potential attendees.

Segmented ads with consistent branding

Ads are never one-size-fits-all. Everyone encounters advertising that isn’t relevant to them on a daily basis, which rarely leads to a sale. Thanks to the accurate targeting options offered by Facebook and Instagram, you can match them with copy, graphics, and video that best fit specific audiences.

For example, the Hopscotch Festival that serves up a spectacular range of spirits, wine, beer, food, and more to their guests. With different people having different preferences for drinks, an ad with a lineup of beers will appeal more than a few bottles of wine. An ad showing the event as a ‘“girls night” with an image of women enjoying cocktails clearly appeals to a specific half of the population.

Through creating segmented ads to fit your segmented audiences, you will resonate far better than with generalized event ads. When creating a range of ad visuals, it’s also key to keep your branding consistent. If someone sees a general event ad, then one targeted to just men or featuring just beer, they have to instantly recognize it’s for the same event. Even if they don’t fully take in the ad, the subtle reminder it provides all contributes to a potential sale.

Social media giveaways

A tested and true way to promote an event is a giveaway. With Facebook and Instagram, this can mean encouraging followers to like, share, or tag friends, equaling more exposure and engagement for your event. It’s also a perfect opportunity to combine with paid advertising, such as a simple boost of the giveaway on Facebook, to featuring the giveaway in other forms of social advertising.


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