When we talk with individuals in the live events industry about Facebook advertising, their initial impression of the tool is negative. They view Facebook as a cost center and not a revenue generator.
It’s understandable. The interface doesn’t exactly make it easy to sort out results. Take this screen, for example.
Here’s what you’d see, post-campaign:
The user spent roughly $1,500 on this campaign
The campaign reached almost 200,000 people.
The ads were shown about half a million times.
The campaign drove about 8,600 clicks.
What’s missing? You can't see how much revenue was made. Nor can you see how much it costs to sell a ticket with your marketing dollars.
While this information is useful, if you’re trying to sell as many tickets as possible with a finite marketing budget, digging into more granular metrics is key.
When you set up conversion tracking, you convert engagement metrics into sales metrics that matter to your organization. It’s as simple as adjusting the settings. Suddenly, our example screen tells a different story: The $1,500 behind that campaign is connected to actual sales data rather than clicks. 122 online orders stemmed from this Facebook advertising campaign. The cost per purchase sheds some light on the net impact of that $1,500. Here, for every $12.30 spent, an online order was driven. And remember: One purchase doesn’t necessarily equal one ticket sale. A purchase could include several tickets.
These metrics use the term “website purchase return on ad spend.” This is the total amount of gross ticket sales made for each dollar spent on a Facebook ad campaign. It’s calculated by taking website purchase conversion (the total sales driven from the campaign) and dividing it by the total amount spent on the ad campaign. In this example, the website purchase return on ad spend comes out to 9.8x. For every dollar you spent, you made $9.83 back in gross ticket sales.
So, why is conversion tracking important? There are two key reasons.
Conversion tracking helps you understand your customer acquisition costs. How much does it cost to actually sell a ticket? How much does it cost to actually drive an online order? When you understand your customer acquisition cost by channel—whether it's Facebook, Google, your street team, flyering—your business is able to more efficiently deploy capital. If you have a finite marketing budget, figuring out how to get the most bang for your buck is important. The advantage of a tool like Facebook ad is that it lets you understand the impact of the marketing dollars you spend. Did they actually help you sell tickets? From there, you can take the marketing dollars you’ve allocated for your next event and say, “Okay, to really move the needle, let’s deploy that capital more efficiently”
If you can measure customer acquisition cost, you can improve it. Instead of this nebulous idea of spending on Facebook and seeing ticket sales go up in your dashboard, now you can break things down. If, on average, for every $1 that you spend on ads, you get $9.83 cents back in gross ticket sales, you can start thinking about how to spend that same dollar amount—and perhaps get $15 back in gross ticket sales or $20 back in gross ticket sales? This is where conversion tracking comes into play.
If you set up conversion tracking with your ticketing company and create a Facebook pixel, these advanced advertising techniques will help you improve your sales metrics. And that's our goal at ToneDen. Facebook isn’t just going to show you how much money you made at the campaign level. For the $1,500 you spent on this campaign, $15,000 were made. But Facebook will also show you how much it costs to sell tickets to the fans you’re targeting. They’ll do this at the ad level, too. If you're using different bits of creative, you'll be able to see the customer acquisition cost at the ad level.
To get at this information, though, you need to create and install a Facebook pixel. That’s the next step to improving your online marketing efforts. Once you have a Facebook pixel installed, you can start measuring the returns from Facebook ads.
Remember: you need to own your domain to take advantage of conversion tracking. Owning your domain is the key to maximizing the benefits of the Facebook pixel.
For non-Eventbrite creators, you can reference this guide:
Let's move onto our introduction on A/B testing: