How to Run Virtual Summit Facebook Ads with Tony Rulli

Facebook ads for your summit don't have to be expensive or complicated, even if you're newer to running ads! However, it can totally seem like a big and intimidating step.

I've spent anywhere from $50 to $2500 on ads in any of my summits, but I can tell you that once you get the hang of it, it's totally worth it.

However, I'm no Facebook ads expert, so I've brought in special guest Tony Rulli from Intentional Spark to help us out! 

We'll talk about Facebook ad strategies to start with, a minimum budget and how to scale it, and where to start if you've never run ads.

I'll let Tony take it from here! 

The Best Place to Leverage Ads for Your Virtual Summit

With a virtual summit, you have all kinds of speakers and affiliates driving traffic to your registration page. Because of that, you can get a huge return by leveraging retargeting ads.

For example, you can set up ads retargeting everyone that visits the registration page but doesn’t register. These ads will simply remind them to grab their free ticket!

You can also run retargeting ads to everybody that registers but doesn’t buy the all-access pass right away. 

These are both easy campaigns to set up and have running throughout your registration period. They both leverage all the work you’ve already done. 

And usually, it’s a pretty cheap opt-in since these are people who have already been to your site, making them a warmer audience. All you need is $5 per day!

Optimizing your summit's Facebook ads

Main registration ads: Optimize for conversions

The biggest mistake I see with summit hosts running ads is not setting up campaigns to optimize for the best result.

Most people set up ads for link clicks. The thing is, Facebook is really good at optimizing. It finds all the people that love clicking links and it’ll get you the cheapest link click. Those people don’t always convert the best!

If you optimize for conversions instead, like when people land on your thank you page (meaning they've registered or purchased), you can optimize for that. Then, instead of optimizing for clicks, Facebook will look for people who tend to opt-in to things like your summit. Once they opt-in, it starts to learn and go find more of those people.

Optimizing for conversions drives down your costs and increases your conversion rate on the landing page.

Grow your retargeting audience by optimizing for engagement

While you'll want your main ads to be set to optimize for conversions, you can also have some that are optimized for video views or engagement. Keep in mind that engagement includes video views, but also includes people who click, interact in some way, and hit like or share on your ad. 

Then, you can run retargeting campaigns (optimized for conversions) to anybody that’s engaged in the last seven days.

This is a great, low-cost way to grow your warm retargeting audience quickly.

All-access pass ads: Optimize for purchases

With the ads you're running directly to your all-access pass (for people who have registered for your summit without upgrading), you'll optimize for purchases.

To do this, you can either:

  1. Put a purchase pixel on your thank you page
  2. Create a custom conversion saying that the purchase thank you page is a purchase event

If you’re not getting enough purchases each week, Facebook can have trouble optimizing for purchases. Because of that, it can be better to optimize for something a little higher up in the funnel if you don't have a ton of people to retarget.

For example, you could optimize your ad for people who hit the sales page, but instead of optimizing for purchases, optimize for landing page visitors.

Run ads to your existing audience

Don't skip running retarget ads to your existing audience - these are the warmest people who will convert at the lowest costs. 

You could target your:

  • Email list
  • Facebook page fans
  • Any Instagram or Facebook activity
  • People who have engaged with a post or ad in a certain number of days
  • Website visitors
  • Video viewers

You can do any and all of these audiences and see great results as long as the audiences are big enough.

Why advertise to your email list

I've had people ask, "Why would I pay to run ads to my email list when I can just email them?"

Generally, your 20-30% of subscribers will open an email you send. That means 70-80% of your subscribers aren't seeing your emails! 

Because of that, it's super powerful to run ads to your email list. It tends to be the cheapest as far as cost per lead goes and is the best place to start.

Run summit reminder ads

In addition to running ads to the registration page and all-access pass sales page, you can also run ads reminding people who have signed up to participate in your summit.

This is super low-cost to do because you're only targeting people who have already opted in.

Basically, the goal of these is to remind them to engage in the summit! You can even run quick clips of some of the sessions that are airing each day.

Increasing Your Budget

It's okay to start with a small budget to get a feel for how your ads are going to convert. However, be careful when you go to increase your budget.

When you increase your budget, you put Facebook back into the “learning phase”. It starts to test and experiment on your audience again, which can cause costs to go up.

To minimize this, the general rule is to increase your budget only by 10% every two days.  That’s only $0.50 if you're spending $5/day. 

Since a virtual summit is time-sensitive, I instead recommend duplicating your entire campaign with a higher budget and starting it from scratch (while keeping the current one running).

 

 

Big Takeaway

If nothing else, get your Facebook pixel on your website. Once it’s placed, it starts collecting information.

Then, if you decide 6 months down the road to start retargeting, you'll have 6 months of visitor data and page data to use to retarget. The pixel can’t go backward, so get it set up now. 

Resources

 About Tony

Based in Portland, Oregon, Tony runs Intentional Spark with his wife Meg and their Director of Barketing, Noodles (a 2-year old Golden Retriever). Intentional Spark is a digital marketing agency that specializes primarily with Facebook and Instagram advertising but also offers a Group Consulting Program for business owners who are running their own ads and want Agency-level strategy and support without the agency-level price.

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