Behind the Scenes of a Successful Facebook Ad Campaign

It’s no secret that I believe Facebook advertising to be one of the most powerful marketing tools on the planet for classical musicians and arts organizations.


But what does advertising on Facebook actually look like? What are the nuts and bolts of executing a campaign to promote a concert? And what are the possible results?


In this blog post, I’m going to lay out exactly how I helped PhillyBloco, a 23-piece Brazilian, Samba and Funk ensemble, increase ticket sales by 40% and earn a 300% return on their advertising spend in their first Facebook advertising campaign.

You can achieve this too with a little knowledge, practice and execution. Let’s get started.

Please Note
: Everything below was run through the Facebook Ad Manager which can only be utilized if you set up a Facebook Page and Facebook Business Manager.

Click here for more information to understand what this all means. It sounds complicated but don’t worry…the initial learning curve is steep but then it gets much easier!


To drive ticket sales to PhillyBloco’s Halloween show with an additional emphasis on discounted “consignment tickets” (full price tickets minus box office fees sold through band members).


Step 1. Defining a Target Audience

Who is most likely to be interested in this show?

What does this ideal person look like?

These questions are key for anyone in the business of selling a product (in our case, tickets) because they influence the entire advertising campaign, from the images and videos you select to the accompanying text and word you write (otherwise known as marketing copy).

For this campaign, we focused on a fairly broad age range of 18-50 year old men and women in a 25 mile radius around the venue with interests including Brazil, Samba, Brazilian Carnival, Percussion, Zumba Dancing and other similarly related interests.

Photo Credit: Jaci Downs

Photo Credit: Jaci Downs

Step 2. Preliminary Ad Campaigns

With the target audience defined, the next step was to launch a variety of different ads to them with the goal of generating interest and engagement through likes, comments, shares, views, link clicks, etc.

(a.) Event Response Campaign

Facebook Events are an excellent place to provide specific event details, post updates, promote ticket offers and share other engaging content to those that have hit the “attending” or “interested” button.

I’m sure you’ve either set one up or interacted with one before.

By using an “Event Response” ad campaign, we promoted the event to our target audience, generated a core group of people interested in the event and then maintained buzz by posting updates in the discussion section.


(b.) Conversion Campaigns

In this case, our conversion goal was to drive people to our website where they could learn more about the show and eventually buy tickets. There are a number of different types you can run, but I used the following:

· Carousel Ad – through the use of multiple compelling photos, we told a story about the Halloween show accompanied by marketing copy with a strong call-to-action, highlighted event details and a “book now” button.

· Video Ad – for variety, we used a fun promo video created by the venue and edited down into a shorter 30 second version (think attention spans!) with slightly different marketing copy.

(c.) Post Promotion

In order to push the discounted consignment tickets, we posted information about the offer through a regular Facebook Page post and then “boosted” it to our Facebook Page Fans.

Since organic reach is low these days due to the Facebook algorithm, not everyone will see your posts. By putting a few dollars behind the most important ones, you will reach more of your fan and in this particular post example, those most likely to want our discounted consignment tickets.


Step 3. Retargeting Ad Campaigns

My favorite part of the whole campaign and the genius behind Facebook advertising!

Through the combined use of Facebook ad campaigns and ongoing Page content creation, we generated more Event responses, Page engagement, video views and website traffic.

In short, we generated more potential ticket buyers.

The final step was to push them over the line by retargeting them with another ad and Facebook allows you to specifically reach these people.

To do so, I created a “Custom Audience” that combined all of those that engaged with our Event, Page and Videos as well as website visitors and then launched another “Conversions” ad campaign to “convert” these folks into ticket buyers.

The short video was a high performer in the previous ad so I reused this with a stronger and more urgent call-to-action.



And that is a complete behind-the-scenes look at how one music ensemble was able to harness low-cost and enormous upside in only their first full Facebook advertising campaign!

For the sake of brevity, I kept the many details to a minimum but if you’re interested in diving deeper, I recommend starting with a basic course in Facebook Advertising through an online course hub such as Udemy. Even a basic understanding will set you apart from most and improve your success rate of reaching a wider audience of ticket buyers.

As always, be sure to connect in the comments below with questions or through social media channels and I’ll be glad to answer any specific questions!