Event Marketing
February 5, 2015  •  by Jane Carter

How to Use Twitter Ads to Attract Attendees

How can I leverage Twitter to attract an audience for my event? This is a question I’ve heard a lot from event organizers. While many events create a Twitter profile and engage with current attendees, a lot of question marks exist when it comes to finding new attendees through the social platform. Luckily, Twitter has an intuitive ad platform- keep reading to discover how to leverage Twitter Ads to sell more tickets.

Why Twitter Advertising?

What social channel saw a surge in usage amongst those under 50 and college-educated? Nope, it isn’t LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Instagram. It’s Twitter. A recent Pew Research study revealed that the Twitter platform saw a significant increase across many demographics in 2014. While Facebook still leads the pack, research shows that Twitter is gaining steam and can’t be ignored as a potential advertising channel for event marketers. PI_2015-01-09_social-media-new_01 More and more people who have money to spend are joining Twitter. With a laundry list of advertising options to get in front of the right audience, Twitter Ads has to be looked at as a serious option to drive ticket sales. In this post, we’ll dive deep into creating a highly targeted Twitter ad campaign for your next event.

How to Create a Promoted Tweets Campaign

To get started, log into your event’s twitter account and click on your profile picture in the top right corner. In the drop-down menu you’ll want to click on Twitter Ads. If this is your first time, Twitter will prompt you to select a country, timezone, and update your credit card information. All standard stuff. twitterads On your campaign dashboard, you’ll have the choice between a couple advertising options. For this exercise, choose the Website clicks or conversions option. This campaign objective allows you to create promoted tweets that take Twitter users directly to an external website or in this case, your event page. We’ll address the Followers and Tweet engagements options in a later post. ad_types Now on to the fun part: building your first campaign! Twitter has done a good job with their ad platform to make it pretty straightforward.

Getting Creative with Your Creative

First, you’ll fill out a few setup questions including the campaign name and duration. Also note the conversion tracking section. If you want to track the success of your campaign (highly recommended!), you’ll want to setup a website tag on the page an attendee hits after completing their ticket purchase. This can be done via your Ticketbud event page or your external event website. campaign_setup Next, we’ll build a Creative which is essentially a tweet on steroids. There’s two parts to this: the promoted tweet and a website card. These two work together and you’ll need to nail both of these for your campaign to be successful. twitter_creative Your promoted tweet is what reels in potential attendees. It needs to engage and give your audience a captivating reason to attend your event. Think about what your event’s elevator pitch is and work off of that. Twitter users expect micro-content that’s easy to digest. This means your tweet copy should be conversational by design and quick to the punch. For a gut check, browse through your Twitter feed and take note of how people are using the platform. An easy hook to use for your promoted tweet is offering a promotional code on tickets. We suggest creating a promo code specifically for your campaign to easily track. Here’s a solid example: Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 1.57.26 PM Also notice how this tweet mentions other Twitter handles. This is a great way to leverage other audiences along with utilizing popular hashtags relevant to your event. Just remember not to overuse these to the point where your tweet loses its readability. OK, now for creating a website card. Your card is the eye candy for the ad. Draw in attendees with the tweet and seal the deal with an enticing image and call to action. • Website URL: Insert the URL of your event page or your external event website if you have one. This is the page your attendees will be sent to after clicking the ad. • Image: Use your event’s design assets here if you have any. The minimum ad dimensions are 800×320 though Twitter does a good job of resizing if needed. If you don’t have any design assets, head over to Canva and create one for free. Check out Buffer’s guide to creating images on social media which breaks down how to use Canva. [caption id="attachment_22272" align="aligncenter" width="450"]summit card This was created in 5 minutes on Canva.[/caption] • Headline: This goes right above your image and is another opportunity to gain attention. We like creating urgency here with headlines such as, “Don’t miss out! Get your tickets today” or “Buy your tickets now before we sell out!” • Select a call to action: This is the button that appears underneath your card’s image. You get some options here. We recommend View Now, Visit Now, or if you’re bold go with Book Tickets. summit_card The beauty of building your ad creative is that you can take as many approaches as you want. Go ahead and make a couple more promoted tweets that take different approaches. Switch up the promo code offer, use multiple images, and tweak your copy. After your campaign is over, you’ll get to see what promoted tweet performed best.

Acquiring Your Targets

This is where Twitter’s advertising platform really shines. There’s a ton of data Twitter has on their users and thus a ton of ways you can target potential audiences. First up, let’s setup our basic targeting criteria: • Locations: Think hard about your event’s reach when choosing locations. If it’s a local event, don’t venture too far from your home region. If you’re organizing a large event and expect traveling attendees, include as many regions and cities as your heart desires. target_losangelesGender: In most cases go with Any gender unless the event is targeted to a predominantly male or female audience. • Language: We recommend sticking to the native language used at your event. • Select devices & platforms: To maximize your reach, check off all devices. You can always limit at a later point. target_language_device Example: If I was organizing a social event in Albuquerque, I’d target that city and surrounding cities in the area. Next you’ll get to add additional targeting criteria. We’ll focus on keyword, follower, and interest targeting here: Keyword targeting: It’s time to speak your audience’s language. Brainstorm topics that potential attendees are using in every day conversation and narrow it down to specific keywords. You can add as many relevant keywords as you want. We recommend putting quotations around each keyword to match a particular phrase. You can also use hashtags and @usernames here as well. Example: If I was running a marketing conference, I’d target keywords such as “seo”, “content marketing”, and “lead generation”. Follower targeting: Who are the thought leaders for your type of event? If you know ‘em, add their Twitter usernames! Twitter will serve ads to all their followers and those with similar interests. Alternatively, you can target local news and event bloggers in your area. The idea is that influencers’ followers who are interested in stuff relevant to your event are likely to be interested in the event itself. target_rand Example: I’m planning a small music festival in New York. Thus, I’d add all the Twitter usernames of local music & culture publications as their followers are hungry for finding concerts & festivals to attend. Interest targeting: After grinding through keyword and follower targeting, you should have developed a solid idea on your audience’s interests. Twitter has a number of categories to choose from. Simply add the relevant ones.

Getting the Most Bang for Your Twitter Ad Bucks

We are at the finish line folks. One thing to note, you’ll only pay the first time a Twitter user clicks on a link or card within your tweet. Retweets, favorites, or replies are free of charge. budgetSet a daily maximum: We recommend starting off with spending $25-50 per day. This will give you plenty of impressions as long as your target audience is large enough. • Set a total budget: We recommend anywhere between $100-300 for your first campaign. You can adjust this at anytime. The concept here is to go with the test & learn approach. Check your campaign dashboard every day and make adjustments when needed. The dashboard will show a variety of metrics such as number of times users see your tweets and the cost-per click (CPC). Twitter gives you all the analytics needed to measure success.

Next Steps

Now you have a go-to resource for creating your Twitter Ads campaign. Boo-yah! We hope you found this post helpful and learned some actionable tactics. If any questions or thoughts pop up as you build your first campaign, leave a comment below and we’ll answer. One last thought: The average price per ticket on Ticketbud is about $43. Think about your ticket price when leveraging Twitter Advertising. On a $200 budget, you’ll only need to sell a handful of tickets to cover your costs. There’s a lot of opportunity here that few events are taking advantage of. Use the test & learn approach to make the most of your marketing dollars. Additional Links: Twitter Ads Success Stories Best Twitter Ad Practices How to Craft Perfect Posts (Scroll down for Twitter Best Practices)  ]]]]> ]]>