(Revisit Part 1 if you need to: How I built $6800 private events by using Facebook ads for a restaurant with a measly $180 in ad spend)
In the last post, I discussed creating a simple landing page that would help you generate leads for private parties for your restaurant. Today, I’m going to take it a step further to teach you how to set up your Facebook ads. I’m not going to go into detail on what your ads should say as of yet. We’ll get to that in another post. This is just some of the prepwork you’ll need to do before you set up your ads.
This probably deserves a video, but I’m just going to break it down assuming you’re already familiar with the Facebook Ads platform. If you’re not, well then maybe I’ll just save that for another video and blast you with the basics in a post another time. I’ll update this post with a video or something in the near future if I hear from you all on how to make it happen. Just bear with me now and pretend you know what you're doing. ;)
How to set up Your Facebook Ads for Restaurant Private Events
So let’s break down the research that it takes to get a decent Facebook ad for restaurant private events up and running.
Determine the targets. Go back to the information gathering phase and use audience insights and client surveys to set up the relevant insights and demographic info. For example, if your campaign and restaurant’s landing page is aimed at restaurant catering and private parties for baby showers, you’ll build your audience interests in a way that is reflective of your targets.
Gather your photo and video assets. Normally what I would do is take a bunch of photos at the restaurant itself, or ask the venue for photos that would be relevant to the campaign I’m running. In this instance, ask them for a few dozen photos of the venue that may have been taken back in the day. Then search out for mentions of them on Instagram and save those photos related to private events at the space. Example: This particular venue had a photo of a bridal shower. I reached out to the woman who posted the photo and asked for her permission to re-post the photo. Then I used that photo for this particular campaign.
Install The Facebook Pixel. I’m making the assumption that you’ve installed the Facebook pixel. If you haven’t, it’s super easy to do and necessary if you want to do any sort of retargeting with ads to people who visit your website. Install the Facebook Pixel from your ads account to the header of your landing page. You’re going to use this to re-target your ads to your chosen audience, so gathering this info is critical to the success of your campaign.
Create your custom audiences. Again, this might cause me to do another series of blog posts on this subject just to refresh you all on how this is done. But basically in your ads manager there is a way to create custom audiences of people you want to see your ads. That’s done in a bunch of different ways, but the most basic of which is these: engagement audiences, pixel (web traffic) audience and emails audience.
Emails audience. Take your email list and create a custom audience. Again, this is in the audiences section of the Facebook Ads manager. If you have separate email lists for private events and that sort of thing, even better. Basically you’re asking Facebook to match up it’s users with your email list. For me that usually means
Pixel (web) audience. If you’ve just recently created a pixel and added it to your site, it will take some time to create an audience large enough to create a custom audience. But do it anyway. What this means is that Facebook will take anyone who has visited your website in a certain time period and put them in a pool of people you can target your ads to.
Engagement audience. An engagement is defined as anyone who has liked, shared or commented on your posts. In the the audiences tab of the ads manager once again, create an engagement audience by selecting the Facebook page engagement option. I usually set that time of up to 365 days, but depending on what you’re trying to do and the level of traffic that your site gets, you’ll want to create a list that fits your needs.
Using your custom audiences, create a Facebook lookalike audience for your restaurant's private events Facebook ads to increase the likelihood of success.
In the audiences tab, you’re able to create lookalike audiences of people who look similar to the custom audiences that you just created. (Again, this is going to have be be an entirely new blog post because there are so many exciting things that you can do here. But for the time being, just bear with me). Facebook ads are so incredibly awesome that they can actually match you up with an audience that looks and acts similarly to the data that you’ve just created in your custom audience. For example, the Engagement audience that you created will be populated with a certain number of people that are more likely to engage with your content because they look and behave similarly to those who are in the engagement audience. I don’t know what sort of voodoo that the Facebook algorithm uses, just know that by creating lookalike audiences, you’re going to reduce the cost of your ads and give yourself a much higher likelihood of success.
In the next post, I’ll discuss what your posts should look like to ensure the best possible outcome for the Facebook ads for your restaurant private events. Remember that I’m largely a Facebook ads guy who specializes in restaurants, so that’s why I’m writing it from that perspective. Keep in mind that these tactics can work for almost any industry, so feel free to contact me if you have any questions about how to make these work for your industry.