20 februari 2020 Marketing 6 min

Can you still advertise online without using the Facebook Pixel?

Deborah Schoonen

Facebook has become an important tool for promoting events. By using Facebook advertising you can accurately select your target audience and make sure your ads are shown to the right people, in the right place, at the right time. However, not every event organiser knows about the full potential of advertising on Facebook.

What is the Facebook Pixel?

The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you can integrate into your website or ticket shop. Once you set up the Facebook Pixel, it’s activated each time there is an action on your website or ticket shop. This can be anything, from viewing your line-up to buying a ticket.

The Facebook Pixel lets you benefit from many extra possibilities while setting up your Facebook and Instagram advertisements. The pixel allows you to receive extra data from the people that click on your ads, such as which actions they take once they are on your website. This way, you can measure the results from a campaign in detail and further stimulate your ticket sales.

The extra functions of the Facebook Pixel allow you to advertise more accurately. You could set up a target audience that resembles the regular visitors of your events, for example. Another popular option among event organisers is to target people who’ve started the buying process but never finished. Since the Facebook Pixel makes it possible to show your advertisements to exactly the right people, it can help you get the most out of your advertising budget.

What are the options of advertising without the Facebook Pixel?

An important step in setting up your ads is deciding which target audience you want to show your ads to. You want to pick your target audience as precisely as possible so only the right people see the ad. By doing so, you won’t waste your advertising budget on showing the ad to people that aren’t your target audience.

There are multiple ways to select a target audience without using the Facebook Pixel. One possibility is to create a Custom Audience yourself, based on for example location, age, and interests.

Another option is to import your current customer base as a Custom Audience for your advertisements. That way, you can tell them about new editions of your event that are coming up. However, this option has its limitations when you want a larger audience to know about your event.

EVENTIX TIP: Expand your customer base with a lookalike audience

To further expand the audience for your event, you can choose to show your advertisement to a lookalike audience of your Custom Audience created from your current customer base. When you pick this option, Facebook selects a group of people that has the same characteristics as your current visitors and therefore may also be interested in your event.

What are the possibilities of advertising with the Facebook Pixel?

So yes, it seems there are a few options when it comes to organising without the Facebook Pixel. However, if you want to aim for precisely the right audience, the Facebook Pixel offers many extra possibilities. Popular strategies when setting up ads with the Facebook Pixel are retargeting, excluding and lookalike audiences.


Retargeting implies that you show your advertisements to people that have visited your website or ticket shop before. You can show ads to people who visited your store but didn’t buy a ticket, for example. Sometimes people need just a bit more time to decide whether they want to buy tickets for your event, and by using retargeting you make sure those people don’t forget about you.

By having your Facebook Pixel on different pages, you can decide what sort of ad you want to show to what target group. If you have an extensive website with multiple landing pages, you can show different ads to visitors of different pages. Has someone looked at your line-up? You can remind them of your line-up with a custom Facebook ad.

custom audience retargeting facebook pixel


Once you start advertising on Facebook, the system recognises which people may be interested in your event. The Facebook algorithm is pretty good at it too; so good that it shows your advertisements to people who have already bought tickets. Of course, this is a bit of a waste since your advertising costs will be unnecessarily high. Therefore, it’s wise to exclude people who’ve already finished a transaction from seeing your ad. You can set this up by using the Facebook Pixel.

Excluding visitors that have already bought tickets from your advertisements helps to spend your advertising budget more effectively. With the budget you save, you can show your ads to potential visitors that didn’t buy tickets yet. That way, excluding audiences helps you to get the most from your advertising budget.

An exception to this is when you want to sell optional products to customers who have already purchased a ticket, which would make them the target group. This is called ‘upselling’, and you can read more about it here.

Lookalike audience

With a lookalike audience, you target an audience that is based on a custom audience. You can make a custom audience based on your customer base, website traffic or involvement in your event. Other options are to generate custom audiences based on people that clicked on your ad or that finished a payment in your ticket shop. When setting up a lookalike audience based on a custom audience, you pick an area you would like to find a lookalike target group in and Facebook will automatically generate a target audience that has similar characteristics, interests, and behaviour to the original.

The conclusion: can you still advertise without using the Facebook Pixel?

It is still possible to advertise without using the Facebook Pixel; there are still multiple possibilities for creating a targeted audience for your ads. However, the Facebook Pixel provides you with much more advanced possibilities. You can determine who gets to see your ads and who doesn’t with pinpoint accuracy. With the Facebook Pixel, you can track and target your audience simultaneously, which helps you to get the most value from your ads. Therefore, it’s a good idea to consider using the Facebook Pixel when you’re planning to run ads on Facebook.

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Deborah Schoonen

Content Marketeer

Can regularly be found at the Dutch festivals during summer. Enjoys good music and beautiful stories and is always planning her next trip abroad.