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SeatGeek’s Instagram Ad Home Run: Increasing Mobile Ticket Sales with Nanigans

This case study was originally published on Instagram for Business.

SeatGeekEvent ticket marketplace SeatGeek optimized its mobile app install ads with a strategy of hyper-targeted and consistently refreshed creative, successfully increasing the number of people who made a purchase through the app within three days.

The Story: Connecting Fans with Tickets

SeatGeek is an event ticket marketplace that makes finding tickets to live entertainment a cinch. Its Deal Score system analyzes thousands of ticket listings and rates the best bargains, so customers can get the best deal for their money.


increase in users installing from Instagram and Facebook, year over year


increase in the number of people who made a purchase within three days of downloading the app


decrease in cost per user who makes a purchase within three days of installing from Instagram and/or Facebook

Instagram’s geographic and interest-based targeting allowed us to tailor our sports campaigns to specific teams and fans. As well, by consistently refreshing our creative and audiences, we ensured that our campaigns performed at a high level for months instead of weeks. In the future, we’ll continue to employ a strategy of hyper-targeted creative and consistent refresh with Instagram.

David Kaye, Marketing Analyst, SeatGeek

The Goal: Technology to Win the Crowd

SeatGeek wanted to increase the number of people who made a purchase within three days of installing its app from an ad. For this campaign, the team wanted to tailor its sports campaigns to fans of specific NBA and NFL teams, and ultimately drive purchases through the app.

The Solution: A Refreshing Game

SeatGeek iPhoneSeatGeek primarily ran mobile app install ads, which direct people to a mobile app store where they can download the SeatGeek app. All ads were run through Facebook Marketing Partner Nanigans.

SeatGeek’s strategy relied on two key pillars: targeting to improve performance and refreshed ad creative to sustain this improvement.

Rather than run generic “NFL” or “NBA” campaigns, the company focused on targeted ads aimed at fans of both NFL and NBA sports teams. For instance, it ran an ad promoting Detroit Lions tickets to Lions fans living in or within 50 miles of Detroit.

For its creative, SeatGeek used a standard template that was then customized to feature a relevant background photo, the team name accompanied by the word “tickets”, and the ticket price.

SeatGeek also developed lookalike audiences based on the top purchasers for each team. This ensured that ads were being delivered to the most relevant audiences for each fan-base.

When SeatGeek used this kind of targeting in past campaigns, it quickly ran into the issue of creative fatigue. Targeting would often result in a relatively small audiences, meaning people were more likely to see an ad on multiple occasions and therefore lose interest.

To ensure its campaigns performed at a high level for a longer period of time, SeatGeek regularly refreshed audiences and its creative. The company used Facebook Audience Insights to regularly refresh its Custom Audience list and create team-specific lookalike audiences. It used Boost Media and a roster of freelance designers to develop new templates and quickly produce custom ads for multiple NBA and NFL teams at a relatively low cost.

This hyper-targeted campaign improved performance, while consistent refresh meant that this improvement was maintained throughout an entire quarter. The end result was 2.8X increase in the number of people who made a purchase within three days of downloading the SeatGeek app—at a 55% lower cost per user.


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