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About 73% of small businesses are already invested in social media marketing. Meanwhile, about 95% plan on increasing their budgets. If you want to draw more students to your school this year, it pays to stay social.

Unfortunately, social media platforms like Facebook are growing saturated. You need a plan to stand out. With these nine Facebook ad strategies, you can!

These Facebook ad strategies for schools can help you reach more prospective students. You can boost brand awareness and increase admissions this year. Meanwhile, you’ll stand out from competing schools online.

Don’t wait to start using Facebook marketing for schools! Start strategizing with these nine tips today. 

1. Establish Your Goals

Before anything else, take a moment to consider your goals while using these Facebook ad strategies. If you don’t set your goals, you won’t know if your efforts were successful. You’ll struggle to track your progress as well.

Establish SMART goals. Make sure each goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Driven, and Timely.

Do you want your Facebook ads to help you generate 20% more website traffic by the end of the quarter? Perhaps you want to generate 300 new admissions by the end of the month. Make sure your goal is realistic.

Otherwise, your team might struggle to accomplish those goals.

When setting your goals, ask yourself:

  • What am I promoting?
  • What do I know about my targeting audience?
  • Where are they in the admissions process?
  • What concerns do they have?
  • What is my campaign goal?

Understanding your goals will help you decide on your target audience and bids. It can help you craft the best content for your target audience, too. Meanwhile, your goals can also work as marketing objectives for your team.

You can choose from different objectives within the Facebook advertising platform, including:

  • Brand awareness
  • Engagement
  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Video views
  • App installs
  • Messages
  • Conversions
  • Lead generation
  • Catalog sales
  • Store visits

If you have different goals, that’s okay! Create a different campaign for each goal. That way, each campaign you create is customized with that objective in mind. 

2. Understand Your Audience

You can reach about 76% of American adults using Facebook ads. In fact, each Facebook user clicks on eight ads each month on average. Better understanding your audience will ensure you appeal to their preferences.

Then, you can create ads, messages, and landing pages with your audience in mind.

If you don’t pinpoint your audience, they might ignore your ads. You could struggle to appeal to their wants and needs.

Facebook’s targeting options are growing more advanced. You can use the right combination of parameters to reach your ideal audience.

Make sure to segment your target audience. For example, maybe you want to target prospective students and their parents. Both groups will have different wants, needs, and concerns. 

Segmenting your audiences and creating different ads for each will make it easier for you to reach each group.

You can use different parameters for your Facebook ads, including:

  • Demographics (age, gender, etc.)
  • Location (region, city, postal code)
  • Interests/behaviors (what the user likes and does online)
  • Connections (people who have connected to your brand)
  • Custom audiences (users from your email list or people who have performed actions on your website)
  • Lookalike audiences (people with similar characteristics to your custom audiences)

Try to avoid going too broad or too narrow with your targeting. Facebook will help you determine if you need to adjust your targeting. It can give you an approximation of how many people you might reach. 

Understanding your audience will help you attract high-quality leads. At the same time, it can help you omit outliers.

Make Sure You’re Mobile

About 98.3% of Facebook users access the social media app from their Facebook phones. These users spend an average of 19.5 hours on the app each month.

Before using Facebook marketing for schools, make sure you’re optimized for mobile devices.

For example, you can reach audiences based on their mobile location data. Geofencing technology will allow you to reach audiences as they approach your institution. Facebook uses the location data on their mobile devices to appeal to these audiences.

You can add “Get Directions” to your ads for these users, then prompt them to visit your school! Directing them straight to your institution could help you generate fresh conversions. You’re also providing students with the convenience of instant directions.

Consider using Carousel Ads on mobile as well. Carousel Ads will allow you to show off multiple images and call-to-action language in one ad. You can show off different features or benefits to draw students in.

Carousel Ads can make your Facebook ad strategies more efficient. You can improve your messaging and use interactive content. In fact, Carousel Ads could benefit your budget.

Carousel link ads drive 30 to 50% lower cost-per-conversion rates. They also drive 20 to 30% lower cost-per-click rates than single image ads.

Use Carousel Ads to show off your campus, popular courses, and other amazing features.

Use Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences can help you reach students with interests, behaviors, and demographics than your current audience. You can target people who have never interacted with your brand before to draw them in. For example, you can use lookalike audiences to pinpoint prospective students.

Then, you can use an ad to introduce your institution to these prospects.

Using lookalike audiences is a cost-effective option. You can use your ad spend on more qualified leads. Otherwise, you could waste time and money on people who have no interest in your institution. 

Try to keep your lookalike audiences small at first. 

Use Custom Audiences

Creating custom audiences can increase your chance of a successful campaign as well. Custom audiences are a list of customers created from your existing customer base. You can use a custom audience to reach people on Facebook, Instagram, and their audience network.

Try creating different types of audiences, including:

  • Offline custom audience
  • Customer list
  • Web custom audience
  • Facebook sources

You can use your custom audience to generate more leads.  

Special Ad Categories

Consider utilizing Special Ad Categories as well. Vocational schools can select the “Employment” category for ads about employment, housing, and credit. This ad category is designed to prevent discrimination.

You can use the Special Ad Categories to ensure proper targeting. This option can prevent you from creating an audience based on gender, age, or zip code.

Facebook will display your ad to people whose behaviors are similar to your current audience.

Using this option will ensure you remain compliant with Facebook’s advertising policies. 

Use Exclusions

You can further refine your geographic targeting by adding exclusions. If you plan on targeting people who are located near your institution, check the map. You can exclude specific locations for more precise targeting.

That way, you can ensure your ads reach a relevant audience.

You can add exclusion pins to the map, then adjust the radius for each exclusion. 

If your institution is located in a highly-populated area, consider adding exclusions. Otherwise, you might burn through your ad spend faster than anticipated. 

3. Enhance Your Profile

Before you start using these Facebook ad strategies, take a look at your current Facebook profile. Is it up-to-date, eye-catching, and engaging? You’ll want to make the best first impression once you start displaying your ads.

Update your profile with your target audience in mind. Then, you can use these Facebook ad strategies for schools to draw more people to your profile.

For example, consider updating your profile image and banner. Don’t forget to update the information you share as well, including your:

  • Institution’s name
  • Phone number
  • Website

Encourage your current students to post reviews on your profile as well. Positive reviews can boost your brand’s reputation. Prospective students will see your institution in a better light.

They might trust the opinions of other students before deciding to apply to your institution.

Do you have an announcement you want to share? Consider using a press release.

Make sure to keep updating your profile with fresh content as well. Use Facebook to your advantage!

Otherwise, prospective students might think you’re behind the times. They’ll turn to an institution that’s more relevant to their interests instead.  

You can explore these services for more helpful tips.

4. Establish Your Budget

Before you can start using Facebook marketing for schools, you’ll need to establish your budget. You don’t want to overspend. How much do you want to spend on Facebook ads each month?

You can decide which action you want to bid on as well. For example, you can pay every time your ad generates 1,000 impressions. Otherwise, you can pay for every click.

Your Relevance Score can play a part in the cost. This score determines how relevant your ads are to your target audience. A higher score can reduce your cost-per-click. 

Optimize Your Bids

You’ll want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck with Facebook marketing. Once you start using these Facebook ad strategies for schools, review your progress. Make sure you’re not paying too much or too little.

If you’re paying too little, not many people will see your ads. If you’re paying too much, you could blow through your budget.

You’ll need to optimize your bids by strategically establishing your budget.

For example, you can choose to bid a certain amount per day or set a lifetime budget.

You can schedule when your ads run, too. Maybe you notice more engagement toward the end of the day. Establishing the right day and time for your ads can help you better utilize your budget.

5. Consider the Placement

You’ll need to consider your ad placements as well. For example, you can decide whether your ads appear on mobile or desktop devices. Then, you can determine what feeds you want your ads to appear on, including:

  • Facebook News Feed
  • Instagram Feed
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Facebook Video Feeds
  • Facebook Right Column
  • Instagram Explore
  • Messenger Inbox
  • Facebook Stories
  • Instagram Stories

Choosing the right placement will ensure you appear in front of your target audience.

Consider using the Facebook News Feed and Instagram Feed placements to start. Then, you can expand your reach as you optimize your campaigns. 

6. Craft Eye-Catching Content

One of the key components of a successful ad campaign is the content. You’ll want to make sure your Facebook ads are relevant and eye-catching. 

There are five components to a standard ad:

  • Body text
  • Link
  • Heading
  • Photos/videos
  • CTA

These components can differ based on the format and placement you choose. However, you’ll always need to consider your CTA. Your CTA can help you draw in prospective students.

If you want to drive applications, consider using the “Book Now” CTA. Otherwise, you can use “Contact Us” to drive inquiries. Make sure the CTA you use suits your overall brand.

Then, consider your imagery. Most people will focus on the imagery before the text. Make sure your images are crisp, engaging, and relevant.

For example, you might want to consider using photos from your current students. 

Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to content created by brands. Work with your students! Encourage them to share their content and images.

Then, ask if you can use those images within your Facebook ads.

User-generated content will make your ads look authentic. Prospective students won’t feel annoyed with direct advertising images and language. Instead, they can focus on your happy students and beautiful campus.

Create More Videos

Videos on social media generate 1,200% more shares than texts and images. Companies also generate 41% more website traffic using videos. 

About 80% of consumers prefer to watch live videos than read a blog.

Video content is another great way to keep people engaged. You can show off your classes or give prospective students a look into your recent events.

7. Create Your Landing Pages

Where will people go once they click on your Facebook ads? You’ll need an engaging, mobile-optimized landing page for your campaigns. Then, you can use your landing pages to boost leads and conversions.

8. Monitor and Optimize

Once you start using these Facebook ad strategies, take a look at your data.

Which strategies, images, and messages are driving conversions? Which ads need a little more help?

Updating your campaigns will help you optimize them for leads and conversions. Then, you can attract more prospective students to your school!

Let’s Get Social: 8 Facebook Ad Strategies for Social Media Success

Don’t let competing schools get ahead this year. Instead, consider using these nine Facebook ad strategies. With these tips, you can create wow-worthy ads and draw in new prospects.

Boost your brand awareness and admissions with these tips today!

Need help getting back on track with your online marketing strategies? We can help.

Contact us today to get started.

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