Running an effective social media ads campaign is a huge job by itself, yet it is ultimately worth the graft – paid social media campaigns have been repeatedly proven to yield the results education institutions need when increasing school admissions – after all, no pupils equates to no school – and organic advertising doesn’t quite cut it anymore.
In the past 12 months, LOCALiQ have generated a whopping 12k+ leads for schools (that’s a lot of new uniforms!) through paid social media campaigns, and we are a popular digital marketing agency within the educational sector, with a large client base.
Why do schools need to use Facebook ads?
Whilst prospective school pupils (Gen Z) are using social media networks somewhat heavily; their parents are too – and you need strategies in place to reach them if you want to raise your school’s enrolment rates. Gen X (born between 1965 and 1979) now have the largest social media usage.
An increasing number of schools, colleges and Universities are adopting Facebook and Instagram accounts to share and promote their offerings, curriculums, and student accolades. But, as we will discover, organic posting doesn’t muster the reach schools need to accrue admissions.
Facebook Ads is the best place to start when running an effective paid campaign across Facebook and Instagram to increase school enrolment numbers. It is quick, precise, and cost-effective, but that’s not all.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of why Facebook Ads is a cracking solution for promoting your school and generating school admissions.
You can reach your target customers and perfect pupils
First up, who is your market? Break down your audience into demographics and behaviours and create individual ad sets that will appeal to each of your target audience segments.
Facebook allows you to create and build ad sets for specific and granular demographic audience segments – so for example, if you are marketing a private school, you could produce an advert specifically tailored towards teenagers, and another for their parents.
It gets better than that though. You can target Facebook and Instagram users beyond their demographics and reach those with defined interests and behaviours.
For example, if you are needing to increase college enrolments onto a creative writing course, you can curate an ad set exclusively targeting online users who are actively interested in writing, fiction, and literature. If you are a University wanting to promote an open day, you can target age groups who have been looking at Universities, A-Levels, UCAS and further education online.
When you target defined sets of people, rather than a broad spectrum you would barely reach organically, you are so much more likely to generate conversions. At LOCALiQ we have seen the astonishing results of the effectiveness of strategic targeted Facebook Ads campaigns, and furthermore, we know that targeted paid campaigns generate a larger reach, more clicks, and a lower CPC than non-targeted campaigns too.
It’s a tactical tool for lead generation
Facebook Lead Ads – one of our go-to LOCALiQ solutions for education institutions – provides a clickable form on your ad. This presents Facebookers with a short and succinct form which school’s can customise with a set of questions. What’s more, the form can be filled in by users within the app. The easier it is to fill in a form, the more people will respond – meaning you’re going to get more leads.
When customising your form, you can opt for open-ended or multiple-choice questions to uncover specific information you need from each new lead. You can then personalise your communications for each unique lead going forward, taking your lead nurturing skills to the next level! Clever stuff, eh?
Lead generation and nurture should be a prime area of focus for schools, even more so if you have a high AOV, and should be part of any private school’s conversion strategy. You can read more about different social ads goals here.
You can show your brand off visually
The benefit of Facebook Ads is that you can use a variety of layouts, such as carousels – a favourite format at LOCALiQ – which allow online users to slide through up to 10 images which can promote your school in the finest light.
If you are the owners of a breath-taking school building or offer fantastic facilities, Facebook Ads is your opportunity to do a bit of showing off, and an image says a lot more than a text ad snippet ever can. At LOCALiQ we put a lot of time into creating high-quality graphics and images with our clients target audiences in mind, and the efficacy of doing so is evident in click-through rates that are way above average.
Use Facebook Ads to accelerate your other marketing efforts
It is advisable to have an omnichannel marketing strategy, which means that you have multiple touchpoints online – such as SERPs, social channels, display ads etc. – thus maximising your digital presence.
Most of our education clients are running search engine marketing campaigns alongside social media campaigns, giving their school a multi-platform presence, increasing brand awareness.
We strongly recommend using SEM and social as a double threat when marketing for colleges or schools, and we apply this strategy to our marketing campaigns for our education clients. After all, we recently generated 10,143 new leads from a joint SEM and Facebook lead ads campaign for a UK college within just 12 months.
Seeing a brand on social media instigates online searches, so getting paid adverts in front of an engaged audience across SERPs is vital for being visible and driving leads. If online users can’t find you in search results, their consumer journey with you could end right there. Read more about how the education industry can use SEM alongside social for an effective marketing campaign here.
You can also use a social ads campaign in conjunction with offline marketing and print campaigns, targeted display advertising, SEO, content marketing and much more – it’s important to know which solutions are most suited to your business goals, which we can more than help you with.
Boost your website traffic tenfold
If you are striving to increase conversions on your website, such as website brochure or prospectus downloads, you’re going to need more website traffic!
If you have a conversion friendly website, you would be wise to use a Facebook Ads campaign that is optimised for driving clicks rather than leads. (You can read more about effective websites here). By doing so, your Facebook Ads campaign will be served to online users more likely to click on your advert, and you will be sending way more people to your website who might never have visited otherwise.
Reach users you can’t reach organically
Ever wonder why your recent post hasn’t received a lot of engagement? You may be shocked to realise that as of February 2021, the average reach for an organic Facebook Business post was down to 5.2%? Instagram is also following the same trend, with declining organic reach for businesses – alarmingly, people are only seeing 30% of organic posts from accounts they are following. Social media algorithms are everchanging, and networks are becoming saturated, making it harder to be noticed online.
Using a Facebook Ads campaign bypasses this problem! With paid ads on Facebook, you can target and serve your ads to users who already follow your page, yet don’t usually see your posts (you can also exclude this audience if you so wish), as well as users who do not follow you. At LOCALiQ we optimise our school’s social campaigns using elite technology, meaning that social ads are served to the people most likely to interact with them, wasting less of your marketing budget. Viola!
Establish the right target market with Facebook Insights
Using Facebook Insights allows you to see which demographic groups are interacting with your social ads, and what their interests and behaviours are. This gives you a goldmine of knowledge regarding who your main audiences are, so you know who to market to and where to invest. Furthermore, Insights allows you to even see the most popular locations, times, and days your advert is interacted with, and you can use your findings to schedule your adverts. You could be surprised!
When marketing for private schools and marketing for education, pinpointing and reaching exactly the right people is imperative for generating large ROI. The more data you have, the more you can learn about your audience and potential customers, and the more leads you can convert.
LOCALiQ’s Client Centre gives businesses a full insight into their leads and audiences.
Get more bang for your buck!
You can lower your CPC and CPA by splitting your budget between ad sets, tracking the results, and then running with the ad set which performs better.
Stay present and increase conversions with remarketing
Have you ever been followed around the internet by an advert of a product you went to buy, but didn’t? Of course you have (we’re looking at you, Amazon!). Facebook retargeting can be used to serve your adverts to people who have previously been served or have interacted with your advert yet have not taken any action.
Remarketing will increase your conversions by giving those who are sat on the fence a nudge further down the conversion funnel – hence why at LOCALiQ we work extremely hard on remarketing strategies for our clients.
To have a chat with us about education marketing and digital marketing for schools, or to receive any social media advice, drop us a message – we are more than happy to help and advise you.
If you’re unsure which social media channels you should be using, read our social media networks guide, or take a look at more Facebook toolkit features. Or, you can read why you should use search engine marketing to promote your school.