As an inbound marketing strategist dealing with various social media tools, I am a huge fan of how easy Facebook has made it to advertise on their platform. Unfortunately, for various reasons, many schools do not take advantage of this advertising platform. And for those who do, not all use it effectively.
We’ve seen some schools shy away from Facebook advertising in reaction to board members who say it is a bad idea for one reason or another. We’ve seen many others who have chosen to utilize it waste money and throw their resources down the drain due to lack of strategy. So with all of these challenges and issues, why should your school spend money on Facebook Ads? There is a very good reason.
Facebook advertising offers the huge potential to transform your school’s social reach without hurting your budget. However, to realize this potential, understanding how to leverage Facebook advertising within your school’s overall marketing strategy is essential.
Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing
Unlike traditional marketing where your audience is anyone with a newspaper, mail service, television or radio, Facebook ads give you the opportunity to refine your target audience, giving you the opportunity to understand your current and potential customer. The real-time data you collect through these ads allows you to improve your ad targeting for a more efficient and effective advertising experience. Facebook's audience targeting in my estimation is one of the biggest game changers in marketing on any platform. You can finally reach your target audience without wasting money on an audience that is not going to be interested in you. For example, instead of targeting mothers with 4 year olds in a 25 mile radius of your school, you can now target those same mothers who have also expressed interest in competitor schools, local churches, popular themes such as "Christian." You can even break it down further into include income levels.
The mention of “real-time” data may bring to mind Google Adwords, along with thoughts of its simplicity and effectiveness. While Google Adwords can seem to fulfill your audience’s demand in its purest form, let’s dig a little deeper.
When you set up a campaign on Google Adwords, you are offered a limited set of related keywords. Unfortunately, since your competitors are often bidding for the same set of keywords, your ad campaign can quickly become expensive
Here’s what you need to consider when advertising on Facebook versus Google Adwords as stated by Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg:
“On Facebook, you don’t care what your users are searching. On Facebook, all that matters is who your customers are. This means you’re targeting real people with real interests, hobbies, and jobs – not keywords.”
Are You Ready?
If you’re ready to start your school’s next ad campaign through Facebook, here are some starter tips that can help you leverage the power of Facebook advertising:
- Define your campaign goals. What is your objective? Do you want more website traffic? More Facebook likes? More audience engagement? Perhaps introduce your new e-book? Announce your next school tour or open house? Each campaign has its own metric value and the Facebook ad type you choose to go with will depend on what you want to achieve. Make sure you solidify your objectives before making those investments.
- Target your audience. Facebook has many awesome and unique targeting options for paid ads you won’t find elsewhere. You can target audiences by location, age, gender, workplace, relationship status, language, education and more. Take the time to get very specific in your audience targeting to ensure your ad will appear where the people you want to see it will be. With ideal targeting, your ads will take off like never before! It’s all about finding the most ideal audience possible. Not sure how to segment your audience? Consider the following:
- Demographic Targeting
- Interest Targeting
- Custom Audiences
- Set your budget. Picking the right budget for your campaign is critical to success. It’s up to you to choose either a daily budget or a total budget you want to spend. Just keep in mind that you’re selecting the budget for a specific ad set, not for the whole campaign.
- Place your ad!
Now that you have a better understanding of the fundamentals of Facebook Ads, it’s time to start increasing your Facebook reach!