With the recent focus on Facebook’s changing algorithm, you may wonder if including social media advertising in your education marketing strategy is worth the investment. The short answer is yes. Even after recent changes, social media advertising remains the best avenue to reach your target audience.
Before the internet, advertising options were limited and imprecise. You could purchase print ads, run a direct mail campaign or spend a large chunk of your advertising budget on a TV commercial. The audience reach was large but unfocused, and return on investment was small.
Enter social media, where marketers suddenly have the ability to target ads based on an array of data points. As tools to leverage this rich pool of data became available, the advertising world moved from guess work and crossing fingers, to personal targeting on a massive scale.
With more than 2 billion monthly users, Facebook hosts over a quarter of the world’s population. And while Facebook is currently the most popular platform for social media advertising, Instagram, Twitter, and even Snapchat are strong contenders for many education technology companies.
According to bigcommerce.com, this is exactly why global social ad spending doubled from $16 billion in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016 and was projected to increase another 26% in 2017.
Social media marketing supports several education marketing goals, including raising awareness, promoting products, generating leads and assisting with reputation management. Because it can be such a powerful education marketing tool, it’s important to keep a few things in mind to make sure you get the most from your budget.
Understand Your Audience
Every audience has unique social media habits and it’s important to understand what those are. If your target market uses Twitter as their primary social media platform, you’ll want to focus your ad spending there. The same goes for Facebook and Instagram. It’s also important to know that engagement levels are higher on some platforms than others. For example, Instagram’s engagement rates are 58% higher than Facebook’s and 2,000% higher than Twitter’s. This means a smaller audience on one platform could yield higher engagement than a larger audience on another.
Tailor Your Content
Once you know where to find your customers, tailor your content to their needs. Ad copy for social media is different than all other forms of advertising. Focus on short, unique headlines that quickly convey what you’re promoting or selling. Facebook will penalize you for too much copy on an ad image so keep your copy concise. Other things to keep in mind:
· If you have strong video content, be sure to leverage it in your campaigns. Video ads convert at substantially higher rates than copy and images.
· When building your social media ads, use the advanced targeting options offered. You’ll be able to create ads that target your direct competitor’s audience members through their specific ages and income levels, detailed job titles, hobbies and family situations. This ability to focus means your message will reach potential customers who are predisposed to embrace it.
There are two types of ad fatigue that happen with social media. The first is caused by over-exposure. Because of the level of targeting detail and audience engagement available, it’s no surprise that millions of businesses use digital ads every day. But customers overwhelmed with choices tend to overlook the majority of what appears in front of them. The remedy: create memorable, benefits-driven ads with a strong call to action and set limits for how many time users are exposed to each ad.
The second type of ad fatigue happens with over-reliance on a single ad. An ad may provide high conversion rates for the first week or two, but after 10-14 days, engagement drops. Pay attention to your conversions and you may have to pull ads when they stop converting at your expected rates. Many companies cycle through similar ads to keep engagement rates high and draw fresh interest.
All in all, social media advertising is a numbers game. But if your goals are clear, metrics are robust, and cost per lead are all well understood, you can deploy social media ads that truly perform at their peak potential.
Interested in using social media advertising as part of your education marketing strategy? If you’re not sure where to start, let us help.
Read our case study to learn how CB&A helped Crayola drive booth traffic and start a conversation on social media around the power of creativity through a social media advertising campaign.