ESM Digital's Higher Ed Marketing Blog

How to Get Facebook Ads Right

Yikes! If you advertise on Facebook, you’ve experienced the plummeting reality of its organic reach? Facebook started seriously restricting organic reach back in 2012 when it capped that reach at 16 percent. Ah, the good ‘ol days. By the beginning of 2014, organic reach was at only 6 percent and today, it’s below 3 percent.

Is it time to give up on Facebook?

Not at all!

You can’t afford to abandon Facebook and its 1.4 billion active users just because its algorithm is continually changing. You just need to learn how to change with it.

Start with these 7 tips to get Facebook ads right, but don’t stop there. ALWAYS update, tweak, change and evolve. Digital marketing is a moving target, but one that holds a trove of riches in leads and enrollments if you can keep up. Can you?

Don’t chase an algorithmic dream. Instead, be authentic. If you continually try to please computers instead of people, you’re going to lose the attention of the very audience you’re trying to reach.

Be funny but careful. Creating edgy ads is worth the risk if you know your audience well. Do you know your students? If you do, take a chance on some great, funny content that appeals to them and your future students.

Be evergreen. Have you ever noticed an old ad or blog post that shows up in your feed years after its create date? That’s because good content goes round and round on the internet. Create evergreen content that will still be relevant for years to come.

Use  awesome, beautiful, crazy, stunning, vivid, high resolution images. You get the point! You want to capture the attention of your viewer so they follow your images exactly where you want them to go.

Go for quality of quantity. Recommendations vary on how often you should place ads before your audience. When in doubt, opt for quality over quantity. It’s not about producing something; it’s about producing something worthwhile. Are you proud of every ad you place on Facebook? You should be.

Post for targeted reach. Depending on your programs, prospects and competition, you may NOT want to post when the most people are online. Posting off-peak is an effective strategy if your ad is more likely to get noticed because it’s competing for space with fewer ads and appearing in front of the right audience.

Target, track and tweak. Use Facebook Insights to target your audience and measure the results of your ads. But remember, don’t fall for the lure of reach over action. It might feel great to know that 20,000 people saw your ad, but what you really want is action: clicks, likes and shares by the prospects who matter to you most.

Is Facebook’s declining organic reach keeping you up at night? We can help you get some sleep. Contact us at Effective Student Marketing and we’ll show you how to build audiences and ads that will make you stand out among the crowd.

~Linda Emma