One of the best ways to raise awareness for your school is to invest in Facebook ads. You can’t solely depend on word-of-mouth traffic and SEO is iffy, but Facebook always hits the target.
However, let’s be honest: Facebook marketing can be be overwhelming for a non-marketer. There are so many options, so many objectives, so many proposed outcomes. Where do you start? What do you need to know to create an effective ad campaign?
Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll discuss the basics of creating an effective Facebook ad campaign for your Montessori school. Let’s get started.
The Benefits of Using Facebook Ads for Your Montessori School
Why should you turn to Facebook for your marketing needs?
At first glance, Facebook feels like a weird choice. After all, it’s a social media platform– shouldn’t you use it to simply interact with current and prospective families?
Facebook isn’t just any social media platform. Facebook is the social media platform. With over a billion users worldwide, Facebook is the most popular and powerful social platform in existence. You can use Facebook to connect to your target audience because it’s almost certain that the people you’re trying to reach are on Facebook.
But why pay for connection?
The answer is simple: Facebook has become a pat-to-play channel. Organic reach is down. Once upon a time, you could reach prospective families without paying for promotion. But these days, unless you’re willing to invest in an ad campaign, it’s incredibly difficult for you to reach new people who don’t know about your school.
In fact, it’s even difficult to stay connected to the people who’ve already liked your Facebook page.
Have you ever noticed inconsistency in your own Facebook’s newsfeed? You may see some of the posts from the businesses that you like or follow on Facebook, but you won’t see every post. That’s not by accident. That’s part of Facebook’s advanced newsfeed algorithm. Facebook decides what shows up on the newsfeed.
Fortunately, you can show up more regularly on the newsfeed by paying for ads. Plus, you can use Facebook’s advanced ad targeting options to reach the very families who will enroll in your Montessori school.
These are the two main goals you can accomplish with your Facebook ad campaign:
Build awareness for your school
Reach local families who have no idea about your school. You can start making a connection with people who’ve never heard of the Montessori method but are open to learning more.
Connect with parents who are already familiar with your school
In addition to finding new leads, you can also build a relationship with people who are are already aware of your school. Perhaps they’ve taken a tour and are in the “mulling it over” stage. You can nudge them toward enrollment with a carefully planned Facebook ad strategy.
Here’s How to Get Started With Facebook Ads
Now that we’ve looked at two major benefits of Facebook advertising for Montessori schools, let’s discuss what you need to know to create an effective ad type.
Choose the Right Objective
The very first step is to choose the right objective.
If you’ve ever tinkered around on Facebook Ad Manager, you’ve probably felt overwhelmed by the sheer amount of ad objectives that you can choose from. There are so many different types of ad objectives that you can launch on Facebook, from page likes to website conversions. However, not all of those ad objectives will benefit you. Let’s simplify your choices.
Brand awareness – This objective is great when you want to reach people who don’t know you. It doesn’t necessarily encourage action, but it does build top-of-mind awareness for your school. If you choose this ad objective, you’ll likely pay for impressions.
Conversions on your website – Encourage your audience to take a certain action on your website; for example, schedule a tour.
Collect and generate leads – Get prospective families into your sales funnel by enticing them over to your site with a compelling offer.
Likes – Ask a Facebook user to “like” your page or post. This strategy helps to improve your Facebook reputation, but because organic reach is down, getting lots of page or post likes won’t actually improve your exposure. This objective won’t help you improve your enrollment or retention numbers. The same goes for boosting posts.
Choose the Right Facebook Ad Type
In addition to Facebook ad objectives, let’s take a look at the different ad types.
Cost Per Click (CPC) – Pay whenever someone clicks on your ads. The benefit is that you’ll only pay upon action. The drawback is that someone can click on your ad but not follow through with a desired action. This is why you need to link your ad to a strong landing page. If you link to a generic home page, you risk confusing and losing your prospective lead.
Cost Per Like (CPL) – Pay whenever someone “likes” your Facebook page. As we mentioned above, likes are only beneficial to your ego, but it won’t necessarily boost your enrollment rate. Instead, you need to push leads into a strong sales funnel.
Cost Per Mile/ Impression (CPM) – Pay for every 1,000 impressions that your ad makes. The benefit of this ad type if that you’ll pay less for greater exposure. The drawback is that you’ll pay for every eyeball that views your ad.
Cost Per Action (CPA) – This type of ad is conversion-focused. You’ll pay whenever the user takes a specific, desired action, such as clicks on a link. You can use this ad type to determine how much it costs to book a school tour through Facebook.
Focus on Budget
The next thing you should consider is your budget. Fortunately, Facebook works with every budget, no matter how meager.
Your first step is to determine how much to spend. You can choose a daily budget. Keep in mind that the actual amount you spend each day may vary; however, if you create an ad set that runs continuously, Facebook won’t go over your set weekly budget.
Facebook uses a bidding system, but you don’t win the bid simply because you’re the highest bidder. Instead, the ad with the best overall value is the one who wins the coveted spot.
You’ll pay based on your objective. Different objectives will cost different prices. For example, page likes are cheaper than website conversions. A page like may cost .03 while lead generation may be .79.
Your objective isn’t the only thing that will affect the costs of your ad. How much you spend can be affected by the day of week, the time of year, and the time of day. Also keep in mind that you share your prospective audience with other advertisers who aren’t necessarily private schools. Local and national businesses are also vying for the attention of the same customer.
Target the Right Audience for Your Facebook Ads
So now that the ad type and budget is out of the way, let’s discuss the most important part of your ad strategy: The audience.
This is the reason why Facebook rocks. Facebook allows you to create a unique audience that’s as unbelievably targeted.
With each audience type, the configurations are almost endless.
Here are the three main types of audiences that you can create with Facebook ads.
Saved Audiences – Create an audience based on key demographics, such as age, location, gender, or interests. Use identifying characteristics to build your unique audience.
Custom Audience – Upload an email or phone list of your current contacts and Facebook will match this information to their database. You can use Custom Audiences to speak to people who’ve already started building a relationship with your school.
Lookalike Audience – A Lookalike Audience is a type of Custom Audience. Facebook will use your uploaded list to create an audience that’s in some way similar to those you already know.
You can also target those who are already connected to your Facebook page or exclude those followers from your advertising.
Facebook marketing can feel like a lot, especially when you’re already working as a full-time school administrator. If you’d like help creating an self-driving enrollment system that uses Facebook marketing to pull prospective families, let’s talk. We’ve love to introduce you to our “done-for-you” enrollment marketing service.