How To Grow College Enrollments Using Facebook Video Ads
By: Renee Seltzer
Have you considered Facebook video ads? Facebook ads can be one of the best ways to generate leads and enrollments at an affordable cost. You may find that Facebook is a better channel than Google Adwords for your school.
Videos allow for you to connect with people on an emotional level. Emotional connections drive brand loyalty.
You may be thinking creating a video is expensive! “I can’t afford high-quality, professional-looking ads with my budget.” That’s simply not the case.
Not all effective videos are high-budget, high-quality videos.
People Don’t Want to See Your Ad
Remember this, people do not surf Facebook hoping to find ads. They go to Facebook with the intention to see what their
friends and family are doing. If your ads are too polished then it’s easier for someone to spot your ad and ignore it.
Let’s face it, sometimes people just don’t want to be sold to. That’s why we have to create clever marketing strategies to engage, to thrill, delight and entertain.
One way is to achieve this is to create ‘real’ looking ads. If your ad looks ‘real’ then it’s more likely to break through the clutter.
The great thing about looking ‘real’ is that is can be done cheaply and quickly!
You just need to follow these steps and you are off to the races creating emotional connections with prospective students. These emotional connects will translate into enrollment growth.
We will get to the mechanics of how to set up a campaign below.
For now, remember your job is to make your ad look as much like the other content of your target audiences’ newsfeed.
If your budget allows, you can go big like Strayer University did with its Readdress Success Campaign: Julianne Hough, Tawanda Jones and Anthony Anderson. They hired celebrities to redefine what success really means. These are big-budget emotionally captivating videos. If you haven’t seen them, you should.
You Can Do Amazing Things with Little to No Budgets
You may be thinking that these big budget videos are contradicting my earlier point, aren’t you? Okay, so let’s checkout these lower budget videos Strayer did regarding redefining success in which they used real people off the street. Do you still find them compelling? I do! And, even more so, because they are relatable! Aha!! These videos are relatable.
Using celebrities is a great way to breakthrough the clutter, but so is using real people in real settings.
People like seeing videos and pictures of people who they can relate to. To drive demand you have to be relatable, authentic and real!
Here is another example. You’ve probably seen Hillary Rushford’s ads on Facebook and how she convinced thousands to pay $100 for her instagram course. Here is a screen shot below. In her Facebook video ad, she is walking down the street having a casual conversation with the camera. She’s comes off likable and approachable.
Facebook Video Ad Needed Elements:
Now that you can create videos on a low budget, let’s breakdown the elements needed to kick off your Facebook video ad campaigns.
Hopefully, by now you can see why you don’t need to go big budget to create an amazing Facebook video ad campaign. Now, let’s cover what you do need in order to kick off a successful campaign.
- Appealing imagery or videos
- Awesome incentive that’s compliant, of course
- Compelling and engaging ad copy
Why You Shouldn’t Ask for the Lead Right Away
We want and need more leads. But, now is not the time to ask for someone to fill out an inquiry form.
You still need to build trust before someone will take the time to fill out an inquiry form, especially on their mobile device. Launch your campaign with the goal of collecting email addresses instead of generating leads.
This type of strategy requires lead magnets.
All hope is not lost if you start out collecting emails over leads. You will have an opportunity to build a relationship with prospective students, educate them on what differentiates you from other schools and then ask for the inquiry. This is inbound marketing at its best and all it starts with is a single email.
How To Start Building a Relationship?
First, in order to capture their email addresses you will need to offer a compelling incentive that is a part of your core audience. Check out this example of “How to Get Hired as a Firefighter” Guide. These two firefighters created this short 2:20 minute video with an email capture if you want to download the guide.
If you want to be compelling, how can you provide the solution? What you offer needs to be something they really want and/or need. You have to start thinking like your target: What keeps your prospective students up at night? What do perspective students want?
Don’t Make It Seem Like Work
An important tip, and one that I need to be reminded of, inherently people on social media are escaping for a few minutes and do not want to do more work, perceived work or actual work.
Don’t ask people to download a 50-page ebook or to go through a dry PowerPoint deck. That’s not compelling. Instead, offer people a one-page downloadable guide or a short video. And, don’t offer a 10-page career guide.
The hard part is coming up with what’s compelling.
Can you create a mini-course filled with actionable lessons? Can prospective students dip their toe into one of your classes? Can they watch a lecture filled with media, intrigue and drama? Do you remember the Wellesley High School Commencement Speech? It was filled with drama. It was watched over 2.6 million times.
Learn more about lead magnets and how to create the right offer to grow enrollments. Sign up for our newsletter!
Can you offer a 7-day challenge? Or a quiz they are sure to ace? Think of it as giving them a quick win!
Write Compelling Copy
Your copy needs to deliver value. It needs to evoke an emotional response and it needs to come across as personable.
Here are 5 Steps to Follow to Write Compelling Copy:
- Start your copy with an obvious ‘Yes’ question.
Here are some possible ‘yes’ questions to get you started.
- Do you deserve a new career?
- Do you want what’s best for your family?
- Do you want to follow your dreams?
- Do you want to help change lives?
- Tell the reader who you are and why that’s important. Can you share results that your reader would care about? Be specific, but not longwinded. “Brevity is the soul of wit.” ― William Shakespeare, Hamlet
- Make a promise. What will they get out of downloading your incentive? Write something or say something like, “you are going to discover” or “I am going to show you”
- Tell them why they should care about what you are telling them. State your point quickly and clearly. You can focus on a paint point, something that keeps them up at night and then your solution. Or you can inspire change. The University of Phoenix commercial has done a beautiful job of inspiring in their latest spot. ‘Learn what it’s like to take an online class, so that you can see if pursuing your degree online is for you. You know you want the degree. You know you need the degree. Now, let’s find out how you’ll earn the degree, together. Let’s do this together.’
- Call to Action.
Create a Lead Magnet Page
Once you’ve created your incentive, now create a landing page with an opt-in form for people to sign up to receive your incentive. Here are 9 lead magnet ideas and examples that have generated 28k subscribers in 45 days.
In our next article, we’ll be breaking down what a lead magnet is and how to make one for Higher Ed. Stay tuned.
Remember, the copy doesn’t need to be long! Longer is not better.
Use Your Thank You Page To Reinforce Your Brand Promise
Don’t forget to use your thank you page as another opportunity to connect with them on an emotional level. You can have a lead form on your thank you page, but better yet, have another compelling video. Connect with them. Then contact them. If done well, your prospect will be excited to hear from your enrollment team. And share their experience with their friends on social media.
Don’t forget to add tracking on your thank you page with Facebook so you can track your conversations through your analytics. This will also allow you to test the copy, video and follow up call to action on your thank you page. Track and test everything! If you’re not sure how, contact us and we’ll help you do it.
Follow the Rules: Text Rules
Facebook’s policies dictate that you can’t have text that covers more than 20% of the image you use in your promotion. Use Facebook grid tool to test your image to make sure it complies with Facebook’s rules.
Incorporate this rule with the previous ones to create outstanding compelling stories that strengthen your brand perceptions and increase your enrollments.
When you are logged into your Facebook account, select who you want to see these ads. Facebook allows for a tremendous amount of specificity in targeting your audience.
You can target by demographic. You can also target people who like a competitor’s page or a certain topic. For example, if you are an auto mechanic school, then you may want to target people who follow car brands, racing and other related pages.
If you want to do a geo campaign, you can do that too. Or create a campaign targeting those students who go to a specific high school or community college near you. Facebook allows you to target people who like those pages and their friends.
Don’t forget to set up conversion tracking through Facebook (pixel tracking) and on your analytics platform.
Conversion tracking will allow you to see how many people see your ad, how many people click on your ad, and most importantly how many sign up. If you need to see the steps for how to set this up, check out this video walkthrough.
Analyzing Your Results
So you’ve created emotionally engaging videos and images, written compelling copy, targeted your audience and created strong lead magnet pages, now it’s time to evaluate if this was successful.
When evaluating if this initiative is successful, look at how many subscribers you received, how many of them converted into inquiries and then how many matriculated into students.
Also evaluate if this initiative has positively impacted your other channels.
Have You Seen An Uptick In All Of Your Conversion Rates?
You will probably notice that all of your marketing channels are improving. People who responded to a billboard, walk-in, referral or lead generator are possibly seeing your Facebook video ads, but being attributed to another channel. This is common so it’s important to evaluate it all. The rising tide lifts all boats. I love my clichés!
Don’t forget your lead nurturing campaign. Once you have all these subscribers, it’s your job to convert those inquiries into leads and students.
Check out future articles covering lead nurturing in greater depth.
If you need help with your social media, contact Tribeca Marketing Group. We are here to help you kick off social media campaigns, grow your paid search campaigns and track your results.
Facebook features new videos all the time. Bookmark this page to get inspired by what’s trending.
Tribeca Marketing Group to find out how we can help you set-up and manage your Facebook ads.
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