Success with social media advertising can be explained in four key steps. In this article, we summarise the framework to work through before you launch your next campaign.
Plan your peak and off-peak promotions
The first thing to start with is to take out your calendar and highlight key promotional dates. These dates are when you will be promoting certain events or running key campaigns, such as open events, peak enrolment seasons and scholarship campaigns. You will want each event/promotion to have a six-week promotional time block.
Now that you have your larger promotions highlighted, it’s time to look at what your off-peak promotions will be. These will be audience-building and awareness, and promotional items such as videos, new content and opt-ins.
Getting clear on your calendar about your peak and off-peak promotions will help you always have a strategy for your promotions and will build audiences during off-peak seasons so that they are ready to take action for your next major promotion.
Build your audience
The way to build your audience is to post content where people can engage with you. It can be video content on your school website that visitors can view. If your website has a blog, you can create great value articles that people can click through and engage with. You can also have content on your Facebook or Instagram page, where they like or comment on your content.
Remember that during quiet times, it is good to have a regular support email list.
You build audiences by creating something called a ‘custom audience’ on Facebook, where you can retarget people who have visited your website, subscribed to your email list, or engaged with your page. During those off-season times in between promotional times, your focus is getting as many people in your target market to have a touchpoint with your brand. During promotional times, you’re going to retarget that audience, which will significantly decrease your cost per acquisition or your cost per action.
Structure your advertising
How do you structure your advertising to get opt-ins? I structure the account based on industry standards, and the industry standard has three layers for your promotion. The top layer is called the ‘top of the funnel’, and that is going out to ‘cold audiences’ who don’t know anything about you, haven’t heard about you, or haven’t engaged with you before. You get to select these audiences by targeting people based on their interests and likes or geographic area. When you’re targeting this top of funnel audience, which is supposed to be cold, be sure to exclude any of your current customers or current people who have opted into your email list. You’ll find that this is the area where it’s most expensive to get an opt-in, but it’s a cold audience and you are reaching them for the first time. Make sure that you have something like a video that people can watch. I recommend a 32nd to a-minute video with engaging content that people can click through to your website.
Once you’ve done the top of funnel targeting, you’ve got those ads running and they’re working for you, you can then build on the next layer or your ‘middle of funnel’. It will make your ads cost-effective and will bring the cost of the whole campaign down. Your middle of funnel ads go to people who are lukewarm; by lukewarm, I mean that they saw your previous top of funnel ad. For example, if you had a campaign that was a video with the chance for people to opt-in, you would do it in the middle of the funnel to target people who watched 75% of that video but didn’t opt-in because they’re interested in what you have to say.
What you want to do next is target the ‘bottom of the funnel’ or the warmest audience. The bottom of the funnel ad targets people on your email list. These people have actually opted into your email list or opted in to say that they are interested, but they haven’t made a purchase. This audience will be the smallest in size, but it’s the most targeted. You can reach them in a cost-effective way and get low-cost opt-ins from people engaged with your audience or brand. At the bottom of the funnel, you can also target people who have visited the website but haven’t opted through or opted in, purchased your product, or registered for your event.
Use the Pixel
Ensure that you have a low cost per acquisition in your social media campaign. If you haven’t set up conversion pixel, that is the key pin to your whole strategy. When advertising something like an open morning, have a conversion pixel where you track every registration for that open morning.