Facebook Advertising: Why It’s Still a Must for Higher Education

Facebook Advertising: Why It’s Still a Must for Higher Education

On campuses across the country, the struggle over the Facebook update and Facebook’s long-term value is real. I have consistently heard questions and feedback like: Should we really pay to have our brand represented on Facebook? It probably isn’t where we want our brand represented. Clearly, our audience isn’t there.

Whether you are an engineering program, a prestigious MBA program or a college that is new to digital advertising, I have to tell youyou’re not above Facebook advertising. It’s still a must for colleges and universities. Here’s why.

Your audience probably is on Facebook. Who is on Facebook and what do we know about the available advertising formats, associated costs and total number of active users?

Based on our data from over 250 programs, we have some pretty compelling statistics on click-through-rate, cost-per-lead and conversion rate you should check out when debating the overall effectiveness of this channel for education brands.

Facebook advertising, as a part of a larger digital campaign, works to generate interest and inquiries. Especially for your top of the funnel advertising, engagement and event marketing efforts.

Opportunities Across the Funnel

Is Facebook the end all be all? Absolutely not. A comprehensive strategy where you are testing and evaluating the effectiveness of your messaging and creative is imperative, along with monitoring of results. However, Facebook does offer some pretty cool opportunities to position your brand across the student lifecycle. Here are a few of my favorite examples.

Fun with Photos

With the plethora of ads in your feed, it is imperative to stand out! eCornell does an amazing job of engaging their target audience (in a very smart way) with everyone’s favorite (animal imagery).


Creative Messaging

Find inspiration in advertising creative and strategies from outside of higher ed. Check out this cool example of a recruitment ad that gets to the heart of what the role is about in a super fun way.


Who doesn’t like a visit that is all about them? This example from University Northwestern focuses on customizing your campus visit and truly making the experience your own.


Video has been one of the most exciting differentiators in Facebook advertising. It adds an element of interest and personalization. The Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University shows off their innovative programs with a quick glimpse into the student experience.


Focused and to the point…who do you want to be? This ad (although absent of smiling faces or success metrics) is clear and to the point. If you want to be a leader in the data revolution focusing on government, this is where to go.


Full-Funnel Approach to Digital Advertising

A full-funnel approach, including a number of different types of channels at different points throughout your prospect lifecycle, is the key to success for most EDU campaigns. From brand awareness to inquiry generation and beyond, identify your audience segment, know what messages will resonate best with them and measure what matters most across all channels.

Have an example of a great digital ad campaign? Tweet us @convergeorg or send it my way. We’d love to feature your story in an upcoming blog post.


Ann Oleson
Ann Oleson
March 7, 2018